Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Notes

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Amber: Hey everybody, welcome back to ChineseClass101.com. I am Amber.
Victor: Dajia hao, wo shi Victor.
Amber: And this is our Absolute Beginner Series, Season 1, Lesson 5.
Victor: Yup.
Amber: And this is another lesson that you can use when you’re meeting people, meeting Chinese people, Victor.
Victor: Very important.
Amber: And this one’s entitled, Time for Class, which gives you a good idea what it’s about. So, I think, Victor, the good thing about podcast lessons is that you are never late for class.
Victor: Right.
Amber: That’s why I choose podcast.
Victor: The classes go on your own schedule.
Amber: That’s right. But, in the real world, it might be a bit different.
Victor: Right. And you might have to be a little more time conscious.
Amber: Yup. So today’s lesson is about telling the time, partially. So, in this lesson you’re going to learn how to tell the time, some basic ways to tell the time and to also learn to say that you have to go to class.
Victor: This conversation takes place outside of school.
Amber: Yeah, and it’s between two students.
Victor: So let’s listen in.
Amber: Oh, but before we listen to the dialog, just one little tip for everybody. If you are listening on an iPod.
Victor: On iTouch or iPhone.
Amber: Then for those who do not know, there’s actually a very cool thing you can do, which is you can click the center button of the iPod or you tap the screen on iTouch and guess what will happen?
Victor: What would happen?
Amber: Something magical, Victor.
Victor: Something in Chinese.
Amber: Well, you will get to see the lesson notes for this lesson while you listen.
Victor: Oh, okay.
Amber: So you can see the dialog while you hear the dialog.
Victor: High tech.
Amber: Yeah. And it’ll probably help you to retain more information. So try that.
Victor: Yup.
Amber: And now, let’s go to the conversation.
DIALOGUES
Amber: 几点了?(Jǐ diǎn le?)
Victor: 九点。(Jiǔ diǎn.)
Amber: Oh, 我要去上课了。(Wǒ yào qù shàngkèle.)
Victor: 再见。(Zàijiàn)
Amber: One more time, a little slower.
Amber: 几点了?(Jǐ diǎn le?)
Victor: 九点。(Jiǔ diǎn.)
Amber: Oh, 我要去上课了。(wǒ yào qù shàngkè le.)
Victor: 再见。(Zàijiàn.)
Amber: One more time, with the English.
Amber: 几点了?(Jǐ diǎn le?)
Amber: What time is it?
Victor: 九点。(Jiǔ diǎn.)
Amber: 9 o’clock.
Amber: Oh, 我要去上课了。(wǒ yào qù shàngkè le.)
Amber: Oh, I have to go to class.
Victor: 再见。(Zàijiàn.)
Amber: See you.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Amber: Okay, very important dialog, Victor.
Victor: Right.
Amber: Do not be late for class. So I was wondering, Victor, in Chinese culture, I remember in Taiwan when I would teach English, a lot of the students would be late for class.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: How about for you? In Mainland China, what’s it like? Is there a really strict policy about being late?
Victor: I mean, for school, definitely, you should not never be, you should never be late.
Amber: What will happen if you’re late?
Victor: The teaching will get very angry.
Amber: She’ll like, yell at you?
Victor: And trust me you don’t want a Chinese to be angry at you because…
Amber: Yes.
Victor: They’re very strict. But beyond that, I think it’s kind of like in the US you know, people are necessarily, because in some other countries where people half hour, an hour late, that’s okay, definitely not in China. Still, the concepts of time is pretty standard.
Amber: There’s no manyana kind of feeling.
Victor: You can be a little late, you know, here and there. But, generally speaking, people are very good about time.
Amber: Okay, well, let’s look at the vocab for this lesson so that we’ll always know what time it is and we won’t be late.
VOCAB LIST
Victor: Yeah. And now, the vocab section.
Victor: 幾點了(Jǐ diǎn le)
Amber: What time is it?
Victor: 點(diǎn)
Amber: O’clock.
Victor: 九(jiǔ)
Amber: Nine.
Victor: Oh.
Amber: Oh.
Victor: Oh, oh.
Amber: To be going to, to have to.
Victor: 去(qù)
Amber: To go.
Victor: 上課(shàngkè)
Amber: To attend class.
Victor: 再見(zàijiàn)
Amber: Good bye.
KEY VOCAB AND PHRASES
Amber: So let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases that we learned in this lesson. First of all, we’re going to look at a couple of action words here. And one is a very common verb that you’re going to use a lot. And that is the verb for, “To go.”
Victor: And it is ‘去’(qù). which is fourth tone.
Amber: Now, this is a sound in Chinese that you might have to be a little bit careful with and try and master, because in Pinyin, it’s represented by Q-U.
Victor: Right.
Amber: But be careful because the U sound here is not like the English U. So, if anyone out there knows French, it’s a little bit more like the French U. Let’s hear it again Victor. What does the U sound like?
Victor: 去(qù) it’s kind of like, this is not a really good example, but it’s kind of like, imagine you’re smoking a cigarette, like your might kind of has to do the sucking…
Amber: Not that we promote that.
Victor: Right. Or sucking on a pencil.
Amber: Yeah.
Victor: Neither one is very healthy, but you know, that’s the shape of your lips should be when you’re pronouncing this sound, like 去(qù)
Amber: Yes. So we recommend sucking on a pencil over smoking a cigarette. However, you may not have a pencil handy.
Victor: Or you can just imagine.
Amber: So if you need to use a cigarette…
Victor: Just imagine that you’re doing that.
Amber: Yeah. Someone told me it’s like making an I sound but with your mouth rounded, if you can kind of wrap your mind around that, but it did help me to learn it.
Victor: Okay.
Amber: Okay, now the sentence that we hear, the 去(qù) in, has lots of other good words for us to learn as well.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: That sentence was...
Victor:我要去上课了。(wǒ yào qù shàngkè le.)
Amber: Right. We learn that 去(Qù) means to go. So what did we hear come after the 去(Qù) then we’ll know what the character in our dialog had to do.
Victor: Right. It’s上课 (shàngkè)/ 上课 (shàngkè)/ fourth tone and fourth tone.
Amber: Right. And what that means is, “To go to class.”
Victor: Right, “To go to class.”
Amber: Literally, those two characters, what did they mean, Victor, the first one kind of means “On.” Right? 上(Shàng)
Victor: Right. 上(Shàng) has a lot of meaning. It’s kind of like the word for, you know, 上(Shàng) has a lot of meanings in Chinese. It can be used many times, kind of like go in English. You know, it can apply everywhere almost.
Amber: And then this 课(Kè) means, “A lesson.” Right?
Victor: Right.
Amber: So it’s kind of like, “Get on the lesson.”
Victor: Right.
Amber: We can think of it that way to help you remember. 上课(shàngkè)
Victor: 上课(shàngkè)
Amber: Get on the lesson.
Victor: Get on with it.
Amber: But what it really means is to attend class or to go to class.
Victor: Right, or “Class is beginning.” 上课(shàngkè)
Amber: Yeah. And with 上课(shàngkè) this combination of two characters is a verb object construction in Chinese. So you learn more about those kinds of constructions later. But for now, just try and remember 上课(Shàngkè) because, of course, if you’re learning Chinese, you’re probably going at some point go to class.
Victor: Right, so 去上课(Qù shàngkè) is going to class and I’m sure that you hear the word 去(Qù) quite a lot in Chinese.
Amber: Yeah, it’ll come up again.
Victor: And last, but definitely not least, we have our word for “Good bye.”
Amber: Yes, and if you don’t know it yet, it is...
Victor: 再见/ 再见 / 再(Zàijiàn/ zàijiàn/ zài) is fourth tone and 见(Jiàn) is also fourth tone.
Amber: Yeah and so it kind of means like, again, “See you.”
Victor: Right.
Amber: So it’s like “Good bye.” Or “See you.” you can use it that way.
Victor: Or it’s like, “Meet again.”
Amber: Yeah.
Victor: “See you again.”
Amber: But it’s not 再见(Zàijiàn) for us yet because we have some grammar time first. Let’s take a look at the grammar from this lesson.
GRAMMAR POINT
Amber: Okay, so we’ll start out with the way to ask the time.
Victor: Yup. It’s very simple, just three words, and they are 几点了?(Jǐ diǎn le?). The 几(Jǐ) is a third tone. 点(Diǎn) is also third tone and 了(Le) is neutral tone.
Amber: Yeah. And if anyone has a good ear, they might have noticed that when Victor pronounced the 几(Jǐ) he didn’t actually pronounce it in third tone. He pronounced it in second tone because there’s a special tone change rule, if you don’t know about it. If two third tones come in a row, the first third tone character will change its pronunciation to second tone.
Victor: Right.
Amber: Let’s hear it again Victor.
Victor: 几点了(jǐdiǎn le)
Amber: Good.
Victor: 几点了(Jǐ diǎn le)
Amber: Now, just to break it down a little, 几(Jǐ) that word, that character actually means in Chinese, “How many.”
Victor: Right.
Amber: For small numbers.
Victor: And the next word is the word for, “O’clock.” 点(Diǎn).
Amber: Yup. And then, the end of our phrase has a little 了(Le)particle to round things out. Here it doesn’t have any special meaning. It’s just part of the phrase. It’s best just to try and remember this phrase, three little words to ask the time.
Victor: 几点了。(Jǐ diǎnle.) So now let’s move on to the answer. And definitely, it’s going to be very easy.
Amber: Yes, because of course, Chinese is easy, but also because it uses the words that we just learned.
Victor: Right.
Amber: Well, at least the word for, “O’clock.” That we just learned. And all you do is put the number of the time in front of the 点(Diǎn). which is the word for, “O’clock.”
Victor: Right. So as in our dialog, the number in front of the 点(Diǎn), here was 九。(Jiǔ.) so it was 九点.(Jiǔ diǎn.)
Amber: Which is nine.
Victor: So 九(Jiǔ) is nine and it’s a third tone. And like Amber said about the tone change rule, here again we see two third tones together. So it’s 九点(Jiǔ diǎn) as in the second tone.
Amber: Yeah. And this brings us to some numbers. If any of you don’t know your numbers yet, we do have good news for you because you can go to a little supplement lesson we have on the site. It’s the Boot Camp Lesson. Boot Camp Lessons 4 and 5.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: They give you really good supplement to learn the numbers well.
Victor: Also hosted by Amber and me.
Amber: Yes.
Victor: Little plug for ourselves.
Amber: If you’re not sick of us yet or you just can’t get enough, you can go to the Boot Camp Lessons.
Victor: Right.
Amber: Okay. So, “9 o’clock.” was 九点(Jiǔ diǎn)
Victor: 九点(Jiǔ diǎn)
Amber: Now, since we’ll assume that everyone’s pressed pause, gone to the Boot Camp Lessons, learned all the numbers and come back. Let’s just throw a few more out there, a few more times, Victor.
Victor: Sure.
Amber: What is 11 o’clock?
Victor: It’s 十一点 or 十一点钟 .(Shíyī diǎn or shíyī diǎn zhōng.)
Amber: Okay, wait a minute. We threw in a little 钟 at the end, Victor.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: That’s different than our dialog. What’s the difference?
Victor: It’s pretty much the same thing. It sounds slightly more formal, but doesn’t really have any difference.
Amber: So 十一点钟(Shíyī diǎn zhōng) . but 钟(Zhōng) is first tone and it’s just basically a more formal way of saying, “O’clock.”
Victor: Correct.
Amber: You can just say 十一点(Shíyī diǎn)
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: Or 十一点钟(Shíyī diǎn zhōng)
Victor: No real difference here.
Amber: Yeah, you can choose. Personally, I would choose probably the easier one, but it’s up to you guys.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: Okay, how about, “5 o’clock.”?
Victor: 五点(Wǔ diǎn)
Amber: 五(Wǔ) being the number 5.
Victor: Right.
Amber: Third tone.
Victor: And again third tone. So it’s 五点(Wǔ diǎn) instead of 五点(Wǔ diǎn)
Amber: Okay, well that’s a little introduction to time and we will learn about more complicated times because we know in a perfect world it would always be on the hour, every hour when someone asked you the time in Chinese. However, in real life, not so lucky. So we’ll learn more about that in future lessons to come.
Victor: Okay. So now we’re going to re-visit a sentence we learn a lot of vocab from, and that’s 我要去上课了。(Wǒ yào qù shàngkèle.)
Amber: Right. Remember in English, this means, “I have to go to class.”
Victor: So the sentence pattern here used is one that tells us something is about to happen.
Amber: That’s right. When something is urgently going to happen like you’re about to go to class, you have to go now, you must go, you have to go. And this sentence uses a verb that in Chinese is very multifunctional and you’ll find that you can use it in different circumstances to mean different things.
Victor: And that is the verb 要(Yào) which is fourth tone.
Amber: Yeah. Now, sometimes 要 (Yào)means, “To want.” like if I want something, I would use this, I could use this verb. But in this case today, in this sentence pattern that we find, 我要去上课了。(Wǒ yào qù shàngkèle.) it actually indicates that one has to do something or is going to do something, about to do something. And in this case, what the person has to do is…
Victor: ‘要去上课了’(Yào qù shàngkèle) “To have to go to class.”
Amber: Yeah. So, I’ll just break down the sentence. In English, that’s basically, “I have to go attend class.” and then 了(Le)
Victor: And then again the particle 了(Le) just closes off the sentence pattern. And you’ll learn more about 了(Le) later on.
Amber: Yeah. So altogether, we put it together and we have...
Victor: 我要去上课了。(Wǒ yào qù shàngkèle.)
Amber: Right, now this pattern could be used to say that you have to go do anything, right Victor?
Victor: Right.
Amber: Like, for example, something else that people have to do and often, you know, it’s you know, maybe they’re on their way, they got to go, is “go to work.”
Victor: Um-hum.
Amber: How would you say that in Chinese?
Victor: Very similar. So the verb and object phrase for, “To go to work.” Is kind of like going to class. And it’s ‘上班’(Shàngbān). .
Amber: Right.
Victor: Just a difference of one character. So you would say the same thing, just swapping out ‘上课’(Shàngkè)。You can say 我要去上班 (Wǒ yào qù shàngbān)
Amber: Right and 上班 /班(Shàngbān/bān) is first tone. It means to go to work.
Victor: Right.
Amber: Okay, well I can think of one, another one Victor that we can demonstrate this pattern with, because I often have to go to the bathroom. I have a tiny bladder. So if I wanted like, I have to go to the bathroom, there’s, you know, somewhat of a time factor here, like I have to go now. How would I say that using this pattern?
Victor: Well, in this case you can say 我要去厕所了(Wǒ yào qù cèsuǒle)
Amber: Right. It’s something like, on the way, I’ve got to go.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: Good. Okay, on that note, I think I have to use the bathroom. No, just kidding. But that’s our lesson for today. Okay, so before you go through everyone, hopefully you don’t have to go to the bathroom because you can do a quick test of what you just learned if you go to the website at ChineseClass101.com.
Victor: Right. So you know, we have a lot of vocabularies for each lesson and you can make this lesson’s vocabulary stick by using lesson specific flashcards in the learning center.
Amber: Yes. In the learning center, we have these flashcards that have Chinese characters the Pinyin and the English.
Victor: Right.
Amber: And they really help you to memorize the character which is an important part of learning Chinese as well.
Victor: Yeah, they really do the work.
Amber: Yes. So come to ChineseClass101.com and you can get the flashcards and much more and hear more of Victor and I which is what we know you really want.
Victor: More lessons.
Amber: And more Chinese. And we’ll see you next time in our Absolute Beginner Series. But for now…

Outro

Amber:再见!(Zàijiàn!)
Victor:再见!(Zàijiàn!)

Grammar

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95 Comments

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ChineseClass101.com
Monday at 6:30 pm
Pinned Comment
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To all those taking classes, what time do you start class? (in Chinese)

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ChineseClass101.com
Saturday at 6:49 pm
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Hi Jane,


Thank you for posting.


You can adjust the audio lesson speed by clicking on the ‘1x’ button next to the volume control icon (you can choose either 0.75x or 0.5x to slow it down).


Regarding the letter size, please try to use the zoom in feature in your browser.


In case of any questions, please feel free to contact us.👍


Sincerely,

Cristiane

Team ChineseClass101.com

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Jane
Saturday at 3:17 pm
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It moves a little bit too fast and the characters are a bit too small.

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ChineseClass101.com
Monday at 10:49 pm
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Hello Charles,


Thank you for your comment.


The widely accepted Chinese translation for Charles is 查尔斯 (chá ěr sī), Austin is 奥斯汀 (ào sī tīng), Patrick is 帕特里克 (pà tè lǐ kè).


Thank you for learning with us, let us know if you have any questions.


Ngai Lam

Team ChineseClass101.com

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Charles
Friday at 8:46 pm
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Hi,

could u translate these names in chinese

Charles Austin Patrick

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ChineseClass101.com
Monday at 6:15 pm
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Hi William


Greetings.

William is a traditional English name and there is a widely accepted transliteration: 威廉 [ wēi lián].

Koson's transliteration can be 科松 [kē sōng].


Thanks for learning with us.


Amy

Team ChineseClass101.com




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Guillaume Delatsch
Saturday at 3:51 pm
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Hi.

Could you translate these names in Chinese?

William

Koson (Thai name)

Thanks,

William

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ChineseClass101.com
Saturday at 5:16 pm
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Hi Nastia


Thanks for your post. Let us know if you have any questions.


Amy

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Nastia
Saturday at 12:19 am
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我八点二十分要去上课。

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ChineseClass101.com
Saturday at 8:03 pm
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Hi Hazel


I can see you are aware of the 3rd tone variation. When there are three third tones in a row, generally the variation is the 2nd third tone will be voiced as the second tone: Wǒ hěn hǎo=>Wǒ hén hǎo.

Tone variation is a hard thing even for intermediate level learners, since in real life, there are some unwritten rules about it. It's quite impossible to be always right in this aspect, but generally right is good enough to be well understood by native Chinese people.

Sometime 3 continuous third tones may vary like this:

rúguǒ nǐ měitiān yǒu shíjiān=>rúguó nǐ měi tiān

如果你每天有时间... If you have time everyday...

Or: rúguǒ nǐ měitiān yǒu shíjiān=>rúguó ní měi tiān


Thanks for learning with us.


Amy

Team ChineseClass101.com

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Hazel
Friday at 12:22 am
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Amber said when there are two third tones in a row the first third tone is pronounced as second tone. What about when there are three third tones in a row? For example: Wǒ hěn hǎo.