Career Magazine

110: How to Talk About Problems at Work in Mandarin Chinese

By Learnmandarinnow

Most people spend the majority of their waking hours at work, at least 5 days per week. Occasionally problems or issues will arise and it’s useful to know how to talk about them and, hopefully, solve them by talking them through with colleagues or managers.

In this Podcast, you will learn:

(i) To discuss a problem or issue which has arisen at work (ii) How to make suggestions to solve such problems

Dialogue: A manager is talking to his subordinate about a recent work issue:

A:李刚,你来一下。Lǐgāng, nǐ lái yīxià.

Gang, please come here for a minute.

B: 哎,什么事儿王经理。A, shénme shì er wáng jīnglǐ.

What is the matter, Manager Wang?

A: 这周你上班经常迟到早退啊。怎么,家里有什么事儿么?Zhè zhōu nǐ shàngbān jīngcháng chídào zǎotuì a. Zěnme, jiā li yǒu shé me shì er me?

This week you have often come late and left early. Why? Is there something wrong at home?

B: 真是抱歉。我老婆这周出差了,我得每天接送孩子上下学。我一个人还真有点搞不定。Zhēnshi bàoqiàn. Wǒ lǎopó zhè zhōu chūchāile, wǒ dé měitiān jiēsòng háizi shàngxià xué. Wǒ yīgè rén hái zhēn yǒudiǎn gǎo bùdìng.

I am really sorry. My wife is on a business trip this week, and I have to pick up and drop off my children at school. I am a bit overwhelmed.

A: 哦我能理解。但是,还是不能耽误工作啊。Ó wǒ néng lǐjiě. Dànshì, háishì bùnéng dānwù gōngzuò a.

I understand, but you cannot be late for work.

B: 对,您说的对。明天开始我父母会过来帮忙。我就能恢复正常了。您放心。Duì, nín shuō de duì. Míngtiān kāishǐ wǒ fùmǔ huì guòlái bāngmáng. Wǒ jiù néng huīfù zhèngchángle. Nín fàngxīn.

Yes, you are right. Tomorrow my parents will come and help and after that I will return to normal. There’s no need to worry.

Chinese words and phrases mentioned in this Podcast:

来一下:come here


这周:this week

上班:go to work


吃到早退:come to work late and leave early

家里:family, home

有什么事儿:What is the matter?

真是抱歉:apologise sincerely


出差了:on a business trip

我得:I have to


接送孩子:take children to school and bring them back

搞不定:cannot handle it

我能理解:I understand

但是:but, however

耽误:delay, influence

您说的对:you are right

明天开始:starting tomorrow

我父母:my parents

恢复正常:return to normal

放心:be at ease, don’t worry

Mandarin Chinese learning resources we recommend:

Keats Chinese School
Keats Chinese School, which was founded in 2004, is one of the top Mandarin Chinese language schools in China, offering both one-on-one immersion Mandarin courses and small group Chinese classes. Located in Kunming, Keats develops personalised exercises and materials for students to meet their learning goals and requirements and can arrange a student visa for its 16 week course. Why not try one of their highly recommended courses?

Skritter allows you to learn to write Chinese characters quickly and effectively. You choose the vocabulary lists you wish to learn, set the pace, and Skritter handles the rest. Say goodbye to forgetting characters, making tone mistakes, and your piles of flashcards—and say 你好 to the right way in mastering Chinese characters!

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