Vocabulary (Review)

Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Canaan: Welcome to chineseclass101 Absolute Beginner Season 3.
Jane: Wow!
Canaan: That’s right. We’ve come to season 3 of our lessons now. If you’ve been following us from season 1, congratulations.
Jane: And if you are new to us, a big welcome.
Canaan: Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Canaan, I will be an interim host for you today and I am here with our Mandarin host.
Jane: 嗨,大家好,我是Jane。(Hāi, dàjiā hǎo, wǒ shì Jane.)
Canaan: With us, you will learn to speak Chinese with fun and effective lessons.
Jane: We will also provide you with cultural insights
Canaan: And the tips you won’t find in a textbook.
Jane: Absolutely. So Keenan, what is our first lesson about?
Canaan: Well, the title of today’s lesson is feeling sick in China. So we will be learning the common Chinese names for a lot of everyday illnesses as well as a few useful ways to generally express discomfort which will come in handy considering how cold it is out there right now.
Jane: I think so. So this conversation takes place in well it could be anywhere. It could be in the bar or café or shop or even on the street.
Canaan: Exactly and the conversation is between two friends who clearly haven’t seen each other for a little while.
Jane: And since they are friends, they will be speaking in casual Mandarin as always.
Canaan: All right. Let’s have a look at this conversation but before we do, if you don’t already have one
Jane: Stop by chineseclass101.com
Canaan: And sign up for your free lifetime account. It will take less than 30 seconds.
Jane: And you will get a lot of free stuff and extra tips on learning Chinese.
Canaan: Okay let’s go to the dialogue.
Hǎojiǔbùjiàn, nǐhǎo.
Wǒ bù hǎo.
Wǒ tóuténg.
Long time no see. How are you?
Not very well.
I have a headache.
Canaan: Now on the dialogue, you just heard the very first phrase of the dialogue, the very first four words is very common greeting phrase in Chinese.
Jane: 好久不见。(Hǎo jiǔ bù jiàn.)
Canaan: Which you noticed we’ve translated into long time no see. Interesting. The four words in Chinese in this case match up pretty much exactly with the four words that we used to translate in English, long time no see. Etymologies of phrases like this are hard to trace but a lot of people say that the English phrase is actually Chinglish. What does that mean?
Jane: I think it’s actually English with Chinese accent. Is that right?
Canaan: We might call it English with Chinese characteristics.
Jane: Okay.
Canaan: If we want to put the real harmonious name on it.
Jane: So Keenan, do you always use this greeting to friends?
Canaan: Only when I really haven’t seen them in a long time. I mean it’s not that common unless like I haven’t seen you for you know 3 months. If I haven’t seen you since last Sunday, then no.
Jane: Same meaning in Chinese as well as English.
Canaan: All right. Let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Jane: 好久不见。(Hǎojiǔbùjiàn.)
Canaan: Long time no see.
Jane: 疼 (téng)
Canaan: To hurt, to be sore.
Jane: 头疼 (tóu téng)
Canaan: Headache.
Jane: 牙疼 (yá téng)
Canaan: Toothache.
Jane: 嗓子疼 (sǎng zǐ téng)
Canaan: Sore throat.
Jane: 发烧 (fā shāo)
Canaan: To run a fever.
Jane: 拉肚子 (lā dù zi)
Canaan: To have diarrhea.
Jane: 感冒 (gǎn mào)
Canaan: A cold, to catch a cold.
Canaan: All right. Let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson. The first word we are going to look at is
Jane: 疼 (téng)
Canaan: Right. It is a very useful word meaning to hurt or to be in pain.
Jane: 疼 (téng)
Canaan: Right and it can be used to refer to any type of pain really from general aches to soreness to biting pain to stabbing pain. Later on, we will introduce you to another word that also means
Jane: 疼 (téng)
Canaan: Right, a synonym and we will compare the similarities and differences between them. Now of course, like English which has many different words used to explain the different styles and sensations of pain, Chinese will also specify but in this case 疼(téng) is an excellent word to use generally to refer to pain in any part of your body.
Jane: 是的 (shì de). All you need to do is to put 疼 (téng) after the sore body part.
Canaan: Right such as a headache.
Jane: 头疼 (tóu téng)
Canaan: Headache
Jane: 头疼 (tóu téng)
Canaan: Or a sore throat.
Jane: 嗓子疼 (sǎng zǐ téng)
Canaan: Sore throat.
Jane: 嗓子疼 (sǎng zǐ téng)
Canaan: Toothache.
Jane: 牙疼 (yá téng)
Canaan: Right. Now let’s start making sentences out of these. I always have a toothache.
Jane: 我老牙疼。(Wǒ lǎo yá téng.)
Canaan: I always have a toothache.
Jane: 我老牙疼。(Wǒ lǎo yá téng.) Keenan, what’s 老 (lǎo) here means?
Canaan: Well 老 (lǎo) is really a colloquial shortening of the Chinese word 老是 (lǎo shì) which means always. It’s usually used in a deprecatory sense. You are always this way, I am always that way. So in this case, we use the word for always
Jane: 老 (lǎo)
Canaan: Before the state which we are describing as constant.
Jane: 牙疼 (yá téng)
Canaan: Right. And what’s the sentence again?
Jane: 我老牙疼。(Wǒ lǎo yá téng.)
Canaan: Right. Now the next word we want to look at today is the word for cold, that is the common cold or to get a cold.
Jane: 感冒 (gǎn mào)
Canaan: To catch a cold.
Jane: 感冒 (gǎn mào)
Canaan: In the winter, it’s very easy to catch a cold.
Jane: 冬天容易感冒。(Dōngtiān róngyì gǎnmào.)
Canaan: And one more time
Jane: 冬天容易感冒。(Dōngtiān róngyì gǎnmào.)
Canaan: In the winter, it’s very easy to catch a cold and it really has been pretty cold outside recently. I hope everybody when you go out, you are bundle up because otherwise in Beijing, it can get pretty nasty in the winter.
Jane: 注意别感冒。(Zhùyì bié gǎnmào.)
Canaan: Okay. Now the next word that we are going to look at
Jane: 拉肚子 (lā dù zi)
Canaan: You know, to have diarrhea.
Jane: 拉肚子 (lā dù zi)
Canaan: To have diarrhea. Now pay attention to the verb that’s being used here.
Jane: 拉 (lā)
Canaan: Which means to pull literally and 肚子 (dù zi) is actually your stomach, isn’t it?
Jane: 是的 (Shì de), stomach or belly . 我昨晚拉肚子了。(Wǒ zuówǎn lādùzi le.)
Canaan: Oh really?
Jane: No. I am just making up the sentence.
Canaan: Oh okay. Well can we hear one more time at least?
Jane: 我昨晚拉肚子了。(Wǒ zuówǎn lādùzi le.)
Canaan: I had diarrhea last night. Now you made me say it. Okay I got to explain. That’s the translation of our sample sentence, however I would like to remind our listener that
Jane: 拉肚子 (lā dù zi)
Canaan: It’s a common condition. Not only do we foreigners get it but even local Chinese when they leave the city and they go out to the countryside, they go to another city where they eat something that doesn’t agree with them, it will often
Jane: 拉肚子 (lā dù zi)
Canaan: Exactly. So this is the topic that if your friend or your host family brings up around the kitchen table or out at dinner with somebody important, don’t worry about it because it’s very common and don’t be embarrassed.
Jane: It’s just as common as getting a cold in the winter, isn’t it?
Canaan: Right and what do we say about – how do we say cold in Chinese?
Jane: 感冒 (gǎn mào)
Canaan: Okay. I think we’ve talked enough about diseases. So it’s important to know how to say them but we hope you can stay healthy out there.
Jane: 好的 (Hǎo de). Let’s move on to our grammar section for today then.

Lesson focus

Canaan: All right. At the beginning of this lesson, we introduced you to a very common general word meaning to hurt which was
Jane: 疼 (téng)
Canaan: And we also said that there is another commonly used word which also means essentially the same thing. What is that word?
Jane: 痛 (tòng)
Canaan: Can we hear that once more?
Jane: 痛 (tòng)
Canaan: Now these two words are very similar and if you see the characters even, they are also quite similar. It’s easy to get them mixed up.
Jane: 是的 (Shì de)。
Canaan: Right and while they are used relatively interchangeably there are some interesting differences between the two that we would like to talk to you about today. First of all 疼 (téng) is commonly used in Northern China while 痛 (tòng) is more commonly used by people of the South western regions.
Jane: And I am from Beijing. So I pretty much all the time I use 疼 (téng).
Canaan: Right. So in this case, it comes right down in personal preference for usage of this word.
Jane: 是的 (Shì de). So 疼不疼 (téng bù téng) and 痛不痛 (tòng bù tòng) are basically meaning the same thing.
Canaan: What is that – say the first one again?
Jane: 疼不疼 (téng bù téng)
Canaan: Okay does it hurt or not?
Jane: Or 痛不痛 (tòng bù tòng)
Canaan: Again, does it hurt or not. Now the second level of difference between these two words is that our first word
Jane: 疼 (téng)
Canaan: Is often related to specific concrete physical pain and pains that can be seen such as
Jane: 手上的伤口很疼。(Shǒu shàng de shāngkǒu hěn téng.)
Canaan: The wound on my hand hurts a lot.
Jane: 手上的伤口很疼。(Shǒu shàng de shāngkǒu hěn téng.)
Canaan: So what about 痛 (tòng)?
Jane: 痛 (tòng) here not only can be used to complain about some sort of physical pain. It’s also associated with sort of a psychological pain or emphasize on the feelings or emotional pains, I think.
Canaan: Okay. So can you give us a word as an example?
Jane: A common word 心痛 (xīn tòng).
Canaan: Okay, 心痛 (xīn tòng). 心 (xīn) is the word for heart, 心痛 (xīn tòng), 痛 (tòng) is used most likely to express feelings of heartbreak rather than you know physical pain to one’s heart.
Jane: So if your girlfriend has dumped you Keenan, you probably use this word 心痛 (xīn tòng).
Canaan: Yeah as long as you weren’t the one who dumped her first. No we have the word 心痛 (xīn tòng). Can we put 心 (xīn) and 疼 (téng) together?
Jane: Yeah sure we can. That’s another word 心 疼 (xīn téng).
Canaan: Right and this word, it expresses a feel of sort of sympathetic anxiety. For instance
Jane: 他很心疼他的车。(Tā hěn xīnténg tā de jū.)
Canaan: He takes great care of his car.
Jane: 他很心疼他的车。(Tā hěn xīnténg tā de jū.)
Canaan: So in this case, you can’t say 心痛 (xīn tòng) because 心痛 (xīn tòng) is more likely to express a deep sadness and/or sorrow towards something. For example
Jane: 父亲的死让他很心痛。(Fùqīn de sǐ ràng tā hěn xīntòng.)
Canaan: His father’s death left him heartbroken.
Jane: 父亲的死让他很心痛。(Fùqīn de sǐ ràng tā hěn xīntòng.)
Canaan: Okay these sentences are getting a little too dark for me. I think this is too serious of an atmosphere for a podcast.
Jane: Maybe we should just stop here.
Canaan: Yeah I think so. Today we’ve learned a few words for common illnesses in Chinese using words like
Jane: 疼 (téng)
Canaan: And
Jane: 痛 (tòng)


Canaan: Right. All right, well that’s the end of today’s lesson. If you have any questions or comments or you want to check out our full transcript of this lesson, you can logon to chineseclass101.com or send us an email at contactus@chineseclass101.com
Jane: We would love to hear from you.
Canaan: That’s right. For now though from Beijing, I am Canaan.
Jane: 我是Jane。(Wǒ shì Jane.)
Canaan: And we will see you next time.
Jane: 再见 (Zài jiàn)。