Hi everyone, it’s great to have you all hear for today’s episode of Growing up with Chinese. 很高兴在成长汉语中看到大家.
今天我们的三位朋友在干什么? 是不是要去什么地方玩儿了? I’m not exactly sure what Mike, 小明 and 兰兰 are up to, but my guess is they are off somewhere having a wonderful time doing something. So, let’s checking with them, and see what’s going on.
麦克：怎么说呢？ 自从你拜我为师以来，就天天有进步啦。还是我教得好啊。有句成语叫什么来着？ 名师……
小明：那你说吃什么啊？ 烤鸭？ 炸大虾？ 太贵了吧？
麦克：豆汁？ 这是什么味儿啊？ 不喝不喝。
Hmm… that all it’s very good. 北京 is known for its snacks and some can be pretty interesting. As you have been able to tell. Let’s take a moment now though to go through the main parts of the dialogue, and see exactly what took place.
怎么说呢? 自从你拜我为师以来, 就天天有进步啦. 还是我教得好啊. Hmm, how do I put this. Ever since you became my student, you’ve seen daily improvement. I must be a good teacher. 自从 something something 以来 is a pattern that implies ever since. 自从你拜我为师以来. Ever since you became my students. 进步 means improvement.
不怎么样. 垃圾食品. Not good, junk food. 不怎么样 is 兰兰’s reply to 小明’s question of 怎么样? What do you think? I think not. 不怎么样. 垃圾 means trash and 食品 is food, so trash food in Chinese 垃圾食品 is referring to junk food.
我有个好主意. 我们带麦克去吃北京小吃怎么样? I’ve got a good idea, what do you think about taking Mike to have some 北京 snacks? 好主意 means good idea or good plan. 北京小吃 means snacks that you find specially in 北京 or 北京 snacks. 又便宜又好吃. They are cheap, and yummy.
豆汁可算得上是北京最有特色的小吃了呢. 豆汁 counts as 北京’s most special snack. We got a language point here with 算得上, so we’ll go over more in just a moment.
不过, 第一次喝都觉得不好喝. 慢慢地就会喜欢上了. Well, everyone thinks it tastes bad the first time they drink it, and slowly you learn to like it. 第一次 means the first time and 觉得 means think or feel, remember?
OK, that just about wraps up our general overview for today’s dialogue, now let’s get into some specifics.
Let’s take a look at today’s vocabulary and then we will be going over our radical of the day.
- 居然 to one surprise, go so far as to*1. jū rán
- 发现 discover, discovery, notice, find. fā xiàn
- 历史 history. lì shǐ
- 尝尝 taste, have a taste. cháng chang
Our radical of the day means “again”. And in ancient times it represented person’s right hand. We are looking at 又… and it looks like this. Now like I said, 又 on its own means again. And it can also function as a radical. So let’s look at 发 from 发现 to discover.
… There is our again radical. Now 发 on its own has quite a few meanings. Some of which are send out, distribute, shoot, generate, produce and on and on. If you are curious about all of 发’s meanings, you can look them up in the dictionary.
I promise to explain some of the snacks that were mentioned in today’s dialogue. And while I’m at it, I’ll introduce a few more 北京 snack specialties.
First of all, to find the most complete selection of 北京 snacks, you have to go to 王府井 snack street, it’s quite the sight*2. Imagine many many vendors selling all kinds of different treats. And many of these treats, just like what 小明 said today, have hundreds of years of history behind them. So anyway, shall I start with green pea juice, 豆汁儿?
First of all, that any of you know, that corn starch and Chinese glass noodles*3 can be made from green peas or mung beans*4. Well they can. And when this process takes place, there is a certain amount of by-product*5 that’s left over. 豆汁 is made out of this mung bean or green pea by-product. And is essentially a fermented green pea drink. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?
Well, it really doesn’t smell so hot. And I like with anything that’s fermented the taste does take some getting used to. Just like stinky cheese. I’m not a huge fan of 豆汁, but I have plenty of friends who love it. To each his or her own*6 I guess. But it is really worth trying.
“Donkeys rolling over” don’t you love that name 驴打滚. It was actually a Manchurian food that was brought to 北京 over one hundred years ago. It’s kind of like a dumpling in that it has a skin and a filling. The outside is made from rice and the inside is red bean paste. Now this snack gets its name from its appearance. In order to keep the outside from being sticky, 驴打滚 is covered in bean flour. When the donkeys of Manchuria roll around in the dirt, they would come up with a fine coating of a dust covering their skin. They look just like the snack!
OK, my stomach is growling as a result from all this food talk but, we still have some language points to go over, so let’s get started.
Verb + 不过来 implies the inability to finish something well or completely. 吃不过来 you can’t eat it all. 忙不过来 can’t get everything done. 看不过来 can’t read it all. So, this is all in the negative. If you want to say that you can finish something, you switch the 不 for 得. 忙得过来 can get everything done, 吃得过来 can eat it all, 看得过来 can read it all. Let’s look at some more examples.
算得上 can be translated as “regarded as” or “counts as”. 豆汁可算得上是北京最有特色的小吃了. 豆汁 counts as 北京’s most special snack. Now if you want to use the negative form, it’s 算不上. 我算不上是专家. I can’t count as an expert.
拿 something 来说. Now this introduces a subject or topic just like the English “take something for example” or “take something as an example.” 拿我来说, 我就不喜欢喝豆汁. Take me for an example, I don’t like to drink 豆汁.
- 拿京剧来说，它是中国的国粹之一。／是吗？ 我一定要去看看。
OK everybody, that just about wraps up our show for the day. I love food especially food that I’m not familiar with. It’s so much fun to explore new things, try new things and taste new things even if you don’t like them, it’s always good to know, either way.
Now before we say goodbye I want to answer a letter, a very good letter actually that was sent in to us by Marco from Spain. Now, he writes:
“Sometimes I feel like there is so much to learn in one show. But not everything gets covered and I feel lost. Do you have any suggestions for what could help me?”
Well Marco, that’s a great point we do introduce a lot of new language and grammar in every show. And it really just isn’t enough time for us to cover everything as in depth as we want to. Slowly but surely we will get around to covering most of what you hear in our dialogues though. It just might not get covered all at once.
If you want to expand your Chinese studies, looking for some supplemental textbooks is always an option. Some even come with DVDs or CDs. Either way, I’m really sorry we don’t have time to cover more in each episode of our show we just don’t have the time. Keep watching though, and I promise, I promise that your Chinese will get better.
There’s a great saying in Chinese that is 慢慢来 go slowly. Take things one step at a time, you will get there.
好了, thank you for your letter Marco. And don’t forget, you can always visit our website to review what we cover here. It’s time for a snack, 我饿了. 大家, 加油, I’ll see you all next time. 下次见.