Hi everyone, 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.
小明 and Mike’s 上海 adventure continues although today they’re exploring a town outside of 上海: 苏州. It really is one of my most favorite cities in all of China. So let’s check in with our gang and see how their outing is going.
苏州 looks like fun, doesn’t it? It’s such a beautiful town with such an incredible history. OK let’s take a few minutes to go over some of our dialogue.
Now have any of you ever seen a traditional Chinese painting? If not, you should go online and look at some; they’re gorgeous. And it’s no wonder 小明’s dad said 这儿就像一幅中国画, 一步一个景. 幅 is the measure word for painting. And 一步一个景 refers to how was every step you take you see a different picture or every step you take put you into a different picture. And he really isn’t exaggerating; 苏州 is gorgeous.
上有天堂, 下有苏杭. Now this is a set expression for referring to the 苏州 杭州 area. Now literally translated it means above there is heaven, 上有天堂, and below there is 苏州 and 杭州, 下有苏杭. So it’s like saying that 苏州 and 杭州 are just like heaven, heaven on earth.
Now it’s sung in 苏州 dialect so it can be difficult to understand if you don’t speak 苏州 dialect, but regardless the performances can be extremely engaging in a very moving. Now it combines singing with speaking all to the accompaniment of the 琵琶, which is a plucked instrument, and sometimes called Chinese lute or the 三弦 can also be heard, which is similar to the 琵琶. But has three strings instead of four.
All right everyone it’s vocabulary time. Let’s take a look at what we have lined up for today.
- 电脑桌面 computer background. diàn nǎo zhūo miàn
- 天堂 heaven. tiān táng
Now I said this at the beginning of today’s episode and I shall say it again now. 苏州 is one of my most favorite cities in China. It’s simply stunning.
Now it’s a day trip from 上海 although if you have the time, it’s worth it to stay a few days.
It was built around five hundred BCE so we’re talking about a town with over two thousand five hundred years of history.
Now part of what makes 苏州 so lovely is its gardens. Its stone bridges, its canals and its pagodas and it’s known to many as the Venice of China. If you walk around the old town, it really isn’t hard to imagine how 苏州 got that nickname.
Now, I could go on and on about 苏州’s beauty but seeing is always better than hearing in this case. So, instead, here is a bit of cool information.
苏州 is known as the silk capital of China, that’s right, there’s even a silk museum that you can visit and learn all about 苏州’s history of silk production and silk embroidery. As well as how silk is made starting from the silk worm.
Now I’ve been to a silk factory in 苏州 before and it’s absolutely fascinating to see how the silk thread is unwound from the cocoon*2 and then made into silk cloth. So there’s tons to do in this beautiful town, and it’s definitely worth visiting. If you’re ever in a 上海 or 江苏 province area.
It’s time to take a look at today’s language points and we begin with an adverb 不愧.
不愧 means “be worthy of” or “deserved to be called,” “to probe oneself to be.” Now typically 为 or 是 follows 不愧. So it would be 不愧为 or 不愧是. So 小明’s dad said 小桥, 流水, 人家, 苏州真不愧是块风水宝地啊. Little bridges, flowing water, families, 苏州 is truly worthy of being a treasured area. Now another example of 不愧 could be 他不愧是个英雄. He is worthy of being a hero or he deserves to be called a hero. Let’s look at some more 不愧 examples.
All right we have a pattern next: 被 something 所 something else. Now what follows 所 is a verb. But no other sentence components should follow the verb.
Now, if your verb is monosyllabic, you need 所 in this pattern 被 something 所. If the verb is more than one syllable, you can leave 所 out if you want. Kind of confusing, all right, let’s look at an example.
In today’s dialogue, we see this pattern used in this way. 我带旅游团来过苏州很多次, 每次都会被这里宁静, 秀丽的景色所吸引. I’ve brought many tourists to 苏州 many times and every time, I’m drawn to the peaceful beautiful scenery. Now remember, when you use 被 in Chinese, it implies that something happens to you. It sets up a passive sentence structure. So another example of the 被-所 pattern could be 我被他的声音所吸引. I’m drawn to his voice.
All right, here’s a great phrase: 说实话. 说实话 is used at the beginning of a sentence and means honestly, in all honesty or truthfully. 实话 literally means the truth. So if you speak the truth or 说实话 you’re being frank, right? OK so 小明’s dad said today 说实话, 我也听不太懂. In all honesty, I don’t really understand it either.
好了, 我们今天剩的时间不多了. We’ve just about used up all of our time for today, but I hope you all enjoyed getting a glimpse of 苏州.
Now, don’t forget to visit our website if you have any questions or want to review anything, or watch today’s episode again. And while you are at it, leave us some questions. We love hearing from you. OK, thanks for joining us today. 大家, 加油, 下次见, bye for now.