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Lesson 017 East, South, West and North

07-08-2010 15:03 BJT

Cam: Perfect Chinese your way, in only five minutes a day. Welcome to Chinese Studio, I’m Cam..
Yajie: It’s a new week,and we are starting a brand new lesson. I’m Yajie.
Cam: What are we going to learn today?
Yajie: Well, we want to make sure that you don’t get lost in this vast country.  So today we are going to talk about directions.  Let’s check our key words of the day!
****************Key words of the day
Today we’ll learn four directions : 东边,南边,西边,北边, 日本在中国的东边,  泰国在中国的南边. All in today’s Chinese Studio.
Cam: Knowing directions can be very important, especially in Beijing. How do you  say “east”?
Yajie: It’s 东. Dōng, first tone.
Cam: dōng.
Yajie: In oral Chinese we usually say “东边”。“边”means side. Bian is said in the neutral tone. In common speech, some syllables are pronounced both light and short. Such a tone is called the neutral tone. So it’s “东边”, meaning the eastern side or the eastern direction, dōngbian.
Cam: dōngbian. OK, then how do you say “to the east”?
Yajie: It’s 在东边。For example, you can say:。Japan is to the east of China. 日本在中国的东边
Cam: 日本在中国的东边。(Rìběn zài Zhōngguó de dōngbian) OK, how do you say west in Chinese?
Yajie: It’s 西,xi, the first tone. Also西边, xībian. Here the pronunciation of 边 is the same as that of 东边.
Cam: xībian. And I can say 在西边?
Yajie: Yes, right. You can say 在西边, to the west.
Yajie: South is 南, nán ,second tone.
Cam: nán
Yajie: Yeah, nán. And we say, 南边nánbian。
Cam: nánbian and 在南边 (zài nánbian). To the south.
Yajie: Right, and you can say: 泰国在中国的南边。Thailand is to the south of China.
Cam: 泰国在中国的南边(Thaiguo zai Zhongguo de nanbian.) We have north left now. What’s “north” in Chinese?
Yajie: North is 北,běi third tone. That’s the 北of 北京 which means capital in the north. And the pronunciation is similar to that of the English word “bay”, the third tone, běi.
Cam: OK, běi ,and also 北边 and 在北边?
Yajie: Yeah 北边. Here边also has the neutral tone. 北边. the northern part and 在北边,to the north.
****************Key words Reminder
东边,南边,西边,北边, 日本在中国的东边,  泰国在中国的南边. All in today’s Chinese Studio.
Yajie: OK, let’s take a quick review of what we’ve learned today. What’s east?
Cam:东, the first tone.
Yajie: west?
Yajie: South?
Cam: 南
Yajie: And north?
Yajie:北。And all together it’s东南西北。
Cam: 东南西北.
Yajie: Great! OK, that’s it for today. Hopefully you can practice saying these directions in Chinese sometime today. Don’t forget you can win a CRI gift by answering today’s question: Where is Japan? Is it east of China, or west?
Cam: That should be easy! Just make a sentence. You can send us questions or comments to  That’s  Or you can visit us on our website at Click learn Chinese, where you can enjoy other free Chinese-learning programs.
Yajie: Well class is over. 再见!
Cam: 再见!

Editor:Shi Taoyang |Source: CRI

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