Hi everybody, 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.
Now Mike’s mom’s tour of 北京 is now fully underway and today’s destination is one of the seven wonders of the world. Yes, they’re off to the Great Wall today, so let’s fasten your seat belts and follow along for the ride.
Now we’ve all seen pictures of the Great Wall, but not everyone has had the chance to see it with his or her own eyes.
Now today Mike said 我们终于可以亲眼见到长城了. We finally can see the Great Wall with our own eyes. 亲眼见到. The 亲 in this expression refers to in person or oneself 亲眼. Your own eyes.
Now Mike certainly has done his Great Wall homework because he knows the saying 不到长城非好汉. Or, he who has never been to the Great Wall isn’t a true man. Now 非 in this context means no or not. 汉 is a traditional way of saying men. 非好汉. Isn’t a true man. 不到长城非好汉. It’s kind of like being in Paris and not going to the Eiffel Tower or being in New York and not visiting the Statue of Liberty. They’re icons of the places just like the Great Wall is an icon of China. So 不到长城非好汉 is a traditional saying in Chinese and if you ever get the chance to use it in front of your Chinese friends, they will be very impressed, I guarantee it.
Signal fires can be found in many culture’s history. And China is no exception. The Great Wall is dotted*1 with watch towers and many of them served as signal towers or 烽火台 back in history. Now Mike gave a great explanation of them today when he said 在古时候, 如果发现敌情, 士兵就会点燃烽火, 告诉城里的人有敌人. In ancient times, if the enemy was spotted, the soldiers would light the signal fires to alert the people in the town that the enemy was there. 敌人 is enemy, and 士兵 is soldier.
OK everyone it’s time for today’s vocabulary. Let’s take a look.
- 约定 agree, appoint, arrange. yuē dìng
- 长城 the Great Wall. cháng chéng
- 网 internet. wǎng
- 哭 cry, weep. kū
- 壮观 magnificent, grand, grandiose*2. zhuàng guān
There are over a million things that can be said about the Great Wall. It is indeed great.
Now I remember the first time I went to see it, I was ten. And what struck me was just simply how massive it is. Now to think that it was built so long ago by hand. It really kind of boggles the mind.
Now actually several walls have been built since the fifth century BCE. And they collectively make up what we think of as the Great Wall.
Now perhaps some of you have heard that the wall can be seen from the moon. And while it does stretch a distance of over eight thousand kilometers, and at its thickest points is about nine meters wide. No astronaut who’s been to the moon has ever seen it. Still though, it’s massive.
Now, if you go with a tour to the wall, the most popular section to visit is 八达岭. Now they’re very challenging sections to climb there, and I guarantee that the next day your legs will be sore. But there’re other more wild sections of the wall that you can visit although many parts are quite dangerous and they’re actually not open to the public. But my favorite section of the wall to visit is 慕田峪.
At 慕田峪 you can walk all the way up where the wall beings or you can take a cable car. Now once you’re up the hiking is challenging, but not overly so. And the view, of course, is absolutely stunning.
Now, the best part about 慕田峪, in my opinion, is going down. Again, you can take the cable cars or you can walk down on your foot, but you also have the option of sliding down in a cart. Yes, it’s a lot of fun. But, a word of advice. For those of you who like to slide quickly, make sure that the person who goes ahead of you isn’t going too slowly. I’ve had friends go sliding down only to be stopped by the cart in front of them.
All right everyone it is language point time and to begin with let’s look at 非得.
非得 is pretty straightforward. Now 非 in classical Chinese means no, or 不是. So 非得 means must and oftentimes at the end of a sentence that uses 非得, you hear 不行, 不可 or 不成. They lend emphasis to the must or the 非得. So today 小明 said 你非得等你的妈妈一起来爬. You had to wait for your mom to arrive, so you could climb the Great Wall together. Now you could also say 想要学好汉语, 非得都练习不可. If you want to learn Chinese well, you must practice a lot or else.
只知其一, 不知其二. This expression is similar to the English “you only know the half of it.” Now it expresses that of the whole picture you only know or are familiar with some parts. So 小明 used it today when Mike was waiting or wanting to go see 孟姜女, 小明 said 你是只知其一不知其二啊. Now you could also say 他对这件事, 只知其一不知其二. He only knows part of the issue at hand. It’s pretty basic expression to use and typically it isn’t followed by any other clause or sentence fragment. So you can use it pretty comfortably.
We’ve got a pattern next: verb + 不倒. Now, the verb here is typically a monosyllabic verb that isn’t positive like 难不倒, 吓不倒, 累不倒. It expresses that these bad or difficult actions can’t or won’t hold you back or keep you down. They won’t interfere.
好了, 我们剩的时间不多了. We’ve just about run out of time for today. The Great Wall really is incredible isn’t it? It’s even better in person*5.
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