We haven't come out with a lesson for absolute beginners in a while, partially because whenever we start teaching something simple Brendan segues into a rambling discourse on character etymology and before we know it we've produced another graduate seminar about regional dialects in the Song dynasty. So today we slowed him down with an intentionally simple and very straightforward dialogue. This one teaches how to ask basic questions and tell others a bit about yourself.In fact, those of you without a graduate degree in linguistics will be pleased to hear that we even managed to restrain Brendan from using the word "copula" in this podcast. This was accomplished somewhat by the dialogue itself, but mostly by Echo, who threatened the use of physical force unless Brendan used "actual English real people understand." So if you're totally new to mandarin and afraid of our other lessons, fire up your iPod and check out this one, which makes the basics about as easy as they can get.