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 there is a festive atmosphere in the air today, and this is because Chinese lunar new year or Spring Festival is about to arrive for Mike, 小明, 兰兰 and everyone else. So holiday preparations are under way today. Let’s check in with our gang and see how everything is going.
Today’s episode is a lot of fun in part because there’re tons of traditions surrounding Chinese Spring Festival and we saw a bunch of them in today’s clip. So let’s take a look at some of our dialogue right now.
Now to begin with I want to point out what I consider one of the most fun characters in Chinese, 歪. It means crooked*1, wonky*2, or not straight. Now, if you look at the character, take a good look at the character, it has two components. On the top we have 不. And on the bottom we have 正. 正 means straight or upright. So if something is 不正, it’s not straight, it’s crooked, right? 不正, 歪.
Now we saw quite a bit of play on words today. Mike wanted to share his pear or 梨 with 小明, and 小明’s grandma would not allow it. 那可不行, 大过年的, 谁也不能分梨. 分梨 is to split or share a pear. But, 分离 same exact sound and tones, but it’s a different character, means to part, separate or sever. So definitely not an inauspicious action to have at the start of a new year.
And finally another traditional food to eat at Spring Festival is 年糕 or a type of sticky rice cake. 年糕的糕 means cake but it also sounds exactly like 高, which is of a high level or a high degree, above average. So that’s why Mike said 这是不是代表年年高? Does this represent that every year should be or is above average?
OK everyone it’s vocabulary time. Let’s take a look at what’s lined up for today.
Spring Festival my favorite time of year in China. Now for those of you who are familiar with having winter or summer break in December or January, In China, winter break occurs during Spring Festival. So we’re talking anywhere from mid January to the end of February.
Now according to the Chinese lunar calendar, the first day of Spring Festival is the first day of the new year. So many of the preparations you see taking place have to do with welcoming or getting ready for the start of a new year like spring cleaning.
Many people take the time to do a thorough cleaning of their homes, a Chinese type of spring cleaning. Now just like we saw in today’s clip, people will hang a variety of red paper cuts up around their home. Now remember, red is a very auspicious color, and it also serves to scare away any bad luck. So no bad luck will follow you into the new year.
Now depending on which Chinese zodiac animal year it is, you can find fabulous paper cuts of animals. My favorite animal paper cut I think um are from the year of the rabbit, they’re really cute.
Now of course the most traditional paper cut you hang at Spring Festival is one with the character 福 on it, just like we saw in today’s skit. But, make sure you hang it upside down otherwise your luck will not arrive.
OK it’s language point time we’ve got a pattern to start with and it is a verb + 着 也是 verb + 着. OK that sounds kind of funny doesn’t it.
Well, the verb in question in our pattern is typically a monosyllabic verb. And the pattern is used to express the continuation of a state. Now oftentimes this pattern carries with it a certain element of dissatisfaction with the state. So you commonly see 不如 in the following phrase or sentence fragment. So, let’s look at an example. 这本字典在我这儿放着也是放着, 不如你拿去用吧. This dictionary is just sitting here, you might as well take it. Or you could say this dictionary is just sitting here in my place, why don’t you take it.
We’ve got another pattern: 不在于 something 而在于 something. Now the 在于 in this pattern is like saying 正是 or 就是 is in fact or simply is. So this is used to express the innate*3 character or intrinsic quality of something. 而 sets up transition. So 小明 said today 这不在于我喜不喜欢吃梨, 而在于“梨”和分离的“离”同音. Now this doesn’t have to do with whether or not I like to eat pears, but rather it has to do with the 梨 and the 离 of 分离 sounding the same. So I could say 这不在于我想不想去, 而在于我能不能去. This has nothing to do with whether or not I want to go, but rather if I can go.
其中. 其中 means among which, among them, in which or in it. Now it can’t appear in front of a noun as it essentially functions as its own subject. So let’s look at an example. 小明’s uncle said today 过年的时候, 大家都尽量说吉利的话, 其中大多都和汉字的“谐音”有关. During Spring Festival everyone tries their best to say auspicious things, of which many things, have to do with Chinese homophonics. Now a similar example could be 我们班10个学生, 其中有4个男生. Our class has ten students, and among of them, four are boys.
好了, 我们今天剩的时间不多了. We’ve just about run out of time for today, but holidays can be a lot of fun don’t you think? Especially Spring Festival. It’s full of heat and noise. 特别热闹.
All right, don’t forget to visit our website if you want to review anything or watch today’s episode again, and while you are there, please leave us your comments or send in any questions you have, it’s always good to hear from you. And on that note, I will see you all next time, 大家, 加油, 下次见.