Hello everybody, thanks for joining us today on Growing up with Chinese. 欢迎大家收看今天的成长汉语.
Have any of you ever left something in a restaurant or a taxi? It’s a horrible feeling to know that you might have lost something. But there are good Samaritans*1 out there, and when we managed to get our lost items back, there is no feeling quite like it both for the person who lost something and for the good Samaritan.
I’m glad 王楠叔叔 had the foresight to get a receipt from his taxi driver and of course that he managed to get his camera back. Let’s take a look at some of the key sentences and figure out exactly what happened.
等你放假, 叔叔带你去周庄拍照. Once you’re on holiday, uncle will take you to 周庄 to take photos. Now 放假 if you all remember means to be on holiday. 等你放假. Once you’re on holiday. Now in this sentence rather than say “I will take you to 周庄 to take photos,” 小明’s uncle refers to himself as “uncle”. 叔叔带你去周庄拍照. Now this is a common way for elders in China to refer to themselves when talking to someone who is younger than they are.
我好像把相机落在出租车上了. I think I might have left my camera in the taxi. 落 is to leave behind or forget to take. Now we see a favorite structure been used in this sentence: 把相机落在出租车上了. I took my camera and left it behind in the taxi.
我想起来了. 是不是您结账的时候, 把相机放在旁边座位上了? I remember, when you pay, didn’t you put your camera on the seat next to you? 想起来 mean to remember. 旁边 means to the side. So 旁边座位 is the seat next to you.
看我都急糊涂了. I’m so anxious I become scatter brained. 看我都急糊涂了. 糊涂 means confused or muddled. In this context it implies scatter brained. Now if you 急 or anxious to the point of becoming 糊涂 or scatter brained, you are 急糊涂了.
我得赶快给出租车公司打个电话. I need to hurry up and call the taxi company. 刚快 is to hurry or rush and 公司 means company, remember? So, 出租车公司 means taxi company.
OK, let’s take another look at our dialogue.
All right, let’s first take a look at our vocabulary of the day.
- 数 count. shǔ
- 摄影 photography. shè yǐng
- 照相机 camera, as in photo camera. zhào xiàng jī
- 落 leave behind, forget to bring. là
Our radical for the day is the walking radical 走 to walk. OK, so on its own as a character, it looks like this… The character to walk.
Now, as a radical, 走 doesn’t really change all that much. And we see it used today in the 赶 of 赶紧. OK, so let’s look at that… See, doesn’t change too too much.
Now 赶 means to catch up with or to hurry. And that certainly can involve walking, can’t it? OK the component here is pronounced 干. So in this instance 赶 takes its pronunciation from its component.
王楠叔叔 is pretty lucky he kept his taxi receipt. And he’s even luckier that he had a cell phone on him so that he could call the taxi company right away.
It’s funny isn’t it? Cell phones become such a part of a daily life. It’s hard to imagine life without them.
Now, these days in China, people for the most part use mobile phones. People still have landlines*2 but it’s way more common to give out your mobile phone number than your home number. It’s more convenient, right?
And get this. China has over seven hundred million registered mobile phone users. Can you imagine? It’s not an uncommon sight to go to a restaurant and see a table of people all bent over their phones texting back and forth. And when a holiday comes around, people send out mass text messages of holiday wishes. It’s becoming a norm.
And their jokes, news and funny stories that also make the rounds*3 in text messages here. So really messaging has become an integral part of everyday life in China.
So, while the development of telecommunications in China have later than many countries especially in developed nations, these days China is leading the way in phone technology and just sheer*4 numbers of phone users. It’s pretty mind-boggling*5.
OK everyone it’s time to look at our language points of the day, and we will start with a fun one. 糟糕.
Now this is a fabulous colloquial saying equivalent to darn*6, drat*7 or ugh. And it can stand on its own like we see the day when 王楠叔叔 says 糟糕. Or it can be used to describe a situation or thing as being bad. So I could say 我的中文很糟糕. My Chinese is really awful.
All right, moving on. 着. In today’s context, 着 is used as a verb and not as a function word indicating the continuation of an action. You can tell the difference because today it’s 着 and not 着. 着 is used after a verb to indicate accomplishment of an action or some kind of result. So 王楠叔叔 says 我的相机找不着了. I can’t find my camera. 找不着 can’t find. 找着 is to find. 睡着 to be asleep. 睡不着 can’t fall asleep.
记得 to remember. Now please note that 得 in 记得 is a neutral tone. So, 小明 said today 我记得刚才吃饭的时候还看见您的相机了呢. I remember seeing your camera while we were eating. Now the negative of 记得 is 不记得. Both forms can be used alone or in a sentence. For example, 你还记得他的名字吗? Do you still remember her name? 记得. Yes, I remember. Or you could say 不记得. I don’t remember.
OK that just about wraps up our show for the day. Now before I say 再见 however, I want to answer a letter that was sent in to us by Lia who lives in New York. Now, she writes:
“In Chinese restaurants in the States, we always get fortune cookies at the end of the meal. Do you have fortune cookies in China, and if so, what is usually written on the fortunes?”
Now I did some background checking after I received your question Lia, and the exact origin of the fortune cookie seems to be a little bit unclear. I can say however, that while fortune cookies are commonplace*8 in at least Chinese restaurants in America, you don’t find them here. It’s interesting, isn’t it?
OK, it’s all we have time for today. Don’t forget to visit our website and leave any questions and comments you have. Good luck with your Chinese studies everybody. 大家, 加油, I shall see you all next time. 我们下次再见, bye.