大家好, hello everyone. Thanks for joining us today for another episode of Growing up with Chinese 成长汉语.
We covered the decent bit of ground last class between learning various ways to say thank you like 谢谢, 谢谢你, 谢谢您, and you’re welcome 不客气, 不用谢, 不谢.
Today we are going to be focusing on introductions specifically how to ask for someone’s name. And how to respond when someone asks you what’s your name is.
Now so far, Mike and 小明 have yet to meet each other. We left off last show with 小明 and his teacher going upstairs in the elevator. Now let’s check out what happens when the two of them, come face to face.
OK, that certainly was a good review of the ways to say hello. Now not only did we just see Mike and 小明 meet each other, but we also got to indirectly meet 小明’s parents. Now did you all catch Mike and 小明’s introductions? Let’s take a closer look what they said.
你叫什么名字? what’s your name? We all know 你 is you. 叫 is a verb, it means call or to be called. 什么 is what, and 名字 is name. 你 叫 什么 名字? What’s your name? 你叫什么名字? All right, moving on.
The response to 你叫什么名字 is 我叫 and the name. 我 is I or me, 叫 again means call or called. So 我叫 is I’m called. 我 叫 Charlotte, my name is Charlotte, I’m called Charlotte. 你叫什么名字? Your response should be 我叫 and your name.
你姓什么? OK. The keyword in this question is 姓. 姓 means surname or family name, last name. 你 we’ve covered it means you. And 什么 what. So, 你姓什么 means what’s your surname, what’s your family name. 你姓什么.
All right, let’s review the clip again.
OK, it’s time to check out today’s vocabulary.
Last time we went over initials in pinyin. Today we’re going to take a look at finals. Now depending on how you calculate them, there are anywhere from twenty-nine to thirty-seven finals. It’s a lot I know. But you can think of this way. There are more ways to spell things in English right? So this won’t be too bad. And first we’ll take a look at some similar pronunciations.
The a as in father a Chinese example would be baba mama ta.
The o in “or.” A Chinese example would be mo bo po.
You also have the u sound as in you the word you. A Chinese example would be ru mu tu.
Now some finals have different pronunciations depending on the initials that they are coupled with. So let’s take a look at these because these have a tendency to be tricky. Take i for example. Coupled with b d j l m n p q t x and y, you get the ee sound like di ji qi and yi.
Now, if it’s coupled with s c and z, you get the …hmm, this is a little bit tricky it’s a sort of eeh sound, like, kind like when you see something gross like si ci zi.
Now coupled with r, zh, sh or ch, you get the e-r sound as in her so ri zhi shi chi.
Now another final with different sounds depending on its initial is e, the letter e. Now coupled with d t n l g k h c s z ch zh and r, you get the uh sound, sort of like u-g-h ugh. de ke zhe che.
Now when e is coupled with, oops, here we go, y you get the ye sound. So think of it as an i-e-h sound ye. ye, that’s how you use it.
Now e can also stand on its own. When it does its pronunciation is like the e in de or ke or zhe, that’s e on its own.
All right. One final that can give some people problems in pronunciation is this. Now, it’s a u with two dots, the umlaut. Now if you speak say German for example, this sound might come a little bit easier to you as I know the German language as well as some other languages have this sound. You have to be willing to purse*1 your lips it’s ü the ü sound. So lü nü yü. It’s a little tricky I know but with practice, you’ll get it in no time.
So that was our pinyin coverage for the day. Let’s take a look at specific vocabulary words.
- 我 I. wǒ
- 叫 to call, called. jiào
- 姓 surname. xìng
- 什么 what. shén me
- 名字 name. míng zi
- 也 also. yě
- 老师 teacher. lǎo shī
- 阿姨 aunt. ā yí
- 叔叔 uncle. shū shu
Did any of you notice that when 小明 told Mike his name, he started with his surname and then give his name. In China, the way people say names as well as write names is always surname first, then name. It’s the exact opposite how names are usually done in Western cultures. In the United States, I would say my name is Charlotte MacInnis or sometimes I might just say Charlotte and not even give my last name. In China, I would either be MacInnis Charlotte or just MacInnis. It’s exactly opposite. Now to take this a step bigger.
Think of how we address a letter in Western cultures. The first line is the person’s name. The second line is either the building name and the number or the street address. The third line is city and state or province, and the fourth line, last line, is the country.
In China, you start with the country and city on the top line, the second line is street address, and the third line is building in any relevant numbers and finally the last line, the line at the very bottom, is the person’s name. Again, it’s exactly opposite.
Now getting back to names. It might have sounded funny to some of you. To see 小明 introduce himself to Mike by using his last name first. But in China this is how it’s done. And perhaps some of you call your teachers at school by their first names. In China, a teacher is always addressed by his or her last name. If your teacher’s name is 王, you call him 王老师 or Wang teacher, teacher Wang. If her last name is 周 again, you would call her 周老师.
All right, so that wraps up our cultural spotlight for the day. Now before we say good bye, let’s take a quick look at some language points.
We all know that 小明’s surname is 王 did you all catch what he said though. He said 你好, 我姓王, 叫王小明. Hello, my surname is 王, I’m called 王小明. 我 姓 王 or 我 叫 Mike. Do you see the sentence pattern here? 姓 is the verb in this pattern, my surname is 王. 我姓王. I’m called Mike, my name is Mike. 我叫Mike.
Now you can take a cue*2 on how to reply to this question from the question. “你叫什么名字? 我叫Mike.” “你姓什么? 我姓王.”
We have a tone alert today. The 么 in 什么 is a neutral tone otherwise known as 轻声, shénme, shénme. Now 什么 is a very useful word to know mean think of how often we use the word what in English, 什么.
And there we are. 现在几点了? Hmm, we’ve just about run out of time today, but before I say 再见, I’d like to read a letter that has come in and it’s from Alissa in England.
“Are there any other colors in China with specific meanings?”
All right we’ll be covered red, white and yellow. And to be honest these are the three main colors in China that have expanded meanings behind them. Although I will bring this up, in English you know how we say green with envy someone can be green with envy they are very envious. Well, in Chinese it’s 红眼病 which means red eye disease. That’s how they say green with envy. So, I hope that was helpful.