Hello everyone, 欢迎收看成长汉语. Welcome to today’s episode of Growing up with Chinese.
Now I have a question to ask all of you before we get into today’s material.
In your native language, what is the first thing you typically say when you answer the phone? In English, we might say “hello?” Or we might say “Charlotte speaking?” or “this is Charlotte,” depending on the circumstance. But most of the time “hello” is the first thing we say.
Now Chinese uses the word specific to answer in the phone and that is “喂?” People might say 喂 or 喂你好 but at the very least 喂 is always used. And sometimes the person making the phone call will respond with 喂 something something something. Cool no?
Now I bring this up because the topic of today’s show is making a phone call. So let’s head over to 小明’s apartment and see who is calling who and just exactly what’s going on. Shall we?
周五那天老师留了英语作业, 我给忘了. The English homework my teacher gave me on Friday, I forgot what it is.
喂, 你好, 我找兰兰. Hello I’m looking for 兰兰. Now we’ve already covered 喂 and in this case, 小明 is responding to the person who answered the phone with 喂你好, 我找兰兰. I’m looking for 兰兰. The verb 找 means to look for or search for. Now in English you can say I’m looking for 兰兰 is she there? And you could also say I’m looking for my book. 找 can be used in the same way.
对不起, 我打错了. I’m sorry, I called the wrong number. 错 means wrong or incorrect. 打 is the verb with multiple uses. But in this specific case, it is the verb use for making a phone call. Similar to phoned or to phone, call or called.
Now this is a long one, so let’s break it up.
她现在不在家. She is not home right now. 你有什么事儿吗? What’s up? This is actually a difficult phrase to translate into English accurately. We’ll talk more about it later.
我可以转告她. I can pass on a message to her.
All right, not too bad was it? Let’s watch the clip it again, and try to listen for what we just went over.
All right everybody, let’s take a look at today’s vocabulary.
OK, let’s first take a look at our vocabulary list, and then we will move onto today’s radical.
- 找 to look for. zhǎo
- 对 right or correct. duì
- 对不起 I’m sorry. duì bu qǐ
- 转告 pass on a message, convey. zhuǎn gào
- 电话 telephone. diàn huà
- 事 matter, affair, or thing. shì
- 作业 homework. zuò yè
- 图书馆 library. tú shū guǎn
- 英语 the English language. yíng yǔ
Today we are going to be looking at the radical for hand 手. Now this is how the actual character for hand is written. We’re going to look at this first 手 kind of looks like a hand doesn’t it? Now looks like this when you turn it into a radical. Can you see this similarity?
Now we have two characters in today’s dialogue that use the hand radical. They are 找 ... and ... 打. 找 is to look for and 打 is the verb that’s used to make a phone call or call someone on the phone. And both actions require the use of your hands right? Well, you can use your eyes to look for someone, but you can also use your hands to look or search for something. Now 打 is a little bit more complicated because while it is the verb used for making a phone call, it can also mean to hit.
Now, whether you’re calling someone on the phone or hitting something, hands are involved. Chinese is a lot of fun, and here is some other characters that use the hand radical. 扔 to throw. 扶 to support with a hand. 扒 to peel.
Today we are going to continue along with the theme of last show’s cultural spotlight and talk about some Chinese customs and traditions that are positive meanings. And to begin with, we’ll talk about the number eight.
Eight is China’s luckiest number. It’s the most desired number to have in your telephone number, license plate number, room number, floor number, birthday, essentially anything that requires a number, eight is the way to go.
Now why is this? You’re guessing correctly, if you’re thinking along the lines of how it sounds. The number eight in Chinese is bā right? Well it sounds an awful lot like fa, ba, fa. Whenever fa’s meaning is to get rich. Cool huh?
Now pull your heads back to what I was saying earlier about the number one and its alternate pronunciation. Yāo first tone. Well yào fourth tone is the verb to want. It can also function as will.
So imagine one in the front of eight. Yào will, fā get rich. So eighteen or any combination of one and eight is another number held in high regard.
All right it’s time to move along and get into today’s language points, let’s take a look at them.
打错了. I called the wrong number. When it an adjective or verb follows a verb in Chinese, its purpose is to explain the results of the action. OK, that sentence made my head swim ever so slightly. So, let’s look first at a verb + adjective coupling. 打错了. 打 is the verb to call, 错 is the adjective wrong or incorrect. 了 needs to be apart of the equation because the action has been completed. 打错了. So, wrong is explaining the result of the action which in this case, is to call.
- 嘿，你怎么在这儿呢？ 对不起，我认错人了。
Now let’s look at the a verb + a verb coupling. 说完了. I’m finished speaking. 说 is the verb to speak, 完 is the verb to finish or complete. So here we have a verb to finish explaining the result of the action to speak. 说完了. I’m finished speaking. And yes, I am finished speaking on this topic. 我说完了. Let’s look at some examples.
- 这个电影好看吗？ 讲的是什么故事？／你昨天不是看完了吗？／我睡着了，没看完。
能. 她什么时候能回来? When can she come home? OK, now seeing as we’ve now covered both 可以 and 能, it’s time to clarify their differences. Because they have both been translated as “can.”
Essentially, 可以 is most often used to imply a degree of possibility like “can you jump ten feet into the air,” “is it possible for you to jump ten feet into the air.” 能 is more often used to imply an ability like “boy, that kid can really jump high.”
OK, let’s switch to Chinese now. 我能说吗? Can I speak? Implying that you want to speak, I want to speak, I have the ability to speak. I’m just wondering if I can go ahead and speak or not. 我可以说吗? Can I speak. Implying that it may or may not be possible for you to speak. Let’s look at some examples to clarify that a little bit more.
- 小明，你能帮我个忙吗？／没问题。／帮我把这些书搬到楼上去，好吗？／啊？！ 这么多！
Wow we covered a lot today. Time to let your brains and televisions have a rest.
Don’t forget, you can always visit our website to review. Thanks for watching today, 谢谢你们的收看. I’ll see you next show, same time, same place. 加油 everyone. 再见.