Learn Chinese using Chinese Direct -- Let Chinese words just mean something in your mind and forget about translating.

Lesson One.  12 vocabulary items. A main feature of Chinese is that single-syllable modifiers go directly before nouns.

 Diagram of tongue positions for difficult sounds
The sounds "xi," "shi," and "zi" are used in this lesson.

Most speakers of English make sounds that aresimilar to "ji," "qi," and "xi," but they place the tip of the tongue where the arrow is pointed in the first diagram.

"Zhi," "chi," "shi," and "ri" do not occur in English. These sounds are made by curling the tongue back to the region behind the end of the ridge that runs down the top of the mouth.  They sound approximately like "jr," "chr," "shr," and "r." (The "i" in each of them is a rather meaningless placeholder.)

"Zi," "ci," and "si" are present in English, but not as individual syllables and not at the beginnings of syllables. "Zi" sounds like the "ds" in "adds," or the "dz" in "adz." "Ci" sounds like the end of "its." "Si" sounds like the "s" in "snap."

Download the following two files, and open both of them at the same time. This lesson has 100 steps. If a step has a blank to fill in, write your answer down on a piece of scrap paper, and then click on the number after the arrow to see whether your answer was correct. If your answer was wrong, try again. If it was right, use the arrow key to go to the next page.

Chinese Direct Lesson 1

FSICp 01 Vocabulary pronunciation file.

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