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25 Days of Shanghai Christmas: Dec 10 Count to Ten in Chinese!

Stand in any busy market in Shanghai and you will notice a hundred different ways to bargain your way down to a good price. In markets, whether they sell handbags or vegetables, there is no such thing as a fixed price! Figures fly back and forth in Chinese and Shanghainese, calculators pass back and forth with numbers displayed, and there are a whole lot of strange hand signals going on around you.   What are those hand signals, and what do they mean??  Here’s my gift to you, then, a step-by-step guide to teach you how to count to ten in Mandarin, Shanghainese, and twenty-eight different regional dialects. And no, you don’t need a flair for languages, all you need is one hand. Watch.    (I’ve included pinyin too, and a pronunciation guide, in case you do want to know the mandarin chinese). Use these in the markets, or when you walk into a restaurant to tell the door person how many are in your party, and people will assume you’re a long-time local.  For numbers larger than ten, just use the numbers in succession – 48 becomes the signal for 4, followed by the signal for 8, for example.
One:  yī   (eee)                Two:  èr  二 (arr)   

Three:  sān  三 (san)           Four:  sì  四 (suh) 

 Five:  wǔ  五 (woo)             Six:  liù  六  (leo)

Seven:  qī  七 (chee)             Eight:  bā  八 (ba)

Nine:  jiǔ  九 (geo)             Ten:  shí  十 (shuh)

Ten: shí 十 (two-handed)


  • http://adventuresinalowgiworld.blogspot.com/ Louise

    Fascinating. I just love your Christmas countdown. Can't wait to see what else is coming.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/11390453342365399230 Fiona

    Glad you enjoyed it! All sorts of crazy China Christmas stuff is coming….and some cooking too….

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/14814420227740245183 Three of Three

    That is totally awesome. In fact I don't think I've ever seen it explained so well. I love the one for six, do people shake it around. he he 🙂