Mandarin for Travellers is an adult education course offered by Toronto West Academy that is intended to prepare travellers for journeys to Mandarin speaking areas, including China, Taiwan and Singapore, by teaching them the basics of the Mandarin language and the essentials of Chinese culture. With over 1 billion Mandarin speakers worldwide, Mandarin is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world and basic knowledge of it will help travellers to properly prepare for their adventure to these locations and to derive the most from their travel experience.

Course Advantages

Basic Mandarin Skills

Traveller Benefit

Allows travellers to gain a basic understanding of Mandarin to aid with communications while travelling.

Increased Cultural Awareness

Traveller Benefit

By being culturally aware, travellers can avoid embarassing situations that might arise during their trips abroad.

Path to Mandarin Fluency

Traveller Benefit

This course is an excellent starting point for travellers that may want to embark upon a path toward Mandarin proficiency.

Mandarin Language Basics

By having a basic understanding of the Mandarin language – especially vocabulary and phrases that would be commonly used while travelling, visitors to Mandarin speaking areas will be more prepared and better able to communicate with native Mandarin speakers during their travels. Some examples of situations when this would be most helpful would be when booking travel, getting directions, eating out, shopping, sightseeing and when booking accommodations.

Our course will cover the basics of the Mandarin language, including:

  • Pronunciation
  • Numbers and amounts
  • Time and dates
  • Basic conversation
  • Commonly used dialog for travellers

In addition, the Mandarin for Travellers course will also discuss resources that travellers can use while away from home to help with communication.

Essentials of Chinese Culture

For travellers, not only is having some understanding of the local language important, but also being familiar with the local customs and traditions can be equally important as well. For this reason, the Mandarin for Travellers course will highlight Chinese cultural practices that foreign visitors may be are unaware of and as such, commonly do not observe. By understanding these customs and traditions, visitors can avoid potentially embarrassing situations, thereby helping to ensure the best possible experience during their travels to Mandarin speaking regions. Accordingly, our course will cover many of the Chinese cultural norms that foreign visitors fail to observe correctly, including those practised during the following situations:

  • Meeting & interacting with people
  • Shopping & eating out
  • Getting around
  • Visiting attractions and historical sites

Our course also will include a great deal of advice and suggestions around the best time of the year to travel, plus an overview of the attractions that travellers can see in various areas of Mandarin speaking regions.

The Included Mandarin Phrasebook

To help travellers during their journeys to Mandarin speaking areas, a copy of the Lonely Planet Mandarin Phrasebook and Dictionary 9th Edition, will be provided to each participant†. This 256 page pocket-sized book is your handy passport to culturally enriching travels with the most relevant and useful Mandarin phrases and vocabulary for all your travel needs. Order authentic street food, chat over a game of mahjong and bargain at the market; all with your trusted travel companion. With language tools in your back pocket, you can truly get to the heart of wherever you go, so begin your journey now.

The Lonely Planet Mandarin Phrasebook and Dictionary includes:

  • Full-colour throughout
  • User-friendly layout organized by travel scenario categories
  • Survival phrases inside front cover for at-a-glance on-the-fly cues

Feel at ease with essential tips on culture, manners, idioms and multiple meanings – order with confidence, explain food allergies, and try new foods with the menu decoder; save time and hassles with vital phrases at your fingertips; never get stuck for words with the 3500-word two-way, quick-reference dictionary; be prepared for both common and emergency travel situations with practical phrases and terminology; meet friends with conversation starter phrases; get your message across with easy-to-use pronunciation guides.

† Online participants will receive their copy by mail following the course.

Meet Our Instructors

Erin Kim
Erin KimMandarin Language Instructor
Vickie Liu
Vickie LiuMandarin Culture Instructor

With over 15 years of combined teaching experience, our Mandarin instructors are experts in the field of language and cultural instruction. Being both from China, they can provide our students with insights and first-hand knowledge on all aspects of life in China, thereby helping our students to have the best possible travel experience in Mandarin speaking regions of the world.

Course Photos

What Our Students Say

“I love that it was broken down, making it so simple!”

Jasmine Wong, Student

“The environment was the best part, as it was very conducive to learning.”

Brett Nesbitt, Student