英語と中国語を同時に学ぶ! CCTV Growing up with Chinese

Introduction | Episodes |

31 Learning to play American football 学打橄榄球

你们好, 欢迎收看今天的成长汉语. Hi there everyone, thanks for joining us for today’s episode of Growing up with Chinese.

Now how is your studying going? You know, studying anything is a lot of hard work and you’re all doing a great job so keep up the good work.

Now last time we covered Dragon Boat Festival thanks to Mike going over to 兰兰’s house to borrow a book. And now Mike and 小明 are just about ready to call it a day*1. But they haven’t fallen asleep yet. 小明 is desperate to get Mike to teach him something, and what is that thing? Let’s check in with them and find out.

小明:哎,困死我了。麦克,你看什么呢? 还不睡?
小明:哎,我问你看什么呢? 叫了半天你都听不见。
小明:橄榄球明星? 我看我看。麦克,在美国你经常打橄榄球吗?
Mike:那当然了! 我还是我们学校的橄榄球队队长呢。
小明:这么说,你的橄榄球一定打得特别好! 麦克,你教我,你教我吧。
小明妈:小明、麦克,你们干什么呢? 都几点了! 还不睡觉?

Ah, American football. 小明 certainly is excited isn’t he. He’s found the teacher. OK let’s now go over some of what was said so we can all have a better idea what’s going on.

困死我了. I’m super sleepy. Now do you all remember the phrase we learned a while back: something 死了 like 饿死了, I’m starving. Well, splitting up 死 and 了 with a pronoun just makes thing all them more specific. 困死我了. I’m super sleepy.

叫了半天你都听不见. I’ve been calling forever and you couldn’t hear me. 半天 literally means half a day, or in this case a long time. 听不见 means can’t hear or couldn’t hear.

小明:麦克,你看什么呢? 还不睡?
小明:哎,我问你看什么呢? 叫了半天你都听不见

在美国你经常打橄榄球吗? In America do you often play football? 经常 means often. 经常打橄榄球. Play football often.

那当然了! 我还是我们学校的橄榄球队队长呢. Of course, I was even the captain of our school’s football team. 那当然了. Of course. 队 means team. So 橄榄球队 is football team 橄榄球队. 队长 means captain but because it’s 队 team 长 captain, this captain specifically refers to a team captain and not a boat captain or say an airplane captain.

Mike:那当然了! 我还是我们学校的橄榄球队队长呢
小明:这么说,你的橄榄球一定打得特别好! 麦克,你教我,你教我吧。

小明, 你这么想跟我学打橄榄球吗? 小明, you really want to learn how to play football from me that much? OK we’ve got two language points in this sentence. So we’ll go over it in some more details just a little bit later.

是啊, 我做梦都想学打橄榄球. Yes, I even dream about wanting to learn how to play football. 做梦 is to dream.

我也觉得那些橄榄球明星实在太酷了. I think those football stars are totally too cool also. 实在太酷了. Totally too cool or way cool.


麦克, 我拜你为师. Now this expression deserves a bit of explaining. If you 拜 someone 为师, it means you’re requesting that they be your teacher. It actually is a set saying that is quite formal and it expresses a serious intent to learn. It’s kind of like saying “may I be your apprentice?” or rather “you would be my master?” There is a language point here so we will get into that more later. 我拜你为师. You will be my master. Or you will be my teacher.

好. 我收你做徒弟. OK, I’ll take you in as my apprentice. 收 is the verb used when talking about acquiring or taking in something including students. And yes, 徒弟 is apprentice or disciple.

小明妈:小明、麦克,你们干什么呢? 都几点了! 还不睡觉?

All right, that basically wraps up today’s coverage about dialogue. So now let’s get into some more specifics.

All right, like usual let’s go through our vocabulary list first, and then move onto our radical of the day.

  • 困 sleepy, tired. kùn
  • 明星 celebrity, star. míng xīng
  • 教 to teach. jiāo
  • 学 to learn. xué
  • 动作 movement, motion, action. dòng zùo
  • 练习 practice. liàn xí

Before we go into today’s radical, I want to review when we recovered while back. Do you all remember this radical, the single person radical 单人旁. Well, I bring this up because there is a double person radical 双人旁. And it looks like that. Now we see it in the character 徒 of 徒弟 apprentice or disciple. Pretty straightforward, right? Now, let me get that character up here … 徒.

So the component on the right side of this character is 走 to walk. So here we have two people walking a master and his student. Now often times, characters that have the double person radical will have something to do with walking. So here is some more examples. 往 go, in a direction of. 行 go, walk, travel.


Seeing as we’re on the topic of sports today, we thought it would be fun to talk about some of the ways people stay fit and healthy in China. It’s actually quite an interesting topic because exercise are something we all do it at some point whether it’s everyday or once a week or once in a long while. Every culture has its norms for exercise. And of course, what you do for your exercise changes depending on your age.

In America, it’s a common sight to see people of all ages jogging or going to gym.

In China, physical fitness routines often differ according to person’s age. Obviously if you’re a student, it’s quite common to be involved in team sports, basketball and football or soccer or probably the most popular team sports among Chinese men both to play and watch on television.

Badminton is also quite popular and no matter where you might be, you can always see people playing. I went downstairs in my apartment building in other day and there were two women playing in the building lobby. It made me smile.

For older people, like retirement age in up, exercise gets very diverse and in my opinion fabulous. Whether it’s in a public park, or the many large gardens that you find an apartment complex is here. You can always see a multitude of older people busy busy busy with activity. Some go for walks, and others will spend twenty minutes or more walking backwards. 太极 is also a common sight along with stretching and pounding on various parts of your body to increase circulation.


We’ve got four language points to cover today but it shouldn’t be too complicated. And we shall begin with 这么.

So, or really. This is an emphasis word just like “so” in English. 这么好 so good, 这么热 so hot. Mike used it today in this sentence. 小明, 你这么想跟我学打橄榄球吗? 小明, you want to learn football from me that much? Let’s look at some more examples.

  • 妈,你今天怎么买这么多苹果?/今天打折嘛。
  • 这儿怎么有这么多人?/王府井每天都有很多人。

跟. 跟 is a preposition in today’s case and is used to introduce to recipient of an action like with, and to or from. 你这么想跟我学. You want to learn from me that much? 你跟我走. You come with me. 我在跟你们说话. I’m speaking to all of you. Let’s look at some more uses with 跟.

  • 小明,你昨天谁看的电影?/兰兰。
  • 兰兰,Mike,你们刚才说什么呢?/我在Mike学英语。

除非. 除非 is a conjunction meaning only if, only when, unless or except. Now I know it sounds a little confusing but it’s really quite straightforward. You could say 除非你去, 我才会去. Only if you go, I’ll go. When 除非 appears in the middle of a sentence, 要 is used as a conjunction to imply if. Now we thought this use in today’s dialogue. 要想打得好, 除非天天练习. You’ll only be good if you practice everyday. Now this use of 除非 mostly appears in spoken Chinese and not usually in written Chinese.

  • 想让我帮忙,除非你先帮我写作业。/不行。

我们今天没有时间了. We are out of time for the day. 大家不要忘了练习今天讲的内容. Don’t forget to practice what we talked about today.

Now if you start feeling confused about any point we covered, you can always, don’t forget, visit our website or send us your question. I like hearing from all of you. 好了, 谢谢大家收看我们今天的成长汉语. 加油, 下次见, see you all next time.

*1:call it a day 終わりにする