Squeak is our office cat who in the last few years has turned Popup Towers into his own private fiefdom of glass, aluminum and dot-com excellence. Whenever we're recording, he'll paw at the studio door trying to get in. Visitors are always greeted with excitement out of the hope they might bring something edible, and when he wants to relax on his favorite chair, good luck dragging him away from the computer or getting any work done.

Learning Chinese? This lesson is intended for Absolute Beginners to the Chinese language. We start with a fairly simple and straightforward dialogue, and move on with a podcast that will teach you some of the absolute basics to speaking mandarin. So if you're new to Chinese give it a listen and see what you think. And if you have comments or questions, feel free to leave a note, or contact us anytime by email at service@popupchinese.com.
 said on
August 8, 2012
Hi guys, great podcast as usual. I've got two questions I'd like to ask. First, in the dialogue the guy says that the cat is on the chair by saying 猫又上你的椅子了. I'd always been under the impression that the word identifying the position of the subject relative to the object needed to follow the object, for example: 猫又在你的椅子上了. Is there any chance you could explain the nuance in the language here?

Secondly, I was asking a colleague the other day for a work car. I said "今晚我需要一辆汽车因为我需要去南京市区". In light of what you've covered this lesson, would it have sounded more natural to have said instead: "因为我得去南京市区"?

Thanks!
 said on
August 8, 2012
@dominic.jackson,

Hi Dominic, to answer your questions:

1, 上 in the sentence 猫又上你的椅子了 is a verb (the main verb in the sentence actually), meaning to get onto. You can also see it as the short version of "上来" or "上去". It's not a positioning word like in the second sentence as a part of "在...上".

2, Yes :)

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com
 said on
August 9, 2012
@dominic.jackson,

when on absolute beginners lessons can you include pinyin and translation so all beginners can learn easier.

forming long sentences 'Hanzi' only is definitely more advance
 said on
August 13, 2012
@richard,

Oh, my apologies. I don't want to intimidate any newcomers with Hanzi when what I said was very accessible for a beginner. So in my second question I asked my colleague "jin1wan3 wo3 xu1yao4 yi1 liang4 qi4che1 yin1wei4 wo3 xu1yao4 qu4 Nan2jing1 shi4qu1 (Tonight I need a car because I need to go to downtown/urban Nanjing)". In the lesson they use the verb dei3 (得) which I suspected, and Echo confirmed, was better than repeating the verb xu1yao4 (需要).

I'd recommend any beginners download a browser plug-in that upon scrolling over will give you pinyin and English translations of each character, or characters as applicable, in simplified Chinese. I personally use the one at the following link but I think that Premium subscribers can use an in-house Popup Chinese one which has to be just as good. I'd switch over, but after half a year I'm already set in my ways.

http://resources.allsetlearning.com/chinese/grammar/Tools#Browser_Extensions:_Pinyin_Popups
 said on
August 13, 2012
The link to our mobile plugin is here. There are both Firefox and Chrome versions:

http://popupchinese.com/tools/plugin

The perakun version referenced above also uses our dictionary (it is open source), so there is not really much substantive difference in content. The major difference is that the Firefox version here is read/write, and is intended and designed a bit more for translators.
 said on
August 14, 2012
@dominic.jackson / trevelyan. thanks

what about extention for Safari? i'm reluctant to install another browser. at this time , i copy and paste Hanzi sentences from lesson discussions into adsotrans tool .

 said on
November 3, 2012
I am curious if you could just add "ma" to make something like "ni dei shangxue le" a question?
 said on
November 3, 2012
I think you can do it, but why include the 了 if it's a question? Maybe Echo can chime in here, but I'm guessing that if you include the 了 it means "must you attend class NOW" as opposed to "must you go to class"?
 said on
November 4, 2012
@joefish321,

Yes you can. However, a more natural way of asking this question is 你现在需要去上学吗? Ni3 xian4zai4 xu1yao4 qu4 shang4xue2 ma5?

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com

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