Hello everybody, 欢迎收看今天的成长汉语. It’s great to see all of you here for another episode of Growing up with Chinese.
Now last time I dare say we ended on a slightly lost note. Well we didn’t, but Mike, 小明 and 兰兰 certainly did. They were on their way to 后海 and discovered that they were walking in the complete wrong direction. 他们走反了.
By now though they should have been able to make their way there. So let’s check in with them and see if they really have arrived or not.
兰兰：是啊，绿叶、荷花、倒影……真是太美了！ 哎，麦克，你知道吗？ 这些酒吧在北京都特别有名，每家都很有特点。
Doesn’t 后海 look like fun? It’s a great place to wander around and taking everyday sites alongside historical ones. The 胡同 tour I mentioned a while back runs through 后海, you might have been able to figure that out based on the conversation our three friends were having. Let’s take a look at some of what was said.
走了这么半天, 我好累啊. 咱们歇一会儿吧. We’ve been walking forever, I’m really tired let’s rest for a minute. 半天 literally means half a day but in this context it’s like saying forever or long time, we’ve been walking forever. 走了这么半天. 累 is tired so 我好累 is I’m really tired. 歇 is the same as 休息 to rest. So if you 歇一会儿, you rest for a bit, or rest for a minute.
这里的景色真是漂亮极了. The scenery here is really gorgeous. 景 on its own means view as in the view or the scene. 色 is color remember? So 景色 refers to scenery. 真是 is really. 漂亮极了. Beautiful to the max, gorgeous. 真是漂亮极了.
这些酒吧在北京都特别有名, 每家都很有特点. These bars are all really famous in 北京 each one is very special. 酒吧 is the word for bar. 有名 is well known or famous. 每家. 家 is the measure word for bar and because bar appeared in the first half of the sentence, it doesn’t need to be repeated here. Otherwise you could say 每家酒吧. 特点 is distinguishing feature or characteristic. 每家都很有特点. Each bar has its own unique feature or each one is very special.
不过, 这里的酒吧傍晚才会开门. But the bars here don’t open until dusk. 傍晚 is dusk and 开门 is to open for business.
到了晚上, 整条街灯火通明, 非常漂亮. At night time the entire street lights up, it’s really pretty. 整条街 means the whole street or the entire street. 整 is whole, and 条 is the measure word for street 街. 整条街. 灯火通明 is a set expression meaning well-illuminated or brightly lit. Kind of like how we might say in English lit up like a Christmas tree it’s all very bright and beautiful.
All right, that’s basically wraps up today’s coverage of our dialogue, so now let’s get into some more specifics.
All right let’s take a look at our vocabulary list and then move onto our radical of the day.
- 累 tired, wearily. lèi
- 歇 have a rest. xiē
- 酒吧 bar. jǐu bā
- 特点 characteristic, trait, or distinguishing feature. tè diǎn
- 傍晚 dusk. bàng wǎn
- 灯火通明 well-illuminated, brightly lit. dēng huǒ tōng míng
- 原来 in today’s context, 原来 means before. yuán lái
- 参观 visit, look around. cān guān
The radical we’re going to look at today is the field radical 田. And we find it in one of our vocabulary words of the day 累 tired. All right, let’s pull this up. Here’s our radical 田 it looks like a field really. And 累 looks like this … OK, working in the fields can be tiring no?
Our radical is on the top 田 looks like fields. And this component down here, well below the field radical, represents silk. You can make the connection from here on as while field and silk make up the character for tired. Let’s look at few more characters with the field radical. 男 men. 界 boundary, border. 备 prepare, be equipped with.
Ah, 后海 where to begin. Actually, 后海 is one of the three lakes that make up the area of 什刹海. The other two are 前海 and 西海.
什刹海 dates back all the way to the 元 dynasty, which was around during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, and was the northern most point of the Grand Canal linking 北京 to 杭州. With all the traffic the Grand Canal saw, the 什刹海 area quickly became a bustling commercial district with all kinds of happenings going on.
And today, while it’s not so much known as a trading post along the Grand Canal, it is one of 北京’s most popular areas to hang out. Both for locals and tourists. Bars, cafes, restaurants, tea houses, museums, 胡同 tours and many parks are only some of the attractions 后海 has to offer.
In winter, when the temperature has been low enough for the lakes to freeze, you can see hundreds of people out ice skating on weekends. Some brave souls*1 would actually go swimming in the lake where the ice is thin and easily broken. They claim it’s good for your health and I guess they do a very healthy, I guess I would get pneumonia*2 for sure.
Anyway after you’re done skating or swimming and properly chilled, you can buy roasted chest nuts or sweet potatoes from vendors that line the lake. Now all of the countries I’ve ever visited, China’s roasted sweet potatoes are the most fragrant and sweet of any I have ever tasted and must eat if you’re ever here in the winter months.
OK everybody, it’s time to take a look at some language points that came up in today’s dialogue. And we will start with 极了.
极了 can come after an adjective or verb to express a high degree of something. In our clip, Mike used it in 漂亮极了, a high degree of beautiful or gorgeous. You could also say 好吃极了, a high degree of good taste or delicious. 高兴极了, a high degree of happiness or I’m thrilled. Let’s look at some more examples.
比起 compared to. 比起公寓, 我更喜欢四合院. Compared to apartments, I like courtyard houses more. 比 is compare or contrast. 我比他高. I’m taller than him. 四合院比公寓好. Courtyard houses are better than apartments. Now we get more into 比 next show, but I just wanted to put 比起 into context today. So to say 比起 turns the comparison into a compared to sentence structure. 比起公寓, 我更喜欢四合院. Compared to apartments, I like courtyard houses more. Let’s take a look at some more examples.
- 比起上海，我更喜欢北京。／哦？ 我更喜欢上海一些。
一起 together. 我们一起照张合影吧. Let’s take a group photo together, OK? 我们一起出去玩吧. Let’s go out together and play, OK? Now please note the tone change for 一. 起 is third tone so 一 changes from first tone to fourth tone. 一起 together.
后海真美. It really is beautiful isn’t it. Well that’s all we have time for today. Now hopefully one day, you’ll all be able to make a trip to 北京 and visit 后海 during each season of the year, it’s well worth it. For now though keep working on that Chinese you’ll be very glad you did.
Don’t forget you can always visit our website if you need to review or leave us any comments or questions you might have. Happy day to all of you. 大家, 加油, see you all next time. 下次见.