Career Magazine

175: Talking About E-commerce in Mandarin Chinese

By Learnmandarinnow

The world of shopping has changed forever now that almost everything can be bought on-line. Many people much refer the convenience of internet shopping, whilst others still prefer the more traditional ways of actually seeing what they are buying first. Whichever way you prefer, e-commerce is a subject that you really need to be able to talk about as it’s part of the modern way of life!

In this Podcast, you will learn:

(i) How to talk about ordering goods on-line

(ii) To discuss the merits of some items for sale on on-line sites


Have you tried on-line shopping as these two friends are discussing?


(zài jiē shàng)

(on the street)


Wǒ zuì jìn xiǎng mǎi xiē Fǎ Guó de hù fū pǐn, dàn wǒ bù gǎn zài Táo Bǎo shàng mǎi. Tīng shuō shàng miàn shān zhài chǎn pǐn tè bié duō, nǐ huì jiàn bié me?

I want to buy some French skincare products, but I don’t dare to buy them on Taobao. I’ve heard that there are lots of stolen goods on there. How do you identify them?


Wǒ yě bù tài dǒng, dàn wǒ zhī dào tè bié pián yi de kěn dìng méi hǎo huò.

I don’t know how. But I know that very cheap things are definitely not good.


Shì. Yě yǒu rén yuàn yì hǎi táo, dàn wǒ bù tài huì, tīng shuō hěn má fán.

Right. Some people would like to purchase on-line from overseas websites, but I don’t know how to. I have heard that it’s a hassle.


Duì le, wǒ yǒu gè péng yǒu yào cóng Bā Lí huí Běi Jīng, yào bù wǒ wèn wen tā néng bù néng bāng nǐ dài yī liǎng píng.

Oh yes. Actually, I have a friend who is coming back to Beijing from Paris. How about I ask her if she can bring you one or two bottles?


À, nà tài hǎo le! Xiè xie nǐ!

That’s fantastic! Thank you!

Chinese words and phrases mentioned in this Podcast:


护肤品:skincare product


山寨产品/山寨货:stolen items; cheap copies of well-known products


海淘:on-line shopping in China from an overseas shop




Cultural/Grammar note:

Taobao is a Chinese shopping website, which is similar to eBay and Amazon.

Mandarin Chinese learning resources we recommend:

Using Italki, a unique system of learning Mandarin Chinese where you interact with real teachers, is widely recognised as an effective way to learn a new language! You’ll make more progress and learn how native Chinese speakers really speak. Plus, Italki is more affordable than offline tutors, offline schools and software, and is convenient to use at your own pace and place!

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.

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