Career Magazine

178: How to Talk About the Olympic Games in Brazil in Mandarin Chinese

By Learnmandarinnow

Many people like to watch the Olympic Games even if they don’t play sports themselves. Some people just like the grandeur of the ceremonies. No matter which part of the Games you like, be sure you can talk about the events now happening, or at least respond to questions about them.

In this Podcast, you will learn:

(i) To discuss the various events and ceremonies at the Olympic Games

(ii) How to talk generally about the Olympic Games in Brazil


Two colleagues are talking about the Olympics:


(zài jiē shàng)

(on the street)


Nǐ zǎo shàng kàn ào yùn huì kāi mù shì le me?

Did you watch the Olympic opening ceremony this morning?


Méi yǒu a. wǒ kě qǐ bù lái. Wǒ zhōu mò ài shuì lǎn jiào.

No, I didn’t. I couldn’t get up. I like to sleep in on weekends.


Nà nǐ děng huì er kě yǐ kàn chóng bō.

Then you can watch the replay later.


Duì. Dàn yào shì méi yǒu shí chā, wǒ kěn dìng huì kàn zhí bō de. Xī wàng wǒ mén Zhōng Guó kě yǐ zài Lǐ Yuē duō ná jǐ kuài jiǎng pái.

Right. But if there was no time difference, I would definitely watch it live. Hope China gets lots of medals in Rio.

Chinese words and phrases mentioned in this Podcast:

奥运会(奥林匹克运动会):Olympic Games

开幕式:opening ceremony

睡懒觉:sleep in/get up later than usual



时差:time difference/jet lag





等会儿:a moment later

Cultural/Grammar note:

In Chinese, the country comes first and then the city.

E.g. 巴西里约。

Brazil, Rio.

During the Olympic Games, Chinese team usually wear the same outfit, the red and yellow suits, which are the same colours as our national flag (the Five-Starred Red Flag). Chinese audience actually really hope that they could be more creative on the outfit style, they make fun of the current red-yellow color suit in a friendly way. They name it as ‘西红柿炒鸡蛋’, which is a very common Chinese homemade dish ‘tomato stir-fry eggs’.

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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