Vocabulary (Review)

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Lesson Transcript

Canaan: Hello and welcome back to chineseclass101.com, the fastest, easiest and most enjoyable way to learn Chinese.
Jane: 嗨,大家好 (hài , dàjiā hǎo)! And thanks again for being here with us for this Absolute Beginner season 3, lesson 5.
Canaan: Have a Happy Birthday in China.
Jane: In today’s lesson, not only you will learn how to say happy birthday to Chinese friends.
Canaan: You will also learn a lot of other expressions people commonly use during special occasions.
Jane: And today’s conversation takes place during a birthday party between the birthday girl and her not so kind friend.
Canaan: Maybe we should say, her honest friend. Of course, since they are friends, they will be speaking in informal Chinese.
Jane: 对。(duì.)
Canaan: Now before we take you to the dialogue, we’d like to remind you of our voice recordings tool which is available to our premium users.
Jane: Just a click of the button
Canaan: And you will be able to record your own voice and compare it with the native pronunciation.
Jane: And this is a great way to improve your Chinese.
Canaan: Absolutely. So make sure to check it out at chineseclass101.com, now let’s go to the dialogue.
祝你生日快乐。(Zhù nǐ shēngrì kuàilè.)
你几岁了?(Nǐ jǐ suì le?)
三十了。(Sānshí le.)
你老了。(Nǐ lǎo le.)
Canaan: And now with the English translation.
祝你生日快乐。(Zhù nǐ shēngrì kuàilè.)
Happy birthday to you.
Thank you.
你几岁了?(Nǐ jǐ suì le?)
How old are you?
三十了。(Sānshí le.)
你老了。(Nǐ lǎo le.)
You are old.
Canaan: Yeah I hear that originally Chinese people didn’t use to celebrate their birthdays until they hit 60.
Jane: Umm but not the case anymore.
Canaan: Yeah I know. Now Chinese kids celebrate their birthdays every year just the way we do in the west.
Jane: Yeah. The common practice is to have a big dinner with all your friends and then go to the karaoke afterward.
Canaan: Right but I also hear that in China when you have your birthday dinner, you are the one who is supposed to pay.
Jane: And all your friends are supposed to give your expensive birthday present.
Canaan: Right and we will learn how to talk about those in Chinese using today’s vocabulary.
Jane: Let’s take a look at them now.
Jane: 祝你 (zhù nǐ)
Canaan: To wish you.
Jane: 祝你 祝你 (zhù nǐ)
Jane: 生日 (shēngrì)
Canaan: Birthday
Jane: 生日 生日 (shēngrì)
Jane: 快乐 (kuàilè)
Canaan: Happy.
Jane: 快乐 快乐 (kuàilè)
Jane: 多大 (duō dà)
Canaan: How old
Jane: 多大 多大 (duō dà)
Jane: 老 (lǎo)
Canaan: Old.
Jane: 老 老 (lǎo)
Jane: 年轻 (niánqīng)
Canaan: Young.
Jane: 年轻 年轻 (niánqīng)
Jane: 生日礼物 (shēngrì lǐwù)
Canaan: Birthday present.
Jane: 生日礼物 生日礼物 (shēngrì lǐwù)
Canaan: All right. Let’s take a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Jane: And the first word is
Canaan: To wish you
Jane: 祝你 (zhù nǐ)
Canaan: To wish you. Notice that’s fourth tone
Jane: 祝 (zhù)
Canaan: And third tone
Jane: 你 (nǐ)
Canaan: This is very useful phrase because almost all fixed expressions of blessing used on special occasions start with this. For instance
Jane: 祝你新年快乐。(Zhù nǐ Xīnnián kuàilè.)
Canaan: Wish you a Happy New Year.
Jane: 祝你新年快乐。(Zhù nǐ Xīnnián kuàilè.)
Canaan: Wish you a Happy New Year. This sounds very similar to what we heard in our dialogue.
Jane: 祝你生日快乐。(Zhù nǐ shēngrì kuàilè.)
Canaan: Happy Birthday to you. Now I think our listeners have already worked it out now that
Jane: 快乐 (kuàilè)
Canaan: Means happy and this is often used in the aforementioned expressions of blessing but in daily conversation, Chinese tend to use another word for feeling happy namely
Jane: 高兴 (gāoxìng)
Canaan: That’s a first tone.
Jane: 高 (gāo)
Canaan: And a fourth tone.
Jane: 兴 (xìng)
Canaan: Right. Now our next vocabulary item is
Jane: 几岁 (jǐ suì)
Canaan: How old
Jane: 几岁 (jǐ suì)
Canaan: Right. How old and then we are talking as an age with
Jane: 几 (jǐ)
Canaan: Being the question word how many or how much. And then we know usually that this is used only for asking about numbers that are under 10.
Jane: 是的。(shì de.)
Canaan: And the word for age.
Jane: 岁 (suì)
Canaan: Once again
Jane: 岁 (suì)
Canaan: In classical Chinese, this used to mean year, literally year. So put together with 几 (jǐ) means how many years.
Jane: So the simplest way to ask someone how old is 你几岁了?(nǐ jǐ suì le ?)
Canaan: How old are you.
Jane: 你几岁了?(nǐ jǐ suì le ?)
Canaan: Right. Now we know that this is usually only directed towards younger children, usually no one above teenage age. Another version of the same question that can be used for both children and adults is
Jane: 你多大了?(nǐ duō dà le ?)
Canaan: How old are you? It literally means how big are you.
Jane: 你多大了?(nǐ duō dà le ?)
Canaan: Right. One thing that we want to pay attention to is, this is good for asking children or adults how old they are, but once you are into, say, 60, then things change even more. Now we are not going to get into that in this lesson. If you want to figure that out, you are going to have to keep listening.
Jane: 是的。(shì de.)
Canaan: So when you are invited to a birthday party, what do you usually bring with you?
Jane: 生日礼物 (shēngrì lǐwù)
Canaan: Birthday present. A word that’s literally split into birthday
Jane: 生日 (shēngrì)
Canaan: And gift.
Jane: 礼物 (lǐwù)
Canaan: Put together, it is
Jane: 生日礼物 (shēngrì lǐwù) In a sentence, 这是你的生日礼物 (zhè shì nǐ de shēngrì lǐwù)
Canaan: This is your birthday present.
Jane: 这是你的生日礼物 (zhè shì nǐ de shēngrì lǐwù)
Canaan: Right. Now I know these days for many Chinese people, the
Jane: 生日礼物 (shēngrì lǐwù)
Canaan: It is actually a
Jane: 红包 (hóngbāo)
Canaan: Red bag.
Jane: 红包 (hóngbāo)
Canaan: You know, this little red bag, it’s actually a red envelope. Usually it has
Jane: 钱 (qián)
Canaan: Money.
Jane: 是的。(shì de.)
Canaan: Yeah. In our next two words really we’ve got a pair of antonyms here, adjectives. The first one is
Jane: 老 (lǎo)
Canaan: Old.
Jane: 老 (lǎo)
Canaan: Old. And we are talking about age here and its antonym.
Jane: 年轻 (niánqīng)
Canaan: Young.
Jane: 年轻 (niánqīng)
Canaan: Right. Now Jane, can the word 老 (lǎo) be used in other context apart from describing human age?
Jane: 可以 (kěyǐ) such as 老电影 (lǎo diànyǐng)
Canaan: Oh old movies particularly those old black and white ones yeah.
Jane: 是的。(shì de.)
Canaan: I like to watch old movies.
Jane: 我喜欢看老电影。(Wǒ xǐhuān kàn lǎo diànyǐng)
Canaan: Really?
Jane: Umm sometimes maybe before I go to sleep.
Canaan: Oh nice. So how about our word for young?
Jane: 年轻 (niánqīng) is usually confined to the context of human age being young.
Canaan: Oh okay people being young.
Jane: 是的。(shì de.)
Canaan: So it’s similar to English in that sense.
Jane: 是的。(shì de.) For example 他很年轻。(tā hěn niánqīng.)
Canaan: He is very young.
Jane: 他很年轻。(tā hěn niánqīng.)
Canaan: So much of today’s vocabulary has had to do with topics relating to birthday, aging, being young, being old.
Jane: 是的。(shì de.)
Canaan: And we hope that it will come in handy, it should come in handy in your everyday interactions with your Chinese friends.

Lesson focus

Canaan: Now today’s grammar lesson is designed to help you if you ever want to come live in China to understand a lot of the cultural concepts that present themselves in the Chinese language.
Jane: Or try to make friends with Chinese people.
Canaan: Yeah because that’s the point in learning language, isn’t it? Now let’s take a look at the grammar.
Jane: 好的。(hǎo de.)
Canaan: Now today in our grammar section, we are going to look at a couple of common expressions and phrases that Chinese people use on – during special occasions and I can tell you what, there are a lot of those occasions.
Jane: Yeah we like to be nice to our friends.
Canaan: And we’ve picked a few of the most commonly used.
Jane: So what’s the first one?
Canaan: Well this one is when you often hear between friends, one of whom is leaving on a long trip.
Jane: 祝你一路平安。(Zhù nǐ yílùpíngān.)
Canaan: Have a safe trip.
Jane: 祝你一路平安。(Zhù nǐ yílùpíngān.)
Canaan: Have a safe trip. Now we notice the first two characters
Jane: 祝你 (Zhù nǐ)
Canaan: And we studied earlier in the vocabulary meaning to wish you. Now often if you want to omit the first two characters, you can just say the remaining four characters and that will work too.
Jane: 一路平安 (yílùpíngān)
Canaan: A safe trip.
Jane: 一路平安 (yílùpíngān)
Canaan: Now our next expression is used during the Christmas holiday.
Jane: 祝你圣诞快乐。(Zhù nǐ Shèngdàn kuàilè.)
Canaan: Wish you a Merry Christmas. Once again, you can take those first two characters and omit them if you want to be direct about it and just say
Jane: 圣诞快乐 (Shèngdàn kuàilè)
Canaan: Merry Christmas and of course the two characters meaning Christmas are
Jane: 圣诞 (Shèngdàn)
Canaan: Christmas
Jane: 圣诞 (Shèngdàn)
Canaan: Now the next few phrases we are going to introduce you to are not quite so commonly heard and spoken conversation but they are very common in written correspondence such as on cards or in letters.
Jane: 没错儿。 (méicuòr)
Canaan: The first one is
Jane: 祝你身体健康。(Zhù nǐ shēntǐ jiànkāng.)
Canaan: I wish you good health.
Jane: 祝你身体健康。(Zhù nǐ shēntǐ jiànkāng.)
Canaan: I wish you good health. Stay healthy.
Jane: And the next one is 祝你工作顺利。(Zhù nǐ gōngzuò shùnlì.)
Canaan: Now this one is a little bit more specific since it mentions work.
Jane: 工作 (gōngzuò)
Canaan: And hopes that everything goes smoothly at work.
Jane: 工作顺利 (gōngzuò shùnlì .)
Canaan: Now what’s our last one?
Jane: 祝你梦想成真。(Zhù nǐ mèngxiǎng chéngzhēn.)
Canaan: May your dreams come true.
Jane: 祝你梦想成真。(Zhù nǐ mèngxiǎng chéngzhēn.)
Canaan: May your dreams come true and to all our listeners out there, we wish you all
Jane &Canaan: 万事如意,工作顺利。(wàn shì rúyì , gōngzuò shùnlì.)


Canaan: And that’s the end of our lesson for today. As always, if you have any questions or comments or even just to say hello
Jane: Just write to us at contactus@chineseclass101.com
Canaan: Reading your comments is one of the biggest pleasures of my job.
Jane: 没错儿 (méicuòr)
Canaan: For now though, we are going to have to leave you here in Beijing studio. Signing off, this is Canaan.
Jane: And Jane.
Canaan: We wish you a great day.
Jane: 祝你快乐。(Zhù nǐ kuàilè.)
Canaan: See you next time.
Jane: 回见!(huí jiàn !)