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Introduction | Episodes |

32 Interests 爱好

你们好吗? Hi everyone, 欢迎收看成长汉语. Welcome back to another episode of Growing up with Chinese.

昨天晚上你们睡得好吗? Did you all get a good night’s sleep yesterday? Mike和小明睡得特别好. 小明还做了橄榄球的梦呢. Indeed I have it on good authority*1 that 小明 dreamed about football again. And it’s just as well, because today Mike is giving 小明 his first football lesson. So let’s check in with them, and see how their lesson’s going.

小明:是么? 说来听听。
小明唱歌、跳舞、弹钢琴! 这些也算是爱好? 真没劲!
兰兰:怎么没劲了? 我看比打橄榄球强多了。
兰兰:天哪,还有这么多讲究啊。你们以后再慢慢告诉我吧。小明、麦克,你们俩打一场比赛吧? 让我也开开眼界!

我才不想学, 冲啊撞啊的, 太暴力了. I don’t wanna learn, all that charging and crashing, it’s too violent. 我才不想学. 才 here functions as an emphasis word not only does 兰兰 not want to learn, she really doesn’t want to learn. 暴力 means violent.

我喜欢唱歌, 跳舞, 但最喜欢的还是弹钢琴. I like singing, dancing, but I still like playing the piano most. 唱歌 is to sing songs, 跳舞 to dance, and 最 you know means most, 喜欢 to like or enjoy. So, 最喜欢 is to like the most.

小明:是么? 说来听听。

这些也算是爱好吗? 真没劲. These count as hobbies too? How boring. 算 is to count both numbers and in the context of what doesn’t count? 爱好 is the word for hobby or things you like to do for fun. 没劲 literally means no strength or boring.

我看比打橄榄球强多了. In my opinion, they are better or more interesting than football. 比 is used for a comparison remember? So compared to football, what 兰兰 likes to do, in her opinion, is way more interesting.

小明唱歌、跳舞、弹钢琴! 这些也算是爱好? 真没劲
兰兰:怎么没劲了? 我看比打橄榄球强多了

噢, 是这样啊. 我原来以为橄榄球场是男孩儿的天下呢. Oh, that’s how it is. I always thought a football field was ruled by boys. 是这样 means oh, that’s how it is. 以为 means to believe or think. 天下 is a specific word used to imply land under a heaven or an area that is ruled by someone. 男孩儿的天下. Under boy’s rule or a guy thing.


英式橄榄球和美式橄榄球一样吗? Is rugby the same as football? 英式 literally means British style so 美式 means American style. In China, rugby is referred to as British style football. 一样 means the same. So if you’re adding 吗, 一样吗, you’re asking if something is the same as something else.

兰兰, 你可问到点子上了. 兰兰, you’ve asked a key question or you’ve hit the nail on the head*2 with your question.


天哪, 还有这么多讲究啊. Goodness, there are so many particulars. 讲究 means pay attention to, stress or be particular about.

兰兰:天哪,还有这么多讲究啊。你们以后再慢慢告诉我吧。小明、麦克,你们俩打一场比赛吧? 让我也开开眼界!

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

We’ve got some fun vocabulary to go over today, so let’s do that first and then we’ll move into our radical of the day.

  • 冲 in today’s context, 冲 means to rush or dash. chōng
  • 撞 knock down, crash. zhuàng
  • 爱好 hobby, interest. ài hào
  • 跳舞 to dance, dancing. tiào wǔ
  • 生气 angry, mad. shēng qì
  • 规则 rules. guī zé
  • 对手 opponent. duì shǒu

We’ve got a fun radical to talk about today 弓 or bow. Now 弓 on its own actually means bow as in like a bow and arrow. So let’s take a look at it, I wanna know what you guys think, I think it looks quite like a bow... 弓.

Now, we see it as a radical today in the character 弹 to play specifically to play a string instrument. So it can also mean pluck*3. Let’s look at that character here... 弹.

Now the component on the right is 单 so this character gets its sound from its right hand component. Now, if you look up 弹 in the dictionary, it’s first listed meaning is catapult, spring or bounce. So it makes a lot of sense that it uses the bow radical does it not?

Now here’s some more characters that use this radical. 强 strong, powerful. 张 open, draw on. 弯 curved, bent or turn.


We are talking about hobbies today. And as we all know hobbies, or the things you like to do for fun, come in all shapes and sizes*4.

When I was an elementary school in 南京, we had a hobby trends at our school. For a while, hula hoops were the rage. And everyone would bring their hula hoops to school and have contests in between classes. There was a lot of fun. And as a result I’m not too bad a hula hooper.

Kids in China nowadays have all kinds of things they like to do for fun. But access to these hobbies wasn’t always available to everyone if you look back in history.

In ancient China, much like many ancient cultures, women were not of an equal status with men. Most women were not allowed to go to school and if they did, it was considered quite out of the ordinary.

Only women in a wealthy families had the chance to explore hobbies that they might be interested in, and even then, what they were allowed to study was quite limited. For the most part these privileged ladies learned embroidery*5, stringed instruments like the Chinese zither*6, a kind of harp or the lute, or they painted or they read books.

All the skills they learned from private tutors who came inside their homes to tutor them. Wealthy women didn’t usually venture outside their family’s compounds. So, I’m sure you can all imagine how limited education of any kind must have been for women in the ancient China.


It’s time to discuss some language points and we’ll start with an easy one OK?

但 as in 但是 or 可是 they all mean but. 但 just like but in English is used in a transition. 我喜欢唱歌, 跳舞, 但最喜欢的还是弹钢琴. I like singing and dancing but I still like playing the piano most. 我会说中文但不会说英文. I can speak Chinese but I can’t speak English. Let’s take a look at some more examples.

  • 天一起去后海吧。/我很想去,我没有时间。
  • 你会打橄榄球吗?/不太会,但是我很想学。

Now let’s take a look at a pattern. 和 something 一样. It expresses similarity or that there are no differences. 我和他一样. 我们都会说中文. He and I are the same. We can both speak Chinese. 英式橄榄球和美式橄榄球一样吗? Are rugby and football the same? Now if you want to say two thing are different, you add a 不 to 一样. 不一样.

  • 我属狗,你呢?/是吗? 我和你一样,也属狗。
  • 这是你们家的小狗吗?/不是,我们家的小狗和这条颜色不一样

再说 or 再说了. What’s more or besides. You know these characters right. 再 means again and 说 means to speak or talk. 再说 furthermore. It’s adding more information to what has already been given. 再说了, 中国也都有自己的女子橄榄球队啊. What’s more, China already has its own women’s football team.

  • 这两件衣服我买哪件呢?/我觉得这件颜色很好。再说了,价格也便宜。

Well if you all are a little tired, don’t worry. Because we’ve just about run out of time for today. But really quick though, I want to answer a letter we received because I think you’ll be interested in it. This letter is from Jennifer in England. Now she says:

“I love how the word for American football in Chinese is olive ball 橄榄球. Are there any other sports that have fun Chinese names?”

Well, ah let me see. Golf is 高尔夫 sounds like golf, no? And uh 台球 is table ball otherwise known as billiards or pool. 网球 literally is net ball or tennis. 棒球 literally club ball is baseball. And actually my personal favorite apart from olive ball 橄榄球 is 马球 horse ball or polo. So there we are.

Don’t forget to keep sending us your questions through our comments page on our website. Thank you for your letter Jennifer. Until next time everyone 加油, see you all next time, 下次见.

*1:on good authority 確かな筋から

*2:hit the nail on the head 的を射る

*3:pluck つま弾く

*4:come in all shapes and sizes 多岐にわたる

*5:embroidery 刺繍

*6:zither 琴のような弦楽器。sitarとは違うらしい