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Introduction | Episodes |

60 Wishes 谈愿望

大家好, 欢迎收看今天的成长汉语节目. Hi there everyone welcome back to another episode of Growing up with Chinese.

Now we are still cerebrating 兰兰’s birthday today, and our topic of discussion revolves around wishes. A very nice topic of conversation, if I do say so myself. So let’s check in the gang and see what kind of wishes are being discussed today, shall we?

小明:兰兰,你刚才许的什么愿啊? 能不能告诉我?
兰兰:嘘……不能说。
Mike:小明,我都知道,许愿不能随便和别人说,不然,就不灵了。
小明:兰兰,你就告诉我一个人吧,你许的是什么愿好吗?
兰兰:小明,你总是要打破砂锅问到底。等我的愿望实现了,第一个告诉你。
小明:我猜啊,你肯定想当个歌唱家或者钢琴家什么的。
兰兰:你猜吧,反正我不告诉你。
Mike:小明,你别把正事儿忘了。我们还没给兰兰礼物呢。
小明:噢,对了。
小明和Mike:兰兰,祝你生日快乐。
兰兰:谢谢!
兰兰:哇塞,这么漂亮的八音盒。我太喜欢了。小明、麦克,真谢谢你们。
小明:麦克,你眼光还真不错,兰兰果然很喜欢这个八音盒。
Mike:那当然啦,我多了解兰兰,她喜欢什么我从来就没有猜错过!
小明:你看,说你胖你就喘。
Mike:什么意思?

You know I have to say 兰兰’s right it’s considered unlucky that tell someone what you wish for on your birthday. It might not come true otherwise. All right their dialogue wasn’t too long today so let’s take a few minutes to go over some of the key sentences we just heard.

许愿不能随便和别人说, 不然, 就不灵了. You can’t just carelessly tell other people what you wished for otherwise it won’t be effective. 许愿 we covered a few shows ago, it means to make a wish. 随便 in this context means to be careless. 不能随便说. You can’t say whatever you want or you can’t carelessly say something. 不然 means otherwise or else. And 灵 means effective or efficacious*1.

小明:兰兰,你刚才许的什么愿啊? 能不能告诉我?
兰兰:嘘……不能说。
Mike:小明,我都知道,许愿不能随便和别人说,不然,就不灵了
小明:兰兰,你就告诉我一个人吧,你许的是什么愿好吗?

你总是要打破砂锅问到底. You always have to get to the bottom of things*2. 打破砂锅问到底 is the set saying that means that get to the bottom of things or acquaint oneself with*3 every detail of the matter. Now the literal translation of this saying is quite interesting. 打破砂锅 means to break a clay cooking pot and 问到底 means to ask questions in order to get to the bottom of things. So you break the clay pot to get to the bottom of things. Don’t worry I’ll explain this some more in today’s cultural spotlight.

等我的愿望实现了, 第一个告诉你. Once my wish comes true, you will be the first person I tell. 实现 is to realize, achieve or bring about. 愿望实现 wish came true or wish comes true. 告诉 means to tell, right? So, 第一个告诉你 is like saying you’ll be the first person I tell.

兰兰:小明你总是要打破砂锅问到底等我的愿望实现了,第一个告诉你
小明:我猜啊,你肯定想当个歌唱家或者钢琴家什么的。
兰兰:你猜吧,反正我不告诉你。

你别把正事儿忘了. Don’t forget our important business. 正事 or 正事儿 means one’s proper business. In this case Mike is referring to the act of giving 兰兰 her present. So, 你别把正事儿忘了 is like saying “hey, we still have an important task,” or “don’t forget about why we are here.”

我多了解兰兰, 她喜欢什么我从来就没有猜错过. I know 兰兰 really well, I’ve never been wrong in guessing what she likes. 了解 is to know. So 我多了解兰兰 is like saying I know 兰兰 really well. 从来 means all along. So 从来没 would then be never. 从来没猜错过. I’ve never guessed incorrectly.

Mike:小明你别把正事儿忘了。我们还没给兰兰礼物呢。
小明:噢,对了。
小明和Mike:兰兰,祝你生日快乐。
兰兰:谢谢!
兰兰:哇塞,这么漂亮的八音盒。我太喜欢了。小明、麦克,真谢谢你们。
小明:麦克,你眼光还真不错,兰兰果然很喜欢这个八音盒。
Mike:那当然啦,我多了解兰兰,她喜欢什么我从来就没有猜错过
小明:你看,说你胖你就喘。

OK, so let’s take a look at our vocabulary.

  • 不然 in today’s context, 不然 means otherwise or else, if not. bù rán
  • 祝 wish, offer good wishes. zhù
  • 果然 really, as expected, sure enough, indeed. guǒ rán
  • 了解 understand, comprehend, know. liǎo jiě
  • 从来 always, at all times, all along. cóng lái
  • 意思 meaning, idea, implication. yì si

Today’s radical is a variation of the character 人 or person. I’m sure you guys all know this character but let’s just get it up here, so we have it, 人 person.

Now, we see it in the character 从 of 从来… Here is 从. Now this is the pretty cool character if I can say that because it’s two people. See, two people. Now the interesting thing about this radical is the various forms it can take. In 从 we see it on the left, here, right? But mostly this radical appears on the top of a character like hmm 会. So let me just show you that… This is 会 and up here we have a person radical.

So let’s take a look at some more examples of how this radical this person radical can be used. 众 many, numerous. 全 whole or all. 以 use, take, according to.

Spotlight

Today we thought it might be fun to talk about some of China’s two part allegorical sayings 歇后语. As there’re many and a lot of them are quite fun. So we saw one use today. And it doesn’t quite follow under the category of a two part allegorical*4 saying but some people do consider it one.

打破砂锅问到底. To get to the bottom of a matter. Now to get to the fun part of this saying, we have to look at its characters. Earlier, I explained that 打破砂锅 is to break a clay cooking pot. 问到底 is to ask questions until you don’t have any more to ask. Now we all know that 问 is to ask right? Fourth tone.

Well, originally this saying went like this. 打破砂锅“纹”到底. 纹 means lines or veins. If you break a clay pot, you can see the lines or grains of the clay reaching all the way through the clay, right? So if you break a clay pot, you’ll see 纹 lines 到底 to the bottom. And so, 打破砂锅问到底. Can you all hear the play on words now?

Now another fun 歇后语 two part allegorical saying goes like this. 狗逮耗子多管闲事. A dog trying to catch rats is like meddling*5 in other people’s business. Now there’s no play on words in this saying but it’s still fun nonetheless. 逮 is to catch and 耗子 is the word for rat. 狗逮耗子. A dog trying to catch rats. 多管闲事. 多管 is to overly pay attention to. And 闲事 is either business or affairs that don’t concern you.

OK, I’ve got one more for you all, 只要功夫深, 铁杵磨成针. As long as you keep trying, an iron rod can be ground down to a needle. All right, so let’s look at the first part. 只要功夫深. As long as your efforts run deep. 功夫 in this context, does not directly refer to gong-fu or kung-fu as we think of the exercise. But it refers more to effort or skill. 只要功夫深, 铁杵磨成针. 铁杵 is an iron rod. 磨 is the verb to grind and 成 means to become. 针 is how you say needle. 铁杵磨成针. The iron rod can be ground into a needle.

Primer

It’s language point time everyone, now to start with let’s take a look at 什么的.

什么的 is a fabulous colloquial saying equivalent to etc, and so on, bla bla bla or things like that. Now today 小明 said 你肯定想当个歌唱家或者钢琴家什么的. You must want to be a singer or a pianist or a something like that. Pretty fun no?

  • 小明,你喜欢什么运动?/我喜欢打篮球或者踢足球什么的
  • Mike,你都去过哪些国家?/去过英国、法国、西班牙什么的

果然. 果然 functions as an adverb and means really or as expected, sure enough or indeed. And 果然 can be used in front of a verb or an adjective or the subject of a sentence in Chinese. So we saw it used today this way. 兰兰果然很喜欢这个八音盒. Sure enough, 兰兰 really does like this music box.

  • 小明,《阿凡达果然很好看。/看,没骗你吧。
  • 对不起,对不起,我来晚了。/呵呵,我刚才还说你会来晚,你果然又迟到了。

说你胖你就喘. I say you’re fat, and you start to breathe heavily. OK, this was spoken in reference to 小明 complimenting Mike on what a good job he did picking out a present that 兰兰 would like. Mike then followed by saying just how well he knows 兰兰 and then 小明 said 说你胖你就喘. I say you’re fat, and you start to breathe heavily. The pattern here is 一 something 就 something. Although the 一 wasn’t spoken today. It’s a pattern that describes an action that’s followed closely by a result. And is usually used for the purpose of exaggeration.

  • 小明,今天穿得真帅!/那是,我是天生的大帅哥!/说你胖你就喘
  • 小明,发音很标准嘛。/那当然,我家里就住着个外教,能不好吗?/说你胖你就喘

好了, 我们今天的节目快要结束了. We’re just out of time for today. Thanks for joining us on 成长汉语. And don’t forget, our website is there for any of you who want to review what we cover here or any of you who want to leave any comments. So please pay us a visit. I hope you all had fun today, and I shall see you next time. 大家, 加油, 下次见.

*1:efficacious 有効な

*2:get to the bottom of things 真相にたどり着く

*3:acquaint oneself with 習熟する

*4:allegorical 寓話の

*5:meddle 干渉する