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Introduction | Episodes |

43 Entertaining visitors 做客请吃饭

大家好, 欢迎收看成长汉语. It’s great to see all of you here for another episode of Growing up with Chinese.

We’re really moving a long aren’t we? I feel like it was just yesterday that Mike and 小明 met each other. But time files when you are having fun. So we are set up to meet another character today, 小明’s uncle 王楠叔叔 is in town and everyone seems very excited to see him. So, I wonder what he’ll be like? Well, let’s check in with everyone, and meet him.





妈妈:那我们走吧? 服务员,结账。帮我打包。

Wow their food looked good didn’t it? Family reunions are always a lot of fun. But let’s take some time now and go through some of the key phrases of our dialogue.

快进来, 一路累坏了吧. Please come in you must be exhausted from your travels. 一路 refers to one’s travels or journey. 累坏了 literally means to be so exhausted that you are broken. 坏 means broken. But this phrase implies extreme exhaustion. 一路累坏了吧. You must be exhausted from your travels.

小明, 快把叔叔的行李箱拿进来. 你都这么大了, 怎么还跟个孩子似的. 小明, hurry up and bring in your uncle’s suitcase. You’re already grown up how can you still be acting like a child? Now 行李 means luggage and 箱 is case or trunk. So 行李箱 refers to a suitcase.


王楠, 上海菜还是你比较懂. 你来点菜吧. 王楠, you are pretty familiar with 上海 cuisine, why don’t you order? Now 上海菜 means cuisine of 上海. And 懂 is to understand or be well versed in*1. 上海菜你比较懂. You are pretty familiar with 上海 cuisine. 点菜 is to order as in order food.

那我就不客气了. Then I won’t be polite. Now when people in China go out for a meal, the host is usually the one to do the ordering. If you want your guest to order, he or she would usually say “Oh no no no no,” and then they might say “OK, well, I won’t be polite.” 好啊, 那我就不客气了. This is the polite thing to say. * giggle *



干杯 cheers or bottoms up. Now depending on the circumstance, when people say 干杯 or when they 干杯, they would either toast*2 each other and then take a sip of their drink, or they will literally 干杯, which is to empty your glass or bottoms up. Either way, 干杯 is the Chinese way to say cheers.

服务员, 结账. 帮我打包. 服务员 refers to a server like a waiter or waitress. And 结账 in the context of being in a restaurant or cafe, is to ask for the bill, to settle accounts. 打包 is to pack up something or to get a doggy bag that’s what we call it in the States. 帮我打包 means help me pack up the leftovers.



妈妈:那我们走吧? 服务员,结账。帮我打包

OK so first let’s take a look at today’s vocabulary.

  • 欢迎 greet, welcome. huān yíng
  • 过奖 overpraise. guò jiǎng
  • 特色 characteristic, distinguishing feature. tè sè
  • 饮料 beverage, drink. yǐn liào
  • 累 tired, weary, wear out. lèi
  • 行李 luggage. xíng lì
  • 高兴 glad, happy, be willing to, be happy to. gāo xìng
  • 聊 chat, talk. liáo
  • 茶 tea. chá

Today’s radical is a fun one it’s the cattle or cow radical 牛. So let’s look at the character first before we look at our radical... 牛 cow.

Now, as a radical, it doesn’t really change too much. And we can see it in the 特 of 特色. So, here we go... 特. Now, originally, 特 had the meaning of fine cow. Later 特 came to mean special, exceptional, particular, or specially. Pretty cool no?


Paying for a meal can be quite the events*3.

People don’t usually split bills here. In part because how would you split the charges for a meal where everyone ate a little bit of everything, right? It’s not as straightforward as I’ll pay for my dish, you’ll pay for your dish.

Now if this kind of splitting happens, it’s usually done in the context of this time I pay, next time you pay. That’s how I do with my Chinese friends. And even then it can actually get sticky*4.

So why is paying so important? Well it shows a degree of respect. It can show gratitude. It can function like a thank you for something I did for you and now you’re repaying me. Or it can function as a balancing of our relationship skill if you pay for a meal. Or I can serve as a pre-thank you for a favor that you’re about to ask me.

So it’s not an uncommon sight to see people arguing over who’s going to pay. And when I say argue, I mean anywhere from “oh let me pay, oh no no no let me pay,” to a full out pushing someone down on their chair and not letting them near the bill. Sometime someone will get up during the middle of the meal and go to the bathroom. And while they are there, they pay the bill.


It’s time to take a look at our language points for the day and to start with, we have a language pattern to learn.

跟 something 似的. Now 似的 is a function word and can be used after a noun, a verb or pronoun to indicate comparison or to underscore*5 the similarity of a situation. Now today 小明’s mom said 你都这么大了, 怎么还跟个孩子似的. You’re already so grown up, how can you still be behaving like a child. So here if we were to simplify this sentence, it would look like this. 你跟个孩子似的. You’re just like a child.

  • 哇,小明,你这身衣服太帅了,跟个明星似的。/谢谢,谢谢。
  • 你的脸怎么这么红? 像个苹果似的。/外边天气太热了,晒的。

Here is another pattern: verb + 得不够. Now 不够 on its own means not enough. So 小明’s dad said, 王楠你点得不够. 王楠 you didn’t order enough. 点 or order is a verb. And 得不够, 点得不够, it means you didn’t order enough.

  • 小明,你怎么天天在这儿练投篮?/快比赛了,我觉得我投得还不够准。

祝, this is a great word. It comes at the begging of the well wishing phrase much like wish in English. 祝大家身体健康. I wish everyone good health. 祝你生日快乐. I wish you a happy birthday. Now notice that there is no “I” in Chinese coupled with 祝. In English we have to add a pronoun I wish you, or we wish you all. In Chinese just saying 祝 is enough.

  • 你生日快乐!
  • 再见!/再见,你一路平安!

好了, 我们今天的时间不够了. 大家可以休息了. It’s time to call it a day and give yourselves all a nice break. Thank you for joining us today on Growing up with Chinese. I hope you all had a good time.

And don’t forget please send us any questions or comments you might have through our website. It’s always good to hear from you. 祝大家天天开心. I hope everybody has a happy day, everyday. OK, 大家, 加油, I’ll see you all next time, 再见.

*1:versed in 熟知して

*2:toast 乾杯する

*3:quite the event ちょっとした出来事

*4:sticky やっかいな

*5:underscore 強調する