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Amber: Hey everybody, welcome back to ChineseClass101.com. I’m Amber.
Victor: 大家好(Dàjiā hǎo),我是(Wǒ shì) Victor.
Amber: And this is our Absolute Beginner Series, Season 1, Lesson 15.
Victor: Another essential for Chinese.
Amber: Essential Chinese.
Victor: Yes.
Amber: Yes. And what is the essential thing we’re going to learn today, Victor, how to do?
Victor: Today is very simple yet very profound.
Amber: Yes.
Victor: It is “No, thanks.”
Amber: Well, you sound like Confucius, so profound. No thanks. And basically what we’re doing today is we’re arming you with the way to ward off unwanted street vendors of anyone...
Victor: Yeah, handing you flyers.
Amber: Watch, Bag, DVD aggressors, you know what we’re talking about.
Victor: Foot massage.
Amber: Yes. Anyone in China definitely knows what we’re talking about.
Victor: Yes.
Amber: But this is going to help you a lot because sometimes as a foreigner you are a bit of a target.
Victor: Yes.
Amber: So listen in. So in this lesson you’re going to learn how to refuse something.
Victor: This conversation takes place in a market.
Amber: And it’s between a vendor and a passerby. Now, just before we listen to the conversation, we want to just mention that if you are listening on an iPad, an iTouch or an iPhone, guess what you get to do, you’re the privilege view, you get to touch the center button of the iPad right now or you can touch the screen on the iPhone and you’ll see the lesson notes for this lesson while you’re listening.
Victor: Right, you can read along while you listen.
Amber: Yeah. It’ll help you remember better. Okay. Let’s listen to the conversation.
Victor: 来,尝一尝。(Lái, chángyìcháng.)
Amber: 不要,谢谢。(Bù yào, xièxie.)
Victor: 来吧。 很好吃。(Lái ba. Hěn hǎochī.)
Amber: 我不要。(Wǒ bù yào.)
Amber: One more time, a little slower.
Victor: 来,尝一尝。(Lái, chángyìcháng.)
Amber: 不要,谢谢。(Bù yào, xièxie.)
Victor: 来吧。 很好吃。(Lái ba. Hěn hǎochī.)
Amber: 我不要。(Wǒ bù yào.)
Amber: One more time with the English.
Victor: 来,尝一尝。(Lái, chángyìcháng.)
Amber: Come, have a taste.
Amber: 不要,谢谢。(Bù yào, xièxie.)
Amber: I don’t want any. Thanks.
Victor: 来吧。 很好吃。(Lái ba. Hěn hǎochī.)
Amber: Come on, it’s delicious.
Amber: 我不要。(Wǒ bù yào.)
Amber: I don’t want it.
Amber: High frequency essential phrase 不要.(Bùyào.)
Victor: Very realistic.
Amber: Yeah, because it feels like, you know, in our dialogue, our 不要(Bùyào) was trying to be polite at first. But sometimes the problem is it doesn’t work when you’re too polite.
Victor: Very persistent people.
Amber: Yeah, they can be pretty aggressive, the vendors. So whether it’s like a food vendor or, you know, marketing some goods, fake bags, et cetera.
Victor: Right.
Amber: I mean, personally I have been chased even, Victor...
Victor: Oh, gees.
Amber: ...or grabbed by the arm and, like, they would not let me go.
Victor: You sound scary and scarier. Usually it’s not that bad.
Amber: Yeah, they just really want you to buy something. Okay. So let’s take a closer look at the vocabulary so hopefully you can ward off the grabbers.
Victor: And now the vocab section.
Victor: 来(Lái)
Amber: To come.
Victor: 尝(Cháng)
Amber: To taste.
Victor: 不(Bù)
Amber: Negative prefix.
Victor: 要(Yào)
Amber: To want.
Victor: 吧(Ba)
Amber: Particle denotes suggestion.
Victor: 很(Hěn)
Amber: Very.
Victor: 好吃(Hào chī)
Amber: Delicious.
Amber: Okay, let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of these words and phrases. So we’re going to start with the first word, which is...
Victor: 来(Lái) and it’s second tone.
Amber: Yes, it’s the ultimate invitation, Victor.
Victor: Right.
Amber: So simple. 来(Lái) it just means “to come.”
Victor: Come.
Amber: Come. So in the dialogue, the vendor invites our friend, the passerby to come.
Victor: Right. And what the vendor would like is for our friend to try the delicious food that he offers.
Amber: That’s right. I mean, that’s a nice thing, right?
Victor: Right.
Amber: So what does he use to offer the taste, Victor? What word?
Victor: He uses the word ‘尝(Cháng)‘. It’s second tone 尝(Cháng) , and he uses it not just once but twice we’ll notice.
Amber: 尝尝(Cháng cháng) right?
Victor: Right. And more on that in a moment in the grammar section.
Amber: Yeah. But first just know that as you’re walking the streets of China, you too may be invited to come try some of the food on offer. The other common thing as we mentioned that you will probably invited to come look at is, you all know quite a bit, it requires no translation, Watch, Bag, DVD.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: Right. So maybe you need to be – have an explanation if you haven’t been to China. What I’m referring to is actually, like, the pirated goods sellers.
Victor: Right.
Amber: They are probably the most aggressive ones. And they’re so proactive that they actually say it in English, Watch, Bag, DVD.
Victor: Watch, Bag, DVD. You think in China – in Chinatown in the US too.
Amber: Yeah, but I heard someone say handbag actually in New York instead of bag. I guess their English is maybe a little bit better.
Victor: They’re catering to the customers.
Amber: Yeah. But you can’t miss it. Anyways, because they’re quite aggressive, this dialogue kind of helps you to – teaches you to get the point across to them that you’re not interested whether it’s for food or other objects that they want you to buy.
Victor: Right.
Amber: But – and of course, Victor, if you are interested, which you very well maybe interested – and there have been times when I am interested. Well, I should tell the listeners what you do is just follow them down to some scary back alley, up a rickety staircase with a secret door and you’ll be the happiest person in the world...
Victor: Yes.
Amber: As long as you barter heard. But if it is the case that you don’t want to go down the dirty back alley...
Victor: Which is probably the case most of the time.
Amber: Yes. Then what is the phrase that we use, Victor?
Victor: You can say 不要(Bùyào)
Amber: Right. Now we know 不(Bù) is our negator word, right? 要(Yào) is the verb for “to want.” So 不(Bù) is fourth tone, 要(Yào) is also fourth tone. But in this case with the tone change rule, it’s actually pronounced second tone, fourth tone.
Victor: Right. So it’s not 不要(Bùyào) it’s actually 不要(Bùyào)
Amber: Yeah. So 要(Yào) is a verb similar to 想(Xiǎng).We learn that word before to express, to desire or to want to something, right?
Victor: Right.
Amber: But the 要(Yào) has a slightly stronger tone.
Victor: Right.
Amber: So literally this phrase means “don’t want.”
Victor: Don’t want.
Amber: And now it sounds rude maybe in English, but it’s acceptable in Chinese to just say 不要(Bùyào)
Victor: Right. Yes.
Amber: Okay. So now there might still be the case that you might feel it’s a bit too direct just saying 不要。(Bùyào.) It’s like the person or dialogue, if you want to be a little bit more polite, you can add a little thing unto the end. Right, Victor?
Victor: Right.
Amber: So what would that sound like?
Victor: You notice the person in the dialogue says ‘谢谢’(Xièxiè).
Amber: Yeah.
Victor: So you can add that into the end and you can say 不要、谢谢。(Bùyào, xièxiè)
Amber: That’s right. But the fact is if you say that they might think you could be convinced. So be forewarned, you might have to, like, throw in a few more 不要(Bùyào)s before you’re done. They’re very persistent.
Amber: Okay. Well, let’s look at the grammar section.
Victor: Now we learn about the word for “to taste,” which is 尝(Cháng).But in this dialogue, we see in the little group as in - 尝一尝(Cháng yī cháng).
Amber: Right. And this is something that we see in Chinese where sometimes the verb is reduplicated. And basically what it does is just kind of soften the tone a little bit. It kind of changes it from a command like “taste it” to just “have a little taste” or “come try it.”
Victor: It’s kind of like a suggestion instead.
Amber: Yeah. And then one thing I’ve known is that the “e” that you heard in the middle between the two verbs is actually optional.
Victor: Right. So you can either say 尝一尝(Cháng yī cháng) or sometimes people just say 尝尝(Cháng cháng).
Amber: Right. And so, Victor, what are some other verbs that you will commonly see take this pattern?
Victor: Well, another really common one is “to take a look.”
Amber: Right.
Victor: And ”to look” in Chinese is 看(Kàn),so you’ll probably hear a lot of vendors say this also 看一看 or 看看。(Kàn yī kàn or kàn kàn.)
Amber: Is this the same as the 看一下(Kàn yīxià) that we learned last time?
Victor: Right, exactly the same.
Amber: Just another way to soften the tone, kind of like colloquial Chinese. Okay. Now, there’s another grammar point we can learn which is quite useful. It came in the form of the invitation from the seller to come. Remember 来(Lái) means “to come.”
Victor: And for the second time the vendor said 来吧(Lái ba)
Amber: Yeah, the second invitation he gave was beyond come, it was 吧(Ba) Now, what is this 吧?(Ba?) Is it really important, Victor?
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: What does this ‘吧(Ba) do?
Victor: It’s kind of just a little particle in the end, you know.
Amber: It always comes at the end of a sentence.
Victor: By putting this 吧(Ba) on to the end of the sentence, it kind of just turns it into a suggestion.
Amber: That’s right. And the 吧(Ba) just is a neutral tone. So it’s very, pronounced very lightly.
Victor: Right.
Amber: And when you hear 来吧(Lái ba), basically it just means, “Hey, how about you come over here?”
Victor: Right.
Amber: It makes it more of a suggestion. Okay, well, for an example, let me think of another 吧(Ba) sentence, Victor, since I like the 吧(Ba). so much. I even use it English now.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: Okay, I know, here’s a very common one. How about the one for, “Let’s go.” I’m suggesting to you.
Victor: Sure. Well, “go” in Chinese is 走(Zǒu)
Amber: Yeah, to go or to leave.
Victor: Right, so you can say 走吧(Zǒu ba)
Amber: Yeah, it’s very common. So “Let’s go” is 走吧(Zǒu ba)
Victor: 走吧(Zǒu ba)
Amber: Third tone, neutral tone.
Victor: Yes.
Amber: How about, oh, here’s another famous 吧 sentence, ‘好吧’(Hǎo ba)?
Victor: Yes, 好吧(Hǎo ba) So 好(Hǎo) means good, and when you say 好吧(Hǎo ba) it kind of means, “Okay, all right.”
Amber: Yeah, it’s kind of like you just want to see if someone agrees.
Victor: Right.
Amber: Or you’re just making a suggestion. It’ll be like, “Is it all right?”
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: Well, I guess, it’s time for us to 走吧(Zǒu ba)
Victor: Yes.
Amber: That about does it for today. Before you go though, we want to make sure that you know that you can actually test what you just learned. How can you do it, Victor?
Victor: Right. With the flesh cards that we have in the learning center, they are lesson-specific, so you can go to the section and memorize the characters for every lesson.




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