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Lesson Transcript

David: Welcome to chineseclass101.com. I am David.
Echo: Hi! 大家好,我是(Dàjiā hǎo, wǒ shì)Echo.
David: Absolute Beginner, Season 2 Lesson 1. Top of the morning to you although I guess if this was Chinese, it would be top of the morning ah…
Echo: Yes.
David: Right because we are going to talk about that. The sound that Chinese people tag on to the end of sentences. So we’ve got a dialogue here which takes place in an apartment building.
Echo: Yeah and the conversation is between two neighbors.
David: Yes two neighbors that are leaving for work and it’s casual mandarin as always. So this is Chinese you can use right away.
Echo: Exactly.
David: Now before we go into the dialogue, we want to remind you that we have premium PDF transcripts available on chineseclass101.com.
Echo: Yes.
David: So as you are going through this lesson series, be sure to get those and read along as we go through the dialogue.
Echo: Yes.
David: This is a great way to make sure this stuff is going to stick.
Echo: 没错.(Méi cuò.)
David: And now let’s go to the dialogue.
A: 早啊。(Zǎo a.)
B: 早,你去哪儿啊?(Zǎo, nǐ qù nǎr a?)
A: 我去上班。拜拜。(Wǒ qù shàngbān. Báibái.)
B: 再见。(Zàijiàn.)
David: One more time, a bit slower.
A: 早啊。(Zǎo a.)
B: 早,你去哪儿啊?(Zǎo, nǐ qù nǎr a?)
A: 我去上班。拜拜。(Wǒ qù shàngbān. Báibái.)
B: 再见。(Zàijiàn.)
David: And now with the English.
A: 早啊。(Zǎo a.)
A: Morning.
B: 早,你去哪儿啊?(Zǎo, nǐ qù nǎr a?)
B: Good morning, where are you going?
A: 我去上班。拜拜。(Wǒ qù shàngbān. Báibái.)
A: I'm going to work. Bye-bye.
B: 再见。(Zàijiàn.)
B: Bye.
David: Okay before we go on, I’ve got a question for you, Echo.
Echo: Yes.
David: This bye-bye thing that’s happening here. In English, it’s kind of a babyish way to say goodbye.
Echo: Really?
David: Like bye, bye, bye, bye but in Chinese, anyone can say this.
Echo: Yeah.
David: It doesn’t make you sound like you are 8 years old.
Echo: No it’s just a casual way to say it.
David: Okay.
Echo: It’s a very colloquial way.
David: So bye, bye. Your voice rises and you are going to sound native.
Echo: Yeah.
David: Any way, we do have a lot of vocab here, a lot about times of day. So let’s get to the vocab section.
Echo: 好。(Hǎo.)
David: I think you mean 好呀.(Hǎo ya.)
Echo: Yes. 好呀.(Hǎo ya.)
David: And now the vocab section.
Echo: 早上(zǎoshàng) [natural native speed]
David: early morning
Echo: 早上(zǎoshàng) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Echo: 早上(zǎoshàng) [natural native speed]
Echo: 上午(shàngwǔ) [natural native speed]
David: late morning
Echo: 上午(shàngwǔ) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Echo: 上午(shàngwǔ) [natural native speed]
Echo: 中午(zhōngwǔ) [natural native speed]
David: noon
Echo: 中午(zhōngwǔ) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Echo: 中午(zhōngwǔ) [natural native speed]
Echo: 下午(xiàwǔ) [natural native speed]
David: afternoon
Echo: 下午(xiàwǔ) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Echo: 下午(xiàwǔ) [natural native speed]
Echo: 晚上(wǎnshàng) [natural native speed]
David: evening
Echo: 晚上(wǎnshàng) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Echo: 晚上(wǎnshàng) [natural native speed]
David: Right. Let’s have a closer look at some of these words and phrases. Now obviously these are all times of day. So quickly to review again, we gave you early morning.
Echo: 早上 .(zǎoshàng.)
David: Again early morning
Echo: 早上 .(zǎoshàng.)
David: And that’s until about 10 o’ clock. As soon as you settle in at work though, it stops being 早上(zǎoshàng) and it starts being
Echo: 上午.(shàngwǔ.)
David: Which is kind of the morning.
Echo: 上午.(shàngwǔ.)
David: Right. Then we have noon.
Echo: Uh it’s lunch time 中午.(zhōngwǔ.)
David: So what is this? This is 12 o'clock to 1 o'clock or how narrow is this?
Echo: It’s at 12 o’ clock.
David: So 1 o’ clock is maybe no longer 中午.(zhōngwǔ.)
Echo: Yeah. It’s going to 下午.(xiàwǔ.)
David: Afternoon.
Echo: Yeah 下午.(xiàwǔ.)
David: And as you’ve probably already picked up, we’ve got these three directional complements here. We’ve got above.
Echo: 上.(Shàng.)
David: In the middle of, during.
Echo: 中.(Zhōng.)
David: And then below.
Echo: 下.(Xià.)
David: If you have trouble remembering this, remember this is the same order as months like last month.
Echo: 上个月(Shàng gè yuè)
David: Or next month.
Echo: 下个月(Xià gè yuè)
David: Right. 下(Xià) comes after 上.(Shàng)
Echo: Right.
David: Okay. Our last word of course was
Echo: 晚上.(Wǎnshàng.)
David: Which is evening.
Echo: 晚上.(Wǎnshàng.)
David: Now for all of these words, there is a couple of really easy ways to turn them into common phrases. One of the easiest is to say good morning.
Echo: 早上好(Zǎoshang hǎo)
David: Right where we can add the word good.
Echo: 好.(Hǎo.)
David: Good morning.
Echo: 早上好(Zǎoshang hǎo)
David: Good afternoon.
Echo: 下午好(Xiàwǔ hǎo)
David: Good evening.
Echo: 晚上好(Wǎnshàng hǎo)
David: I have never actually heard anyone say good noon. Could you say that? Could you say 中午好?(Zhōngwǔ hǎo?)
Echo: Weird.
David: A bit weird.
Echo: Weird. I won’t say that.
David: You could say it, but nobody says it or…
Echo: Nobody says it.
David: Okay so don’t say that yourself.
Echo: Yeah.
David: The other really common expression we hear is see you at noon or see you in the morning.
Echo: 上午见(Shàngwǔ jiàn)
David: See you in the afternoon.
Echo: 下午见(Xiàwǔ jiàn)
David: Or see you in the evening.
Echo: 晚上见(Wǎnshàng jiàn)
David: Right. Really common.
Echo: Yeah.
David: Okay so that’s our vocab section for today. We’ve got a great grammar point all about “aa”. I’ve heard you do this echo and we are going to explain it.
Echo: 好呀.(Hǎo ya.)

Lesson focus

David: It’s grammar time. Of course, when I said, we are going to explain it, I meant you are going to explain this. What is up with 啊?(A?)
Echo: We use 啊(A) to soften the message of a sentence.
David: Right. So in the dialogue, we heard him say good morning.
Echo: 早啊(Zǎo a.)
David: Right which was short for 早上好(Zǎoshàng hǎo.)
Echo: Yes.
David: But you could also say 早上好啊(Zǎoshang hǎo a)
Echo: Yeah that’s fine too.
David: Right and you hear this actually a lot with yeah down in down south.
Echo: 早上好啊(Zǎoshang hǎo a)
David: Yeah in places like Shanghai, people will do that a lot. So it’s softening the tone.
Echo: Yes.
David: And we also have a question in our dialogue too.
Echo: 你去哪儿啊?(Nǐ qù nǎ'er a?)
David: Right. Where are you going?
Echo: 你去哪儿啊?(Nǐ qù nǎ'er a?)
David: Right. So we are asking a question but we are not being too inquisitive.
Echo: Yes.
David: Right. You don’t want to answer. You don’t need to, it’s just being polite.
Echo: Yeah. Just say…
David: Yeah where are you going? What’s up, it’s neighbors, it’s very casual.
Echo: Yeah.
David: So can we add this on to the end of any sentence we want?
Echo: Most of the sentence, you can put 啊(A) at the end.
David: Yeah you can listen to how other people do it. If you are down in Shanghai, as we said, especially down south, people will have YA or in Singapore, there is lot of LA that people will tuck on the end.
Echo: Yeah but be aware. Don’t do it very often.
David: Yeah. If you do it a lot, you are going to sound crazy and people will leave you alone but for common expressions like hello, where are you going? It’s very, very common.
Echo: Yeah, 你去哪儿啊?(Nǐ qù nǎ'er a?)
David: Or we’ve got a sentence here which is
Echo: 有什么事儿啊?(Yǒu shén me shì er a?)
David: Right. Now, what does this mean without the aa…Now can we hear this without the aa sound.
Echo: 有什么事儿啊?(Yǒu shén me shì er a?)
David: That means what’s the matter.
Echo: Yeah.
David: Right. It sounds like someone is interrogating you almost.
Echo: Right.
David: Kind of a bit harsh.
Echo: Yes.
David: So what happens if we add this 啊(A) sound?
Echo: 有什么事儿啊?(Yǒu shén me shì er a?)
David: Right. This is a lot politer; it’s like what’s wrong? You can tell me.
Echo: Yeah it sounds pretty casual and friendly.
David: Yeah but I mean if you don’t want to tell me, you don’t need to.
Echo: Yeah.
David: Because I’ve said ah.
Echo: Right.
David: So that’s the power of aa for you. Let’s hear these three sentences one more time. Where are you going?
Echo: 你去哪儿啊?(Nǐ qù nǎ'er a?)
David: What’s wrong?
Echo: 有什么事儿啊?(Yǒu shén me shì er a?)
David: Right. And as bonus material you are also going to hear this a lot with the word correct.
Echo: 对啊(Duì a)
David: Right, that’s right.
Echo: Yes, 对啊(Duì a)
David: Yeah okay. So that’s our grammar lesson for today. It’s a very common particle we hear at the end of sentences that softens the meaning.
Echo: 对啊(Duì a)
David: 对啊(Duì a) Yeah or 好啊(Hǎo a)
Echo: Yes


David: That’s great and that’s the end of our lesson.
Echo: Yes.
David: Before we go, we wanted to remind people about a great way to make all of this vocab stick. Echo, what is that?
Echo: It is a flash card in our Premium Learning Center.
David: Right. We’ve got flash cards at chineseclass101.com that cover all of the material in these lessons.
Echo: Yeah.
David: So you can go there, you can cycle through them and you can help this vocab get right into your mind.
Echo: Exactly.
David: It’s a great way to remember this stuff.
Echo: 对啊(Duì a)
David: 对啊 Thanks for listening. I am David.
Echo: 我是(Wǒ shì)Echo.
David: And be sure to come to chineseclass101.com and pay us a visit.
Echo: Yes.
David: Bye-bye.
Echo: 拜拜。(Bàibài.)


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