大家好, thanks for joining us for another episode of Growing up with Chinese 成长汉语.
Our show is designed to help all of you learn some basic Chinese, through the adventures of 小明, a local 北京 high school student, and Mike, an exchange student who is living with 小明. And apart from language study, Our show aims to introduce various aspects of Chinese culture, history and everyday life to those of you who might not be otherwise familiar with China.
So I mentioned last time that we would continue our discussion of weather today. And I have a good news to report, the sun is still shining on me where I am in 北京. And seeing as the weekend hasn’t yet arrived for 小明, Mike and 兰兰, I think the sun is still shining on them as well. Let’s check in with them and see what’s going on.
Hmm Mike does not look like a happy camper*1 today. He is very preoccupied*2, isn’t he. Rain can be a difficult thing to cope with when you want to sightsee outside, but then again, they could be a lot worth, right? Let’s take a closer look at what is getting Mike down.
我在担心明天的天气. 明天预报说“局部地区有小雨,” 要是明天下雨, 我们还去不去天坛? I’m worrying about tomorrow’s weather. The weather report said that some areas will get rain. If it rains tomorrow, we will still get to go to the Temple of Heaven. 担心 is to worry about. 担心明天的天气. To worry about tomorrow’s weather.
要是明天下雨. 要是 means if or suppose or in case. So this phrase could translate as “if it rains tomorrow” or “suppose it rains tomorrow.”
我看最想出去玩的人是你. In my opinion, the person who wants to go out and play the most is you. Now have any of you noticed how frequently the word 玩儿 or 玩, to play, is used in Chinese. In English, play is used for sports, and games and we also might think of playing is something that little kids do together. Well in Chinese, 玩儿 is used quite broadly to mean a myriad of*3*4 ways to play or simply to have fun.
咱们出去玩儿. Let’s go out and have some fun. So, don’t think it’s weird if you hear to adults say that they’re going to go out and play 玩. It’s a general term used to mean to go out and have a great time.
我看今天天气这么好, 明天不一定会下雨. In my opinion, the weather is so nice today, it might not necessarily rain tomorrow. 不一定 not necessarily. 明天不一定会下雨. It won’t necessarily rain tomorrow.
放心吧, 麦克, 要是下雨也没关系, 雨中游天坛也很有趣嘛. Don’t worry Mike, even if it rains tomorrow, it doesn’t matter. Visiting the Temple of Heaven in the rain can also be fun and interesting. 放心 literally means to put your heart down, don’t worry. 要是 means if. 有趣 refers to something that is fun and interesting, or engaging.
有趣是很有趣, 只是没办法照相了. Fun it will be. It just that, we won’t be able to take any pictures. 没办法 is the great phrase it means no way or won’t be able to. 照像 means to take pictures or photographs. 没办法照相. Won’t be able to take pictures or, there will be no way to take pictures. I don’t know if I agree with 小明 on that point. Pictures in the rain can be really cool especially when you’re somewhere as beautiful as the Temple of Heaven.
All right, shall we watch the clip again?
All right, that basically wraps up today’s coverage of our dialogue, so now let’s get into some more specifics.
As always let’s first take a look at our vocabulary, and then move onto today’s radical.
- 担心 worry, feel anxious, fear. dān xīn
- 下雨 to rain. xià yǔ
- 游 in today’s context 游 means stroll about, tour, travel. yóu
- 有趣 interesting, amusing, fascinating, absorbing. yǒu qù
- 照像 take a picture, or photo, to photograph. zhào xiàng
Our radical for the day has to do with fire 火. Now 火 on its own can be a radical. Let me pull that up just so you can put it in context. This is 火, and the character that might use the fire radical could be 灯, which means lantern.
Now, there is a variation of the fire radical though, and that is the four dots of fire which we see in 照 of 照像, photograph.
So let’s look at 照 one, two, three, four, four dots of fire. Now 照 on its own means to shine on like how the sun shines on us. Now this component over here 昭 means clear and down here we have a four dots of fire. Now if a fire illuminates an object, it becomes clear, right? Pretty cool.
Now here is some more characters that have the four dots of fire radical. 热 hot, 熟 ripe, cooked, 煮 boil or cook.
We still have yet to find out if our fabulous trio makes it to the Temple of Heaven or not. So I thought to myself*5, why wait? We’ve certainly mentioned it enough, it’s time for a Temple of Heaven spotlight.
OK. Well the Temple of Heaven is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular tourist destination. Back in the day, and we’re talking like fifteenth century, it was a holy place where emperors would go to make sacrifices to heaven and pray for good harvests and favorable weather.
In ancient Chinese philosophy the emperor was thought to be the son of heaven. As the direct descendant and representative of the authority of heaven, it was very important that the emperor show proper respect to heaven.
Remember talking about the notion of the filial piety in Chinese culture? Well, even the son of heaven had someone, he or she needed to respect and be filial*6 towards. And so, the Temple of Heaven was the emperor’s place to go to honor, worship and acknowledge heaven.
But the Temple of Heaven was first constructed in the fifteenth century during emperor 永乐’s reign. The emperor 永乐 was also the one to build the Forbidden City, the Chinese emperor’s palace.
Over the years under the rule of different emperors, the Temple of Heaven grew into the park, temple complex that we see today.
OK everyone it’s time to take a look at some of the language points that came up today. 要是, if. 要是 is equivalent to 如果. Now a common language pattern you would hear in spoken Chinese is 要是 something 的话. But you don’t have to use this pattern if you don’t want to. You could say 要是你有时间的话, 我们就出去玩. If you have some time, then we can go out and play. It’s the same as saying 要是你有时间, 我们就出去玩. Let’s look at some examples.
我看, in my opinion. Now this always comes at the beginning of a sentence much like in English. We wouldn’t usually say “it’s going to rain tomorrow in my opinion.” We would say “in my opinion, it’s going to rain tomorrow.” 我看中文不难学. In my opinion, Chinese isn’t hard to learn.
- 我看明天一定是晴天。／是吗？ 可是，天气预报说明天有阵雨。
不一定. Not necessarily. 不一定 implies that the outcome of something isn’t clear or set in stone*7, not necessarily. 中文不一定好学. Chinese isn’t necessarily easy to learn, lots of practice is a must.
好了, 你们可以出去玩儿了. OK everyone you can all go out now and have some fun.
We’ve run out of time for today’s show, after all that our discussion of the Temple of Heaven, I think I’ll use the rest of my day to go walk around the park that surrounds it and soak up some sunshine.
Vitamin D is very important for everyone’s health, and taking in some beautiful scenery never hurts either.
Now, don’t forget to visit our website if you need to review and please leave us some comments while you are there. I’ll see you all next time. 大家, 加油, 下次见, bye for now.
*1:happy camper 満足に暮らしている人
*3:a myriad of 無数の
*5:think to oneself ひそかに考える
*7:set in stone 確定している