Mandarin Chinese Dialogues

For possible publication on this site, we are interested in receiving submissions of brief dialogues that offer early learners of Mandarin Chinese a chance to practice using vocabulary that might help them have meaningful conversations with others.

Our Meaningful Words dialogues are here.

Please read all the guidelines before making a submission.

Examples of excellent content from other sources

Rather than content about what people are doing – going to school, cooking, or traveling, for example – we seek content about people attempting to understand each other.

To the best of Anne Giles’s ability to discern and express them, these are fundamental, universal human concepts that, if people can become aware of them, can help them live humane, skillful lives, regardless of language. If they can use these concepts in words, they may be able to connect more skillfully and meaningfully with each other.

Aspects of these universal human concepts are to be included in the content, both directly and indirectly.

Ideally, the dialogues will include the primary elements of fine writing:

  • Every word is doing “new work.” (William Zinsser)
  • “The best words in the best order.” (Samuel Taylot Coleridge)
  • “Show, don’t tell.”

Writing brief dialogues in Chinese has much in common with writing poetry in English. Top Ten Ways to Write Effective Poetry may be helpful to have in mind while composing each dialogue. (Poet William Carlos Williams was known to translate at least one of Li Bai’s poems. Parallels in directness and clarity can be seen in Williams’s “The Red Wheelbarrow” and Li Bai’s “Quiet Night Thoughts.”)

To be considered for publication, these requirements must be met:

  • Elementary vocabulary
  • Minimum of 60 characters and no more than 100 characters per dialogue, including the title
  • Use of at least one word on the universal human concepts list
  • Characters, pinyin, and English translation
  • Publication-ready text
    Sorry, we cannot provide editing. Dialogues with errors in characters, pinyin, and/or English will not be accepted. Please review your text with people proficient in Mandarin Chinese and English before submitting the dialogue.
  • Up to 1 submission per week per person
  • Identity verifiable online via a credentialed source

You are urged to create the entire content in a separate, saved document rather than compose directly into the submission form. You can then copy and paste the text from your document into the submission form. This will preserve your creative work in case of a transmission error.

Please submit your dialogue using this submission form.

Publication rights

Submission is not a guarantee of acceptance.

Upon acceptance, the creator agrees to:

  1.  publication of the content in the Meaningful Words series,
  2. a byline,
  3.  a link to an identifying source online, i.e. a personal or business website, a LinkedIn profile, an italki profile, etc.
  4. Suggest 3 accompanying images, 1 credit each, from iStock

The creator retains rights to the content and can use the content elsewhere and for other purposes.

Payment

  • For students: $20.00 Amazon gift card ($.20 per word / $20.00 per 100 words)
  • For teachers: Sessions booked to equal approximately $20 and allowed to pass.

If you are a user of Mandarin Blueprint, we welcome identification of the characters by Phase, Level, and Character. If you don’t know these numbers, please leave that portion of the submission form blank.

Published examples are here.

Questions? Please contact Anne Giles.

Anne Giles, M.A., M.S., L.P.C., is a student of Mandarin Chinese and also a mental health counselor, able to provide counseling services only to residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia, U.S.A. This content is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical or professional advice. Consult a qualified health care professional for personalized medical and professional advice.