Although we claim to be experts in basically everything involving China, we should admit that no-one at Popup Towers has ever had to call an ambulance. The one time a friend came down with a medical problem that needed one, he staggered to the local convenience store and someone took care of it for him. But since you're living in China and can't count on that, be sure to give this lesson a listen as we cover all the Chinese you should need to know to get help in an emergency. Or at least dial the right number.

Learning Chinese? At our absolute beginners level, all lessons are designed for people who have no previous experience speaking Chinese. So even if you don't know any Chinese, you should be able to understand the materials we cover in this class. And when you start finding this stuff too easy? Head up to our elementary level which features more spoken Chinese in the podcast, and longer dialogues in general.
 said on
September 26, 2013
This is useless the absolute beginning. I have no idea what is being said. When you show words and want me to tell the English definition, how am I suppose to know when I've never seen or heard the word before in my life. This is a complete waste of time. I am trying the absolute beginner. If you want me to tell what a means in

English you have to tell it before asking. Other wise it is guessing completely.
 said on
September 26, 2013

If you're talking about the automatic review, you can turn it off or customize it here:

If you're talking about something particular in this lesson that is causing problems, it would help if you could be more specific about the exact problem. Most beginners are able to handle 5-character sentences when just starting, and we try to keep the focus on high-frequency words and phrases ("help", "I'm going to... X", etc



 said on
September 29, 2013
Jasneskis sounds a little frustrated which happens to everyone especially in the beginning but really nothing wrong with this lesson.
 said on
October 13, 2013
No, Janeskis is right, this is a lousy first introduction. Very demotivating to be presented with a bunch of symbols you cannot possibly know. There is no indication whatsoever of what is going on here. There is an automatic review before you even start? Makes sense, not; and you can turn it off by tweaking your account settings, very intuitive, not. This is not an encouraging start...

 said on
October 30, 2013
So if you have a serious emergency in China, should you dial both 999 and 120?
 said on
October 31, 2013
Beggars can't be choosers, but I would still go for 120 over 999 given the choice.
 said on
December 27, 2013
hello, this is really good, but I have a question, is there a way to actually read what is being said in the video? It's easier for me to learn when I see how things are written. I've seen that at the top of the page it says "discussion transcript vocab writing" but whenever I click on it it takes me to an "update your account" page. So do i have to update from a free account to a paid one in order to use them?
 said on
January 13, 2014
For the beginners clicking on this as their first lesson, keep in mind it's actually the 126th Absolute Beginner's lesson because they're listed by most-recent.

Click on "Absolute Beginner" beside the lesson title, scroll down to bottom of lesson list, and select the last page (7 right now). There you'll find the beginning absolute beginner material.

I've found it's best to listen to the podcast first, then look at the written materials.
 said on
December 5, 2014
I recently discovered Pop Up Chinese and I think it's great! :).

Can I make some small request which is for you to mention the ones for new vocubulary. Although one should be able to figure it out it's not always so obvious, especially when the dialogue is spoken at a quick pace.

Keep up the good work guys!

 said on
August 15, 2016
Anyone starting from the very beginning should have a regular teacher or--if a highly motivated self learner like me who has learned Russian and other languages on the fly--at least some traditional texts and audio materials. (I use the "Integrated Chinese" series but supplement with "250 Essential Chinese Characters" and other online sites). To someone who decries the idea that the website is too difficult for a beginner, I suggest you consider trying to learn Russian in the pre-internet era and during the Cold War, and then finally try attending a university in Moscow during the Soviet overthrow. Any and all materials for language learning were hard to find and highly valued and no single resource was EVER sufficient. I feel like a spoiled kid every time I partake of one of the wonderful podcast lessons on this website. Chinese is hard but that's the challenge!
 said on
February 25, 2018
^ Just want to say that people learn in different ways. That's why despite this being the internet age, not everyone is going out to learn a second language. Even then, not everyone is even interested in learning a second language.

I do agree about having a teacher in the beginning, however there could be bias on my part because I know I learn best in a structured class setting (and when I say learn, I mean studying words, grammar, etc. There's no better way to PRACTICE the language than to speak with native speakers). I'm at a point in my Chinese studies where I can find and utilize resources on my own. Before then, I would not even know how to start. I would be totally lost.

In regard to this actual lesson, I actually don't remember being told what the emergency number was in China.. (I studied abroad for a semester). This will definitely be good to know if I ever go back (and that is the plan/dream!).