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Lesson Transcript

Victor: Da jia hao, wo shi Victor
Amber: And I am Amber, and welcome back to ChineseClass101.com.
Victor: Today, we have the Absolute Beginner Season 1, Lesson 7. And this lesson is called “Get me to a restaurant”.
Amber: Right, again, about eating.
Victor: Very important, this time...
Amber: This could not be the source of that because this is very important.
Victor: Right. So we’re going to take you a step further.
Amber: Right. So in the last lesson, Lesson 6, we tantalized you all with the talk of noodles and deliciousness.
Victor: Right.
Amber: And today, you will get one step closer to actually eating them.
Victor: So in this lesson, you will learn how to ask where to find a restaurant.
Amber: Yes. And this conversation takes place on the street between two people. So let’s listen to the conversation.
Victor: 不好意思,这儿有饭馆儿吗?(Bùhǎoyìsi, zhèr yǒu fànguǎnr ma?)
Amber: 在那儿。(Zài nàr.)
Victor: 谢谢你。(Xièxie nǐ.)
Amber: 不客气。(Bù kèqi)
Amber: One more time, a little slower.
Victor: 不好意思,这儿有饭馆儿吗?(Bùhǎoyìsi, zhèr yǒu fànguǎnr ma?)
Amber: 在那儿。(Zài nàr.)
Victor: 谢谢你。(Xièxie nǐ.)
Amber: 不客气。(Bù kèqi)
Amber: One more time with the English.
Victor: 不好意思,这儿有饭馆儿吗?(Bùhǎoyìsi, zhèr yǒu fànguǎnr ma?)
Amber: Excuse me, is there a restaurant around here?
Amber: 在那儿。(Zài nàr.)
Amber: Over there.
Victor: 谢谢你。(Xièxie nǐ.)
Amber: Thank you.
Amber: 不客气。(Bù kèqi)
Victor: You’re welcome.
Amber: Now, Victor, I would say that it would be hard to find a street without a restaurant in it in China, wouldn’t you say?
Victor: Definitely, yeah. If not a restaurant, a food cart, right?
Amber: Yeah.
Victor: Or convenience store or something somewhere.
Amber: Yeah. There’s always something, some food to be found. But it doesn’t hurt to ask because, you know why? The locals will know where the good stuff is.
Victor: Right. So let’s take a look at the vocab and find out.
Amber: Yeah.
Victor: And now, the vocab section.
Victor: 不好意思(bùhǎo yìsi)
Amber: Excuse me.
Victor: 这儿 (zhèr)
Amber: Here.
Victor: 有(yǒu)
Amber: To have.
Victor: 饭馆儿 (fànguǎnr)
Amber: Restaurant.
Victor: 在(zài)
Amber: At.
Victor: 那儿 (nàr)
Amber: There.
Victor: 谢谢你 (Xièxie nǐ)
Amber: Thank you.
Victor: 不客气 (Bù kèqi)
Amber: You’re welcome.
Amber: Okay. So let’s take a look at the words and phrases from this lesson. Okay. Well, we start with the great conversation opener perhaps.
Victor: Okay.
Amber: Which as a Canadian, I could say maybe Canadians love this one because we always say sorry.
Victor: Very polite.
Amber: Yes, very polite. And it’s kind of a way to excuse yourself or say sorry, how do you do that in Chinese?
Victor: 不好意思 / 不(Bù hǎoyìsi/ bù) is fourth tone, 好(Hǎo) is third tone, 意(Yì) is fourth tone and 思(Sī) here is the neutral tone.
Amber: Right. So kind of sounds long, but literally what it means if you break it down is kind of like not good meaning or feeling.
Victor: Right.
Amber: Is that right, Victor?
Victor: Yeah. It’s sort of generic apology word, you know, to make excuses.
Amber: Right. And I think that it’s a very handy word to learn because, you know, life as a foreigner in a foreign land, you will have lots of opportunities to use these kinds of words. And there’s lot of feet to step on in China. You can use 不好意思(Bù hǎoyìsi) whatever you do something wrong.
Victor: 不好意思、(Bù hǎoyìsi,) right.
Amber: And in this case when you’re being polite because you’re just excusing yourself because you’re maybe interrupting or you want to ask a question.
Victor: Right. To get their attention, you can also use this.
Amber: Yeah. And while we’re being polite, might as well throw in a little word for thank you, right, Victor?
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: How do you say thank you in case anyone hasn’t learn their manners yet, we’ll tell you?
Victor: It’s 谢谢你。谢谢(Xièxie nǐ. Xièxie) it’s fourth tone and neutral tone.
Amber: And then 你(Nǐ) you know, means you. So literally it’s thank you. And in Chinese you can just say 谢谢(Xièxie) you don’t have to add the 你(Nǐ) if you don’t want.
Victor: Right, just 谢谢。(Xièxie.)
Amber: And it’s more like “thanks”. Okay. And while we’re at it, how about you’re welcome for good measure?
Victor: 不客气 / 不(Bù kèqi/ bù) here is second tone, 客(Kè) is fourth tone, and 气(Qì) here is the neutral tone.
Amber: Right, very important word as well. Now, another word that is almost as important as please and thank you I think, Victor, is the word for restaurant.
Victor: Yeah. It’s a very high frequency vocabulary for the Chinese, I would say.
Amber: Yeah. They love to eat out.
Victor: Yeah. And chose to be told that people like to eat out so much that in Chinese, there’s so many words for restaurants.
Amber: Yeah, it’s true. There are many versions to say the same thing in Chinese for restaurant. So let’s start with the one that dialog or hungry people there, they asked for…
Victor: 饭馆.(Fànguǎn.) 饭(Fàn) is fourth tone and 馆(Guǎn) is a third tone.
Amber: Okay. Now, let’s just clarify it, Victor. Is this a certain type of restaurant or can you use this for any restaurant?
Victor: 饭馆(Fànguǎn) is usually something very casual.
Amber: Okay.
Victor: You know, something in your neighborhood, in your street, you can just go and grab a dinner with some friends and, you know, nothing fancy.
Amber: Okay. So just in case someone else throws out another one of the words for restaurant, can you just give us a quick recap of the couple of other words for restaurant?
Victor: Sure. The other kinds include 饭店(Fàndiàn) or 餐厅(Cāntīng). 饭店(Fàndiàn), The first one, 饭(Fàn) is fourth tone, and 店(Diàn) is also fourth tone.
Amber: And is that like a more fancy kind of restaurant or…
Victor: Slightly higher. Yeah, slightly, but I would say still kind of casual, you know.
Amber: Okay.
Victor: And 饭店(Fàndiàn) this is like slightly fancy name.
Amber: And that is what tones?
Victor: It’s first tone and the first tone.
Amber: Okay. So we’ve got 饭馆(Fànguǎn) and 饭店(Fàndiàn) and 餐厅(Cāntīng).
Victor: Right. I guess in the ascending order in terms of how formal they are.
Amber: Well, as long as they have food, that’s what matters, right? And if you use any of those terms, you’ll generally be understood, right? It shouldn’t be a problem.
Victor: No problem, yeah. Now, another word that’s going to come in handy in receiving these directions in the grammar section are the words for “here” and “there.” And for “here” it’s 这儿(Zhè'er) and for “there” is 那儿(Nà'er) and they’re both fourth tones.
Amber: Yeah. And I should interject that a curious thing about the words for “here” and “there” in Chinese is that there’s actually two ways to say “here” and there’s two ways to say “there”.
Victor: Right.
Amber: And you can kind of pick the one you like or the one that people around you are saying, whichever one you find easier to remember, everyone will understand. The other two words are very similar but just a little different. What are they, Victor?
Victor: They are 这里(Zhèlǐ) and 那里(Nàlǐ). Here the 里(Lǐ) is a third tone, but 这(Zhè) and 那(Nà) both fourth tones.
Amber: Right. So it’s almost the same. The beginning part of the word, the sound is the same. It’s just that the first one we mention as an “ER" sound at the end instead of the ‘li’.
Victor: Right. And I say there’s somewhat of regional difference. So people from the North, especially in Beijing, like to soften the end of their sentence or words a lot. So they will say 这儿(Zhè'er) or 那儿(Nà'er) .
Amber: They add that “er" sound a lot.
Victor: Yeah. It’s very soft. But in the South, people like to actually, you know, say the words out. So they will say 这里(Zhèlǐ) and 那里(Nàlǐ).
Amber: Right. Okay. So keep these words in mind as we move into the grammar section. They’re going to come up again.
Victor: Yeah.
Victor: It’s grammar time.
Amber: Okay. So we’re going to use 这儿(Zhè'er) the word for “here” in our grammar point. And the type of sentence that we’re going to talk about today is one that in Chinese we use to express existence. So, for example, like in our dialogue, you want to know, for example, like in our dialogue they wanted to know, “Is there a restaurant around here?” So the “is there” is kind of like the existence. Does it exist in this neighborhood?
Victor: Right. And to express that in Chinese, we have the verb ‘有’(Yǒu),which actually means “to have.”
Amber: Yeah.
Victor: It’s a third tone, 有(Yǒu).
Amber: Right. So as in the dialog, the sentence we heard, basically you just start off by asking “here”, “have” and then whatever it is that you’re looking for.
Victor: So in Chinese, that sounds like 这儿有(Zhè'er yǒu).
Amber: Right. “Here, have” so let’s hear how it sounded all together in our dialogue again.
Victor: 这儿有饭馆儿吗 (Zhè'er yǒu fànguǎn er ma)
Amber: Right. So we learn the word for restaurant was 饭馆儿(Fànguǎn er).So literally, that sentence is “here, have restaurant” and then 吗(Ma) which is the way we make a question. I guess no question in Chinese. It’s like our verbal question mark.
Victor: Right. 这儿有…饭馆儿吗?(Zhè'er yǒu…fànguǎn er ma?)
Amber: Good. So using this pattern, let’s try to find something else, Victor. I’ll swap something out. And I’ll throw a sentence out there and you can tell us, how to say it in Chinese. How does that sound?
Victor: Sure.
Amber: Okay. Back to the bathroom talk, is there a bathroom here? So how would I say that?
Victor: You can say, 这儿有洗手间吗?(Zhè'er yǒu xǐshǒujiān ma?)
Amber: Right. 洗手间(Xǐshǒujiān) is the word for bathroom.
Victor: Right, place to wash your hands.
Amber: Good, okay. Enough bathroom talk, let’s talk about something, another favorite subject of mine.
Victor: Okay.
Amber: How about are there handsome guys here? Before I go to the restaurant, I want to know if there’s any hot guys.
Victor: Yeah. Did you find a lot of those in China?
Amber: Maybe. Well, I know our listeners can if you teach them how to say it.
Victor: Yeah. So for handsome guys, you can say 帅哥?(Shuàigē?) And in the sentence you can say, 这儿有帅哥吗?(Zhè'er yǒu shuàigē ma?)
Amber: Right. Now, there’s something I do want to point out as the side point is that, although in English, this sentence is plural, meaning, “I want to find handsome guys”, not just one guy. But in Chinese, you don’t have to worry about it, because they just, they’re more vague about things in plural or not.
Victor: Right.
Amber: So you can just say, “here, have handsome boy,” it could be one boy, it could be many boys or whatever. As long as there’s one, I mean, it doesn’t matter, right?
Victor: Very general. That’s the point.
Amber: Yeah.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: Okay. So we’ve talked a lot about the word for “here now” in Chinese. Now, earlier, we also learned in the vocabulary section the word for “there” which was…
Victor: 那儿(Nà'er) or 那里(Nàlǐ)
Amber: So what I wanted to ask you Victor is can we use this sentence pattern that we just learned to ask is there a restaurant there as well?
Victor: Yeah, definitely. All you do is just to swap out the 这(Zhè) with 那(Nà)
Amber: So then you would say…
Victor: 那儿有饭馆儿吗?(Nà'er yǒu fànguǎnr ma?)
Amber: So literally in English, that’s “there have restaurant.”
Victor: Right. So are there restaurants kind of over there?
Amber: Okay. How about maybe my friend wants to go out and I’m on the phone talking to her and I say to her, “Are there cute guys there?” How would I say that?
Victor: You’re the boy crazy, huh, Amber?
Amber: Well, you know, all for the price of the education.
Victor: Understandable. In that case you can say, 那儿有帅哥吗?(Nà'er yǒu shuàigē ma?)
Amber: Very high frequency sentence, everyone. Learn this well.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: Okay. So back to our question where we asked, “Is there a restaurant around here?” Now, we’re going to talk about the answer. Now to find out where the restaurant is, you’re going to hear like we heard in our dialogue, an answer that uses a very important proposition in Chinese which is the word for “at”.
Victor: 在(Zài) which is fourth tone.
Amber: Yeah. And we heard it in context in the dialogue when we heard the answer to “Is there any restaurant around here?” The answer was…
Victor: 在那儿。(Zài nà'er.)
Amber: Right. So, basically, how it all unfolds is the person on the street is probably pointing and saying, because there’s so many restaurants everywhere, “right there, at there.”
Victor: Yes, it’s over there. Yeah.
Amber: 在那儿(Zài nà'er) at there. So this preposition you’re going to use a lot when you’re giving location of things.
Victor: Right.
Amber: Okay. Well, that’s it for today’s lesson. Have another lesson to the dialogue, and don’t forget to practice, practice, practice, so that you too can find the cute guys.
Victor: Yeah or restaurants, whatever easy.
Amber: Whatever you value, right.
Victor: Whatever you prefer.
Amber: You can find it all. But that’s just does it for today.


Amber: But one thing we want you to do is to try and make sure you remember the vocabulary we learned today in the dialogue by using these flash cards in the learning center.
Victor: Right. And there’s a reason everyone uses flash cards.
Amber: Yeah, to help you memorize, and especially because in this case you also want to know the Chinese characters.
Victor: Right.
Amber: So go to ChineseClass101.com, and you can make good use of the learning center. For now though, we will have to say good bye.


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