The book I am using is New Practical Chinese Reader 1 by the Beijing Language and Culture University Press. Volume 1 of the book has 14 lessons. Target end date is June 10, 2012.
MONDAY: Lesson Eleven – 我会说一点儿汉语
Let us first tackle this high frequency expression 一点儿. The book says that it is an indefinite measure word used to modify a noun. You could roughly translate it as a little. You could get rid of the first character if the expression does not come at the beginning of a sentence. So the next time you want to be modest and try to downplay your fluency in Mandarin, add this expression.
TUESDAY: Lesson Eleven – 我会说一点儿汉语
Another way of being modest is to negate what the other person is saying but you do not do the negation as you would an ordinary statement. In this case you have to use 哪里 which is an alternate for 哪儿. Yes, we know this as the question word for where but in Mandarin they also use this as an expression of modesty when you just got praised. So if some say that your Mandarin is good you could use this expression as a reply.
WEDNESDAY: Lesson Eleven – 我会说一点儿汉语
We use 还 to indicate that an action is still on-going. You just put it in front of the verb.
THURSDAY: Lesson Eleven – 我会说一点儿汉语
We already know how to ask for someone’s age but the book gives us another option which is more polite and goes like 您今天多大岁数? Literally, this translates to How big is your age this year. I don’t even know if my translation is correct but I think you get my point.
FRIDAY: Lesson Eleven – 我会说一点儿汉语
I am only including this because it is a favorite expression: 学英语不容易. I substitute “English” with “Chinese” though. HAHAHA. Studying English is not easy.
For next week I will still be covering lesson eleven. We are making progress! The goal is to pass the lowest level of the HSK in June 2012! =)