大家好, hi everyone, welcome to today’s episode of Growing up with Chinese 成长汉语.
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, today we are actually going to be spending some time with 兰兰 and her mother. They’re at home today and 兰兰 is actually being a wonderful daughter. So let’s check in with the two of them and see just 兰兰’s doing.
Well it’s very nice of 兰兰 to want to help her mom out. All right everyone let’s take a look at some of the main phrases in today’s dialogue.
今天是母亲节, 老师说我们要力所能及地帮妈妈做些事情. Today is mother’s day. Our teacher said that we should all to the best of our abilities help do some things for our mothers. 母亲 is how you say mother so 母亲节 is mother’s day. Like many countries, China celebrates mother’s day on the second Sunday of May. 力所能及 is a set saying that means in one’s power or within one’s ability. 力所能及地帮妈妈做些事情. Help mom do some things to the best of my capability.
那条是真丝的, 不能用水洗, 只能干洗, 不然会缩水的. That skirt is pure silk, you can’t wash it in water; you can only dry clean it otherwise it will shrink. Now 条 is the measure word for skirt and 真丝 means pure silk. 那条是真丝的. That one skirt is pure silk. 洗 means wash. So 水洗 is wash in water and 干洗 is dry wash or dry clean. 缩 is to shrink. So 缩水 specifically refers to something shrinking as a result of being in water.
我还得处理一下这条裙子, 你去帮我洗菜吧? I’ve got to take care of this skirt why don’t you go help me wash the vegetables? 处理 is a great word that means handle, deal with or manage. So if you 处理 a skirt, 处理一下这条裙子, it means you’re going to deal with it or take care of it. 菜 is the term for vegetable. So 洗菜 is how you say wash vegetables.
All right everyone let’s take a look at today’s vocabulary and our pinyin highlight.
First off, let’s look at today’s vocabulary specifics.
- 沉 heavy. chén
- 西瓜 watermelon. xī guā
- 冰箱 refrigerator. bīng xiāng
- 泡 soak. pào
- 莫非 cannot be that, is it possible that. mò fēi
- 于是 therefore, hence, as a result. yú shì
- 好像 seem, be like. hǎo xiàng
- 劳动 work, labor, physical labor. láo dòng
- 聊天 chat. liáo tiān
All right for today’s pinyin highlight let’s take a look at 幸亏.
All right it’s not too hard 幸 x-i-n-g xing. Now it’s fourth tone so our marker goes above its only vowel, the i, xìng.
Now 亏 k-u-i kui. Now kui is first tone and because we don’t have an a or an e our tone marker goes above the final vowel, the i. So our first tone kuī, xìng kuī.
We’re spotlighting clothing in honor of*1 today’s dialogue’s topic, so let’s take a look now at the traditional Chinese 旗袍 and how it evolved into what we know of it today.
Now historically speaking the first 旗袍s were worn by the Manchus who lived in today’s north eastern China in the sixteen hundreds.
And the first documented 旗袍s were worn by both men and women of the eight banner system. Back then however, the 旗袍 was a collarless tube-shaped gown.
During the 清 dynasty, it became a popular fashion among women of the royal court. Now the 旗袍 worn by these women were made out of silk and heavily embroidered and reaching all the way down to the bottom of their feet.
And it was during the nineteen twenties after the fall of the 清 dynasty, that 旗袍s became popular throughout all of China. And this is when we start to see what we think of today as the classic 旗袍.
So the question is do people still wear 旗袍s? And the answer is yes although you don’t really see them on a day-to-day*3 basis. Nowadays women will wear 旗袍 for special occasions kind of how we might wear ball gowns*4 in Western countries.
Some women will wear a red 旗袍 when they get married and others might wear one to a formal banquet or ceremony also many waitress uniforms in Chinese restaurants are also 旗袍.
Now depending on how fancy your 旗袍 is, it can be semi covered in beautiful embroidery. Flowers and Phoenix are the most common in embroidery designs although pretty much anything can be embroidered onto a 旗袍.
It’s language point time everyone, so let’s begin with 于是.
于是 is a conjunction that mean as a result, consequently, therefore, and so on. And just like it’s English counterparts, 于是 can come either before or after the subject of a sentence. Now 兰兰 was telling her mom about how today is mother’s day. And her teacher said that she should help around the house. So she concluded her speech with 于是, 我就把您放在房间里的几件脏衣服拿去洗了. Therefore, I took some of the dirty clothes from your room and put them to wash. Let’s check out some more examples.
- Mike，你怎么买了这么多电影光盘？／你不是建议我多看中文电影吗？ 于是我就买了这些光盘。
莫非. 莫非 functions as an adverb in Chinese and means cannot be that or is it possible that. Now another way to say 莫非 is 莫不是. But you mostly hear 莫不是 spoken and not written. So today 兰兰’s mom said 天啊, 莫非是那条真丝的裙子? Oh my, is it possible that it is the pure silk skirt? Now you could also say 这两个人长得很像, 莫非是双胞胎? These two people really look like. Could it be possible that they are twins?
难免. 难免 is an adjective that means be hard to avoid or cannot help. It can be placed both before the subject of a sentence and the verb. So 兰兰’s mom said 兰兰, 你平时不怎么做家务, 也难免会出错. 兰兰 you don’t usually do chores around the house, so making a mistake isn’t that difficult. All right let’s look at some more examples of 难免.
好了, that brings us to the end of today’s show. 大家千万别忘记上我们的网站看一看. Our website is there to help all of you whether it’s review or clarify something or simply just to send us a letter. So don’t forget to check it out. OK. I hope you all had fun for watching today’s episode of Growing up with Chinese, 大家, 加油, I’ll see you all next time. 再见.