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Introduction | Episodes |

45 Antique market 1 古玩城 1

大家好, 欢迎收看今天的成长汉语. Thanks for joining us today for Growing up with Chinese.

Now thank goodness 小明’s uncle 王叔叔 managed to get his camera back after leaving it in the taxi last show, lucky guy.

So he still in town and outing about with none other than 小明’s mom today. So let’s check in with them, and see what they’re up to.

叔叔:嫂子,这里可真热闹啊! 这两年,中国的古董市场越来越火了。

妈妈:王楠。你什么时候又喜欢上古玩了? 原来我只知道你喜欢摄影。
叔叔:提醒什么? 是砍价吗?
妈妈:呦,你是怎么猜到的? 他们开的价一般都特别高。你起码得照着一半儿砍。还有啊,即使你看上了什么,也千万别表现出来。卖家都很精明。如果他们看出你喜欢什么,就会抬价的。对了,市场里假的东西也不少……

I’m guessing all of you caught the general gist*1 of 王叔叔 and 小明’s mom’s conversation. However there is quite a bit of new vocabulary in today’s dialogue so let’s take a look at some of the more crucial sentences right now.

这两年, 中国的古董市场越来越火了. In the past two years, China’s antique market has become more and more thriving. 古董 means antique and 市场 means market. So 古董市场 means antique market. 越来越火 is more and more thriving or more and more popular. We’ll be going over this in more detail today when we get to our language points.

这儿是北京最大的古玩城了. This is 北京’s biggest antique market. 古玩 is another way to say antique. 古 means ancient, 古玩城 antique market.

尤其是到了周末, 这里可以说是人山人海. Especially on the weekends, you could say this place becomes a sea of people. 尤其 means especially, and 周末 means weekend. I think we covered that one before. 人山人海 now if you look at this saying literally, it means people mountain people sea or in other words a sea of people.

叔叔:嫂子,这里可真热闹啊! 这两年,中国的古董市场越来越火了

我最近看了许多有关古玩的书. I recently read a bunch of books on antiques. 许多 means many or a bunch. 有关 means regarding or about. 有关古玩的书 books about antiques.

我觉得这里边的学问真是太大了. I feel like the scholarship or knowledge in this area is really huge. 学问 means scholarship or knowledge.

听说这里还有一些明清的真品. I’ve heard that this place has some authentic 明 and 清 dynasty pieces. 听说 means to have heard as in I heard about this place or I hear that this place has some good stuff, 听说. 明清 refers to the 明 and 清 dynasties. And 真品 means genuine piece or authentic work.


即使你看上了什么, 也千万别表现出来. Even if you find something you like, whatever you do don’t show it. 即使 means even if, and 看上 is to like or take a fancy to. 即使你看上了什么. Even if you find something you like. Now 千万 is an expression that means must or be sure to. 表现 means show or express. So, 千万别表现出来 means be sure to not show it or whatever you do, don’t show it.

如果他们看出你喜欢什么, 就会抬价的. If they see that you like something, they will raise the price. Now 看出 or 看出来 means to tell or see as in “I can tell you like this,” or “I can see you like this.” 抬价 means raise the price.


Now let’s take a look at today’s vocabulary.

  • 人山人海 multitude of people, a sea of people. rén shān rén hǎi
  • 眼力 judgement, discrimination, perceptiveness. yǎn lì
  • 提醒 remind. tí xǐng
  • 细致 careful, meticulous, pain staking. xì zhì
  • 上当 be cheated, be duped*2, be deceived. shàng dàng

Our radical of the day is a lovely one, it’s the radical form of rain 雨. Now as a character, rain or 雨 looks like this. So this is an its character form… 雨 rain. Now we see it in one of today’s vocabulary words, the 需 of 需要. So let’s take a look at it right now…

OK, so this is 需要的需. Now you can see how the radical rain doesn’t really change too much from the character rain. Now to need or want something 需要, 需 doesn’t have anything directly to do with rain although we certainly need rain to survive, don’t we.

Now in any case here’re some more examples of characters that use the rain radical. 雪 snow, 雷 thunder, 雾 fog.


We’re slowly but surely covering 北京’s many must see spots. And 潘家园 known to many as the dirt market is one that should not be passed up if you’re ever in town. You can find antiques, antique replicas, folk art, trinkets*3, essentially it’s a grand flea market.

So how did it start? Well, that’s kind of a mystery. In the nineteen nineties, it was a very local market where people would bring all kinds of everything to sell old and new. Slowly but surely though 潘家园 developed a reputation among locals and visitors as the place to go to hunt for treasure. And treasures it certainly has.

Now it’s very important to go prepared to bargain if you visit 潘家园, and really because it is so hard to say if something is a genuine antique or just a really really really good fake, there is no set formula for*4 how much to bargain.

A lot of people say that if you like something, you should decide how much you’re willing to pay for it and use that as you’re bargaining reference. Now you might not think it to look at it but 潘家园’s stalls are arranged in a relatively orderly fashion. There is a jewelry section, a fabric section, a furniture section, a vase section and an artworks section and so on.

So if you know what kind of thing you’re looking for finding it is relatively easy which is good because the market sees upwards of sixty to seventy thousand people on a weekend, yes, that’s a lot of people.

So it’s no wonder the market opens at four thirty on Saturday and Sunday morning. There is nothing like morning bargain shopping. In any case I guarantee that’s you’ll find something to buy if you go. And even if you make your mind up beforehand just to browse, you’ll still find something to buy.

潘家园 is the place full of treasure and wonders.


All right everyone it’s time to take a look at today’s language points. Now let’s begin with 越来越.

越来越 expresses a change in degree in accordance with time much like the English more and more. Now we saw it used today in reference to China’s antique market. 中国的古董市场越来越火. The Chinese antique market is becoming more and more thriving. Now 越来越 can only have one subject it refers to, and typically has an adjective or verb phrase following it. So, 越来越热 hotter and hotter. 越来越好 better and better. 越来越喜欢 like it more and more.

  • 越来越喜欢中国了。/太好了,那你就别走了
  • 你的中文歌唱得越来越好了。/是吗? 谢谢!

起码. 起码 functions as an adverb in Chinese and means at lease or at the very least. We saw it used today in 你起码得照着一半儿砍. At the very least you should bargain down to at least half. Now 起码 typically comes before a verb phrase or a phrase concerning amount. So let’s take a look at some more examples of 起码.

  • 从这儿到动物园有多远?/挺远的,坐地铁起码要一个小时。
  • 你还有多久才能做完作业啊?/起码得两个小时吧。

何况. In today’s context, 何况 is used to mean moreover or furthermore. 我以前也经常逛这种古玩市场. 何况, 我还看了好多有关古玩的书呢. I used to shop around in antique markets before. Moreover, I’ve also read many books on antiques. You could also say “这件衣服很漂亮. 何况, 也不贵. 你买一件吧.” This piece of clothing is really pretty, and furthermore, it isn’t expensive, why don’t you buy it? OK, here’s some more examples of 何况.

  • 你说我们能赶上火车吗?/应该能,路不远,何况,又不堵车。
  • 你今天怎么吃这么少?/我不太饿,何况,我正在减肥呢。

And with that we’ve come to the end of today’s show. I hope you all had fun learning about various ways to purchase antiques in Chinese antique markets. There are many rules to follow and remember.

OK, don’t forget, you can always visit our website to review anything we covered here today, and while you’re there, don’t forget to send in any questions or comments you might have. 好了, I’ll see you all next time. 大家, 加油.

*1:gist 要点

*2:dupe だます

*3:trinket 小さなアクセサリー

*4:a set formula for 決まったやり方