Career Magazine

180: How to Talk About Working-out in Mandarin Chinese

By Learnmandarinnow

Greater awareness of being fit and healthy means more people than ever love to do exercise on a regular basis. Many like to go to the gym or undertake other various forms of physical exercise such as running or cycling. It’s important if you get into a conversation about fitness that you can discuss what you like or dislike or even ask someone else what they do to keep fit!

In this Podcast, you will learn:

(i) How to discuss the types of exercise you like to do

(ii) To talk about how often you exercise and what you can/cannot do


Two old friends meet at the gym:


(zài jiàn shēn fáng)

(at the gym)


Āi, xiǎo zhāng? Nǐ yě lái jiàn shēn?

Hey Xiao Zhang, so you come here to work-out too?


Hā ha, lǎo gāo? Zěn me zài zhè er kàn jiàn nǐ le.

Lao Gao, how come that I found you here?


Wǒ yī zhōu lái yī cì. Nǐ ne?

I come here once a week. What about you?


Zhè shì wǒ dì yī cì lái zhè ge jiàn shēn zhōng xīn. Dàn shì wǒ jī hū měi tiān dōu qù jiàn shēn fáng yùn dòng. Zuò zuo qì xiè a, pǎo pǎo bù shén me de.

This is my first time to come to this fitness center. But I go to the gym to work- out almost every day, using the exercise machines or running etc.


Zhēn bù cuò, nián qīng jiù shì hǎo. qì xiè wǒ dōu zuò bù liǎo. Wǒ xī gài yǒu wèn tí. Wǒ jiù shì měi zhōu lái yóu yī cì yǒng.

That’s great. It’s good to be young still. Exercise machines and running are not for me. I have knee problems. I just come here to swim once a week.

Chinese words and phrases mentioned in this Podcast:


健身:work out/physical exercise







Cultural/Grammar note:

‘怎么在这儿看见你了’ is a very common way to greet people you are familiar with. It means ‘what a surprise to see you here’.

We say ‘游一次泳’ instead of ‘游泳一次’ in Chinese.

e.g. 我去年游了两次泳。

Last year I only came to swim twice.

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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