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Introduction | Episodes |

34 Listening to music 听音乐


Good buddy, 大家好, 欢迎收看成长汉语. Welcome back to another episode of Growing up with Chinese.

Now did the last show’s computer vocabulary settle into a more permanent spot in your heads? Technical vocabulary can be a bit tough to tackle just because it isn’t necessarily something you use everyday. However computers and the internet are certainly a big part of many people’s daily routines. So I’m glad we got a chance to cover some of the basics in Chinese.

Now today’s topic is a bit more light-hearted; we will be talking about music. But before we go any further, let’s check in with our fabulous trio and see just exactly what it is they’re up to.

小明:Nobody? 没听过。谁唱的?
小明:噢,这首歌啊,听过听过。“I want nobody, nobody, but you.” 最近这首Nobody特别流行。

小明:我觉得Michael Jackson的歌最好听。
兰兰:Michael Jackson? 他的歌好老啊。
小明:哎呀,什么“老”,那叫“经典”。我最喜欢那首“Heal the world”。
兰兰:噢,我想起来了。上次联欢会,你表演的就是这首“Heal the world”吧?
兰兰:Michael Jackson还有什么好听的歌吗?
小明:那可太多啦。“They don’t really care about us”你听过吗?

Sharing music is always fun. You know I often find my friends listen to a lot of music but I wouldn’t necessarily think to listen to, or think to buy. But I enjoy listening to it a lot. OK let’s take a closer look at what they said during today’s clip.

你肯定听过, 我把音乐放出来你就知道了. You definitely heard this before, let me play it out loud and you’ll know it. 肯定 means definitely or certainly. 放 in the context of music means to play, 放音乐 to play music. 我把音乐放出来. Let me play the music as in play it out loud.

最近这首Nobody特别流行. The song Nobody has been really popular recently. 最近 is recently and 首 we’ve covered before remember*1? It’s the measure word for song. 流行 means popular. 特别流行 very popular or especially popular.

小明:Nobody? 没听过。谁唱的?
小明:噢,这首歌啊,听过听过。“I want nobody, nobody, but you.” 最近这首Nobody特别流行

是啊, 我们女生都特别喜欢这首歌. That’s right, all of us girls at school really like this song. Now 女生 means girls but specifically 女生 refers to girls of school age.

对了, 兰兰你是谁的“粉丝”啊? By the way 兰兰, who are you a fan of? 粉丝 means fan, and yes, this Chinese word comes from the English word 粉丝 fan. 你是谁的粉丝? Who are you a fan of?


小明, 无论你喜不喜欢, 我都是她们的铁杆粉丝. 小明, whether you like them or not, I will always be their loyal fan. 铁杆 means loyal. Now the character grouping for this word is quite interesting. 铁 means iron and 杆 can mean rod or stick. So if you’re someone’s iron stick or iron rod, you are loyal. So 铁杆粉丝 is loyal fan.



Michael Jackson? 他的歌好老啊. His songs are really old. 好老 is the same as saying 很老 but it carries a little bit more emphasis.

什么“老”, 那叫“经典”. Come on old schmold*2, it’s called classic. OK, 什么老 is like saying what are you talking about old? Or, old schmold, you don’t know what you are talking about.

小明:我觉得Michael Jackson的歌最好听。
兰兰:Michael Jackson? 他的歌好老啊
小明:哎呀,什么“老”,那叫“经典”。我最喜欢那首“Heal the world”。
兰兰:噢,我想起来了。上次联欢会,你表演的就是这首“Heal the world”吧?

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

OK let’s take a look at today’s vocabulary first and then we’ll move into our radical of the day.

  • 流行 popular. líu xíng
  • 粉丝 fan, as in to be a fan of something or someone. fěn sī
  • 挑 to select, pick. tiāo
  • 经典 classic, classical. jīng diǎn

OK, it’s time for all of you to park your ears, it’s radical time and today we are talking about none other than the ear radical. 耳, ear. So here is the character that we are talking about.

That’s the character for ear. Now we see it as a radical in one of today’s vocabulary words. 联欢会的联, the 联 of 联欢会 get together or party. So let’s get that up in radical form... 联.

Now, on its own, 联 means to unite, combine or join. Not meaning that has too much to do with one’s ears but really not all characters get their meanings from their radicals.

Here’s some other ones that have the ear radical. 聋 deaf. 闻 hear, news, story or smell. 聊 to chat.


When I travel, there are two things I always make sure I do. The first thing is I always make sure to eat some local food, I love different flavors. And the second thing is I always make sure to listen to some of local music whether it’s classical, traditional or popular.

You can discover a lot of about culture from its food and music. Now as far as music goes in China, when you’re here, you absolutely have to see a 北京 opera performance. Hands down*3, there is nothing like it. Now before we go into details, I just want to clarify something.

Chinese opera is a general term for the many different forms of traditional opera you find around the country. And there are many like upwards authority.

Now the origin of Chinese opera can be traced back all the way to the third century. So we are talking about an art form that is very very old, and one that developed into many variations over the years.

北京 opera is one of the most notable original forms of Chinese opera. And its origins can be traced back to the late eighteenth century.

OK. Now that that’s all cleared up, let’s focus on 北京 opera. What a spectacle. In a nutshell, 北京 opera combines dance, song, mime, acrobatics and music. So most theatrical bases are covered in this art form. If you want to be a professional 北京 opera performer, you start training at a very very young age.


We’ve got three language points to go over today, and will start with 才好.

才 emphasizes certainty. And 才好 is used at the end of a sentence, typically with a question coming before it. It’s used to indicate what kind of choice will satisfy someone or what the best way is to go about something. For example, 我怎么说才好. What’s the right way to say this or how can I say this in the best way possible. 今天去哪儿才好. Where is the best place to go today? We see it in today’s dialogue this way: 我都不知道听哪首才好. I’m not sure which is the best song to listen to as in there are so many choices which should I pick.

  • 这么多书,都不知道看哪本才好。/你先看这本吧。
  • 你说我送哪件给兰兰才好呢?/这件吧,多漂亮啊。

We’ve got a language pattern to go over 无论 something 都. We see this pattern in a conditional compound sentence. And it expresses that no matter the conditions or the situation, the result or results won’t change. For example, 无论你在哪儿, 我都会想你. No matter where you are, I’ll always think of you.

  • 无论多危险,我要试一试。/你自己试吧。
  • 你喜欢什么音乐?/无论什么音乐,我喜欢。

And finally, let’s take a quick look at 最. 最 implies the most or the max. 最喜欢 like the most. 最好听 best sounding, 最坏 the worst, 最爱 favorite.

  • 最喜欢什么运动?/当然是打篮球了。

好了我们今天的时间不多了. We don’t have much time left today. I love talking about music it’s such a wonderful thing. Now if any of you are interested in hearing some Chinese songs, there’re all over the internet. So feel free to do some exploring. And on that note, I hope you all had a fun time today.

Don’t forget, you can always check out our website when you get a chance to review or just to check it out. 我希望你们都是成长汉语的粉丝. Have a great day or evening, depending on where you are in the world, and I shall see you all next time. 大家, 加油, 下次见.

エピソードの最後に小明がかけた曲はMichael JacksonのThey Don’t Care About Usではなく、S.H.Eの我愛煩惱のようなのですが、それだと話の流れと合いません。聴き取れなかった単語と併せ(追記:こちらは2018年4月8日に解決しました)、真相を募集します。


*2:schm- 嘲笑の接頭辞

*3:hands down 間違いない