Chinese Ice-Breaking Phrases and Dialogues

Learn Basic Mandarin with Simple Chinese Dialogues

One of the best ways to learn basic Mandarin is to start listening to simple Chinese dialogs - conversations that contain Chinese phrases, words and patterns that come up again and again in real communication with native speakers.

Take some time to dig into these super-practical dialogs that follow. Besides containing a lot of key language that you are bound to run into repeatedly, there are also nuggets of clues about Chinese culture embedded between the lines.

They are organized around a theme - namely that of being busy or talking about what's been up 'recently'. These are great Chinese ice-breakers, or general conversation starters when speaking to Mandarin speakers.

Common Dialog 1 - 'Busy Studying Chinese'

Ready to expand on this? Let's continue with two other basic Chinese dialogs on the same theme.

Common Dialog 2 - 'How's Business Recently?'

This word 'zui jin' which means recently is an absolute must when you learn basic Mandarin. As you may know, Chinese grammar is very forgiving - no complicated verb tenses - and words like this serve as great markers to indicate time, without headaches of changing verb forms.

Hooray for easy Chinese grammar!

Common Dialog 3 - 'You're Working Hard'

Now we'll get into this last dialog, which has a real cultural zinger of a phrase that I find brings a real grin from Chinese folks when you use it in the right context.

I'm talking about telling someone that they are 'working hard' - a compliment in Chinese that shows you recognize and appreciate another's sweat, toil, and honest efforts.

It's the final line. Master it and it will pay dividends as you learn basic Mandarin!

And on last thing - you can study these dialogues, plus a bunch of others, with videos to accompany them from within our custom media player.

Happy Chinese learning!