If you can’t count in Mandarin Chinese how will you know how much money you have in your wallet? Or how much fresh fruit is in the market? Or when the staff tell you the price of an item to buy in the department store? Let us help you get started. Listen and learn with our Learn Mandarin Now Podcasts…

In this Podcast you will learn:

1. How to count from one to ten in Chinese

2. Some exceptions to the rules for Chinese numbers

3. What are the favourite numbers of Chinese people and which numbers do they wish to avoid, and why?

Chinese words and phrases mentioned in this Podcast:

Chinese numbers one to ten:


二Two: is also used in Chinese slang to describe someone is simple minded or not so clever


四 Four: as this number has a similar pronunciation to the word “death”, even today, most Chinese people try to avoid using this number in their iPhone number, on their car plate and wherever/whenever possible.

五 Five

六Six: the pronunciation is similar to the character “溜” (smooth)so the number is also considered as a good number in some parts of China, although this is not universal


八Eight: the pronunciation is similar to the pronunciation “发” (rich), so eight is the luckiest number in China


十Ten Special Number Combinations: in Chinese, the combination of some numbers carry special meanings, perhaps more so when used on the internet. For example,

1. 514 is similar to 我要死(I want to die); then there is 518 我要发(I want to be rich)

2. 520 (which we did not mention in the Podcast) is similar in pronunciation to the characters ”我爱你” (I love you) and is widely used on Valentine’s Day and other special romantic occasions These just a couple of example but there are so many such combinations of numbers which carry special meanings in Chinese.

Mandarin Chinese learning resources we recommend:

round-italki-logo-3d-01Using Italki, a unique system of learning Mandarin Chinese where you interact with real teachers, is widely recognised as an effective way to learn a new language! You’ll make more progress and learn how native Chinese speakers really speak. Plus, Italki is more affordable than offline tutors, offline schools and software, and is convenient to use at your own pace and place!


Keats Chinese SchoolKeats Chinese School, which was founded in 2004, is one of the top Mandarin Chinese language schools in China, offering both one-on-one immersion Mandarin courses and small group Chinese classes. Located in Kunming, Keats develops personalised exercises and materials for students to meet their learning goals and requirements and can arrange a student visa for its 16 week course.

Yes! I’d like to learn Mandarin Chinese more effectively

Narrated by Song Liu

Our Podcast narrator, is a native Chinese speaker and is originally from Beijing, China and is keen to help you get ahead with learning. She graduated from San Francisco State University with a Master of Arts in Communication Studies. Song also hosted a Mandarin live call-in news and music radio show in the Bay Area.

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