大家好, hello there everyone, thanks for joining us today on Growing up with Chinese. 欢迎收看今天的成长汉语.
So exams are over for Mike, 小明 and 兰兰 but things are about to heat up for 小明, I’m afraid. Now for those of you who missed last show, 小明 didn’t do too well on his exams. And today, unfortunately, his parents are about to find out. So let’s now go check in with 小明 and lend him our moral*1 support.
妈妈：小明，小明，等等……不吃晚饭啦？ 人呢？ 这么快就没影了！ 这孩子，今天怎么了？ 奇奇怪怪的。这是什么？ 好啊，小明爸，你来看看，你来签字吧，这个字，我可不签！ 气死我了！
爸爸：来了来了，怎么了，夫人？ 刚才不是还挺高兴得吗？ 怎么突然这么生气？
Well at least 小明 wasn’t there for the fall out*2 but I have a feeling he is going to get a stern*3 talking to once he gets home. Well grades aren’t everything but they are important all the same. So let’s now take a quick look at some of our main sentences in today’s dialogue.
有一份很重要的文件需要你签字, 我先放桌子上了. There’s an important document that needs your signature; I’m putting it on the table. 份 is the measure word for document or 文件, 一份文件. 签字 means signature.
夫人, 刚才不是还挺高兴得吗? 怎么突然这么生气? Wife, you were pretty happy a few minutes ago, why are you all of a sudden so angry? 夫人 means wife and while it might seem a little strange to some of you that 小明’s dad is addressing his wife as “wife,” as we’ve talked about before titles are important in China and calling someone by his or her title is quite normal even in a family setting*4 and even if it is wife. 突然 means sudden or suddenly and 生气 is angry or mad.
成绩好不好, 关键得看他自己. 怎么怪到我头上了? It’s really up to him if his grades are good or bad. Why are you blaming me for it? 关键 means key or crux*5. 关键得看他自己. It’s really up to him, he is the key.
All right everyone let’s take a look at today’s vocabulary and our pinyin highlight.
First off, let’s look at our vocabulary specifics.
- 味道 flavor. wèi dao
- 舒服 comfortable, be well. shū fu
- 责任 responsibility, responsibility for a fault or wrong. zé rèn
- 聪明 smart, intelligent. cōng míng
All right for today’s pinyin highlight let’s take a look at 奇怪, which means strange or weird. Now some of you might be thinking 奇 is c-h-i and some people do spell it that way. But the proper way to spell it is q-i qi. q-i. qi. Now it’s second tone so our tone marker goes above the i, the only vowel, qí.
And 怪 is g-u-a-i guai guai. You can think of gu and ai and that’s kind of the pronunciation of guai. Now we have an a, it’s fourth tone, so our a takes the tone marker, and there we are, qí guài.
Doing well in school is important for people from any culture. And China is certainly no exception. For a country with over one billion people competition to get into good middle schools, high schools and universities is beyond fierce.
Now the basic notion is that if you have a good education, you’ll be able to get a good job. And with a good job, you’ll be able to provide for your family including your parents.
And so from the time Chinese kids start elementary school, parents are very much involved in their children’s academic carriers. Now Chinese students rarely have any free time and a lot of the free time they might have, they spend in extra classes to help them get ahead at school.
Now this pattern continues all the way up to high school. And it’s not so much that it’s different from say how we view education in America, but it’s more a matter of degree. And many educational experts in China say that this kind of singular focus on one studies in China is in large part due to the college entrance exams.
Now if you apply to university here, you take a series of exams that are known as the 高考 or college entrance exams. Now every year graduating high school students around the country take these exams. And the score you receive either allows you to go to university or doesn’t. The higher your score, the better your university will be.
It’s language point time everyone, let’s start off by taking a look at a pattern that came up today: verb + 疯了.
Now verb + 疯了 is a pattern that expresses an extreme degree. Indeed 疯 means crazy or mad. So it’s like saying without restraint. 玩疯了 to enjoy oneself with abandon*6. Have so much fun that you go nuts*7. OK so today 小明’s mom said 我快被这个孩子气疯了. This child has made me so angry I’m almost insane. So you can pair a verb up with 疯了 to express something very extreme.
不至于. 不至于 means “cannot go so far” or “be unlikely.” 不至于 can appear in the middle of a sentence or be used on its own as a reply. 小明’s mom said 平时都是你惯着他, 要不也不至于考得这么差. You’re the one always spoiling him otherwise he wouldn’t necessarily have done so poorly on his exams. Now if someone says, “oh my gosh, it’s never going to stop raining,” a good response could be 不至于 “not likely.”
- 我的鞋坏了。／不是刚买的吗？ 这质量也不至于这么差吧。
- 兰兰，这个词是什么意思？ 我又忘了。／我刚告诉你，你记性不至于这么差吧。
哪儿跟哪儿啊? OK this is a fun expression that is used to underscore that two things have nothing to do with each other. It’s mostly used on its own in response to something. So 小明’s mom said, “you’re the one always spoiling him otherwise he wouldn’t necessarily have done so poorly on his exams.” And 小明’s dad’s response was 你这哪儿跟哪儿啊? What does spoiling him have to do with bad grades? What does the two have to do with each other?
好了, that’s all we have time for today. Now don’t forget please visit our website if you want to review anything we covered today. 大家, 加油 as always good luck with your studies. I’ll see you all next time, 下次见.