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Lesson Transcript

Canaan: Hello and welcome back to chineseclass101.com, the fastest, easiest and most enjoyable way to learn Chinese. My name is Canaan and I am here in the studio with
Jane: 嗨,大家好, 我是Jane. (hài , dàjiā hǎo,Wǒ shì Jane.)
Canaan: So Ms. Wong, how are you today?
Jane: Fine but what is wrong with you?
Canaan: Nothing is wrong with me. I am just being extra polite.
Jane: Because
Canaan: Because today is our Absolute Beginner series, season 3, lesson 8. Being polite helps in China.
Jane: Right, I think being polite helps everywhere really.
Canaan: That’s true which is why today’s lesson is all about how to apologize and how to forgive.
Jane: The conversation takes place in a rather crowded public place.
Canaan: Between two strangers who are actually pretty friendly to each other.
Jane: And they are speaking with casual tone.
Canaan: Right. Now before we go to the dialogue, I would like to politely remind our listeners that the premium PDF files on our website have got everything that we talk about during the podcast on them. So if you miss anything,
Jane: Just check out the website at chineseclass101.com
Canaan: Right. Let’s go to the dialogue.
唷,对不起!(Yō ,duìbuqǐ!)
哎哟,疼死了。(āiyo, téngsǐ le.)
真不好意思。(Zhēn bùhǎoyìsi)
And now with the English translation.
唷,对不起!(Yō ,duìbuqǐ!)
Oh, I am sorry.
哎哟,疼死了。(āiyo, téngsǐ le.)
Ouch, it really hurts.
真不好意思。(Zhēn bùhǎoyìsi)
I am really sorry.
Forget it, forget it.
Canaan: Well, our speakers were pretty friendly to each other, weren’t they?
Jane: They were.
Canaan: I sometimes find that when I am in China that the Chinese people – the strangers I meet in the street tend to be more outwardly friendly towards foreigners than to other Chinese.
Jane: Because we treat you as distinguished guests who come from far.
Canaan: Yeah. Something I myself don’t necessarily always agree with but for Chinese people, the closer relationship you have with someone, the less formal you will be.
Jane: Yeah that’s right. For example, between a couple, you always never hear they say 谢谢(xièxie) to each other under any circumstance because it will sound awkward.
Canaan: Right and that’s very different from our general rules in western cultures. Nevertheless, I think the lesson will come in really handy for those of us who just started learning Chinese.
Jane: Yeah. Some very useful phrases you can just start using straight away. So let’s take a look.
Canaan: All right.
Jane: 劳驾 (láojià)
Canaan: Excuse me.
Jane: 劳驾 劳驾 (láojià)
Jane: 道歉 (dàoqiàn)
Canaan: To apologize
Jane: 道歉 道歉 (dàoqiàn)
Jane: 甭客气 (béng kèqi)
Canaan: Don’t mention it.
Jane: 甭客气 甭客气 (béng kèqi)
Jane: 麻烦您了 (máfan nín le)
Canaan: Sorry to trouble you.
Jane: 麻烦您了 麻烦您了 (máfan nín le)
Jane: 不好意思 (bùhǎoyìsi)
Canaan: I am sorry.
不好意思 不好意思 (bùhǎoyìsi)
Jane: 算了 (suànle)
Canaan: Forget it.
算了 算了 (suànle)
Jane: 对不起 (duìbuqǐ)
Canaan: Excuse me.
Jane: 对不起 对不起 (duìbuqǐ)
Canaan: Let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Jane: And the first word is
Canaan: To apologize.
Jane: 道歉 (dàoqiàn)
Canaan: Now this word which means literally to apologize as opposed to the words we will learn later which are used as apologies is more formal compared to the other uses that we will see on later. So how do we use it in a sentence?
Jane: 错了就道歉。(cuò le jiù dàoqiàn .)
Canaan: If you are wrong, just apologize.
Jane: 错了就道歉。(cuò le jiù dàoqiàn .)
Canaan: So what people usually say when they apologize?
Jane: 对不起 (duìbuqǐ)
Canaan: I am sorry or excuse me but this might be an expression that any foreigner in Beijing might hear and might learn even if he or she doesn’t study Chinese.
Jane: How about 不好意思 (bùhǎoyìsi)
Canaan: Excuse me or sorry.
Jane: 不好意思 (bùhǎoyìsi)
Canaan: Often used to acknowledge something you’ve done that’s caused inconvenience to another person.
Jane: A minor 道歉 (dàoqiàn)
Canaan: For example, if you want to pass someone when you are walking in the street, you would say
Jane: 不好意思,过一下。(bùhǎoyìsi , guò yīxià)
Canaan: Excuse me, may I pass.
Jane: 不好意思,过一下。(bùhǎoyìsi , guò yīxià)
Canaan: And really 对不起 (duìbuqǐ) and 不好意思 (bùhǎoyìsi) are sometimes interchangeable in conversations right?
Jane: 对 (duì). But generally 对不起 (duìbuqǐ) is more formal than 不好意思 (bùhǎoyìsi)
Canaan: Okay. Now what should you say if someone apologizes to you?
Jane: One of the really casual ones is 算了 (suànle)
Canaan: Right. It means forget it.
Jane: 算了 (suànle)
Canaan: And I noticed that in our dialogue, we heard it repeated.
Jane: Sometimes people just repeat it but there really is no difference.
Canaan: Okay. Now the next word in our vocabulary, it really is a piece of Beijing dialect, right?
Jane: 是的。(shì de.) 劳驾 (láojià)
Canaan: Excuse me.
Jane: 劳驾 (láojià)
Canaan: Now this word is often used when you want to ask a favor from a stranger.
Jane: 劳驾,三里屯怎么走?(láojià , sānlǐtúnzěnme zǒu ?)
Canaan: Excuse me, how do I get to Sanlitun?
Jane: 劳驾,三里屯怎么走?(láojià , sānlǐtúnzěnme zǒu ?)
Canaan: And then after they tell you where to go, you would thank them.
Jane: Of course, you can say 谢谢 (xièxie) and to be more polite, you can always add 麻烦您了 (máfan nín le)
Canaan: Which means sorry to have troubled you because you’ve done something for me.
Jane: 麻烦您了 (máfan nín le)
Canaan: Sorry to have troubled you but of course 麻烦 (máfan) here means to trouble someone or it can also mean troublesome in general.
Jane: Like 你真麻烦。(nǐ zhēn máfan.)
Canaan: You are really troublesome.
Jane: 你真麻烦。(nǐ zhēn máfan.)
Canaan: All right and I think we should probably get back to our polite conversation, shall we?
Jane: 没问题。(méiwèntí.) No problem.
Canaan: Right. Now if someone says that to you, is there anything you can say back to them?
Jane: 甭客气。(béng kèqi)
Canaan: You are welcome.
Jane: 甭客气。béng kèqi
Canaan: But Jane, this sounds a little different from the way that I learned to say you are welcome back when I was studying Chinese.
Jane: I think you might have learned 不客气 (bú kèqi)
Canaan: Right. There it is, the first character sounds different.
Jane: 甭 (béng) as in 甭客气 (béng kèqi) is a piece of Beijing dialect. In fact, it is the fast version of 不用(bú yòng)
Canaan: So when you speak really fast 不用(bú yòng) turns into 甭 (béng)
Jane: 是的。(shì de.)
Canaan: And that’s really cool and I think our grammar point for this lesson is even cooler.
Jane: Let’s find out.

Lesson focus

Canaan: So in our grammar section today, we are going to talk about a really interesting pattern that you can add
Jane: 死了 (sǐ le)
Canaan: Right meaning to have died and you can add this to the end of adjectives to indicate an extreme degree.
Jane: 死了 (sǐ le) It is very colloquial expression that we hear a lot in our daily conversation.
Canaan: Exactly. So give us the sample sentence.
Jane: 你烦死了。(nǐ fán sǐ le.)
Canaan: You are so annoying.
Jane: 你烦死了。(nǐ fán sǐ le.)
Canaan: You are so annoying. You are not talking about me, are you?
Jane: 当然不是 (dāngrán bú shì). I hope our listeners could remember the word 烦 (fán) as in 麻烦(máfan)
Canaan: Oh troublesome. The word that we just learned in our vocabulary. So 烦 (fán) on its own can also mean troublesome or annoying.
Jane: 是的 (shì de), here I add 死了 (sǐ le) after 烦 (fán).
Canaan: To emphasize that someone is being really, really annoying.
Jane: You could say 你真烦.(nǐ zhēn fán.) but 你烦死了。(nǐ fán sǐ le.)probably more colloquial.
Canaan: That’s easy. Can we have another sentence?
Jane: 我冷死了。(Wǒ lěng sǐ le.)
Canaan: I am so cold.
Jane: 我冷死了。(Wǒ lěng sǐ le.)
Canaan: One of the principles of Chinese verbs is that they often get complimented and Jane, sometimes I hear people say 冷死我了 (lěngsǐ Wǒ le), right?
Jane: Yeah. They put the subject 我 (Wǒ) in between. The pattern 死了 (sǐ le) is basically the same thing.
Canaan: Oh I see. So the dialogue in the sentence
Jane: 疼死了 (téng sǐ le)
Canaan: It really hurts could also be changed to
Jane: 疼死我了。 (téng sǐ Wǒ le.)
Canaan: All right. One more time. Be careful to note that there is not much emphasis on the word.
Jane: 疼死我了。 (téng sǐ Wǒ le.)
Canaan: Now these have all been sort of negative sentences. Can we get a positive one in here?
Jane: 他高兴死了。(tā gāoxìng sǐ le.)
Canaan: He is so happy.
Jane: 他高兴死了。(tā gāoxìng sǐ le.)
Canaan: So this pattern can be used in both happy and unhappy situations.
Jane: 是的。(shì de.) And there is another pattern similar to 死了 (sǐ le), I have to say a little mild one 坏了(huài le).
Canaan: Broken.
Jane: Better than died right?
Canaan: Well I suppose. Let’s have a sample sentence.
Jane: 他饿坏了。(tā è huài le.)
Canaan: He is so hungry.
Jane: 他饿坏了。(tā è huài le.)
Canaan: Okay one more.
Jane: 累坏了我了。(lèi huài le Wǒ le.)
Canaan: I am so tired. Now here we moved the subject to the end and added 了 (le) to that.
Jane: 累坏了我了。(lèi huài le Wǒ le.)
Canaan: I am so tired. So this pattern is a little bit different from the pattern we just looked at a minute ago 死了 (sǐ le) if in case that you want to put the subject to the end that is to say, in the middle after 坏了(huài le) that 了(le) stays there.
Jane: 是的。(shì de.) And don’t forget to add 了(le) at the end to make the sentence sound more natural.
Canaan: All right. I think that last sentence pretty much represents the way I feel right now.
Jane: I think our listeners are also 累死了(lèi sǐ le).


Canaan: I think so and we hope you like today’s lesson. However if you didn’t, if today’s lesson has made you 累死了(lèi sǐ le) please do write to us if you have any suggestions, comments, ideas or feedback, let us now.
Jane: Or just say hi at contactus@chineseclass101.com
Canaan: From Beijing, this is Canaan.
Jane: 我是Jane.(Wǒ shì Jane.)
Canaan: And we will see you next time.
Jane: 再见。(zàijiàn .)