大家好, hi there everyone, thanks for tuning into today’s episode of Growing up with Chinese. 欢迎大家收看今天的成长汉语.
Now we’ve got a fun show lined up as Mike and 小明 are learning how to cook from 小明’s mom. So today we are not only going to be learning some Chinese but we will also be learning how to cook some Chinese food. Pretty cool no? All right, let’s check in with them and get the show on the road*1.
So who will win the cooking competition? Well, I’m a fan of writing things down so my money’s on Mike. Anyway we have to wait and see. And while we do let’s take a few minutes to go over some of our key sentences in today’s dialogue.
等妈妈出差, 我顿顿给你吃煎鸡蛋. 看你还说不说这话. Once mom leaves on a business trip, I’m going to make you eat fried eggs at every meal then we’ll see if you’re still saying that. Now 出差 we covered a long time ago do any of you remember*2? It means to go on a business trip. And 顿 is the measure word for meal. So 顿顿 is like saying every meal, at every meal. 鸡蛋 means egg. So 煎鸡蛋 is how you say fried egg or fried eggs.
你教我们做西红柿炒鸡蛋吧. 看我们谁做得好. Why don’t you teach us how to make scrambled eggs with tomatoes? And see who makes it better. Now 西红柿 is how you say tomato although depending on where you are in China, tomatoes can also be called 番茄. 炒 is how you say stir fry. So 西红柿炒鸡蛋 is the popular and very delicious dish scrambled eggs with tomatoes or simply egg and tomato.
你别以为我不会做中餐. 在美国时, 我就买了好几本中国菜谱. Don’t think I don’t know how to cook Chinese food. When I was in America, I bought a bunch of Chinese cookbooks. Now 以为 means think, believe or consider and 中餐 is a general term for Chinese cuisine or Chinese food. 菜谱 is how you say cookbook. So 中国菜谱 is Chinese cookbook.
那是纸上谈兵. 纸上谈兵 is a saying that means talk about stratagems*3 on paper or talk empty talk. To talk generously*4 about generalities without getting down*5 to specific problems. In other words, just because you have cookbooks does not mean you know how to cook.
All right everyone it’s time to take a look at today’s vocabulary and we’re going to be playing another word game.
First off though let’s look at our specific vocabulary words.
- 洗手 wash one’s hands. xǐ shǒu
- 尽管 in today’s context, 尽管 means though, even though, in spite of, despite. jǐn guǎn
- 手艺 craftsmanship, workmanship. shǒu yì
- 裁判 referee. cái pàn
You know I can’t count how many times I’ve eaten at a Chinese friend’s house and asked for the recipe for a specific dish. And my friend tells me that there isn’t really a recipe for the dish it’s more of a formula a bit of this, and a bit of that, and some salt and soy sauce and sugar, there are no real measurements at least not measurements that I’m used to from cooking Western food. And so I’ll make notes, and I’ll go home and try to make the same dish and it never comes out the same.
So as an American I’m really used to cooking with cookbooks. And even have a cookbook from my mom with all of our family recipes that she wrote out for me inside.
In China the majority of people who know how to cook have learned from a family member or a friend. Rarely if ever*6 they learn from cookbooks. That’s in part why it’s hard for my Chinese friends to describe how to make something in terms of a recipe with amounts and measurements.
But the great thing about not going by recipe is that the same dish here depending on how you make it and who makes it might have a totally different flavor. It’s sort of like the difference between oral tradition and writing tradition. Your results can be quite different. So now if I’m making Chinese food at home, I just sort of “go for it.” Now sometimes it comes out well and sometimes it really doesn’t, but practice makes perfect, right?
All right it’s time to discuss today’s language points and we’ve got a pattern to start us off: 尽管 ... 但.
尽管 ... 但 is like saying even though or despite. So today Mike said 尽管我的手艺不高, 但我还是非常喜欢做饭. Even though my skills aren’t the best, I still really enjoy cooking. Now the 但 in the second part of the sentence can be exchanged with 可是, 还是 or 但是, and so on. So you could say 尽管和他说了半天, 但是他还是不同意. He still won’t agree despite my talking to him for ages*7.
- 你们回来了？ 春游累不累？／尽管很累，但我们觉得很有意思。
不见得. 不见得 means not necessarily or not likely. And it can be used in the middle of a sentence or it can stand on its own as a reply to something. Now its meaning is quite similar to 不一定. But 不见得 is used more in subjective evaluation and its tone is slightly softer or more tactful*8. 小明 used it when he said to Mike 你虽然打鸡蛋有架势, 但不见得能做好饭. You might look pretty professional when you beat eggs but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can cook well. All right, let’s look at some more 不见得 examples.
要我说. 要我说 appears at the beginning of a sentence and is like saying “in my opinion,” or “if you want my opinion” or “if you ask me.” 小明 said today 要我说, 做饭没什么难的, 不就是把几样东西炒在一起吗? In my opinion cooking isn’t all that hard, isn’t it basically stir frying a bunch of things together? Now you could also say 要我说, 这个地方的风景很一般. If you ask me, the scenery here is pretty average. OK let’s look at some more 要我说 examples.
All right everyone it’s word game time now. For those of you who haven’t played this before here’s how it works. I will give you a jumble of Chinese characters or character groupings. And it’s up to you to put them in the proper sentence order. Now it’s not that difficult and I’ll give you an example before I give you today’s homework. So, let’s take a look.
We have five characters on our board: 语, 我, 学, 汉 and 跟. OK, so, you need to put them in the proper sentence order. And in this case, I’ll give it to you right now. It’s 跟, 我, 学, 汉, 语. 跟我学汉语. Learn Chinese with me.
OK, so that’s our example. Today you’ve got this. You have a sentence pattern here, this is the first time we’ve seen one of those. OK now the English meaning of this sentence is “in my opinion, Chinese isn’t necessarily as difficult as English.” OK? “In my opinion, Chinese isn’t as difficult as English, isn’t necessarily as difficult as English.” OK, so there you have it, I will give you the answer next show.
OK everyone that’s all we have time for today. I hope you enjoyed our cooking and Chinese language show today, hmm. And I’ve got a good news, next time we will be continuing our cooking theme. So make sure you join us again.
Now, if there is any vocabulary or specific language points you want to review before next show, make sure you visit our website. It’s there to be of help to you. 好了, 大家, 加油, I’ll see you all next time, bye for now, 再见.