Note: The spoken Chinese Mandarin language has 4 spoken tones. We have attempted to re-create those below where after each syllable we tell you (1), (2), (3), or (4) as they correspond to each of the 4 tones. We encourage you to complement your Emergency Chinese newsletter with a good offline study program.


(1) Hot: re(4)

(2) Cold: leng(3)

(3) Ice: bing(1)

(4) Water: shui(3)

(5) Air-conditioning: kong(1) tiao(2)

(6) Breeze: wei(1) feng(1)

(7) Beach: hai(3) tan(1)

  • I am too hot. Can you turn the air-conditioner up please?
    wo(3) hen(3) re(4), nin(2) ke(3) yi(3) kai(1) kong(1) tiao(2) ma?
  • Can I have a glass of water with ice please?
    qing(3) gei(2) wo(3) lai(2) bei(1) dai(4) bing(1) de shui(3).
  • Can I have a glass of water without ice please?
    qing(3) gei(2) wo(3) lai(2) bei(1) bu(2) dai(4) bing(1) de shui(3).
  • Which way is the beach?
    qu(4) hai(3) tan(1) zen(3) me zou(3)?
  • Where can I find somewhere nice and breezy?
    wo(3) zai(4) na(3) ke(2) yi(3) zhao(3) dao(4) you(3) feng(1) de di(4) er?
* Tip: In China, with summer comes extremes of heat. If you are not used to the hot weather, the temperatures and humidity can really sap you of your energy.

It is vital to drink plenty of fresh, clean water throughout the day. Try to stay out of the direct sun during the hottest parts of the day and find a nice cool breezy place to sit and watch the world go by until it cools down a little.