Lots of people dream about being their own boss—not having to go to someone else’s office every day. They think they can work and have time off when they want! Indeed, many can make a successful business or two working from their computer. Can you talk about a start-up internet business with your friends, maybe even plan and operate one if this appeals to you?

In this Podcast, you will learn:

(i) How to let someone know you have just begun a start-up business

(ii) To explain that getting started is not so easy!


Two friends meet to talk about the new venture of one of them:


(zài kā fēi tīng)

(at the café)


Nǐ zuì jìn hǎo me?

How have you been?


Hái xíng, tǐng lèi de. Wǒ cí zhí le, hé péng yǒu yì qǐ chuàng yè kāi le gè wǎng diàn, mài huà zhuāng pǐn.

Just okay, quite tired really. I resigned from my job. I started a company and opened an online store with my friend, selling cosmetics.


Wà, zhēn lì hài.

Wow, that’s great!


Méi yǒu la. Bù guò, dāng lǎo bǎn zhēn de hěn xīn kǔ. Wǒ měi tiān èr shí sì xiǎo shí lián zhóu zhuàn. Méi yǒu zhōu mò jià qī.

Thanks. But it’s really hard to be a boss. I work around the clock every day. No weekends, no vacations.


Xī wàng nǐ néng chéng wéi xià yī gè Mǎ Yún.

Hope you can be the next Jack Ma.


Āi yōu, nà kě bù gǎn xiǎng, wǒ mén zhè cái gāng kǎi shǐ.

I don’t dare to think that far. We have just started.

Chinese words and phrases mentioned in this Podcast:




创业:manage a start-up company

网店:online store





连轴转:work around the clock, 24/7



不敢想:I’m not sure if I can be him (trying to be very humble)

才刚开始:just started

创业公司:a start-up company

Cultural/Grammar note:

‘没有啦’ is one of the responses to compliments in Chinese, although it is often said by women; men usually say ‘没有没有’.

Jack Ma is the founder of the Alibaba group. In previous episodes, we talked about Alipay and Taobao. Both of them were founded by him. He is a Chinese business magnate and the idol of all Chinese entrepreneurs.

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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