Hello 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.
So Mike’s mom is in town and ready to learn all about the life that Mike has been leading*1 in 北京. And as I said last time some sightseeing is in order, so let’s check in with our gang and see where they’re off to today.
Now some of you might have been confused when 小明’s dad said 麦克很听话, 是个好孩子, 非常懂事. Mike is very obedient, and is a good kid. He is very 懂事 aha. OK, 懂 is to understand right? And 事 means matter or affair. Now you hear 懂事 a lot when adults are speaking of kids who are very sensible and intelligent. But, not necessarily intelligent in a book-smart way, but more of a way well adjusted to life kind of way. If a kid is acting unruly*3 or isn’t behaving in a well-mannered way, an adult could say the kid is 不懂事. The kid isn’t being sensible, or is acting unruly. In any case, saying someone is 懂事 is quite a high compliment to pay.
我听说茶叶的品质跟采摘的季节有很大的关系, 是吗? I’ve heard that the quality of tea depends on when the tea was picked, right? 采摘 is to pick as in pick tea leaves. And 季节 means season. So again, at what time of the year the tea was picked plays an important part in determining its quality.
先苦后甜. Now this is the staple for good Dragon Well Tea. It’s first bitter and then sweet. 先苦 first bitter, 后甜 next or following is sweet. The 先-后 pattern can be used to speak of anything that goes in a first-then order. 先苦后甜.
OK let’s take a look at our vocabulary for the day.
- 分开 part, separate. fēn kāi
- 季节 season. jì jié
- 苦 bitter. kǔ
- 国粹 the quintessence*4 or best of Chinese culture. guó cuì
Now, depending on where you are in the country, tea culture can vary. In the south, oolong is commonly consumed whereas in the east and the north you see more green tea varieties. But in any case, seeing as today’s skit takes place in a teahouse, let’s talk about that for just a minute.
Now you can find teahouses just about anywhere you go in China. There are places to drink tea, of course, but they are also used as places to relax, chat, conduct business, basically, there’re places where people interact. Now it’s rare to see a person sitting alone in a teahouse.
If you frequent*5 one particular teahouse, you might have your own little tea canister with your name on it that you leave at the teahouse. Your own special stock of tea. It’s incentive to come back, no?
Well, when you order your tea, you most likely will order some small snacks to go with it, particularly watermelon seeds or sunflower seeds. Some people say having something to munch*6 on adds to the flavor of the tea or drinking. It’s a lot of fun.
Now depending on the type of tea you order, your server might perform a tea ritual. And we’re not talking about the kind of tea ceremony you might find in Japan, but certain Chinese teas require more complicated methods of brewing.
All right it’s language point time everyone, so let’s start by taking a look at 自从.
自此 is a preposition that means from, ever since or 从. Now 小明’s mom said today 自从麦克来到我家, 小明也多了个小伙伴儿. Ever since Mike came to our house, 小明 has had another companion, or friend. Now you could also say 自从换了新学校, 他又认识了很多新朋友. Ever since he changed schools, he’s met a lot of new friends.
好比 something 一样. Now this is a pattern that expresses similarity like 好像 or seems like. Now this pattern sets up a comparison where the end result is the same. So 小明’s mom said 喝茶好比读文章一样, 得慢慢品. Drinking tea is like reading an essay, you need to savor*7 it slowly.
固然. OK, there are two ways to use this conjunction and the first is similar to 虽然 or even though.
Although 固然 when used in this way mostly appears after the subject and is commonly followed by a clause that uses 但是, 可是 or 却. So, for example you could say 水果固然对身体有好处, 但是吃太多也不行. Even though fruit is good for your health, eating too much of it isn’t a good thing. OK so that’s the first way 固然 can be used.
Now the second way it’s used is how we saw it appeared in today’s dialogue. It functions as giving affirmation and typically stresses the matter in the following clause. So 小明’s dad said 茶叶的采摘季节固然重要, 但龙井的品质和茶叶的形状, 色泽也有很大的关系. The season in which tea is picked is certainly important. But the shape and color of the tea leaf also contributes to its quality. So when 固然 is used this way, you often see 也 used in the following clause to help lend*8 emphasis.
好了, 我们今天剩的时间不多了. We’ve just about run out of time for today, now I’m off to get a cup of tea, it looked delicious, didn’t it?
OK, don’t forget to visit our website if you want to review anything or watch today’s episode again. And while you’re there please feel free to leave us any comments you might have or send in any questions. It’s always good to hear from you. OK, I will see you all next time. 大家, 加油, 下次见.