大家好, hi everyone, thanks for joining us for today’s episode of Growing up with Chinese. 欢迎收看成长汉语.
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 小明 is pretty excited today. His much-awaited*1 trip to 上海 to see his uncle and grandmother and other family members is just around the corner. So now let’s go check in with the 王 household and see how all the preparations are coming along?
Well thank goodness there’re so many different options for travel these days. Taking the trains always fun but when we can’t train tickets, airplanes will do as well. All right let’s take a closer look at our dialogue, shall we?
没办法, 现在是旅游旺季, 火车票都被旅行社预订走了. There is nothing we can do about it; it’s peak tourism season, all the train tickets have been reserved by the travel agencies. 没有办法 or 没办法 is a saying you’ll hear all the time in China and it means there’s nothing you can do about it. 旅游 is how you say travel and 旺季 means peak season. So 旅游旺季 is peak season for tourism. 预订 is to reserve or book. So 火车票都被旅行社预订走了 is the travel agencies have booked up all the train tickets.
我们原来都要拿着身份证到售票点儿去买票呢. Before we had to take our ID cards and go to the ticket office to buy tickets. 身份证 is identification card and everyone in China has one. So it’s kind of comparable to any kind of government issue ID card in any country. 售票 is to sell tickets. So 售票处 is ticket office or where you go to buy tickets.
要不你再给旅行社打电话问问, 看看他们有没有便宜一点儿的票? Why don’t you give the travel agency a call and see if they have any cheaper tickets? Now for the most part, when it’s peak traveling season in China it’s really hard to find discount tickets. However, some travel agencies will buy tickets in bulk. And if you can get a ticket through an agency, you just might be able to get a good price.
OK let’s take a look at today’s vocabulary and our pinyin highlight.
Now first off, let’s look at our specific vocabulary words for the day.
- 行李 luggage. xíng lì
- 旅游 travel, journey, tour. lǚ yóu
- 预订 reserve. yù dìng
- 火车 train. huǒ chē
- 身份证 identification card. shēn fèn zhèng
- 旺季 peak season. wàng jì
- 旅行社 travel service, travel agency. lǚ xíng shè
- 开玩笑 make a joke, pull someone’s leg. kāi wán xiào
- 幽默感 sense of humor. yoū mò gǎn
All right for our pinyin highlight today, let’s take a look at 身份证, ID card.
So 身, pretty basic, s-h-e-n shen. It’s first tone, so our tone marker goes above the e, shēn.
And then we have 证. z-h-e-n-g zheng. Now don’t forget to pronounce the g on zhèng. It’s fourth tone as well so our marker goes above the e. shēn fèn zhèng ID card.
Traveling by train in China is very popular. Now the China railroad network is beyond vast and there’re actually many places you can get to by train, that you can’t get to by plane. So rather than fly and then take a bus or car, people choose to take the train.
Now also, flying is only become a common form of travel in the more recent past. Train tickets can be a lot cheaper than air tickets here, unlike some countries, I know in the United States for instance, taking the train is oftentimes way more expensive than flying. But traveling by train is relatively affordable here and many people like the idea of taking a train over flying.
You might be able to find a plane ticket but good luck getting a train ticket. And train stations during peak traveling times, well, let’s just say it’s people mountain people sea. 人山人海. The crowds are almost unimaginable.
But if you get the opportunity to take the train here, it’s lovely. China has everything from regular slow trains to really fast trains and it’s awesome. You can get to any destination almost as quickly as an entire airplane trip takes.
And it’s much more serene*3. There is a high speed train that leaves in the evening from 北京 and gets you into 上海 early the following morning. So you get a good night sleep on the train and you arrive all refreshed and ready for your day.
It’s language point time everyone, now let’s start off by looking at 居然.
居然 is an adverb and means unexpectedly or to one’s surprise or go so far as. Today 小明’s mom said 不会吧, 还有两天, 票居然都卖完了? No way, there’s still two days and tickets are already sold out? Now you could also say, 他们俩性格完全不同, 居然成了好朋友. The two of them have entirely different personalities and yet they became friends. OK, let’s take a look at a few more examples of 居然 in action.
何不. 何不 functions as an adverb and means 为什么不, or why not. Its tone is rhetorical though. So 小明 said his mom today 现在上网订机票可方便了, 我们何不上网预订呢? It’s very convenient to go online and book tickets, why don’t we just book online? Now you could also say 这个问题你何不去问他呢? Why don’t you go ask him in your question?
- 这儿没有我要买的那本书。／兰兰，你何不在网上买？ 又便宜又方便。
几乎. 几乎 means nearly, almost or practically and is an adverb. Now it can be used in front of a verb or adjective, or a noun. 小明’s dad said 现在是旺季, 机票几乎都不打折. It’s peak season right now, there’re virtually no discount air tickets. Now you could also say 她说话声音真小, 几乎听不见. She speaks so quietly you practically can’t hear her. All right, let’s take a look at some more examples of 几乎.
OK everyone we’ve come to the end of today’s episode of Growing up with Chinese. Now don’t forget please to send us any questions or comments you might have to us at our website. It’s always great to hear from you. Until next time, good luck with your Chinese studies. 大家, 加油, 下次见. Bye for now.