Hi everybody, 大家好, 欢迎收看今天的成长汉语. Thanks for joining us for 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 also aim to introduce to you various aspects of Chinese culture, history and everyday life.
Now 兰兰’s birthday party is drawing to an end*1. However, there is a small performance in store for all of us today, so without further ado, let’s check in with our birthday gang, and see what’s going on.
小明：就唱你最拿手的吧？ 对了，你不是S.H.E的歌迷么？ 唱一个……
Well that was quite the party no? Everyone certainly seem to have a good time. Let’s now go through some of our dialogue’s main phrases and then we’ll move into more details.
你就别出我的洋相了. 我根本就唱不好. Don’t make a spectacle*2 out of me. I really don’t sing well at all. 洋相 is usually used in a set phrase 出洋相. And it’s used to reference to making a spectacle or being a spectacle, or silly sight or some kind of awkward behavior. So if you 出 someone’s 洋相, it means to make a spectacle out of them. 你就别出我的洋相了. Don’t make a spectacle out of me. 根本, in this context, means “at all.”
这就叫文化差异. 中国人本来都很谦虚. 其实, 兰兰心里觉得自己就是大明星. This is called a cultural difference. Chinese people are very modest. But actually, 兰兰 knows in her heart that she is a super star. 文化 means culture and 差异 is how you say difference. So 文化差异 is a set saying that means cultural difference or cultural differences. And indeed, it is custom in China for people to be modest we’ve talked about that one before. Now 兰兰 might know in her heart that she sings well but she wouldn’t admit that easily.
谢谢你的邀请, 我们玩儿得很开心. Thanks for your invitation we all had a really fun time. 邀请 is invite or invitation. Now know this that the classmate said 我们玩儿得很开心. The verb to play 玩 is used here. And it’s like saying in English we had a fun time or we had a really good time.
今天, 我专门把我最好的相机带来了, 就是为了给大家照张合影, 留个纪念. I specially brought my best camera with me today because I wanted to take a group photo. This way we will all have something to remember the party by. 留个纪念. Now 纪念 means memento, keepsake*3 or souvenir. So to 留个纪念 means to keep a memento, or to have a souvenir. Now in this case, a souvenir of the party and a fun time everyone had together.
Let’s first take a look at today’s vocabulary.
- 谦虚 modest. qiān xū
- 女主角 female lead. nǚ zhǔ jué
- 助兴 add to the fun, make things more lively, brighten things up. zhù xìng
- 专门 specially, specialized. zhuān mén
Our radical of the day comes from the character 己 and it means oneself or self. So let me get this radical up for you guys, this is our radical I’m now writing in this box right here. This is 己 or self.
Now, just you all know, there are two other characters in Chinese that look a lot like 己 and they are 已, it comes up half way and 巳, which comes up all the way. OK so we’ve got not at all a little bit and all the way. Now these two character here are listed under the radical 己 or self. So just so you know that it’s good to know.
OK, so we see our self radical in today’s vocabulary word 异 of 差异. So here it is, 差异的异. There we are.
Now here is some more characters that use the self radical. 导 lead, guide or instruct. 包 wrap, bundle or package. And 巷 lane or alley*4.
OK let’s start by going over the basic way we figure out someone’s age. We’re born, yes, and after one year of life, we celebrate our first birthday, and so on, and so on. And to my knowledge this is the universally accepted way to calculate person’s age.
In China, this way of calculating age is called 周岁. So you might say 我十七周岁. I’m seventeen years old.
So what about the other way to calculate age? Well, it’s called nominal age in English and 数岁 in Chinese. Figuring out someone’s nominal age involves the Chinese Lunar calendar, which we talked about before and Chinese New Year otherwise known as Spring Festival. So here’s how it works.
By the calculations of the 数岁 system, a child is already one when he or she is born. And rather than calculate age based on the actual date of birth, you turn a year older at the passing of every Chinese New Year. So, here is a specific example. Say I was born in June of nineteen forty. I’m already one when I’m born. Chinese New Year arrives in January of nineteen forty-one, and I turned two even though it’s January and not June, the month I was born. So in this instance, I’m always one year older than I actually am.
But here is another example. Say I was born three weeks before Chinese New Year, I’m one. Three weeks go by, Chinese New Year arrives, and I’m two even though by normal calculations I’m very a month old.
We’ve got three language points to go over today and luckily none of them are too hard. So let’s start by taking a look at a pattern 既 something 又 something.
既 something 又 something is a pattern that introduces two simultaneous situations or qualities. So it functions a lot like X and X or X as well as X. 你既会唱歌, 又会弹钢琴. You can sing, and you can play the piano or you can sing as well as play the piano. Now in Chinese this pattern can connect verbs or adjectives. So for example, you could say 既聪明又漂亮 smart and beautiful. 既好吃又便宜 delicious and cheap.
了不起. 了不起 means amazing, remarkable or extraordinary. Now it can stand on its own or it can function as an attribute. So in today’s dialogue we saw 了不起 stand on its own. Mike was complimenting 兰兰 on her singing and said 真了不起. That’s amazing. That’s extraordinary.
- 你最崇拜谁？／Stephen Hawking，一个了不起的科学家。
专门. 专门 is an adverb in Chinese and means special or specially. Now it’s usually use before the first verb in a sentence that might have more than one verb. For example, 我是专门来看你的. I came specially to see you. Now today 小明 said 我专门把我最好的相机带来了. I specifically or specially brought my best camera today.
好了, 今天的节目快要结束了. Thanks to all of you for joining us today on Growing up with Chinese. And remember, our website is there to help you with your Chinese studies so don’t forget to pay us a visit. And while you are at it, send us any questions or comments you might have about the show or anything we’ve covered. Until next time, 大家, 加油, see you all then. 下次见.