Vocabulary (Review)

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Lesson Transcript

Victor: 大家好(Dàjiā hǎo),我是(Wǒ shì) Victor.
Amber: Hey, and I’m Amber. And welcome back to ChineseClass101.com. This is our Absolute Beginner, Season 1.
Victor: Lesson 8. And again it’s about eating.
Amber: Yes, but we’re getting you closer to actually eating, because today you are ordering the noodles.
Victor: We’re just going to keep on eating.
Amber: We keep on teasing you that you’re going to eat but, you know, these things, you have to learn and they take time...
Victor: Yep, that’s right.
Amber: …to get really good noodles. Okay. So yes, it is the crucial lesson “How to Order Food in a Restaurant.”
Victor: This conversation takes place in a restaurant.
Amber: And the conversation is between the waiter and the customer. Let’s have a listen.
Victor: 你点什么?(Nǐ diǎn shénme?)
Amber: 我们想吃面条。(Wǒmen xiǎng chī miàntiáo.)
Victor: 你们都吃面条吗?(Nǐmen dōu chī miàntiáo ma?)
Amber: 对。(Duì.)
Amber: One more time, a little slower.
Victor: 你点什么?(Nǐ diǎn shénme?)
Amber: 我们想吃面条。(Wǒmen xiǎng chī miàntiáo.)
Victor: 你们都吃面条吗?(Nǐmen dōu chī miàntiáo ma?)
Amber: 对。(Duì.)
Amber: One more time with the English.
Victor: 你点什么?(Nǐ diǎn shénme?)
Amber: What do you want to order?
Amber: 我们想吃面条。(Wǒmen xiǎng chī miàntiáo.)
Amber: We want to eat noodles.
Victor: 你们都吃面条吗?(Nǐmen dōu chī miàntiáo ma?)
Amber: You both are having noodles?
Amber: 对。(Duì.)
Amber: Yes.
Okay. So noodles are the popular item of the day, maybe because that’s the only thing we know how to say so far.
Victor: A lot of noodles, yeah.
Amber: But if you have to reduce it to like one item, it’s a good safe item to know how to order.
Victor: We’ll expand, eventually we’ll expand.
Amber: Yep. And it’s a very common quick lunch in China, so chances are they will have it on the menu.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: You look much more expert than maybe you actually are.
Victor: You really won’t starve this time.
Amber: Okay, so let’s look at the ordering noodles vocabulary for this lesson.
Victor: And now, the Vocab Section.
Victor: 點(diǎn)
Amber: To order for food.
Victor: 都(dōu)
Amber: Oh, both.
Victor: 我們(wǒmen)
Amber: We, us.
Victor: 你們(nǐmen)
Amber: You, plural.
Victor: 甚麼(Shénme)
Amber: What.
Victor: 想(Xiǎng)
Amber: Would like to want.
Victor: 吃(Chī)
Amber: To eat.
Victor: 對(Duì)
Amber: Correct. Right.
Amber: Okay, so let’s take a closer look at the usage for some of these words and phrases. Now things move fast in restaurants in China, so I think even with this dialogue it kind of equips you for that. Don’t you think, Victor?
Victor: Yeah. The waiters get straight to the point.
Amber: Yeah, just like this dialogue.
Victor: Right. And the keyword we’ll teach you first is the verb for “to order” which is 点(Diǎn) and it’s a third tone, 点(Diǎn)
Amber: Right, so you can 点(Diǎn) some noodles or any dish you like for that matter.
Victor: Right. And a little review, the waiter asked 你点什么?(Nǐ diǎn shénme?)
Amber: Right, “You order what?” basically, very direct.
Victor: Right.
Amber: Good. Now this dialogue is good because it actually reviews some of the things that we’ve already learned up to this point in this Absolute Beginner Series 1, and it kind of puts into use some of the things we already learned. And one of those [places] is in the sentence?
Victor: 我们想吃面条。(Wǒmen xiǎng chī miàntiáo.)
Amber: Right. So that means, “We would like to eat noodles.”
Victor: Right, so remember we touched on making pronouns plural. Well, now, we’re going to see it in action 我(Wǒ) for “I”, and 我们(wǒmen) for “us” or “we.”
Amber: Right. So, to make a pronoun plural, all you do is take the pronoun, for example, “I” 我(Wǒ) and you add this 们(Men) on to the end, a neutral tone.
Victor: Right.
Amber: Okay. So, that sentence shows us the plural pronouns in action and it also gives us a little review of the verb 想.(Xiǎng.) Now remember, 想(Xiǎng)…is the word we use to express desire that we would like something or we want something.
Victor: And then the all important word “to eat” which is 吃.(Chī.)
Amber: Yes.
Victor: 面条(Miàntiáo)
Amber: And again, “noodles.”
Victor: 面条(Miàntiáo)
Amber: Yes. And there’s one more, good vocab word in the dialogue that is a good word to use to say “yes” because, you know, in Chinese, there’s not really a definitive yes.
Victor: Yeah, right.
Amber: Because different cases can use different yeses.
Victor: Right.
Amber: So here’s a good one to learn because it basically means “correct” or “right.” You can confirm using?
Victor: 对(Duì) and it’s the fourth tone.
Amber: Yep. So the waiter asks, “You both want to eat noodles?”
Victor: And you say / 对(Duì)’.
Amber: Yeah. It means, “yes.” Okay. Now back to the ordering, Victor. This is the practical side point, okay. What if you really cannot read the menu and you just want to order something?
Victor: Just order the cheapest things.
Amber: Well, I don’t know if it’s a really good, yeah.
Victor: Or the smallest numbers. You get all soups, I’m sure.
Amber: But I think there’re other methods people can use until they get their vocabulary built up.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: So, we know noodles and maybe you can stick with noodles but you might get sick of them. So my technique is to sort of do the sort of reconnaissance mission; when I walk in to the restaurant.
Victor: Okay.
Amber: And what I do is I walk around and maybe I’ll walk by someone eating something delicious looking.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: So what can I do, how do I get that?
Victor: You just...
Amber: I have no idea what it’s called.
Victor: You just point, right?
Amber: It’s the point method.
Victor: This is the survival method I think. And Chinese people actually don’t mind that as much.
Amber: Yeah, it’s okay actually.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: So how would I do it in a real life situation, Victor? I would tell the waitress what?
Victor: Well, just like in the dialogue, you can say 我想吃…(Wǒ xiǎng chī…) .
Amber: “I would like to eat.”
Victor: And then point. Step by step.
Amber: 我想吃(Wǒ xiǎng chī) and then point.
Victor: Yes.
Amber: So this technique uses the whole body. It’s the whole body ordering technique.
Victor: Right.
Amber: But it works. And I actually strongly recommend this technique because otherwise, you do not know what you might get. Now, pointing is good but if you, there’s actually the advanced pointing technique, Victor, which I think we can also teach. And that’s if we want to use the word for “that,” like at the same time as pointing you want to say “I want to eat that,” so word for word.
Victor: To make your sentence more complete.
Amber: Yeah. Just it’s like a bonus little side point to this lesson.
Victor: Right. You can say 那个.(Nàge.)
Amber: 那(Nà) is a fourth tone, 个(Ge) is a neutral tone. It means basically “that.”
Victor: “That.”
Amber: “That one.”
Victor: So you can point while you say 我想吃那个.(Wǒ xiǎng chī nàge.)
Amber: That way there will be no misunderstanding.
Victor: No.
Amber: They will not think you were pointing at the chicken feet. They will realize you’re pointing at the fried rice. Okay. Basically that’s a little side tip for ordering when you’re new to the Chinese language. We hope that it turns out well for you.
Victor: Yeah. Let us know what happens.
Amber: So only for the brave.
Amber: Okay. So on to some grammar. There is one nice little grammar point today, and that is using the word that we heard in this sentence.
Victor: 你们都吃面条吗?(Nǐmen dōu chī miàntiáo ma?)
Amber: Right. So in English, literally translated, this is “you” plural, 都(Dōu) is “both” or “all would like to eat noodles.”
Victor: And so we can learn the word for “both” or “all” in Chinese, and actually they’re the same word and you don’t have to be so specific in Chinese.
Amber: Right. So it’s the same word whether it’s just two people or a whole bunch of people if you’re saying “all” or “both,” it is?
Victor: 都(Dōu) and it’s the first tone.
Amber: Good. So in Chinese, when you’re using this word 都(Dōu) for meaning “all” or “both,” the 都(Dōu) will come right after the subject to express “you all”.
Victor: Right.
Amber: Or you like “you both.”
Victor: Or like, “y’all.”
Amber: Are you from Texas, Victor?
Victor: From the Texas.
Amber: Yeah. Or like, “y’all.”
Victor: So again, here in action 你们都吃面条吗?(Nǐmen dōu chī miàntiáo ma?)
Amber: Which means “y’all” or “you all want to eat noodles” question mark.
Victor: Okay. So let’s listen to dialogue one more time.
Amber: And then go get yourself some noodles. But before we go, we actually want to talk about a way to help everybody improve their pronunciation that we have on the website.
Victor: And that is the voice recording tool.
Amber: Yeah. It’s in the premium learning center. And basically you can just record your voice by clicking on the button there, and then play it back and listen to how you sound when you speak Chinese.
Victor: Right, and compare it to, you know, native speakers.
Amber: Yes, because we also have the vocabulary and sample sentences with the native speaker recording them so you can compare.
Victor: Right and adjust your pronunciation as necessary.
Amber: Yep. So it’s a good way to practice. So keep practicing and, everyone, keep learning and I think the next lesson we might actually eat, Victor.
Victor: We’re still getting...
Amber: Stay tuned.
Victor: We’re still getting there.
Amber: Stay tuned.
Victor: Okay. I’m hungry already.




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