Greetings everyone, welcome back to another episode of Growing up with Chinese. 欢迎大家收看今天的成长汉语. We’ve got a fun line up for today’s show; we’re going to go over some of the ways one complains in Chinese.
That’s right. While complaining all the time isn’t something to be encouraged, it can’t hurt to know how you might go about expressing displeasure or dissatisfaction in Chinese. You never know when you might need those tools.
So, who do we have complaining today? You are guessing correctly if you’re thinking it’s 小明. He is quite opinionated*1 isn’t he. Well, let’s check in with him and see just what has him complaining today.
Hmm, looks like 小明 and his mom weren’t too happy with each other today. It is always hard to focus on homework when there’re other fun things to be doing. But as the saying goes work comes before play. So let’s take a quick look at the details of what just happened and then we can play, OK?
小明, 吵死了. 你们把音乐开那么大干嘛. 小明 it’s too noisy. Why do you guys have the music volume up so high? 吵 is noisy so 吵死了 is noisy to death or just way too noisy. 干嘛 is a very colloquial way to say 干什么 or what are you doing, what’s going on, why.
噢, 是这么回事儿. This means oh so that’s what’s going on, that’s how it is. 你们练得怎么样了? How is your practice going? 练 is to practice.
兰兰, 你以后要多帮帮小明, 尤其是他的作文, 写得太差了. 兰兰, in the future you need to help 小明 some more, especially his essays. He doesn’t write well at all. 尤其 means especially and 作文 is essay or composition. 差 is bad or poor. 写得太差了. Writes very badly.
我也没说你笨啊. 你的成绩上不去, 多半是因为太贪玩儿了. I didn’t say you’re stupid, for the most part the reason why your grades don’t get better is because you like to play too much. 笨 means stupid. 成绩上不去. Your grades won’t go up or your grades won’t get better. 多半 literally means more than a half, or for the most part, probably, most likely. 贪玩 means too be crazy about playing, obsessed with playing.
All right, that just about wraps up today’s general overview of the dialogue, now it’s time to get into some specifics.
First off, let’s go to today’s vocabulary list and then we’ll get on to our radical of the day.
- 打算 intend, plan. dǎ suàn
- 棒 wonderful, excellent, good. bàng
- 预习 prepare lessons before class. yù xí
- 成绩 grades. chéng jì
- 哪壶不开提哪壶 to air one’s dirty laundry in public*2. nǎ hú bù kāi tí nǎ hú
Today we’re going to take a look at the radical 贝. Now 贝 is interesting, because, on its own it’s a character and it has a meaning. So here is a character, 贝.
On its own it means shell fish. But in ancient China, 贝 referred to valuables and money. So oftentimes when you see 贝 used as a radical, the character we have something to do with valuables or money. Now 贪 is the character we see the radical 贝 used in today. Let’s take a look at this character… 贪. 贪 on its own means cropped or greedy. So this character certainly does deserve the 贝 radical, doesn’t it.
Now this kind of discipline method is really quite common in China. I’ve seen parents criticized their children by saying things like you’re stupid or you’re disrespectful of your elders, or you have no manners or even you’re the idiot.
Now, it depends on the situation of course but a large part of the time, these comments are meant to be taken as what is in between the lines. And as a whole, Chinese people are whizzes*3 at reading in between the lines or knowing the unspoken meaning of what is being said.
Not depending on where you are from, the Chinese with criticism might not be a big deal for you or it might be a very serious matter. Either way, it’s important to talk about this things to open up discussion on these topics.
Our world has never been smaller. And just because I might do something this way, doesn’t means that your way of doing something is better or worse. It’s simply different. And to know, that these differences exist is what makes all of us more understanding more open minded and more compassionate as citizens of the world.
All right everyone it’s time to take a look at some of the language points that came up in today’s dialogue. And start off, we’ve got 尤其.
尤其 is used to emphasize something like how we might use especially or particularly in English. 她的外语说得很好, 尤其是英文. She is very good at speaking foreign languages, especially English.
Now today 小明’s mom said “兰兰, 你以后要多帮帮小明, 尤其是他的作文. 写得太差了.” 兰兰 in the future you need to help 小明 some more with his school work. His essays, in particular, are written very poorly. Let’s look at some more 尤其 examples.
着. 着 is used today as a function word now what I mean by that, well, in Chinese certain words are used to perform the grammatical functions of structure of tense. So 着 is used after verb to show the continuation of an action. 说着说着, 他就睡着了. As he was talking, he fell asleep. Now 小明’s mom says 你整天只想着玩儿. All you think about in the day is playing. 想着, the act of thinking and then continuing to think. Let’s look at some more 着 examples.
多半. More than a half or probably, most likely, most. 多 implies high possibility or most depending on how it’s used. 他多半时间在美国生活. Most of the time, he lives in the States. 他多半是兰兰的老师. He most likely is 兰兰’s teacher.
OK so today 小明’s mom said “你的成绩上不去, 多半是因为太贪玩儿了.” Your grades won’t go up in large part because you like to play so much. Let’s look at more examples.
All right everyone that’s a wrap. 我们很快找说再见了. 因为今天没有时间了. 大家别忘了补习我们今天讲的汉语. Don’t forget to review the Chinese we discuss today. 你们也可以上我们的网站去看看. And, you can always go to our website and check out anything you want. So that’s all we have time for today. See you all next time. 大家, 加油, 下次见.