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Introduction | Episodes |

24 Shopping 1 买衣服(一)

Hi everyone, 你们好吗? 欢迎收看今天的成长汉语. Thanks for tuning into another episode of Growing up with Chinese.

Now having completed our discussion of weather last time, today we’re going to be talking about something a little bit more dynamic. Well, I guess weather can be dynamic at times but shopping, especially shopping for clothes, now there’s something that people of all ages love to do wear ever they might be. Now shopping for clothes in China can be a lot of fun, there is always plenty of to buy and purchasing itself can be quite an adventure.

Now today 小明’s mom is taking Mike shopping. So, let’s check in with them and see what they are up to.

小明妈:我回来啦!
小明、Mike:妈。阿姨。
小明妈:你们都在家啊?
Mike:是啊,阿姨,今天放学早。
小明妈:对了,刚才我看见商场在打折,最近有点儿降温,我带你们去买几件衣服吧。
小明:哎呦,妈,一会儿有NBA。我要在家看电视。您带麦克去吧。
小明妈:你这孩子! 走,麦克。阿姨带你去。

小明妈:麦克,你觉得这件好看吗?
Mike:好看,我喜欢。
小明妈:劳驾,有他能穿的号吗?
售货员:嗯,有。他穿M号就行。
Mike:我能试试吗?
售货员:当然可以了,您稍等。这件就是M号。你试试。试衣间在那边。

Mike:阿姨,怎么样?
小明妈:我看看。嗯,这件有点儿小。能换一件大号的吗?
售货员:好的,我找找。这件是L号的,您再试试。

小明妈:嗯,合适,真精神。您好,我们就要这件吧。
售货员:好的,收银台在那边。
小明妈:谢谢。

It looks like Mike found something to buy in the end. I have to say it’s always nice to find clothing on sale. Let’s go over some of what was said.

对了, 刚才我看见商场在打折, 最近有点儿降温, 我带你们去买几件衣服吧. Oh yes, I just noticed that the department store is having a sale. The temperature has dropped recently. Let me take you guys shopping for some clothes, OK? 商场 is department store, 打折 is to have a sale or can also mean that something is on sale. 刚才我看见商场在打折. I just noticed the department store is having a sale. 最近有点儿降温. 最近 means recently, 降温 is to drop in temperature. Let’s break it up. 降 is to drop or fall, 温 is temperature. 降温. 我带你们去买几件衣服吧. 件 is the measure word for clothing like article or piece of clothing. 几件衣服 some clothes or a few articles of clothing.

小明妈:我回来啦!
小明、Mike:妈。阿姨。
小明妈:你们都在家啊?
Mike:是啊,阿姨,今天放学早。
小明妈:对了,刚才我看见商场在打折,最近有点儿降温,我带你们去买几件衣服吧
小明:哎呦,妈,一会儿有NBA。我要在家看电视。您带麦克去吧。
小明妈:你这孩子! 走,麦克。阿姨带你去。

劳驾, 有他能穿的号吗? Excuse me, do you have his size. 劳驾 is a polite term that people use in many situations to get someone’s attention, just like the English “excuse me.” 穿 is the verb to wear. Now in the context of clothing, 号 refers to size. 小明’s mom could say 有他的号吗? Do you have his size? To say 有他能穿的号吗 just make thing a little more specific like “do you have a size he can wear.”

小明妈:劳驾,有他能穿的号吗
售货员:嗯,有。他穿M号就行。
Mike:我能试试吗?
售货员:当然可以了,您稍等。这件就是M号。你试试。试衣间在那边。

And finally, 合适, 真精神. It fits. 精神 is a fun word. In this case it means lively or good looking. If something makes you look 精神, it’s like saying wearing that gives you energy or you look great.

Mike:阿姨,怎么样?
小明妈:我看看。嗯,这件有点儿小。能换一件大号的吗?
售货员:好的,我找找。这件是L号的,您再试试。

小明妈:嗯,合适,真精神

OK, that just about wraps up our general overview for today’s dialogue, now let’s get into some specifics.

OK, let’s take a look our vocabulary words for the day and then move onto today’s radical.

  • 打折 to give a discount, to sell at a discount. dǎ zhé
  • 降温 drop in temperature. jiàng wēn
  • 劳驾 excuse me, may I trouble you. láo jià
  • 试衣间 fitting room, dressing room. shì yī jiān
  • 合适 in today’s context, 合适 means fit or suitable. hé shì
  • 精神 lively, spirited. jīng shen
  • 收银台 cashier, check out counter. shōu yín tái

Today’s radical is also a character. And when it becomes a radical, it doesn’t change at all from its original form 门 which means door or gate. Now we see it today in 间 of 试衣间, fitting room. 门 on its own means room. So, let’s take a look at this.

First off, I’ll give you the door character 门. Now as a radical, as I said it doesn’t change. 间. Now let’s break it apart, we’ve got the sun 日 this component coming through the door radical. 间 means room. Now here is some more characters that use the door radical. 问 to ask, 闭 to close, 闲 idle or not busy.

Spotlight

Two of the things I love most about shopping in China are that there’s always something for even the pickiest shoppers. And you can always find a place to shop the way you like to shop. Hmm the last thing is a bit convoluted*1.

What I mean is that you have some choices of way you shop. You can shop in places that are authorized to sell a certain level of clothing or products. In stores like that, prices are fixed and everything has a price tag. There might be a sale reducing prices, but if so, that sticks too. There is no bargaining whatsoever*2.

You can also shop in places here where bargaining is expected and really a must. And don’t be fooled by price tags. Often times stores, shops or open markets will put price tags on their clothing but mostly for the purpose of letting you know where to begin your bargaining. Now depending on where you are, you can knock the prices something down at least half or sometimes even more.

Some of my friends love shopping that way. They think bargaining is fun, like a game. And some of my friends prefer not to think about price. They don’t usually go to bargain markets or stores. But like I said, whatever your preference, China certainly has it.

Primer

All right everyone it’s time to take a quick look at few specific language points that came up in today’s dialogue.

觉得. This means to think, feel or find something is some way. You can say 我觉得这件衣服很好看. I think this piece of clothing is pretty. The notice: I used “think” in my translation of this sentence. Now we know that 想 means think, right. But 想 and 觉得 are different in Chinese even though they can both mean think in English. 觉得 is to feel like I feel that this is right, and 想 is to think as in using your brain to think about something. But today our focus is 觉得. 我觉得你们很好看. I think you all are beautiful or I find you all are beautiful.

  • 觉得汉语难不难?/呵呵,有你和小明帮我,不难。
  • 小明,你觉得我穿这件衣服怎么样?/很漂亮,我妈是最漂亮的妈妈。

试 or 试试. 试 is the verb to try. Now in spoken Chinese, it’s quite common to repeat your verb. So that you don’t sound too formal with your language, 试试. You can also say 试一试 try it implying briefly. 想一想 think about it. You could also say 想想. Now this pattern works for most monosyllabic verbs or in other words, verbs that are one syllable. If you have a verb like 休息 to rest which has two syllables, the pattern then becomes 休息休息.

  • 这件衣服我能一试吗?/当然,试衣间在那边。
  • 这件衣服太贵了,我不想了。/没关系,试试又不要钱。

有点 or 有点儿. This phrase is used in front of adjectives to imply degree. And in this case, it’s a small degree or just a little bit. 有点大 a little bit big, 有点小 a little small. Now usually 有点 is used only when you’re talking about something that isn’t positive or something that you aren’t too happy with. Know what I mean by that is you wouldn’t say 有点儿好 a little bit good or 有点儿舒服 a little bit comfortable. You would say 有点不好 or 有点不舒服. It’s not too good or it’s not too comfortable. Actually the same logic applies in English, really.

  • 我觉得今天天气有点儿冷。/是啊,今天有点儿变天了。
  • 晚上去卡拉OK唱歌吧?/不去了,我今天有点儿累。

That just about wraps up everything for the day. 你们有点儿累吧. You all must be a little tired no? We’ve certainly covered enough for today. Next time we will continue to follow Mike and 小明’s mom as they make their way through the department store. Our shopping vocabulary has yet to grow.

For now, I hope you all enjoyed the rest of your day or evening. And don’t forget you can always visit our website to review what we covered. And I shall see you all next time. 好好学习, good luck with your studies 大家, 加油, 再见.

*1:convoluted 入り組んだ

*2:whatsoever かけらもない