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so it’s the new year and as with every country there are new things happening…. Chinese seems to be tightening up and cracking down on certain things.  One thing in particular is the use of VPNs.  Yep… they are trying to cut us off from the outside world.

Mind you this is not a good thing… without a vpn, you cannot get access to any good websites…. besides Facebook, YouTube, twitter and WordPress; there are many news sites and other entertainment sites we will not be able to access.  Its kind of big deal for us foreigners that stay abreast of whats going on in our home countries using the internet.

They are also changing the rules for teachers coming to China.   It is harder to get a work visa then before, and the requirements have become more strict. So if you are planning to make the move here any time soon, things are not as easy as before.  As my grandmother use to say “we have worn out our welcome”.

That is not going to change anything for me…. I am grandfathered in to the system.  I have been here way too long, its like I am Chinese.

On a happy note, there are now 10 year visa available for Americans.   If you have bought property, or have a business and have been in china for at least 7 years… and have enough money in the bank… you can apply for a 10 year visa.

These are only a few changes in the coming new year.

until next time…

From my friends over at Learn Mandarin Now… they have given you some important basic Chinese to get you started on learning the #1 most spoken language in the world. Enjoy!

If you want to learn Mandarin for a trip to China, you may be wondering what are the most important phrases you should learn.  Here are ten of the most important Chinese phrases for travelers.  Use any of these phrases while you’re in China to get you started learning about the culture. For more Mandarin learning tips, feel free to visit our blog Learn Mandarin Now(insert link:


  •  ‘Too expensive':   Tai Gui Le  太贵了

This phrase is an absolute must for haggling in the market.  Don’t forget to add in a few dramatic gestures to emphasize your point.  If you haven’t quite learned your numbers, most shopkeepers keep a calculator handy and they will be happy to enter the price and show the display.

  •  ‘I don’t understand':    Ting Bu Dong  听不懂

This single phrase will help you out in a variety of situations.  If you’re in a situation that requires further communication, the other person will go in search of someone who understands English.

  •  ‘No hot pepper':  Bu Yao La Jiao  不要辣椒

There are a number of places in China, especially Hunan or Sichuan Province, where they really like their spicy foods.  In places like this, this phrase is vital

  •  ‘Excuse me’ (‘let me by’):   Qing Rang Yi Xia  请让一下

China is quite crowded and occasionally you may find yourself needing to get past people.  This is the polite way to ask them to move so you may pass.

  •  ‘Where’s the bathroom?':  Ce Suo Zai Na Li   厕所在哪里?

Is there anywhere in the world that this would not be a helpful phrase?

  •  ‘Please don’t smoke':  Qing Bu Yao Chou Yan 请不要抽烟

Many Chinese people smoke, and non-smoking signs are often ignored.  This phrase can come in handy if you’re in a no-smoking area and someone lights up, especially if you don’t smoke.

  •  ‘Thank you':  Xie Xie  谢谢

Being polite is important and Thank you is an important polite phrase.  There are several ways to say Thank you in Chinese, but this is the one used most often.

  •  ‘Hello':  Ni Hao   你好

This is certainly a useful phrase, but you might be surprised that it’s just as common to greet someone by asking whether they’ve eaten.

  •  ‘How much is it?':   Duo Shao Qian?  多少钱?

Obviously, you’re going to use this phrase before you complain it’s too expensive.

  •  ‘No, no, you needn’t':  Bu Yong, Bu Yong   不用,不用

Chinese people have a tendency to go overboard with hospitality, especially with foreigners and it’s up to you to not take advantage.  Even when you do accept a generous gesture from a Chinese person, it’s polite to demur, at least verbally.

Learning these phrases is a great way to start out with learning Chinese(insert link: and will help you get around the country while you expand your horizons.


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