Hi everybody, 大家好, 欢迎收看今天的成长汉语. Thank you all for joining us for today’s episode of Growing up with Chinese.
We continue to explore 北京 today with Mike and his mom, and I’m especially excited to watch today’s clip, because they are off to my favorite sightseeing spot in 北京. I am sure those of you who know me know where that is. It’s the Temple of Heaven. OK, let’s check in with them, and see how it’s going.
Now Mike certainly knows his Temple of Heaven trivia. He told his mom today 祈年殿是古代帝王祭天, 祈谷的地方. That’s a mouthful of vocabulary isn’t it. Don’t worry, we’ll break it down. 祭天. The 祭 here means offer a sacrifice to and 天 mean sky or heaven. 祈天.
小明’s mom gave us a list of 北京’s four most famous historical sites also main tourist sites. 故宫 the Forbidden City, 长城 we know this one, the Great Wall, 天坛 we know this one too, the Temple of Heaven, and 颐和园 the Summer Palace.
And Mike’s mom Lucy and just two days managed to see two on the list. 你看, 昨天和今天你就去了其中的两个.
All right. Let’s take a few minutes to go over some of today’s vocabulary words.
- 天气预报 weather report. tiān qì yù bào
- 晴天 blue sky. qíng tiān
- 毛毛雨 drizzle*2, mist. máo mao yǔ
- 农业 agriculture, agricultural, farming. nóng yè
- 名胜古迹 places of historic interest and scenic beauty. míng shèng gǔ jì
- 回声 echo. huí shēng
- 圣诞节 Christmas. shèng dàn jié
We’ve spoken about the Temple of Heaven a bunch of times in our Spotlight section, but there’s always more that can be said about places of history.
So back in the day, twice a year, the emperor and his entourage would make their way from the Forbidden City down to the Temple of Heaven complex. And they would set up shop there for a period of time.
Now during this time, they would wear special ceremonial robes and abstain*3 from eating meat. It was during these special times that the emperor himself would personally pray to heaven for a good harvest. Now remember, the emperor was viewed to be the son of heaven. So it was important that he takes this role very seriously.
Now apparently the ceremony that was conducted at the winter solstice*4 was the most important of the year, and no mistakes, no matter how small, could be made. It was widely believed that if the emperor made a mistake, it was a terrible omen and the following year the entire nation would suffer for it.
But here’s a fun piece of trivia before we move on. The emperor, who is credited for building the Temple of Heaven 永乐, is also the emperor who built the Forbidden City. He certainly had his work cut out for*5 him, no?
OK everyone it’s language point time. So let’s start by taking a look at 自然.
自然 in today’s context appears as an adverb. And it means naturally or of course. So it’s expressing something that’s a given. Now 小明 said today 光线不好, 色彩自然也就差了许多. When the light is bad, the colors naturally don’t come out as well. Now you could also say 现在多看点书, 以后自然会有好处. If you read more books now, later you will naturally reap the benefits.
难得. 难得 usually appears at the beginning of a sentence or after the subject and it’s followed by a clause or a phrase. Now it expresses something that doesn’t come easily. So you shouldn’t take it for granted. So in a way it’s kind of like the English hard to come by, rare, seldom or rarely. So 小明’s mom said today 你难得来一次北京, 真应该好好逛逛. You don’t come to 北京 everyday, so you should really get out there and see things.
一向. 一向 is an adverb that means consistently or all along. Now today 小明’s mom said Mike, 一向是个听话的好孩子. All along Mike has been a very good kid. Now you could also say 他周末一向待在家里, 哪儿都不去. He always stays at home on the weekends and doesn’t go anywhere.
好了, 我们今天剩的时间不多了. We’ve just about run out of time for today and I am off to the Temple of Heaven.
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