Career Magazine

224: How to Talk About Willpower in Mandarin Chinese

By Learnmandarinnow

It’s a great characteristic to have if you are strong minded and determined. There are many situations in life where you need such willpower to get you through adversity or challenging times. Being able to learn Mandarin Chinese effectively also needs willpower to keep going and not to give up when you,  sometimes, might feel that your ability to learn is moving slowly!

In this Podcast, you will learn:

(i) To talk about admiring people with willpower

(ii) How to tell others about what you do which needs willpower


Sport and the necessary willpower are being discussed:


(Zài cān tīng)

(in the restaurant)


A: Zuì jìn wǒ měi tiān dōu pǎo wǔ gōng lǐ. Wǒ dǎ suàn qù cān jiā mǎ lā sōng bǐ sài.

Recently I have been running five kilometres every day. I am planning to join a Marathon.


B: Nǐ kě zhēn yǒu yì lì, nǐ zěn me tū rán xiǎng qǐ pǎo mǎ lā sōng le?

You have such an incredible perseverance. How come you are thinking of running a Marathon all of a sudden?


A: Qián yī zhèn zi, wǒ kàn le cán ào huì de bǐ sài, hěn shòu gǔ wǔ. Wǒ bèi nà xiē cán jí yùn dòng yuán de yùn dòng jīng shén gǎn dòng le. Tā men měi gè rén dōu yǒu jiān rèn bù bá de yì zhì lì. Wǒ yào xiàng tā men xué xí.

A while ago, I watched the Paralympics Games, which was very uplifting. I was touched by the spirits of those athletes with disabilities. Each and every one of them have persistence and strong willpower. I must learn from them.

Chinese words and phrases mentioned in this Podcast:

残奥会:the Paralympics

残:short for 残疾人, which refers to people with disabilities

奥会:is short for 奥运会, the Olympics



鼓舞:encourage; can be both a verb or a noun


坚韧不拔:persistent and determined, a Chinese idiom

意志力:will power



马拉松比赛:Marathon (Race)

怎么:How come?

突然:all of a sudden

想起:think of

前一阵子:a while ago

受:short for 受到, which means receive or being given

感动:moved, touched


被:passive tense

每个人:every one

向……学习:learn from someone


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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