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Diplomats and Foreign Service

Hi ChinesePod. I would love to see an intermediate or upper intermediate lesson about a diplomat working in China. Some key words could be “Ambassador”, “Embassy”, “Consulate”, “foreign affairs”, “diplomat”, “Visa Interview” etc. I bet there are more than a few subscribers who dream of serving as foreign service officers in China. Thanks!


Ditto. I give this request a +1.

What a great suggestion guys! Constance has had quite a bit of experience teaching diplomats. I’m going to go bug her now for idea. Any particular exchanges you would like to see? When I think of this, I’m thinking of a short video series. Let me see what I can do!


I’ve taken and passed the Foreign Service telephone (oral) and on-site Chinese tests (oral and reading exams). The subjects are rather far-ranging, and I think they like to keep it that way, so that someone who is really good in one area but otherwise has limited Chinese will have difficulty passing. The ChinesePod lessons are very varied, so I would suggest you go through as many of them as you can. If you have a good vocabulary, reading articles from the Chinese issue of the NY Times is very good practice (and a lot easier and more fun if you have the Pleco file reader).

Hey Fiona,

Other topics could include:

  • discussing longstanding a/o current irritants (political, military, commercial)
  • discussing multilateral international trade agreements
  • engaging with local staff and society away from the Embassy bubble
  • promoting cross-cultural exchanges
  • formal etiquette with Ministry officials

FWIW, my wife deals with the Chinese gov’t all the time working for the UN. I think diplomats spend about 30 seconds saying things like, “I’m a diplomat, I work at the UN, Which department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should I work with?” Most of the time, they talk to the specific issues they address. UNICEF talks Child development, education and literacy; UNWomen discusses gender equity, domestic violence, legal protections for women and girls, etc. Suggest that if you’re really thinking about this that Chinesepod think about going to the UN agency website that discusses that theme. My search of the Cpod website for “government” doesn’t really bring up many lessons that UN staffers would use (and by extension, the US government). There are a few lessons that talk about violence, but only a couple that talk about domestic violence the way agencies discuss it.

this is an older chinesepod lesson on the united nations which could be of some help for diplomatic language []

Hi everyone,

Wanted to keep you posted on our progress with the “diplomat lessons”. We’ve got four lesson scripted and in the lesson production schedule and we are planning on adding two more. They will probably come out in a month/month and half or so.

Just wanted to let you know that we haven’t forgot your requests and they are currently work in progress. We think it’s an interesting topic and have plans to add more lessons.

I’ll give everyone a shout when they are out.