Hello everyone, thanks for joining us today and Growing up with Chinese. 你们好吗? 欢迎收看成长汉语.
We designed our show to help all of you learn some basic Chinese, through the adventures of 小明, a local 北京 high school student, and Mike, an exchange student who is living with 小明. And apart from language study, we aim to introduce to all of you various aspects of Chinese culture, history and everyday life.
Now, having completed our coverage of 北京 snacks last show, we are not too sure what’s going to be happening today. So let’s check in with 小明 and see what the day has in store for everybody.
小明：喂，兰兰你终于来电话了。我等你……什么？ 我是小明啊。请问你找谁？ 噢，原来是叔叔啊，我正等我们同学电话呢。您要找我爸爸吗？ 他现在不在家。我妈妈在。好的，您稍等。妈妈，我叔叔从上海打来的长途。
小明妈妈：最近还可以，不太忙。啊，什么？ 你要来北京？ 太好了。
我叔叔从上海打来的长途. It’s my uncle calling long distance from 上海. Now 叔叔 is the general term for uncle, people use when they’re addressing someone a generation above them. But in this case, it’s referring specifically to 小明’s father’s younger brother 叔叔. 长途 means long distance. And because the verb 打 is used in the sentence, we know that 小明 is talking about a long distance phone call.
小明：请问你找谁？ 噢，原来是叔叔啊，我正等我们同学电话呢。您要找我爸爸吗？ 他现在不在家。我妈妈在。好的，您稍等。妈妈，我叔叔从上海打来的长途。
我下周要去北京开会. 正好, 我还有一个星期的年假. I’m going to 北京 for meetings next week and it just so happens, I still have a week of annual leave left. 年假 is the term for annual leave.
到时候咱们聚聚, 一年多没见面了, 很想你们. When the time comes, let’s get together. We haven’t seen each other over a year, and I miss you guys a lot. 到时候 means when the time arrives or when the time comes. 聚 is to get together. 到时候咱们聚聚.
欢迎你随时来家里做客. You’re welcome to come over to our house any time. 随时 means at any time or whenever. And 做客 literally means to be a guest. 小明’s mom is being slightly formal here, but again she hasn’t seen 王楠, 小明’s uncle, in a long time. So a certain degree of formality can be expected.
小明也学会了做饭, 让他炒两个拿手菜给你尝尝. 小明 has also learned how to cook or how to make some of his best dishes for you to try. 学会 is to learn how to, as in learn how to cook. 学会做饭了 to learn how to cook. 炒 is the verb use when you stir fry something, to stir fry. 拿手菜 means dishes that you’re especially good at. Or your specialties.
没关系, 你别客气. 等你到家咱们再商量. 要么在家吃, 要么去饭店吃. It’s nothing, you don’t need to be polite. We’ll discuss it once you get here, either we eat here or we can eat out at a restaurant. Hmm, 小明’s mom could tell 王楠 was being polite. So she said 你别客气 don’t be polite. 等你到家 once you get here, 我们再商量 we’ll discuss it further. 商量 is to discuss or talk over.
好的, 北京见. OK, see you in 北京.
All right next let’s take a look at today’s vocabulary.
- 长途 long distance phone call. cháng tú
- 最近 recently, lately. zuì jìn
- 见面 meet, see. jiàn miàn
- 本事 skill, ability, capability. běn shi
- 一言为定 that’s settled then, to keep one’s word. yì yán wéi dìng
We are talking about the heart radical today or rather we’re taking about a variation of the heart radical.
The upright or vertical heart radical. OK, so, let’s start with the actual character for a heart or 心. Now, this character looks like this. 心 that’s heart. Now this character also functions as a radical and we see the 竖心旁 or upright heart radical in the character 忙 or busy. So let’s take a look at that. This is our upright heart radical, and the character for 忙 looks like this.
Now, as you might be able to guess, many characters with the vertical heart radical have something to do with the heart or any kind of psychological activity. So here is some more examples. 情 feeling, affection, sentiment. 怀 mind, think of. 快 fast.
Today we heard 小王叔叔 said that eating at home might be too much of an inconvenience for 小明’s mom. Now, the way of Chinese meal typically works involves someone in the kitchen cooking throughout the meal.
So, here’s a different question. What do you bring with you, if you’re invited over to someone’s house? Be it for a meal or just to visit.
Now if you’re coming from out of town, bring something from where you came from is always a good option. There’re plenty of specialties in any town around China, like tea or pickles, cookies, preserved fruits, etc, etc.
You could bring wine or flowers just like in many countries, so pretty much anything goes. And what is key in this equation again isn’t so much what’s you bring, as it is that you brought something.
By bringing something, you show that you thought of the person even if it’s something they don’t like. Or something they won’t use. Or something that could be completely random.
It’s the thought that counts and shows that you consider the person or people to be close to you. So we might show closeness differently in the United States.
It might be through a thoughtful gift or card with a meaningful message a lot of thought goes into our efforts. And it’s not to say that the thought doesn’t go into these efforts here in China, it’s just that the thought is placed definitely in your equation.
I’ve got a good news. We don’t have any too complicated language points to go over today, so let’s get started, shall we?
正好. 正好 functions as an adverb in Chinese and it means just in time, just right or just enough, as it happens. So 王楠 said in today’s dialogue 正好, 我还有一个星期的年假. It just so happens I still have a week left of my annual leave.
We have a pattern to look at next: something 要么 something 要么 something. Now this pattern is used when you give someone a choice, when you’re talking about options. Much like the English pattern of either, or. 要么在家吃, 要么去饭店吃饭. Either we can eat at home? Or we can eat at a restaurant. 要么, 要么. Let’s look at some more examples.
And finally let’s take a look at 随时. 随时 functions as an adverb in Chinese to mean at any time, whenever necessary or as the occasion demands. Now 小明’s mom said to 王楠, 欢迎你随时来家里做客. You’re welcome in our home at any time. Another example could be 我随时可以走. I can leave at any time.
I have to say my guess is that things are getting very 热闹 when 小明’s uncle arrives. Remember 热闹 heat and noise a festive atmosphere. We’ll just have to wait and see.
OK, 我们今天没有时间继续说了. We’ve run out of time to continue today’s discussion. But don’t forget to send in any questions or comments you might have through our website. I hope you all had fun today. 大家, 加油, 我们下次再见. See you all next time.