The article is written within the framework of an interdisciplinary aspect and presents a method of teaching Chinese via an in-depth analysis of its semantics. The focal point of this work is integral research of: (a) the conditions of perceiving semantic information by Russian-speaking students of Chinese, and (b) the discursive-semantic characteristics of a certain sphere of verbal nominations. These problems have not yet been explored. The relevance of the study is determined by the need to restructure the method of teaching Chinese, taking into account the thinking processes of language learners, to master the language material at the proper level of understanding and awareness. Knowledge based on understanding contributes to the creative use of linguistic units in speech. Many ideas are drawn from the theoretical postulates of cognitive linguistics. The mechanisms of thinking and its features are primarily manifested in the semantics of the language, in its lexical meanings. Due to the fact that learners of Chinese are Russian native speakers, the language material was analyzed in the framework of the contrastive-comparative method. The selection of units for the study took place in an onomasiological vein followed by a semasiological examination. We did not follow the strict rules of componential analysis and offer semantic interpretations empirically tested in practical classes in Chinese. Didactic observation brought us to the linguistic sphere and confirmed our assumption about the basic conceptual unit of the Chinese language. In the opinion of the authors such units usually sound monosyllabic and in speech they can be a word or a morpheme. In writing they are represented as a character 字 zi. Such units should become a special object of language instruction.