To ja

এটা আমি।

Это я

Ini adalah saya

Sono io

Ako ito

यह मैं हूँ।

이게 나야


This is Me

Εγώ είμαι

Đây là tôi

Dyma fi

Huu ndio mimi


Dette er meg

ဒါက ငါ့ဖြစ်တယ်။

Ово сам ја

Das bin ich


Ini aku

Este soy yo

Me voici

هذا أنا

Este sou eu

Some key features of Chinese

For teachers and parents

Important: This page is not for children but is intended to provide some background for adults who are supporting children’s learning.

Chinese characters 

Chinese, of course, does not use the Latin alphabet of Western countries, but has its own character set.

This has advantages: Every character represents a syllable, and each syllable usually represents a specific meaning. This means that there is no combining of letters to make words so there is no problem with spelling.

It also has disadvantages: There are very many characters, and Chinese children must spend time memorising them.

Traditional and Simplified characters 

There are, in fact, two styles of text – traditional Chinese (TC) and simplified Chinese (SC).

Mainland China use simplified characters, and those are used in the This Is Me series.


The representation of Chinese text using the Latin alphabet is called Pinyin.

It’s useful for beginners, but serious learners will sooner or later move on to using characters.

You can use the books to learn some characters. 

It’s usually better to learn from sentences than from lists.

However, some adult readers might like a ‘starter’ list, which also introduces some key language patterns*.

你好                nǐ hǎo                            hello        

嗨                    hāi                                 hi

我                    wǒ                                 I

我的                 wǒ de                           my

我的书             wǒ de shū                    my book

我喜欢             wǒ xǐ huān                   I like

我不喜欢         wǒ bù xǐ huān               I don’t like

你                    nǐ                                  you

她                    tā                                  she

他                    tā                                  he

它                    tā                                  it

这                    zhè                               this

是                    shì                                to be (am, are, is)

是的                shì de                            yes, true, correct

不                    bù                                 no 

一、二、三      yī 、 èr 、 sān              one, two, three

一本书             yī běn shū                    one book

两本书             liǎng běn shū               two books

三本书             sān běn shū                 three books

有                    yǒu                               to have

没有                méi yǒu                         to not have

可以                kě yǐ                              can, to be able to

能                    néng                             can, to be able to

看                    kàn                                to look

看到                kàndào                          to see

用                    yòng                              to use

画画                huà huà                         to draw

朋友                péng yǒu                        friend

书                    shū                                book

树                    shù                                tree

花                    huā                                flower

房子                fáng zǐ                            house

家                    jiā                                   home

好                    hǎo                                good

怎么?               zěn me?                        how?

* It’s usually better to look out for patterns yourself. That way you will remember them. If we try to tell you ALL the answers you just have more ‘stuff’ that’s easy to forget.

Tones and tone marks

Singular and plural

Nobody speaks in monotones. Many languages use different tones to express different emotions. Chinese is one of the languages that uses tones to express different meaning.

For example, the three letters s, h and i can be combined to formed to give:

shī zi (level tone)                            lion

shí (rising tone)                              ten

lì shǐ (falling and rising tone)         history

shì (falling tone)                             to be (am, are, is, etc), also used a confirmation as in ‘yes’ 

There is also a neutral tone.

Chinese people develop a sensitivity to tones and meaning from an early age. Foreigners, even on the phone, reveal their not-so-competent use of tones.

For developing correct use of tones it’s a good idea to start young, such as with This Is Me books and audio.

The pinyin in the This Is Me books uses standard tone marks. Use the books and the audio (all provided by first-language speakers) together, and listen out for the tones.

Except when talking about people, Chinese doesn’t distinguish between singular and plural. It is usually obvious from the context whether there is one or more than one of anything.

flower        huā

flowers      huā

When talking about people, however, ‘men’ (neutral tone) is usually added. (See the next section.)


I, me                                 wǒ                                   my, mine                    我的    wǒ de

you (singular)                   nǐ                                     your, yours                 你的    nǐ de

she, her                            tā                                     her, hers                     她的    tā de

he, him                             tā                                     his, his                       他的    tā de

it                                       tā                                     its, its                         它的    tā de

we, us                           我们   wǒ men                       our, ours                     我们的  wǒ men de

you (plural)                   你们   nǐ men                         your, yours                  你的们的  nǐ men de

they, them                    他们   tā men                         their, theirs.                 他们的     tā men de

Measure words

Chinese uses a variety of measure words. The default is , gè.

One person        一个人    yī gè rén

Two people         两个人    liǎng gè rén

Three people      三个人    sān gè rén

Note that when using measure words, Chinese uses 两, liǎng, and not 二, èr.

For animals, the measure word is , zhǐ 

One bird            一只鸟     yi zhǐ niǎo

For books, the measure word is , běn

One book            一本书     yī běn shū

Two books           两本书    liǎng běn shū 

Three books        三本书    sān běn shū 

Asking yes-no questions

Questions with yes or no answers are distinguished by adding 吗, ma (neutral tone), at the end.

她喜欢我。            She likes me.

她喜欢我吗?         Does she like me?

Affirmative and negative sentences

Inserting , bù, in front of the verb makes the sentence negative.

她喜欢我。            She likes me.

她不喜欢我。        She doesn’t like me.

Sentence structure and verbs

The default Chinese sentence structure is Subject-Verb-Object, as in:

 I like you.        我喜欢你.         wǒ xǐ huān nǐ.

There sentences like ‘She is good.’ where there appears to be no verb:

She is good.     她很好.            tā hěn hǎo.

很, hěn, is here acting as the verb.

… with love from Smilite

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