Hi there everybody, 大家好. 欢迎收看今天的成长汉语. Welcome back to another 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, what’s on our play for today? Well, 王叔叔 made it back to 上海 safe and sound*1. At least, I assume he did. But just make sure, let’s check in with everyone and find out.
I was right! He made it back. And from the looks of things, 小明 is ready to jump on the next plane down to 上海. Well it’s always nice to have relatives are close to, isn’t it. OK let’s take a look at some of what was said during our dialogue, shall we?
我怕您和嫂子担心, 特地打电话给你们报个平安. I was afraid you and my sister-in-law would worry, so I specially called to tell you I arrived safely. 嫂子 is the proper title for a younger brother to call his older bother’s wife. Like sister-in-law in English but it’s a little bit more specific. 特地 means specially or for a special purpose. And 报平安 or 报个平安 means to report a safe arrival or let someone know you arrived at your destination safely.
咱妈天天念叨着小明, 盼着他早点儿来. Our mom talks about 小明 daily. She is hoping he can make it earlier than expected. 念叨 is a great word that means to talk about again and again in recollection*2 or anticipation. Or it simply means to be always talking about. 盼 means hope for, or long for, or look forward to. So 盼着他早点儿来 means she is hoping he can make it early or earlier than expected.
马上就要期末考试了, 你得先踏踏实实地复习考试. Your final exams are almost here, you need to focus in on reviewing for your exams first. 期末 refers to the end of a term, and 考试 is how you say exam. So, 期末考试 is finals or final exams. 踏实 or 踏踏实实 means study and sure, stable or steadfast. So if you 踏踏实实地复习 or review, it means you do so, in a very dependable way, you hunker down*3 and focus in on reviewing. 踏踏实实地复习考试.
我先挂了. I’m going to hang up, hmm, OK. This might sound a little funny in English because when we’re ready to get off the phone, we don’t usually say “we are going to hang up,” unless may be bit kind of angry. But in Chinese this is quite a common way to end a phone conversation. Some people will straight out say “挂了,” which means “hanging up,” and then “they’ll hang up,” but it functions like goodbye and it’s very polite.
OK, that covers our dialogue, let’s watch it again.
OK, so let’s take a look at today’s vocabulary.
- 平安 safe and sound, without mishap, well. píng ān
- 顺利 smoothly, successfully, without a hitch*4. shùn lì
- 盼 hope for, long for, look forward to. pàn
- 踏踏实实 steady and sure, stable, steadfast. tā tā shí shí
- 放心 set one’s mind at rest, be at ease, rest a short. fàng xīn
Our radical of the day is the page radical as in a page of a paper. And we see it in the 顺 of 顺利. So let’s take a look at this character 顺 and the page radical. So we’ve got, write it over here... This is 顺. Now, you can see the page radical is on the right side of the character.
The most of the time the page radical appears on the right side of the character, so let’s take a look at some more page radical examples. 顶 peak, or top, dǐng. 须 must, have to; beard or mustache, xū. 颜 color, yán.
Today we are going to be talking about 唐 poetry in part because it’s arguably the most famous genre of Chinese literature. And also because the next show we’re going to be sitting in on 小明 and Mike’s classical Chinese class.
Now the 唐 dynasty lasted from six eighteen to nine-o-seven BCE*5. And is often referred to as being China’s golden age. Prior to the 唐 dynasty, that China of the time*6 had been in political disunity for almost four hundred years.
So it was with the establishment of the 唐 dynasty, that China became reunified. Trade flourished with Europe, and this is when the well-known Silk Road came into being and saw much traffic. And incidentally, the Silk Road is what the famous Italian explorer Marco Polo traveled around to get to China in a thirteenth century. But, back to the 唐 dynasty.
We are talking about the time period in China’s history where everything flourished especially poetry. Anyone who had a basic education, in other words, anyone who could read and write, wrote poetry.
Now I’ve read that when someone visited a person’s home and the person wasn’t there, rather than leave regular note, during 唐 dynasty a poem would be left. Isn’t that cool? It might say something along the lines of visiting the recluse*7 and not finding him in. I love it.
People were expected to write and would write poetry at parties, or on sightseeing trips or when a friend was leaving, so poetry in the 唐 dynasty was a very common medium for written expression.
OK everyone it’s time to discuss the language points that came up in today’s dialogue, and to start with let’s take a look at 连.
OK so in this example we see 一连 used instead of just 连. Now this is because when 连 is modifying a verb, of more than one syllable like 高兴. It typically becomes 一连 or 接连 or 连着. Are you confused? OK, let’s look at some more examples.
恨不得. 恨不得 is a verb phrase that means be anxious to or be dying or itching to. Now typically what comes in between 恨不得 and the verb complement or common adverbs like 马上 or 立刻 which is immediately, 赶快 quickly, 都 or 就. So we saw it used today like this. 我真恨不得明天就飞到上海去看她. I’m really dying to fly to 上海 tomorrow to see her. OK, let’s look at some more examples of 恨不得 in action.
In today’s dialogue 本来 is used as an adverb meaning originally or at first. Now in this context 本来 can appear before or after the subject. 我们本来就打算暑假带小明去上海看奶奶. We originally were planning on taking 小明 down to 上海 during summer vacation to visit his grandmother. Now just you all know, 本来 can also function as an adjective. For example, 你还记得他本来的样子吗? Do you still remember his original appearance? OK, let’s look at a couple more examples of how to use 本来.
Well, I don’t know about you guys but it should be a lot of fun to go on a trip to 上海 with 小明 and his family when the time comes. 上海 is a really cool city.
And on that note, we’ve got to wrap up for the day as always please do not forget to visit us online and leave us any questions or comments you might have. 大家肯定累了, you must all be pretty tired, 我不说了. 下次我们再聊, we’ll continue next time. 加油, good luck with your Chinese studies, 下次见. Bye for now.