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Introduction | Episodes |

46 Antique market 2 古玩城 2

大家好, hi everybody, 欢迎收看成长汉语. Thanks for tuning into today’s episode of Growing up with Chinese.

Now 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.

So today we will be continuing our coverage of Chinese antiques with the help of 小明’s uncle and his mom. Might they be able to find something to buy? Well, let’s check in with them, and find out.

卖家:唉,一听您这么说,就是外行了。我这盘子可是明朝的! 你说,明朝的盘子传到现在颜色能特鲜艳么? 鲜艳的都是仿品。我这个盘子,是我家祖传的。据说有三百年的历史了。
卖家:这个……一般人我开价就得五千。我看您比较懂行,这样吧,您也别砍了,三千! 我交您这个朋友。
卖家:哎,朋友,回来吧! 我呀,一天没开张了,给您带一个吧。


明朝的盘子传到现在颜色能特鲜艳么? Could a 明 dynasty plate today still be very brightly colored? 明朝 means the 明 dynasty. And 盘子 is the word for plate. So, 明朝的盘子 a plate from the 明 dynasty. 传 is a verb meaning passed on or handed down from. 颜色 means color and 鲜艳 means brightly colored or bright colors.

这个盘子, 是我家祖传的, 据说有三百年的历史了. This plate has been handed down through generations of my family. It is thought to be three hundred years old. 祖传 is a set term meaning handed down from one’s ancestors. 据说 means allegedly or it is said that, apparently.

卖家:唉,一听您这么说,就是外行了。我这盘子可是明朝的! 你说,明朝的盘子传到现在颜色能特鲜艳么? 鲜艳的都是仿品。我这个盘子,是我家祖传的。据说有三百年的历史了

这是“民窑”的, 就是民间艺人做的. “官窑”的一般都比较细致. This is folk made, meaning it was made by a folk artist. Court made porcelain is usually quite delicate or fine. Now 民窑 refers to pottery or porcelain fired in a folk kiln*1. In other word it’s folk made. 艺人 means artist or artisan*2. And 官 refers to government office or court, so 官窑 is pottery or porcelain that has been fired in a court kiln. And yes, the differences really are quite noticeable. 细致 means fine, exquisite or delicate.

卖家:这个……一般人我开价就得五千。我看您比较懂行,这样吧,您也别砍了,三千! 我交您这个朋友。

幸亏你是个行家, 要不然就上当了. Fortunately you are an expert, otherwise you would have been cheated. 幸亏 means fortunately or luckily. And 行家 refers to a person who is an expert or a connoisseur*3 of something. 上当 means to be cheated or duped or deceived. 我上当了. I was cheated.

在古玩市场买东西就是有风险的. There is always risk involved with buying things at an antique market. Now 风险 means risk or hazard.


All right, let’s take a look at today’s vocabulary.

  • 古玩 antique. gǔ wán
  • 需要 need, require. xū yào
  • 粗糙 rough, coarse, unrefined. cū cāo
  • 规矩 rule, established practice, custom. guī ju

Our radical of the day means arrow or arrowhead 矢. And we see it in 规矩的矩. So let’s take a look at this character. So, we have our arrow or arrowhead radical here, and 规矩的矩 looks like this. Now, the arrowhead radical 矢 does not change too much from its character form, and when it functions as a radical.


One of my favorite aisles to walk down in 潘家园 is the poster aisle. It’s full of different posters from different years of China’s history. They all tell such a story. My favorite posters though I have to say, are the ones depicting 雷锋.

雷锋 is said to have been born in nineteen forty in a small town in 湖南 province. He was orphaned at a young age and subsequently joined the People’s Liberation Army once he was old enough.

Some of the stories about 雷锋 include him giving the little saving he had to the parents of one of his fellow soldiers after they have been devastated by a flood.

He helped wash the feet of his buddies after a long march, and even sawed up their holey*4 socks.

When he ran into an aunty during a rainstorm who was lost and unable to walk, he carried her on his back all the way to her home.

So we’re not talking about earth-shaking deeds*5 or lofty lofty thoughts. We’re talking about an everyday guy who showed people how to incorporate elements of goodness toward others into their lives. And, he is considered a hero in China.

If someone performs good deeds or does something selfless and kind, people might say that he or she is a 活雷锋 a living 雷锋. In Chinese school we are all taught to 学雷锋做好事, study or emulate 雷锋 and do good deeds or kind acts.


All right everyone it’s time to take a look at our language points of the day. So let’s start with 据说.

Now 据说 means “it is said” or “people say” or “allegedly.” It can come at the begging of a sentence or someone in the middle like what we saw today in our dialogue. 据说有三百年的历史了. Apparently it has a history of three hundred years. Let’s take a look at some more examples of 据说.

  • 你喝过豆汁吗?/没有,不过据说这是最正宗的北京小吃。
  • 我们去这家饭馆吃饭吧。/算了吧,据说这儿的菜又贵又不好吃。

依我看. This expresses someone’s point of view just like “in my opinion,” “I think” or “I believe.” The 依 in this expression functions like 按照 or according to. 依我看, 这顶多是近代仿品. I my opinion, at best, this is a modern reproduction. 依我看.

  • 依我看,豆汁儿的味道真不怎么样。/我也不喜欢喝。
  • 依我看,你的电脑中毒了。/啊? 我的照片还在电脑里边呢。

幸亏. 幸亏 functions a lot like luckily or fortunately in English and is often found coming before 不然 or otherwise. 幸亏你是个行家, 要不然就上当了. Luckily you are an antique expert otherwise you would have been cheated.

  • 突然下这么雨,辛亏我带了伞。/是啊,天气预报一点儿都不准。
  • 哎,小明,兰兰的生日礼物。/辛亏你提醒我,不然我真忘了。

OK everyone that just about wraps everything up for today, we did however, receive a letter from Kate in Scotland that I want to answer before we end. Now, she wrote:

“I know radicals are important in Chinese and Chinese characters. But I don’t quite understand why. Can you explain this to me.”

Well Kate, first off, if you see a character you don’t recognize and need to look it up in the dictionary, radicals are where you begin. You count the strokes in your radical, find it under the radical chart and then flip to that radical’s page. Once you’re there, you count the strokes in the rest of the character. In other words how many strokes does the character have minus the strokes in the radical, and then you can find it listed under number of strokes.

Now I know it might sound a little bit complicated. But once you know the method it really isn’t all that hard, so if you know your radicals or at least how to pick them out of your character, then you have no problem looking up characters that you don’t recognize. And like we said before, sometimes radicals lend meaning to characters. So they’re very important.

OK, thank you so much for your letter Kate, I hope that helps.

大家别忘了上网看看我们的网页. Don’t forget, you can always check out our website and feel free to send us any comments or questions you might have. 好了, that’s all we have time for the day, I shall see you all next time, 大家, 加油, 下次见. Bye for now.


*1:kiln 窯

*2:artisan 工匠

*3:connoisseur 目利き

*4:holey 穴の空いた

*5:deed 行為