Category Archives: Mandarin

Where to learn Mandarin?

With the recent events of the husband of one couple who was deported from mainland China for five years while in the last stretch of language school, the following question has been proposed to me many times in some fashion: “Should future missionaries to China study the language in the mainland or should they study outside of the mainland and once finished they move to the mainland?” It is a good question to be considered!

(For the brief answer, just read the bolded parts.)

Note: This is common in missions, to study the language in a different place than you are going to start your ministry. It can be a different country, or it can be a different city.

I have thought about it awhile and given different answer at different times, but now I will attempt to explain my opinion. And it is just that, an opinion.


First, without considering the risk factor, let’s answer the question: “Where is the best place to learn Mandarin Chinese for those desiring to work in the mainland? I think that Northeast China is the best place to learn Mandarin Chinese for those who want to work in mainland China.

Here are a few reason:

  • It is known for having a standard accent.
  • You can easily accomplish full immersion.
  • There are not a lot of English speakers in comparison to other places.
  • Finding a school and language tutor is easy and cheap.
  • They use only simplified characters for reading and writing.

I also chose the Northeast because other parts of China are known for having non-standard accents and large pockets of minority groups that speak other dialects/languages than Mandarin Chinese.

Therefore, considering language learning only, I believe the best place, to learn Mandarin Chinese, is Northeast China (for those wanting to do missions in the mainland).


Second, let’s consider places outside of the mainland that are possibilities for future missionaries to move to and study. I will list the countries from worst to best and mainly just consider the ability to learn the language there and not anything else.

  • United States, Canada: Find highly populated areas of Chinese people to try to immerse yourself. Hire a language tutor and enroll in a language school through a culture center. I think this is the worst place to learn because full immersion is hard to come by if not impossible.
  • Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia: Same thing, find the highly populated areas of Chinese people to try to immerse yourself. Hire a language tutor and enroll in a language school. This is better because there is a higher density of Chinese people, but it still isn’t full immersion (that I know of).
  • Taiwan: This is the best place to learn Chinese outside of the mainland because, for the most part, everyone speaks Mandarin Chinese. Some older people might only speak Taiwanese, but you can easily be fully immersed in the language, find a language school and tutor. The main difference would be in accent and the use of traditional characters versus simplified characters.

So, yes, there is a place outside of mainland China that offers everything a person would need to learn Mandarin Chinese fully. Considering language learning only, I believe the best place, to learn Mandarin Chinese outside of the mainland, is Taiwan.


Third, let’s consider the risk factor. The risk factor is: the risk of being deported from China while in language school and before you have started your ministry. Obviously the risk of deportation is something every missionary to China must face, or no one would ever come to China. The part that is in question is: when is the best time to take the risk? In language school or after language school…that is the question!?!

We will start with the “after language school” option. This means that a missionary will find a place outside of China to learn the language and when he is finished learning the language (around two years or more), THEN he will move to mainland China to start his ministry.

Here are the pros:

  • You ARE guaranteed 100% to not be deported from mainland China.
  • You can gain a level of Chinese fluency if you choose the right location.
  • You DON’T have to live with the restrictions of the mainland.

With these pros also come the pros of the country you choose to move to, which would be different per location.

Here are the cons:

  • You are NOT serving in mainland China for a long period.
  • You WON’T learn the culture of the mainland while in language school.
  • You WON’T learn how to do ministry in the mainland while in language school nor learn to overcome the fear factor.
  • You WON’T gain a better level of Chinese fluency when considering accent, characters and “the way mainlanders talk”. You have to transition from traditional to simplified characters. You will spend time once you arrive in the mainland making these changes, of which, none of these are impossible; it is just an extra step.
  • You can be doing ministry as your language progresses, but this might be a deterrent to leaving that country and moving to the mainland.
  • You may never leave there and move to the mainland because you have setup life there for two or more years.

With these cons also come the cons of the country you choose to move to, which would be different per location.

Next is the “in language school” option. This means that a missionary will find a place inside of China to learn the language and when he is finished learning the language (around two years or more), THEN he will start his ministry.

Here are the pros:

  • You ARE serving in mainland China from the start.
  • You WILL learn the culture of the mainland while in language school.
  • You WILL learn how to do ministry in the mainland (a closed country) while in language school and learn to overcome the fear factor.
  • You WILL gain a better level of Chinese fluency when considering accent, characters and “the way mainlanders talk”. You will NOT have to transition from tradition to simplified characters. You will NOT spend time once you finish language school making these changes. You will NOT have an extra step.
  • You can gain a level of Chinese fluency if you choose the right location.

With these pros also come the pros of the city you choose to move to, which would be different per location.

Here are the cons:

  • You are NOT guaranteed 100% to not be deported from mainland China.
  • You DO have to live with the restrictions of the mainland.

With these cons also come the cons of the city you choose to move to, which would be different per location.

Adding in Other Factors:

The “convenience of life factor” (depending on location) can also be seen in two lights. First, the positive: Moving to a nice country outside of China helps the missionary to slowly adapt instead of jumping in head first. It means going from “American convenience” to “like American convenience” to “not like American convenience”. It is a slow and helpful transition. Second, the negative: Moving to a place of “like American convenience” could be a deterrent from moving to a place that is “not like American convenience”. It is a hinderance instead of a help. It is hard to move from better to the worse. Some won’t make the move.

The “cost factor” means: can you afford to live in one country and then at the end of around two years sell everything (or ship it) and move to the mainland?

When you make a comparison, it seems clear that the best place for language school is mainland China EXCEPT you are NOT guaranteed 100% to not be deported from mainland China.

I think, at this point, I should clarify a couple of misconceptions:

  • Learning the language in the mainland doesn’t mean you will be deported, but that there is a chance. You also have the chance to finish language school and start a ministry without ever being deported.
  • Learning the language outside of China doesn’t mean you won’t be deported once you move to the mainland. It is possible to be deported within your first month in the mainland. Thus, you will never really do ministry in the mainland. (Nor does it mean you will be deported when you move to the mainland.)
  • Deportation is something that does happen every year, but there are thousands working in Christian ministry in China who never get deported. Your chances seem higher if the ministry has a more bold approach to ministry. But as with most things in China, each place is different, and circumstances are different.
  • It is “timing,” which is something you can’t control. You can’t know when the “bad timing” is, you can only move forward with what you know to do. The risk of “bad timing” might be able to be delayed, but it can’t be done away with if you want to work in the mainland.

So where does this leave us? Here is my conclusion:

Go where you want to go!

It is that easy. Which of the options sounds best to you? Which one seems to have fewer hindrances? Are you willing to take the risk for the benefits? Are you not willing to take the risk for the benefits? Are you willing to eventually move to the mainland no matter what? Will you be sidetracked by moving to another country?

Outside the mainland” means you will be guaranteed to finish language school without being deported from the mainland, but there is a temptation of staying in that country and never actually go to the mainland as a missionary.  Once you move to the mainland (if you do) to start your ministry, the risk factor is “in play,” and you could be kicked out any time.

Inside the mainland” means during language school there are many benefits and you can be doing ministry among the mainlanders as your language progresses, but also you take the risk of being deported.

Here is the struggle between the decision: If you study the language in China, then you have a chance of being deported. If you study the language outside of China, then the temptation is to never leave where you are studying and go to the mainland.

So the concerns with both is that you won’t stay in or make it to the mainland.

The decision might be easier if we could put a percentage on the “chance,” but we can’t. It is 50/50 no matter where you go. A guy doing language school in the mainland might last longer in China than the guy who did language school outside the mainland. Or vice versa. We don’t know.

We have to decide to trust the Lord with this decision and not be worried about or make decisions based on tomorrow’s unknown or fear. In my opinion, if you really want to do missions in the mainland then lean towards the mainland, unless directed otherwise.


The real questions to be asking:

  • Is there a place you can properly learn Mandarin? Where?
  • What country do you want to serve in? Which path best leads you there?
  • Is there a missionary there that can mentor, help, and guide you? Who? Do you want that?
  • Is there a ministry you can serve in? What? Where?
  • What are the financial cost involved? Can you afford it?
  • What are the risks? Will you trust the Lord no matter where you go?

Go where you want to go!

Bible Memorization (Chinese, Pinyin, English)

Bible memorization is a great way to learn the Bible and a language. In language school we had to learn different verses each week and even though we didn’t understand everything at the time, it pushed us to start memorizing “Bible language” in Mandarin Chinese. Now, I am trying to encourage myself and other guys that we are training for ministry to memorize Scripture. So I took the list of references that we given to me and added the verses in Chinese, Pinyin and English. Hopefully, this will help future learners when they are looking for a starting place.

Also, I have added to and plan on adding to the list. Enjoy!

# 中文 pīnyīn English
1 罗马书 3:10 luómǎshū 3:10 Romans 3:10
就如经上所记:没有义人,连一个也没有。 jiù rú jīng shàng suǒ jì: méiyǒu yì’rén, lián yí gè yě méiyǒu. As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
2 罗马书 3:23 luómǎshū 3:23 Romans 3:23
因为世人都犯了罪,亏缺了 神的荣耀; yīnwèi shìrén dōu fàn le zuì, kuīquē le shén de róngyào; For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
3 罗马书 5:8 luómǎshū 5:8 Romans 5:8
惟有基督在我们还作罪人的时候为我们死, 神的爱就在此向我们显明了。 wéiyǒu jīdū zài wǒmen hái zuò zuìrén deshíhòu wèi wǒmen sǐ, shén de ài jiù zài cǐ xiàng wǒmen xiǎnmíng le. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
4 罗马书 6:23 luómǎshū 6:23 Romans 6:23
因为罪的工价乃是死;惟有 神的恩赐,在我们的主基督耶稣里,乃是永生。 yīnwèi zuì de gōngjià nǎi shì sǐ; wéiyǒu shén de ēncì, zài wǒmen de zhǔ jīdū yēsū lǐ, nǎi shì yǒngshēng. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
5 罗马书 5:12 luómǎshū 5:12 Romans 5:12
这就如罪是从一人入了世界,死又是从罪来的,于是死就临到众人,因为众人都犯了罪。 zhè jiù rú zuì shì cóng yīrén rù le shìjiè, sǐ yòu shì cóng zuì lái de, yúshì sǐ jiù líndào zhòngrén, yīnwèi zhòngrén dōu fàn le zuì. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
6 罗马书 10:9 luómǎshū 10:9 Romans 10:9
你若口里认耶稣为主,心里信 神叫他从死里复活,就必得救。 nǐ ruò kǒu lǐ rèn yēsū wéi zhǔ, xīn lǐ xìn shén jiào tā cóng sǐ lǐ fùhuó, jiù bì déjiù. That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
7 罗马书 10:10 luómǎshū 10:10 Romans 10:10
因为,人心里相信就可以称义,口里承认就可以得救。 yīnwèi, rén xīn lǐ xiāngxìn jiù kěyǐ chēngyì, kǒu lǐ chéngrèn jiù kěyǐ déjiù. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
8 罗马书 10:13 luómǎshū 10:13 Romans 10:13
因为「凡求告主名的就必得救」。 yīnwèi `fán qiúgào zhǔ míng de jiù bì déjiù’. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
9 以弗所书 2:8-9 yǐfúsuǒshū 2:8-9 Ephesians 2:8-9
你们得救是本乎恩,也因着信;这并不是出于自己,乃是 神所赐的;也不是出于行为,免得有人自夸。 nǐmen déjiù shì běn hū ēn, yě yīnzhe xìn; zhè bìng bùshì chūyú zìjǐ, nǎi shì shén suǒ cì de; yě bùshì chū yú xíngwéi, miǎndé yǒurén zìkuā. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10 约翰福音 1:12 yūehànfúyīn 1:12 John 1:12
凡接待他的,就是信他名的人,他就赐他们权柄作 神的儿女。 fán jiēdài tā de, jiùshì xìn tā míng de rén, tā jiù cì tāmen quánbǐng zuò shén de érnǚ. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
11 约翰福音 3:16 yūehànfúyīn 3:16 John 3:16
神爱世人,甚至将他的独生子赐给他们,叫一切信他的,不致灭亡,反得永生。 shén ài shìrén, shènzhì jiāng tā de dúshēngzǐ cì gěi tāmen, jiào yīqiè xìn tā de, bùzhì mièwáng, fǎn dé yǒngshēng. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
12 以赛亚书 59:1-2 yǐsàiyàshū 59:1-2 Isaiah 59:1-2
耶和华的膀臂并非缩短,不能拯救,耳朵并非发沉,不能听见,但你们的罪孽使你们与 神隔绝;你们的罪恶使他掩面不听你们。 yēhéhuá de bǎngbì bìngfēi suōduǎn, bùnéng zhěngjiù, ěrduo bìngfēi fā chén, bùnéng tīngjiàn, dàn nǐmen de zuìniè shǐ nǐmen yǔ shén géjué; nǐmen de zuì’è shǐ tā yǎn miàn bù tīng nǐmen. Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save;

Neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, And your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

13 提多书 3:5 tíduōshū 3:5 Titus 3:5
他便救了我们;并不是因我们自己所行的义,乃是照他的怜悯,借着重生的洗和圣灵的更新。 tā biàn jiù le wǒmen; bìng bùshì yīn wǒmen zìjǐ suǒ xíng de yì, nǎi shì zhào tā de liánmǐn, jièzhe chóngshēng de xǐ hé shènglíng de gēngxīn. Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
14 约翰福音 10:10 yūehànfúyīn 10:10 John 10:10
盗贼来,无非要偷窃,杀害,毁坏;我来了,是要叫羊得生命,并且得的更丰盛。 dàozéi lái, wúfēi yào tōuqiè, shāhài, huǐhuài; wǒ lái le, shì yào jiào yáng dé shēngmìng, bìngqiě dé de gèng fēngshèng. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
15 罗马书 8:28 luómǎshū 8:28 Romans 8:28
我们晓得万事都互相效力,叫爱 神的人得益处,就是按他旨意被召的人。 wǒmen xiǎodé wàn shì dōu hùxiāng xiàolì, jiào ài shén de rén dé yìchu, jiùshì àn tā zhǐyì bèi zhào de rén. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
16 罗马书 12:1-2 luómǎshū 12:1-2 Romans 12:1-2
所以,弟兄们,我以 神的慈悲劝你们,将身体献上,当作活祭,是圣洁的,是 神所喜悦的;你们如此事奉乃是理所当然的。不要效法这个世界,只要心意更新而变化,叫你们察验何为 神的善良、纯全、可喜悦的旨意。 suǒyǐ, dìxiōngmen, wǒ yǐ shén de cíbēi quàn nǐmen, jiāng shēntǐ xiànshàng, dàng zuò huó jì, shì shèngjié de, shì shén suǒ xǐyuè de; nǐmen rúcǐ shì fèng nǎi shì lǐsuǒdāngrán de. bùyào xiàofǎ zhè ge shìjiè, zhǐyào xīnyì gēngxīn ér biànhuà, jiào nǐmen cháyàn hé wèi shén de shànliáng, chúnquán, kě xǐyuè de zhǐyì. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
17 以弗所书 5:18 yǐfúsuǒshū 5:18 Ephesians 5:18
不要醉酒,酒能使人放荡;乃要被圣灵充满。 bùyào zuìjiǔ, jiǔ néng shǐ rén fàngdàng; nǎi yào bèi shènglíng chōngmǎn. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
18 约书亚记 1:8 yūeshūyàjì 1:8 Joshua 1:8
这律法书不可离开你的口,总要昼夜思想,好使你谨守遵行这书上所写的一切话。如此,你的道路就可以亨通,凡事顺利。 zhè lǜfǎ shū bùkě líkāi nǐ de kǒu, zǒngyào zhòuyè sīxiǎng, hǎo shǐ nǐ jǐn shǒu zūnxíng zhè shū shàng suǒ xiě de yīqiè huà. rúcǐ, nǐ de dàolù jiù kěyǐ hēngtōng, fánshì shùnlì. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
19 创世纪 1:1 chuàngshìjì 1:1 Genesis 1:1
起初,神创造天地。 qǐchū, shén chuàngzào tiāndì. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
20 马太福音 6:33 mǎtàifúyīn 6:33 Matthew 6:33
你们要先求他的国和他的义,这些东西都要加给你们了。 nǐmen yào xiān qiú tā de guó hé tā de yì, zhèxiē dōngxī dōu yào jiā gěi nǐmen le. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
21 马太福音 5:38 mǎtàifúyīn 5:38 Matthew 5:38
只是我告诉你们,不要与恶人作对。有人打你的右脸,连左脸也转过来由他打; zhǐshì wǒ gàosù nǐmen, bùyào yǔ èrén zuòduì. yǒu rén dǎ nǐ de yòu liǎn, lián zuǒ liǎn yě zhuǎn guòlái yóu tā dǎ; But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
22 诗篇 23:1-2 shīpiān 23:1-2 Psalm 23:1-2
耶和华是我的牧者,我必不致缺乏。他使我躺卧在青草地上,领我在可安歇的水边。 yēhéhuá shì wǒ de mùzhě, wǒ bì bùzhì quēfá. tā shǐ wǒ tǎng wò zài qīngcǎo dì shàng, lǐng wǒ zài kě ānxiē de shuǐ biān. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.
23 诗篇 23:3-4 shīpiān 23:3-4 Psalm 23:3-4
他使我的灵魂苏醒,为自己的名引导我走义路。我虽然行过死荫的幽谷,也不怕遭害,因为你与我同在;你的杖,你的竿,都安慰我。 tā shǐ wǒ de línghún sūxǐng, wèi zìjǐ de míng yǐndǎo wǒ zǒu yì lù. wǒ suīrán xíng guò sǐyīn de yōugǔ, yě bù pà zāo hài, yīnwèi nǐ yǔ wǒ tóng zài; nǐ de zhàng, nǐ de gān, dōu ānwèi wǒ. He restoreth my soul:

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;

Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

24 诗篇 23:5-6 shīpiān 23:5-6 Psalm 23:5-6
在我敌人面前,你为我摆设筵席;你用油膏了我的头,使我的福杯满溢。我一生一世必有恩惠慈爱随着我;我且要住在耶和华的殿中,直到永远。 zài wǒ dírén miànqián, nǐ wèi wǒ bǎishè yánxí; nǐ yòng yóu gāo le wǒ de tóu, shǐ wǒ de fú bēi mǎn yì. wǒ yīshēng yīshì bì yǒu ēnhuì cí’ài suízhe wǒ; wǒ qiě yào zhù zài yēhéhuá de diàn zhōng, zhídào yǒngyuǎn. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: And I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
25 诗篇 1:1-2 shīpiān 1:1-2 Psalm 1:1-2
不从恶人的计谋,不站罪人的道路,不坐亵慢人的座位,惟喜爱耶和华的律法,昼夜思想,这人便为有福! bù cóng èrén de jìmóu, bù zhàn zuìrén de dàolù, bù zuò xiè màn rén de zuòwèi, wéi xǐ’ài yēhéhuá de lǜfǎ, zhòuyè sīxiǎng, zhè rén biàn wèi yǒufú! Blessed is the man

That walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly,

Nor standeth in the way of sinners, Nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; And in his law doth he meditate day and night.

26 诗篇 1:3-4 shīpiān 1:3-4 Psalm 1:3-4
他要像一棵树栽在溪水旁,按时候结果子,叶子也不枯干。凡他所做的尽都顺利。恶人并不是这样,乃像糠秕被风吹散。 tā yào xiàng yī kē shù zāi zài xīshuǐ páng, àn shíhòu jié guǒzi, yèzi yě bù kūgān. fán tā suǒ zuò de jǐn dōu shùnlì. èrén bìng bùshì zhèyàng, nǎi xiàng kāng bǐ bèi fēng chuī sàn. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, That bringeth forth his fruit in his season;

His leaf also shall not wither; And whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so:

But are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

27 诗篇 1:5-6 shīpiān 1:5-6 Psalm 1:5-6
因此,当审判的时候、恶人必站立不住;罪人在义人的会中也是如此。因为耶和华知道义人的道路;恶人的道路却必灭亡。 yīncǐ, dāng shěnpàn de shíhòu, èrén bì zhànlì bù zhù; zuìrén zài yì rén de huì zhōng yěshì rúcǐ. yīnwèi yēhéhuá zhīdào yì rén de dàolù; èrén de dàolù què bì mièwáng. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: But the way of the ungodly shall perish.
28 提摩太前书 2:5-6 tímótàiqiánshū 2:5-6 1 Timothy 2:5–6
因为只有一位 神,在 神和人中间,只有一位中保,乃是降世为人的基督耶稣;他舍自己作万人的赎价,到了时候,这事必证明出来。 yīnwèi zhǐyǒu yī wèi shén, zài shén hé rén zhōngjiān, zhǐyǒu yī wèi zhōngbǎo, nǎi shì jiàng shì wéirén de jīdū yēsū; tā shě zìjǐ zuò wàn rén de shú jià, dào le shíhòu, zhè shì bì zhèngmíng chūlái. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
29 提摩太后书 2:15 tímótàihòushū 2:15 2 Timothy 2:15
你当竭力在 神面前得蒙喜悦,作无愧的工人,按着正意分解真理的道。 nǐ dāng jiélì zài shén miànqián dé méng xǐyuè, zuò wúkuì de gōngrén, ànzhe zhèng yì fēnjiě zhēnlǐ de dào. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
30 提摩太前书 4:12 tímótàiqiánshū 4:12 1 Timothy 4:12
不可叫人小看你年轻,总要在言语、行为、爱心、信心、清洁上,都作信徒的榜样。 bùkě jiào rén xiǎo kàn nǐ niánqīng, zǒng yào zài yányǔ, xíngwéi, àixīn, xìnxīn, qīngjié shàng, dōu zuò xìntú de bǎngyàng. Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
31 约翰福音 1:1-3 yūehànfúyīn 1:1-3 John 1:1-3
太初有道,道与 神同在,道就是 神。这道太初与 神同在。万物是借着他造的;凡被造的,没有一样不是借着他造的。 tàichū yǒu dào, dào yǔ shén tóng zài, dào jiùshì shén. zhè dào tàichū yǔ shén tóng zài. wànwù shì jièzhe tā zào de; fán bèi zào de, méiyǒu yīyàng bùshì jièzhe tā zào de. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
32 提摩太后书 3:16-17 tímótàihòushū 3:16-17 2 Timothy 3:16-17
圣经都是 神所默示的,于教训、督责、使人归正、教导人学义都是有益的,叫属 神的人得以完全,预备行各样的善事。 shèngjīng dōu shì shén suǒ mòshì de, yú jiàoxùn, dū zé, shǐ rén guī zhèng, jiàodǎo rén xué yì dōu shì yǒuyì de, jiào shǔ shén de rén déyǐ wánquán, yùbèi háng gè yàng de shànshì. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
33 腓立比书 4:13 féilìbǐshū 4:13 Philippians 4:13
我靠着那加给我力量的,凡事都能做。 wǒ kàozhe nà jiā gěi wǒ lìliàng de, fánshì dōu néng zuò. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
34 腓立比书 4:19 féilìbǐshū 4:19 Philippians 4:19
我的 神必照他荣耀的丰富,在基督耶稣里,使你们一切所需用的都充足。 Wǒ de shén bì zhào tā róngyào de fēngfù, zài jīdū yēsū lǐ, shǐ nǐmen yīqiè suǒ xū yòng de dōu chōngzú. But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
35 希伯来书 9:22 xībóláishū 9:22 Hebrews 9:22
按着律法,凡物差不多都是用血洁净的;若不流血,罪就不得赦免了。 ànzhe lǜfǎ, fán wù chàbùduō dōu shì yòng xuè jiéjìng de; ruò bù liúxuè, zuì jiù bùdé shèmiǎn le. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
36 希伯来书 9:27 xībóláishū 9:27 Hebrews 9:27
按着定命,人人都有一死,死后且有审判。 ànzhe dìngmìng, rénrén dōu yǒu yīsǐ, sǐ hòu qiě yǒu shěnpàn. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
37 希伯来书 10:17 xībóláishū 10:17 Hebrews 10:17
以后就说:我不再记念他们的罪愆和他们的过犯。 yǐhòu jiù shuō: wǒ bù zài jìniàn tāmen de zuìqiān hé tāmen de guòfàn. And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
38 希伯来书 10:22 xībóláishū 10:22 Hebrews 10:22
并我们心中天良的亏欠已经洒去,身体用清水洗净了,就当存着诚心和充足的信心来到 神面前; bìng wǒmen xīn zhōng tiānliáng de kuīqiàn yǐjīng sǎ qù, shēntǐ yòng qīngshuǐ xǐ jìng le, jiù dāng cúnzhe chéngxīn hé chōngzú de xìnxīn lái dào shén miànqián; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
39 希伯来书 10:25 xībóláishū 10:25 Hebrews 10:25
你们不可停止聚会,好像那些停止惯了的人,倒要彼此劝勉,既知道那日子临近,就更当如此。 nǐmen bùkě tíngzhǐ jùhuì, hǎoxiàng nàxiē tíngzhǐ guàn le de rén, dào yào bǐcǐ quànmiǎn, jì zhīdào nà rìzi línjìn, jiù gèng dāng rúcǐ. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
40 希伯来书 10:11 xībóláishū 10:11 Hebrews 11:1
信就是所望之事的实底,是未见之事的确据。 xìn jiùshì suǒwàng zhī shì de shí dǐ, shì wèi jiàn zhī shì de quèjù. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
41 希伯来书 10:1-2 xībóláishū 10:1-2 Hebrews 12:1-2
我们既有这许多的见证人,如同云彩围着我们,就当放下各样的重担,脱去容易缠累我们的罪,存心忍耐,奔那摆在我们前头的路程,仰望为我们信心创始成终的耶稣。他因那摆在前面的喜乐,就轻看羞辱,忍受了十字架的苦难,便坐在 神宝座的右边。 wǒmen jì yǒu zhè xǔduō de jiànzhèng rén, rútóng yúncai wéizhe wǒmen, jiù dāng fàng xià gè yàng de zhòngdàn, tuō qù róngyì chánlèi wǒmen de zuì, cúnxīn rěnnài, bēn nà bǎi zài wǒmen qiántou de lùchéng, yǎngwàng wèi wǒmen xìnxīn chuàngshǐ chéng zhōng de yēsū. tā yīn nà bǎi zài qiánmiàn de xǐlè, jiù qīng kàn xiūrù, rěnshòu le shízìjià de kǔnàn, biàn zuò zài shén bǎozuò de yòubiān. Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
42 希伯来书 4:12 xībóláishū 4:12 Hebrews 4:12
神的道是活泼的,是有功效的,比一切两刃的剑更快,甚至魂与灵,骨节与骨髓,都能刺入、剖开,连心中的思念和主意都能辨明。 shén de dào shì huópō de, shì yǒu gōngxiào de, bǐ yīqiè liǎng rèn de jiàn gèng kuài, shènzhì hún yǔ líng, gǔjié yǔ gǔsuǐ, dōu néng cì rù, pōu kāi, lián xīnzhōng de sīniàn hé zhǔyì dōu néng biànmíng. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
43 希伯来书 10:8 xībóláishū 10:8 Hebrews 10:8
以上说:「祭物和礼物,燔祭和赎罪祭,是你不愿意的,也是你不喜欢的(这都是按着律法献的)」; yǐshàng shuō:`jì wù hé lǐwù, fánjì hé shúzuì jì, shì nǐ bù yuànyì de, yěshì nǐ bù xǐhuān de (zhè dōu shì ànzhe lǜ fǎ xiàn de)’; Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;
44 哥林多后书 1:4 gēlínduōhòushū 1:4 2 Corinthians 1:4
我们在一切患难中,他就安慰我们,叫我们能用 神所赐的安慰去安慰那遭各样患难的人。 wǒmen zài yīqiè huànnàn zhōng, tā jiù ānwèi wǒmen, jiào wǒmen néng yòng shén suǒ cì de ānwèi qù ānwèi nà zāo gè yàng huànnàn de rén. Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
45 哥林多后书 5:17 gēlínduōhòushū 5:17 2 Corinthians 5:17
若有人在基督里,他就是新造的人,旧事已过,都变成新的了。 ruò yǒurén zài jīdū lǐ, tā jiùshì xīnzào de rén, jiùshì yǐguò, dōu biàn chéng xīn de le. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
46 罗马书 5:1 luómǎshū 5:1 Romans 5:1
我们既因信称义,就借着我们的主耶稣基督得与 神相和。 wǒmen jì yīn xìn chēngyì, jiù jièzhe wǒmen de zhǔ yēsū jīdū dé yǔ shén xiānghé. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
47 罗马书 8:1 luómǎshū 8:1 Romans 8:1
如今,那些在基督耶稣里的就不定罪了。 rújīn, nàxiē zài jīdū yēsū lǐ de jiù bù dìngzuì le. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
48 马太福音 7:21-23 mǎtàifúyīn 7:21-23 Matthew 7:21-23
「凡称呼我『主啊,主啊』的人不能都进天国;惟独遵行我天父旨意的人才能进去。当那日必有许多人对我说:『主啊,主啊,我们不是奉你的名传道,奉你的名赶鬼,奉你的名行许多异能吗?』我就明明地告诉他们说:『我从来不认识你们,你们这些作恶的人,离开我去吧!』」 `fán chēnghu wǒ “zhǔ a, zhǔ a” de rén bùnéng dōu jìn tiānguó; wéidú zūnxíng wǒ tiān fù zhǐyì de rén cáinéng jìnqù. dāng nà rì bì yǒu xǔduō rén duì wǒ shuō: “zhǔ a, zhǔ a, wǒmen bùshì fèng nǐ de míng chuándào, fèng nǐ de míng gǎn guǐ, fèng nǐ de míng xíng xǔduō yì néng ma?” wǒ jiù míngmíng de gàosù tāmen shuō:“wǒ cónglái bu rènshí nǐmen, nǐmen zhèxiē zuò’è de rén, líkāi wǒ qù ba!”’ Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
49 使徒行传 4:12 shǐtúxíngzhuàn 4:12 Acts 4:12
除他以外,别无拯救;因为在天下人间,没有赐下别的名,我们可以靠着得救。」 chú tā yǐwài, bié wú zhěngjiù; yīnwèi zài tiānxià rénjiān, méiyǒu cì xià bié de míng, wǒmen kěyǐ kàozhe déjiù.’ Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
50 启示录 4:11 qǐshìlù 4:11 Revelation 4:11
我们的主,我们的 神,你是配得荣耀、尊贵、权柄的;因为你创造了万物,并且万物是因你的旨意被创造而有的。 wǒmen de zhǔ, wǒmen de shén, nǐ shì pèidé róngyào, zūnguì, quánbǐng de; yīnwèi nǐ chuàngzào le wànwù, bìngqiě wànwù shì yīn nǐ de zhǐyì bèi chuàngzào ér yǒu de. Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
51 箴言 22:1 zhēnyán 22:1 Proverbs 22:1
美名胜过大财;恩宠强如金银。 měi míng shèng guo dà cái; ēn chǒng qiáng rú jīn yín. A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, And loving favour rather than silver and gold.
52 箴言 14:12 zhēnyán 14:12 Proverbs 14:12
心中背道的,必满得自己的结果;善人必从自己的行为得以知足。 xīnzhōng bèi dào de, bì mǎn dé zìjǐ de jiéguǒ; shànrén bì cóng zìjǐ de xíngwéi déyǐ zhīzú. There is a way which seemeth right unto a man,

But the end thereof are the ways of death.

53 箴言 6:6-8 zhēnyán 6:6-8 Proverbs 6:6-8
懒惰人哪,你去察看蚂蚁的动作就可得智慧。蚂蚁没有元帅,没有官长,没有君王,尚且在夏天预备食物,在收割时聚敛粮食。 lǎnduòrén na, nǐ qù chákàn mǎyǐ de dòngzuò jiù kě dé zhìhuì. mǎyǐ méiyǒu yuánshuài, méiyǒu guānzhǎng, méiyǒu jūnwáng, shàngqiě zài xiàtiān yùbèi shíwù, zài shōugē shí jùliǎn liángshí. Go to the ant, thou sluggard; Consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, And gathereth her food in the harvest.
54 启示录 5:9-10 qǐshìlù 5:9-10 Revelation 5:9-10
他们唱新歌,说:你配拿书卷,配揭开七印;因为你曾被杀,用自己的血从各族、各方、各民、各中买了人来,叫他们归于 神,又叫他们成为国民,作祭司归于 神,在地上执掌王权。 tāmen chàng xīngē, shuō: nǐ pèi ná shūjuàn, pèi jiē kāi qī yìn; yīnwèi nǐ céng bèi shā, yòng zìjǐ de xuè cóng gè zú, gè fāng, gè mín, gè zhōng mǎi le rén lái, jiào tāmen guīyú shén, yòu jiào tāmen chéngwéi guómín, zuò jìsī guīyú shén, zài dìshàng zhízhǎng wángquán. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
55 箴言 3:5-6 zhēnyán 3:5-6 Proverbs 3:5-6
你要专心仰赖耶和华,不可倚靠自己的聪明,在你一切所行的事上都要认定他,他必指引你的路。 nǐ yào zhuānxīn yǎnglài yēhéhuá, bùkě yǐkào zìjǐ de cōngmíng, zài nǐ yīqiè suǒ xíng de shì shàng dōu yào rèndìng tā, tā bì zhǐyǐn nǐ de lù. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; And lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, And he shall direct thy paths.
56 诗篇 126:5-6 shīpiān 126:5-6 Psalm 126:5-6
流泪撒种的,必欢呼收割!那带种流泪出去的,必要欢欢乐乐地带禾捆回来! liú lèi sā zhǒng de, bì huānhū shōugē! nà dài zhǒng liúlèi chūqù de, bìyào huān huānlè lè dìdài hé kǔn huílái! They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
57 以赛亚书 53:1-2 yǐsàiyàshū 53:1-2 Isaiah 53:1-2
我们所传的有谁信呢?耶和华的膀臂向谁显露呢?他在耶和华面前生长如嫩芽,像根出于干地。他无佳形美容;我们看见他的时候,也无美貌使我们羡慕他。 wǒmen suǒ chuán de yǒu shuí xìn ne? yēhéhuá de bǎngbì xiàng shuí xiǎnlù ne? tā zài yēhéhuá miànqián shēngzhǎng rú nènyá, xiàng gēn chū yú gàn de. tā wú jiā xíng měiróng; wǒmen kànjiàn tā de shíhòu, yě wú měimào shǐ wǒmen xiànmù tā. Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, And as a root out of a dry ground:

He hath no form nor comeliness; And when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

58 以赛亚书 53:3-4 yǐsàiyàshū 53:3-4 Isaiah 53:3-4
他被藐视,被人厌弃;多受痛苦,常经忧患。他被藐视,好像被人掩面不看的一样;我们也不尊重他。他诚然担当我们的忧患,背负我们的痛苦;我们却以为他受责罚,被 神击打苦待了。 tā bèi miǎoshì, bèi rén yànqì; duō shòu tòngkǔ, cháng jīng yōuhuàn. tā bèi miǎoshì, hǎoxiàng bèi rén yǎn miàn bù kàn de yīyàng; wǒmen yě bù zūnzhòng tā. tā chéngrán dāndāng wǒmen de yōuhuàn, bèifù wǒmen de tòngkǔ; wǒmen què yǐwéi tā shòu zéfá, bèi shén jī dǎ kǔ dài le. He is despised and rejected of men; A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: And we hid as it were our faces from him; He was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, And carried our sorrows: Yet we did esteem him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.
59 使徒行传 1:8 shǐtúxíngzhuàn 1:8 Acts 1:8
但圣灵降临在你们身上,你们就必得着能力,并要在耶路撒冷、犹太全地,和撒马利亚,直到地极,作我的见证。 dàn shènglíng jiànglín zài nǐmen shēnshang, nǐmen jiù bì dézháo nénglì, bìng yào zài yēlùsālěng, yóutài quán de, hé sāmǎlìyǎ, zhídào dì jí, zuò wǒ de jiànzhèng. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
60 马可福音 16:15 mǎkěfúyīn 16:15 Mark 16:15
他又对他们说:「你们往普天下去,传福音给万民听。 tā yòu duì tāmen shuō: `nǐmen wǎng pǔtiānxià qù, chuán fúyīn gěi wànmín tīng. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
61 罗马书 6:1-2 luómǎshū 6:1-2 Romans 6:1-2
这样,怎么说呢?我们可以仍在罪中、叫恩典显多吗?断乎不可!我们在罪上死了的人岂可仍在罪中活着呢? zhèyàng, zěnme shuō ne? wǒmen kěyǐ réng zài zuì zhōng, jiào ēndiǎn xiǎn duō ma? Duànhū bùkě! Wǒmen zài zuì shàng sǐ le de rén qǐkě réng zài zuì zhōng huózhe ne? What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
62 歌罗西书 1:28-29 gēluóxīshū 1:28-29 Colossians 1:28-29
我们传扬他,是用诸般的智慧,劝戒各人,教导各人,要把各人在基督里完完全全地引到 神面前。我也为此劳苦,照着他在我里面运用的大能尽心竭力。 wǒmen chuányáng tā, shì yòng zhū bān de zhìhuì, quàn jiè gè rén, jiàodǎo gè rén, yào bǎ gè rén zài jīdū lǐ wán wánquán quán deyǐn dào shén miànqián. wǒ yě wèi cǐ láokǔ, zhàozhe tā zài wǒ lǐmiàn yùnyòng de dà néng jìnxīn jiélì. Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.
63 歌罗西书 2:6-7 gēluóxīshū 2:6-7 Colossians 2:6-7
你们既然接受了主基督耶稣,就当遵他而行,在他里面生根建造,信心坚固,正如你们所领的教训,感谢的心也更增长了。 nǐmen jìrán jiēshòu le zhǔ jīdū yēsū, jiù dāng zūn tā ér xíng, zài tā lǐmiàn shēnggēn jiànzào, xìnxīn jiāngù, zhèngrú nǐmen suǒ lǐng de jiàoxùn, gǎnxiè de xīn yě gèng zēngzhǎng le. As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
64 歌罗西书 2:13-14 gēluóxīshū 2:13-14 Colossians 2:13-14
你们从前在过犯和未受割礼的肉体中死了, 神赦免了你们一切过犯,便叫你们与基督一同活过来;又涂抹了在律例上所写、攻击我们、有碍于我们的字据,把它撤去,钉在十字架上。 nǐmen cóngqián zài guòfàn hé wèi shòu gēlǐ de ròutǐ zhōng sǐ le, shén shèmiǎn le nǐmen yīqiè guòfàn, biàn jiào nǐmen yǔ jīdū yītóng huó guòlái; yòu túmǒ le zài lǜ lì shàng suǒ xiě, gōngjí wǒmen, yǒu ài yú wǒmen de zìjù, bǎ tā chèqù, dīng zài shízìjià shàng. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
65 加拉太书 2:16 jiālātàishū 2:16 Galatians 2:16
既知道人称义不是因行律法,乃是因信耶稣基督,连我们也信了基督耶稣,使我们因信基督称义,不因行律法称义;因为凡有血气的,没有一人因行律法称义。 jì zhīdào rén chēngyì bùshì yīn xíng lǜfǎ, nǎi shì yīn xìn yēsū jīdū, lián wǒmen yě xìn le jīdū yēsū, shǐ wǒmen yīn xìn jīdū chēngyì, bù yīn xíng lǜfǎ chēngyì; yīnwèi fán yǒu xuèqì de, méiyǒu yīrén yīn xíng lǜfǎ chēngyì. Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
66 加拉太书 2:20 jiālātàishū 2:20 Galatians 2:20
我已经与基督同钉十字架,现在活着的不再是我,乃是基督在我里面活着;并且我如今在肉身活着,是因信 神的儿子而活;他是爱我,为我舍己。 wǒ yǐjīng yǔ jīdū tóng dīng shízìjià, xiànzài huózhe de bù zài shì wǒ, nǎi shì jīdū zài wǒ lǐmiàn huózhe; bìngqiě wǒ rújīn zài ròushēn huózhe, shì yīn xìn shén de érzi ér huó; tā shì ài wǒ, wèi wǒ shějǐ. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

 

What is “pinyin” and why is it important?

“Pinyin” is the way that Chinese characters are transcribed into latin script. It is the Chinese alphabet system. This systems sets a standard of pronunciation and tones (something characters don’t do).

For an English speaker learning Chinese it is a huge help when learning to speak Chinese. I have found that it helps us leaners in the following three ways:

Reading – You can start to read Chinese almost instantly (almost). When an English speakers looks at a word written in Chinese they are dumbfounded. They don’t even know where to start. With pinyin, they can make an intelligent guess. After some basic training in the difference pronunciation of familiar letters and how tones play a role in the words, an English speaker can read a sentence in Chinese, even if he doesn’t understand the meaning of the sentence.

Remember Tones – When you write pinyin you write the tone marker above the word. This help you to remember the tone of the word. Also, when reading pinyin, you know exactly what tone to use because it is indicated above the word. After reading a lot of pinyin you can start to see the tones in the same way you see the spelling.

Writing/Transcribing – When you first hear words in Chinese and you don’t know the Character, how can you write it? Using pinyin, you can write the pronunciation and tone. It doesn’t matter which “character” you have written because the pinyin spelling will be the same if it is the same pronunciation and tone.

If you are learning Chinese, I would urge you to be strong in pinyin. It is more than for beginners use! They have the Bible in pinyin and print books in pinyin at a pretty high level. You can use it for a long time.

The downside is you don’t have the character that shows the different meaning for a word with the same pronunciation and tone… but this is the same problem with spoken Chinese and can usually be overcome with context in met cases.

Why is Mandarin So Difficult? (Chinese Basics)

Chinese is consider (by most) to be one the hardest languages for a native English speaker to learn. There are several reasons for this. Below are four of those reasons.

(1) Tones. Chinese is made up of four tones: high, rising, dipping and falling. Each word has the possibility of being pronounced with the different tones or even with “no tone”. The tones a very important because it changes the actual meaning of a word. There are rules that help guide the way you use tones when combining multiple words together. A tone on one word can change when you combine it with another word.

(2) Pronunciation. The are several sounds in Chinese that we don’t have or use in English. Even within China you will find variation on how things are pronounced and find that each city has it’s own ways of pronouncing certain words. But learning the standard pronunciation will take constant correction.

(3) Characters. Writing characters is just as foreign to an English speaker as learning to speak with tones. Each character has isn’t own stroke order in the way that it is written. So you must be able to recognize the character, how to write it, it’s meaning (or multiple meanings), it’s pronunciation, it’s tone and how to use it correctly and grammatically.

(4) Grammar. Some say that Chinese grammar is hard while others say that it is easy. I would argue that using correct Chinese grammar is hard. Grammar is what makes the language work and what makes a vocabulary list come alive and usable. I have found that several times I understand all the words in a sentence but still didn’t understand what it was communicating.

Even with these four areas of difficulty, the good news is that you can learn Chinese. Anyone who is humble and willing enough to spend the time to study Chinese will find victory in each of these areas.

How Many Unique Characters are in the Chinese Bible?

As I started to consider Chinese characters, one of the questions that I asked is “How many Chinese characters do you need to know?” After doing some research I found a basic consensus at around 3,000 characters and then linked to a page that had its own research on the subject. You can read that post here. At the end of the post I asked another question “how many individual characters are in the Bible?” That questioned was left unanswered…until now!

I finally found a program that was able to give me the unique character count from a Chinese text and could handle the size of the Bible text without crashing. Also, I had to find a copy of the Chinese Bible that I could copy into the program without any marginal notes or topic headings the might not be in the original text. I finally found a copy of the Chinese Union Version that I could download and import into the program. Here are the results:

Total Characters: 929,990

Unique Characters: 3,001

Total Words: 715,662

Unique Words: 8,704

In my ponderings, I asked several Chinese people how many unique characters they thought would be in the Bible. Most of them said they wouldn’t have any idea, but if they had to guess it would be 8, 10, or 20 thousand unique characters. You can tell that I am happy to discover the number of unique characters is only 3,001!

Another interesting find is…there are 176 unique characters, used at least 1,000 times or more, that make up for 617,999 of the total character count. That means if you know these 176 unique characters you can read 66% of the Bible.

Note: When using a program like this, it doesn’t always pair the words together correctly, so there could be some problems with the exact accuracy. These numbers are presented so the student of the Chinese Bible can have a basic understanding of how man unique characters are in the Chinese Bible.

How many Chinese characters do you need to know?

I probably know less than 200 Chinese characters at this point. I started learning not to long ago and I have been amazed at how knowing so few can go so far. I am hoping to start adding a daily regimen of characters to my already busy learning cycle in October, so I have been doing a little research on the internet. I came across this chart and it blew me away. If it is accurate then it definitely helps prove that characters aren’t the main reason Chinese is so hard! I am not saying that learning 3,000 characters is going to be easy but if you can understand 90% of written Chinese with just 1,100 characters, that seems pretty amazing.

According to the statistics, a knowledge of a given number of the most common characters should result in the following estimated understanding of the Chinese language:

100 characters → 42% understanding 1600 characters → 95.0% understanding
200 characters → 55% understanding 1700 characters → 95.5% understanding
300 characters → 64% understanding 1800 characters → 96.0% understanding
400 characters → 70% understanding 1900 characters → 96.5% understanding
500 characters → 75% understanding 2000 characters → 97.0% understanding
600 characters → 79% understanding 2100 characters → 97.4% understanding
700 characters → 82% understanding 2200 characters → 97.7% understanding
800 characters → 85% understanding 2300 characters → 98.0% understanding
900 characters → 87% understanding 2400 characters → 98.3% understanding
1000 characters → 89% understanding 2500 characters → 98.5% understanding
1100 characters → 90% understanding 2600 characters → 98.7% understanding
1200 characters → 91% understanding 2700 characters → 98.9% understanding
1300 characters → 92% understanding 2800 characters → 99.0% understanding
1400 characters → 93% understanding 2900 characters → 99.1% understanding
1500 characters → 94% understanding 3000 characters → 99.2% understanding

Source.

Another thing that I want to know, but can’t seem to find, is how many individual characters are in the Bible? I know there are plenty of characters that aren’t in everyday use so they might not be in a list of the 3,00 most common characters, but I wonder how many? If you know that answer to that question, please let me know!

Do’s and Don’t’s of Learning Chinese

My co-laborer over at the Gospel in China blog recently finished a short series on the “Do’s and Don’t or Learning Chinese.” He has been one of my mentors in learning the Chinese language and I appreciate and value his advice.

If you are interested in learning Chinese, then these four post are definitely worth your time.

Do’s and Don’t’s of Learning Chinese

#1 DO NOT LEARN CHARACTERS FIRST, DO STUDY GRAMMAR.

#2 DO NOT MEMORIZE VOCABULARY, DO DRILL TONES.

#3 DO NOT TRUST A SCHOOL TO TEACH YOU, DO HIRE YOUR OWN HELPER.

#4 DO NOT STOP LEARNING, DO PUT IN A LOT OF TIME.

How long does it take to learn Chinese?

This is a great and scary question to ask. Great because it puts some accountability to the learning process and scary because it puts accountability to the learning process.

The following answer comes from Wikibooks about language learning difficulty for English speakers. They first preface the answer by stating:

“Many people wonder how long it will take them to become proficient in a certain language. This question, of course, is impossible to answer because a lot depends on a person’s language learning ability, motivation, learning environment, intensity of instruction, and prior experience in learning foreign languages. Last, but not least, it depends on the level of proficiency the person wishes to attain.”

Chinese follows under the following category:

“Category III: Languages which are quite difficult for native English speakers 88 weeks (2200 class hours) (about half that time preferably spent studying in-country)”

Also note that the following ranking is by the The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) of the US Department of State and these students usually have the following characteristics:

“…are almost 40 years old, are native speakers of English and have a good aptitude for formal language study, plus knowledge of several other foreign languages. They study in small classes of no more than six. Their schedule calls for 25 hours of class per week with three or four hours per day of directed self-study.”

I think the amount of time for each person is going to be different but it is good to have a standard that we can measure our progress by and stay accountable as we learn. This seems to be a good place to start or at-least reference.

Question:
If you have learned or are learning Chinese, how long do you think it takes to learn? Do you agree with this categorization?

Dreaming in Chinese

I had my second dream in Chinese last night. I aways heard that if you are dreaming in the language that it is a good sign. Well, in both of my dreams I wasn’t speaking fluently and woke up with a headache because I was trying to figure out what to say. I think my brain associates headaches with Chinese.

In this dream I was visiting a Chinese church in America and was looking for the pastor. I asked someone where the pastor’s room was in Chinese. Yea, I actually said “pastor’s room” in Chinese. Weird.

But, in my first dream, I don’t remember everything I said, but I remember Jake being there and correcting everything I said. (Good thing he doesn’t do that in real life.)

Dreaming in Chinese, Yep! A sign of fluency, Nope!

Sermon Sample

There is nothing like making a really long blog post by copy and pasting sermon notes into it! I refrained from posting the entire sermon here and just selected a few parts. Though you won’t understand it (most of you), it shows you what we are doing. All of my notes are in Chinese pinyin.

I preached my first sermon from John 3:16:

yuēhàn fúyīn 3 zhāng 16 jié : shén ài shìrén , shènzhì jiāng tā de dúshēngzǐ cìgěi tāmen , jiào yíqiè xìn tā de , bú zhì mièwáng ,fǎn de yǒngshēng

From this verse I preached a basic outline on “Is the Gospel important?” and gave points to why the Gospel is important.

dìyī diǎn , fúyīn zhīsuǒyǐ zhòngyào , shì yīnwèi shén ài nǐ 。
First Point, The reason why the Gospel is important is because, God loves you.

dì’èr diǎn , fúyīn zhīsuǒyǐ zhòngyào , shì yīnwèi yēsū wèi nǐ ér sǐ 。
Second Point, The reason why the Gospel is important is because, Jesus died for you.

dìsān diǎn , fúyīn zhīsuǒyǐ zhòngyào , shì yīnwèi nǐ kéyǐ zuì dé shèmiǎn 。
Third Point, The reason why the Gospel is important is because, Your sins can be forgiven.

After a short explanation of these points, closing and prayer, I was done! I hope this little sermon sample shows you what we are doing and encourages you pray for us more (so we can be doing this all the time)! Thanks for your prayers!