Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Victor: Da jia hao, wo shi Victor.
Amber: Hey, this is Amber and welcome back to ChineseClass101.com. And this is our Absolute Beginner Season 1. Today is Lesson 6.
Victor: Very important lesson.
Amber: Yes. So Victor, introduce it to your favorite topic as we all know.
Victor: Eating.
Amber: Yes. And today, you’re going to learn how to talk about what you want to eat.
Victor: What you want to eat.
Amber: Yep. So, I don’t think it’s only your favorite topic, Victor. I have found that most Chinese people their favorite topic is food.
Victor: Yeah, it’s a very big component of Chinese culture.
Amber: Yeah, and if you want to make friends in China, you’re going to have to learn how to eat or talk about eating.
Victor: Business meetings or whatever, right?
Amber: Yeah, I mean, it’s just a good topic of conversation overall. So today’s lesson would be great because today you are going to hear about the famed noodle of China.
Victor: The Chinese noodles.
Amber: Right. So in this lesson, you’ll learn how to say, number one, that you’re hungry, which is a sure-fire way to get someone to invite you to eat.
Victor: I’m sure, that’s actually true, if you say hungry, immediate reaction.
Amber: No one can stand to have an empty stomach around them.
Victor: Right.
Amber: It would be just wrong in China. And you can talk about what you want to eat as well.
Victor: The conversation is between two friends and let’s listen to the conversation.
DIALOGUES
Amber: 我饿了。(Wǒ è le.)
Victor: 你想吃什么?(Nǐ xiǎng chī shénme?)
Amber: 我想吃面条。(Wǒ xiǎng chī miàntiáo.)
Victor: 好。(Hǎo.)
Amber: One more time, a little slower.
Amber: 我饿了。(Wǒ è le.)
Victor: 你想吃什么?(Nǐ xiǎng chī shénme?)
Amber: 我想吃面条。(Wǒ xiǎng chī miàntiáo.)
Victor: 好。(Hǎo.)
Amber: One more time with the English.
Amber: 我饿了。(Wǒ è le.)
Amber: I’m hungry.
Victor: 你想吃什么?(Nǐ xiǎng chī shénme?)
Amber: What do you want to eat.
Amber: 我想吃面条。(Wǒ xiǎng chī miàntiáo.)
Amber: I want to eat noodles.
Victor: 好。(Hǎo.)
Amber: Okay.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Amber:So, are you hungry now, Victor?
Victor: Always. I can always eat.
Amber: Well, I have to say that the noodles in China are pretty delicious.
Victor: Yes, they are.
Amber: What is your favorite noodle? Let’s just quickly give a recap. One, pick one. I will say mine is 刀削面(Dāoxiāomiàn)
Victor: Yeah, I was going to say that exactly because it’s so good.
Amber: Maybe they’re the best.
Victor: If you go to China, you have to try it. They’re the authentic ones.
Amber: You’ll know they’re actually cutting the noodles off a big piece of dough.
Victor: Yeah, it’s kind of like arts, how they make the noodles.
Amber: Uh-hmm. And today, we’re just going to touch on noodles, but stay with Chinese, stay with China and you will get to experience many different iterations of noodles. You won’t regret it.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: But for now, we better look at the vocabulary, Victor.
VOCAB LIST
Victor: And now, the vocab section.
Victor: 餓(È)
Amber: Hungry.
Victor: 想(Xiǎng)
Amber: Would like to want.
Victor: 吃(Chī)
Amber: To eat.
Victor: 甚麼(Shénme)
Amber: What.
Victor: 麵條(Miàntiáo)
Amber: Noodle.
Victor: 好(Hǎo)
Amber: Good.
KEY VOCAB AND PHRASES
Amber: Okay, good words. Let’s just take a closer look at the usage for some of these words and phrases. So, since everyone loves to eat in China as we mentioned, then we better teach you the word for hungry.
Victor: Yeah, it’s very short and sweet, just one character 好(Hǎo)
Amber: Yeah, fourth tone, right, Victor?
Victor: Fourth tone 好(Hǎo)
Amber: You know, it’s funny. I think that is the best word for hungry in any language because it sounds like hungry feel because it’s right from the gut., 饿(È)
Victor: 饿(È)
Amber: Yeah, and another thing that’s interesting about -- talking about Chinese people eating all the time is that Chinese people can eat all day long, every day, but they’re always slim, Victor. Why is that?
Victor: I don’t know. I think people bike a lot maybe.
Amber: Maybe that’s why.
Victor: You know, either you walk in the cities or, you know, or you bike.
Amber: Still, I don’t know. It seems beyond reason when I’ve seen how much Chinese people eat.
Victor: More exercise.
Amber: Maybe. Okay, well, the natural progression then for the next word we’re going to learn is the word for “to eat,” which is...
Victor: 吃(Chī), and it’s first tone.
Amber: Good. So, we know how to say hungry, 饿。(È.) We know how to say eat, 吃。(Chī.)I know what’s next but something to fill the stomach with.
Victor: When you’re hungry I think nothing hits the spot more than a big steaming bowl of 面条.(Miàntiáo.)
Amber: Ooh, noodle.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: The glorious noodle. Could you say that again for us? So we make sure we get this word down.
Victor: 面条 面(Miàntiáo miàn) is fourth tone and 条(Tiáo) is a second tone.
Amber: Yes, and this is, I mean, this is the word noodle. But you’re going to find out as you go along there’s many, many, many, many noodle dishes.
Victor: Yeah. You know, 面条(Miàntiáo) actually means dough strips.
Amber: Makes so much sense.
Victor: Right.
Amber: That’s all it is.
Victor: Yeah, that’s all it is.
Amber: The glorious noodle. It seems dressed down a lot when you just call it dough strips. But anyway, you’ll also find that depending on which region you’re in, you’re going to find all different types of noodles.
Victor: Right.
Amber: Some are made with different flours, some use rice flours, some use wheat flours, sometimes they’re in soup, sometimes they’re fried.
Victor: Yeah, but they’re all really, really good.
Amber: Now, as we mentioned our favorite 刀削面(Dāoxiāomiàn) Victor, I feel we may be have a moral responsibility to just -- as a divergence, teach the actual words for that so people can order it.
Victor: Sure.
Amber: Could you tell us slowly and with the tones how we order that?
Victor: So it’s 刀削面(Dāoxiāomiàn) where the first character is 刀(Dāo) first tone, and it means knife. And second character is 削(Xuē) -- it’s also first tone and it means to cut or to peel. And the third character is 面(Miàn) and it means noodle.
Amber: Right. So for a lot of noodle dishes, you’ll hear something in front of the 面(Miàn) and then they don’t have to necessarily say the 条(Tiáo) at the end.
Victor: Right.
Amber: Well, what you can do at this point is check out the PDF lesson notes that we have and you will have a few names of good noodle dishes to try there. We’ll make sure we put them down for you.
Victor: Now, one more very important word in Chinese is the word for “okay”.
Amber: Yes, because you want to be agreeable, especially if you’re an absolutely beginner, you might not even understand what they’re asking you to eat. So just say this word and you’re agreeing. It’s a good word to know.
Victor: Right. It’s very, very powerful. And this word is 好.(Hǎo.)
Amber: Yeah, we heard it in the dialogue. That person was very willing to try the noodles.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: Actually, this word 好(Hǎo) is third tone. It’s actually the word for good.
Victor: Right.
Amber: But you can use it to just kind of be agreeable, mean, okay.
Victor: All right.
Amber: Great, whatever. You can hear this word 好(Hǎo) come up a lot in Chinese.
Victor: :好。(Hǎo.) So let’s look at some grammar.
Amber: 好(Hǎo)
GRAMMAR POINT
Victor: It’s grammar time.
Amber: Okay. So we learned the word for hungry, that’s revisited for a minute. Let’s put together the phrase, I am hungry. How do we say in Chinese?
Victor: Very simple. It is 我饿了。(Wǒ è le.)
Amber: So we know 我(Wǒ) it means I, 饿(È) we know it’s hungry and 了(Le) it’s that particle we’ve heard about that often is a part of sentence structure in Chinese and you put it all together, you get...
Victor: 我饿了。(Wǒ èle.)
Amber: Which literally is I hungry 我饿了。(Wǒ èle.)
Victor: Right. So this le particular, it shows a change in status.
Amber: Yeah, that’s what it’s used for here.
Victor: Right. And you will learn more about that later, but for now, just remember that these three magic words and someone will be sure to treat you to a meal.
Amber: Yep, guaranteed, we think. But Chinese hospitality, as we mentioned, will probably never let a guest go hungry. So you...
Victor: Never.
Amber: Just try to memorize these words and it should pay off in some way.
Victor: All right. And another great thing to learn is how to express what you want or would like.
Amber: Yeah, and we heard it in this dialogue because the person said that they would like some noodles or they want some noodles.
Victor: So let’s start with the verb for would like, which is 想(Xiǎng)
Amber: Yeah, 想、(Xiǎng,) which is third tone and you can use it to express desire any time that you would like something or want something, you can use 想。(Xiǎng.)
Victor: Sure.
Amber: Okay. So Victor, any time, I would like something, I desire something, I can use 想。(Xiǎng.) Is that right?
Victor: Right, definitely.
Amber: Okay. So I’ll try it on you. How about -- okay, I would like to eat some cake.
Victor: In that case you can say 你想吃蛋糕(Nǐ xiǎng chī dàngāo)
Amber: 蛋糕(Dàngāo) the word for cake, very important. Maybe not as important as noodle, but up there.
Victor: 蛋糕(Dàngāo)
Amber: Which is fourth tone, first tone. I got another one.
Victor: Okay.
Amber: How about, “I would like to drink some 白酒.(Báijiǔ.) If anyone...
Victor: Is this from the heart or whatever?
Amber: It’s all lies. But for the sake of education, well, if anyone doesn’t know, 白酒(Báijiǔ) is a horrible Chinese alcohol, which some people love apparently.
Victor: Right, it’s a quieter taste for sure. It’s a quieter taste.
Amber: So how would I say, “I would like to drink some baijiu..”
Victor: In that case, you can say 我想喝白酒。(Wǒ xiǎng hē báijiǔ.).
Amber: So I would like and then 喝(Hē) means to drink, first tone. 白酒(Báijiǔ) is the famous rice wine.
Victor: Chinese alcohol.
Amber: Yes.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: You definitely will encounter it if you haven’t yet.
Victor: It’s the Chinese version of vodka, basically.
Amber: Yep. Okay. So, okay, so if I was going to be honest though, Victor, maybe there will be a circumstance where someone ask me if I would like to have some 白酒(Báijiǔ), right? So, what if I wanted to say, “I don’t want to drink 白酒(Báijiǔ)..Maybe we should teach people because we don’t want to cause anyone to, like, get drunk.
Victor: Sure. In that case, you will say, 我不想喝白酒。(Wǒ bùxiǎng hē báijiǔ.)
Amber: Right. Now, it’s all for the education. Notice the good use of the use 不、(Bù,) which is the word in Chinese we use to make a sentence negative, to make a word negative.
Victor: Yep.
Amber: So, 想(Xiǎng) means would like. 不想(Bùxiǎng) means...
Victor: I don’t want to. Very powerful. Yeah, basically, you put this negation word in front of any statement. It changes it to the other meaning, the opposite meaning.
Amber: Okay. Now, talking about what we would like, let’s look again at that sentence in the dialogue that ask the question, what would you like to eat. What was it, Victor?
Victor: 你想吃什么?(Nǐ xiǎng chī shénme?)
Amber: Right. So, this is a good sentence to look at because it helps us to learn the question word in Chinese for “what”.
Victor: Right.
Amber: So, what would you like to eat? The word for “what” in that sentence, Victor, is...
Victor: 什么(Shénme) Second tone and neutral tone.
Amber: Right. Now, notice where it came in the sentence. This is something to point out because sometimes Chinese word order is very similar to English, but in this case, it’s different.
Victor: All right.
Amber: In English, of course, we know the what is usually at the front of the sentence. But in Chinese, the what question word will come at the end of the sentence, not at the beginning. Let’s hear it again.
Victor: 你想吃什么?(Nǐ xiǎng chī shénme?)
Amber: You would like to eat what is basically the order in Chinese to ask “what would you like to eat.” Okay, let’s do a couple more what questions. What about if I say, “What is this?”
Victor: 什么(Shénme)
Amber: Good. This is what.
Victor: This is what, yeah.
Amber: How about, “What did you say?”
Victor: 你说什么?(Nǐ shuō shénme?)
Amber: 说(Shuō) means “to say.”
Victor: Right.
Amber: So he said, “You say what.” We heard the 什么(Shénme) at the end of all those questions.
Victor: Uh-hmm.
Amber: Okay, good. We can make “what” questions, Victor.
Victor: 什么(Shénme)
Amber: Excellent. Our life is complete.
Victor: So that just about does it for today.
Amber: Yeah, and before you go, we just want to remind you all that though we are not very strict teachers, we do recommend that you take some tests.
Victor: For your own good.
Amber: For your own good.
Victor: For your own good.
Amber: And that’s why on the site, ChineseClass101.com, we have three kinds of quizzes that you can do post-lesson.
Victor: So we have a vocabulary, grammar and content-specific.
Amber: That’s right. So go to the website to the Premium Learning Center and you can check out the quizzes and test what you learn today.
Victor: Exactly.
Amber: You don’t want to forget these words, “hungry, noodle.”
Victor: And “what.”
Amber: Exactly.
Victor: Those things you’re going to hear all the time.
Amber: That’s right. And that’s it for us today on ChineseClass101.com.
Victor: See you next lesson.

Outro

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

98 Comments

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ChineseClass101.com
Monday at 6:30 pm
Pinned Comment
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What do you always order when at a Chinese restaurant?

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ChineseClass101.com
Tuesday at 12:27 am
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Hello Peace,


Thank you for your comment, I also like noodles. 😄


As always, let us know if you have any questions.


Ngai Lam

Team ChineseClass101.com

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Peace
Sunday at 2:00 pm
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Wo ai zhongguo miantiao

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ChineseClass101.com
Wednesday at 4:30 pm
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Hello Chakamorn,


Thank you for your positive comment. It seems like you really like to eat noodles. 👍


As always, let us know if you have any questions.


Ngai Lam

Team ChineseClass101.com



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Chakamorn
Monday at 1:34 pm
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I always order noodles


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Chakamorn
Monday at 1:34 pm
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I use this website to help me with Chinese skills.I am very suprised about this website.😄😄😄

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ChineseClass101.com
Monday at 7:34 pm
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Hello Daniel,


Thank you for your comment. There are vegetarians and vegans in China, and recent researches show that the numbers are increasing, due to various reasons. There are also vegetarian and vegan restaurants in China, and in some restaurants they offer options for vegetarians and vegans. When you explain your food choice to Chinese, I think they would understand and respect your choice.


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


Ngai Lam

Team ChineseClass101.com

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Daniel
Monday at 5:01 am
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What about vegetarianism in China, I don't eat meat.

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ChineseClass101.com
Saturday at 5:30 am
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Hi Ronny


You are very welcome.

Let us know when you have any questions.


Amy

Team ChineseClass101.com

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Ronny
Thursday at 6:33 pm
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谢谢, Amy.

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ChineseClass101.com
Thursday at 4:13 am
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Hi Ronny


You are right, 面 and 面条 mean the same thing here.

In this lesson's dialogue:

你想吃什么?

我想吃面条。

Generally in this kind of context, 想 can be considered as 'would like', 我想吃...(I'd like to eat...). So 想吃 is softer and more polite than 要吃 (want to eat...), which is more direct.


想 and 要 sometimes almost mean the same thing -'want' (to do something). In this case, 要 means the person is more decided, 想 means a person is considering to do something, intends to do something.


Thanks for learning with us.


Amy

Team ChineseClass101.com