While in Guilin, you will stumble upon countless chances to meet new people and to practice your Chinese.  Unlike in Beijing and Shanghai, the majority of local Guilinese speak only limited English — so, why not brush up on your Chinese skills instead?

The first key to making local acquaintances is to master essential introductory questions that people are bound to ask:

– Where are you from? Nǐ cóng nǎlǐ lái?  你从哪里来?

– How long will you be/have you been in Guilin? Nǐ zai Guìlín duō cháng shī jiān? 你在桂林多长时间?

– Why did you come to Guilin? Nǐ wèi shén me lái Guìlín? 你为什么来桂林?

– What do you study? Nǐ xué xī shén me zhuānyè?  你学习什么专业?

– Where do you study? Nǐ zaì nǎlǐ xué xī?  你在哪里学习?

After grasping the meaning of these Chinese introductory phrases, you can then begin to build the vocabulary necessary to hold basic conversations in Chinese.  Instead of speaking English with your friends and classmates, speak Chinese instead, and make a habit of practicing your Mandarin in natural settings.  By listening carefully to the Chinese spoken by local Guilinese, you’ll be able to better understand the Chinese of native speakers.

CLI offers limitless opportunities for students to practice Chinese, both inside and outside of the classroom.  Our facilities provide a true immersion-based learning environment, as students participate in cultural seminars, language learning activities, and in-house meals alongside staff, teachers, and Chinese friends.

Helpful tips for learning introductory Chinese:

– When someone uses a word that you don’t understand, ask them to repeat it so that you can begin to pick up new vocabulary.

– Each time you learn a new word, write it down in a language learning notebook.  This notebook should be carried with you wherever you go, and not just used while you study at home.

– Ask shop owners and sales clerks to provide the names of common household items while you’re shopping — a helpful, on-the-go tool for increasing your vocabulary.

– You’ll soon find that the local Chinese are very friendly and eager to chat — let them know that you speak Chinese by approaching affable strangers, and don’t be shy!