Chinese Department


Grade 4/5 ES1 – Countries, Languages and Nationalities

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Let’s review where you’re from, your nationality and the language you speak.


People always want to know what country (国家– guó jiā) are you from. The Chinese character 国 (guó) comes up again and again:

USA (美国 – měi guó)

England (英国 – yīng guó)

South Korea (韩国 – hán guó)

Thailand (泰国 – tài guó)

The Chinese character 国use as a short form of 国家 and other Chinese names for countries are more of a transliteration (sound like the actual name).

Canada (加拿大 – jiā ná dà)

Malaysia (马来西亚– mǎ lái xī yà)

Italy (意大利 – yì dà lì)

How can you ask/answer about where a person is from? Here are the question and the corresponding answer:

你是哪国人? (nǐ shì nǎ rén)

Which country are you from?

我是… 的 (wǒ shì… de)

I’m from…


It is easy to learn nationalities in Chinese language – simply add the character for person (人 – rén):

German (德国人 – dé guó rén)

Indian (印度人 – yìn dù rén)

To say your nationality, it’s quite simple: I’m… (我是…人 – wǒ shì… rén)


Talking about languages (语言 – yǔ yán), here are some terms -

Mandarin (普通话 – pǔ tōng huà/中文 – zhōng wén/汉语 – hàn yǔ)

Cantonese (广东话 – guǎng dōng huà)

English (英语 – yīng yǔ)

French (法语 – fǎ yǔ)

Spanish (西班牙语 – xī bān yá yǔ)

Here’s how you would ask/answer about what language you speak:

What languages can you speak?

你会说什么语言? (nǐ huì shuō shén me yǔ yán)

I can speak…

我会说… (wǒ huì shuō…)


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