Chinese 252 Review Questions, Series 1, Part A
1. How many tones are there in modern standard Chinese?
4 (high, rising, dipping, falling)
2. The great majority of Chinese characters have two components. What are these two components called, and what
is the function of each?
Radical component – hints at meaning of the character
Phonetic component – hints at the pronunciation of the word
3. In Chinese, which comes first, the given name (John, Sally, etc.) or the surname (Smith, Johnson, etc.)?
Surname, Last name
4. In what year was China first made into a unified, imperial, bureaucratic state?
221BC (Qin Dynasty)
5. What Chinese ruler is famous for having burned books and buried scholars subsequent to the unification referred
Qin Shi Huang (
6. Why does Chinese make relatively little use of words borrowed from other languages?
Chinese uses characters that represent both meaning and sound, so a loanword would not accurately describe
7. Name an Asian language other than Chinese that is that is also tonal, and in which single syllables usually carry
meaning (as in Chinese).
8. What is the name of the Chinese transliteration system used in this course?
9. Write in the approximate sound values of the following Chinese initial consonants:
c – [tsh] it’s h
q – [tch] chh w/ breath
z – [dz] heads
zh – [ts] – j in joe with tongue tip curled
x – sh in she w/ tongue behind teeth
10. What does the four-word idiom “three-people-create-tiger” mean?
Rumors can cover up reality
11. In the
system, what sound does the letter “i” represent in the syllable
E in ‘spotted’
12. What two steps must you follow to find a character you do not know how to pronounce in a Chinese dictionary?
First find the radical, then count the number of strokes that completes the character
13. Which of the following English words rhymes best with the Chinese syllable jiu
14. Which of the following English words rhymes best with the Chinese syllable hui
15. Which of the following English words rhymes best with the Chinese syllable zheng
16. Which of the following Chinese syllables rhymes best with the English word “hung?”
17. Which of the following Chinese syllables is closest in sound to the the English pronoun “I?”
18. Which two of the following Chinese syllables rhyme?
19. Supply four Chinese syllables, each of which exemplifies a different pronunciation of the letter “i” in the
Ji, dui, zhai, liu