Chinese Children Song: Number Song

We will learn a number song. Below is the lyric in Mandarin Chinese. Take a look to see if you know the number.

Do you know how to count eleven? Easy! 十一. Twelve? 十二. Thirteen? 十三. Fourteen? 十四.  Fifteen? 十五. Twenty? 二十. Twenty one? 二十一. Twenty two? 二十二. Thirty? 三十. Forty? 四十. Fifty? 五十. One hundred? 一百 (yi4 bai3). One thousand? 一千 (yi4 qian1).

Now let’s watch this video to sing the number song together.

As we know, in English culture, some numbers are not welcomed. For example, number 13.

In Chinese culture, 4 is not a good number. Why? 4  (si4) pronounces similar as 死 (si3) (death), so Chinese people don’t like it.

However, many of us like the number 8. Why? In Cantonese, 8 (ba1) sounds similar as 发 (fa1) that has a meaning of “getting rich”, later Mandarin speakers also adopted this idea.

Except 8, we also like number 6, and we believe 6 could brings us good luck.

9 is a good number too with a meaning of “long lasting”. Also, 9 is the biggest digit number and we believe 9 has the power.

2 is good number. It means double. 1 is a good number, it means number one.

Some times we play around the number because of the pronunciation.

For example, one day my friend received a big bunch of roses from her boyfriend with 57 roses. 57 (wu3 qi1) sounds like: 我妻 (wo3 qi1) that means: my wife.

By the way, it is very important to know the cultural meaning about Chinese numbers if you do business with Chinese people.

For more information about the meaning of numbers in Chinese culture, please check out the link on Wiki: Numbers in Chinese Culture.


Homework

1, Number 4 is a good or bad number in Chinese culture? Why?

2, How to write number 2115 in Mandarin-Chinese?

3, Please write down numbers 11-25 in Mandarin-Chinese.

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