Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
David: A dialogue takes place between two people, friends and one of them needs a bit of help with some paperwork.
Sylvia: Right.
David: Right, dealing with Chinese bureaucracy.
DIALOGUE
A: 哎,你忙不忙?(Āi, nǐ máng bù máng?)
B: 还行。(Hái xíng.)
A: 帮我查点资料吧。(Bāng wǒ chá diǎn zīliào ba.)
B: 什么资料?(Shénme zīliào?)
A: 等会儿告诉你。(Děng huì er gàosù nǐ.)
David: One more time a bit slower.
A: 哎,你忙不忙?(Āi, nǐ máng bù máng?)
B: 还行。(Hái xíng.)
A: 帮我查点资料吧。(Bāng wǒ chá diǎn zīliào ba.)
B: 什么资料?(Shénme zīliào?)
A: 等会儿告诉你。(Děng huì er gàosù nǐ.)
David: And now with the English translation.
Sylvia: 哎,你忙不忙?(Āi, nǐ máng bù máng?)
David: Hey, are you busy?
Sylvia: 还行。(Hái xíng.)
David: I'm okay.
Sylvia: 帮我查点资料吧。(Bāng wǒ chá diǎn zīliào ba.)
David: Help me search for some materials.
Sylvia: 什么资料?(Shénme zīliào?)
David: What materials?
Sylvia: 等会儿告诉你。(Děng huì er gàosù nǐ.)
David: I'll tell you in a sec.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
David: So this is the most useless request for assistance. I want you to help me look for stuff but I am not even going to tell you what it is.
Sylvia: Yes.
David: Welcome to China.
VOCAB LIST
Sylvia: 忙 (Máng)[natural native speed]
David: busy
Sylvia: 忙 (Máng) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sylvia: 忙 (Máng) [natural native speed]
Sylvia: 还 (Hái) [natural native speed]
David: still, yet
Sylvia: 还 (Hái) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sylvia: 还 (Hái) [natural native speed]
Sylvia: 行 (Xíng) [natural native speed]
David: ok
Sylvia: 行 (Xíng) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sylvia: 行 (Xíng) [natural native speed]
Sylvia: 帮 (Bāng) [natural native speed]
David: to help
Sylvia: 帮 (Bāng) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sylvia: 帮 (Bāng) [natural native speed]
Sylvia: 资料 (Zīliào) [natural native speed]
David: materials
Sylvia: 资料 (Zīliào) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sylvia: 资料 (Zīliào) [natural native speed]
Sylvia: 等会儿 (Děng huì er) [natural native speed]
David: wait a sec
Sylvia: 等会儿 (Děng huì er) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sylvia: 等会儿 (Děng huì er) [natural native speed]
Sylvia: 告诉 (Gàosù) [natural native speed]
David: to tell
Sylvia: 告诉 (Gàosù) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sylvia: 告诉 (Gàosù) [natural native speed]
VOCAB AND PHRASE USAGE
David: Let’s take a closer look at some of these words and phrases and number of these, we’ve run into before. For instance, we’ve seen 忙 (Máng) which is busy. We have also seen 还 (Hái) still and 告诉 (Gàosù) to tell. In this lesson, we also have some lower frequency nouns like materials 资料 (Zīliào), materials...
Sylvia: 资料. (Zīliào)
David: If you are working in the office, you are going to use this. This can mean anything, it can mean papers, it can mean data, it could even mean resources in terms of physical resources. That said, there is some stuff here that you are going to use regardless of where you work. First for example is that verb to search 查 (Chá), to search 查 (Chá). This sounds the same as the word for tea 茶 (Chá). Right it’s the exact same sound. So here it’s a verb.
Sylvia: Right David. For example, 我要查一本书.(Wǒ yào chá yī běn shū)
David: I want to search for or check a book 我要查一本书(Wǒ yào chá yī běn shū). If you are looking for a book, you might use that. The other word we want to emphasize in this section is 等会儿 (Děng huì er). This literally means wait a moment.
Sylvia: 等会儿.(Děng huì er)
David: and listen to the end of this word carefully.
Sylvia: 等会儿.(Děng huì er)
David: Instead of Mandarin, we add this R sound 儿 (Er) and if you don’t use it, it’s going to sound really, really weird.
Sylvia: Yeah David. I am not going to say it. It’s too weird.
David: Right.
Sylvia: It doesn’t even make sense.
David: Yeah you are going to confuse people if you don’t. So you need that R sound there. The good news is you don’t need to worry about your tone so much on this either.
Sylvia: Right.
David: Because it’s supposed to be 4th tone 等会儿 (Děng huì er) but people who are speaking casually will often make it this 3rd tone 等会儿(Děng huì er). Right, let’s hear both of those again.
Sylvia: 等会儿.(Děng huì er)
David: Right. You can get away with either of these although the proper way to say it is of course 4th tone 等会儿. (Děng huì er)
LESSON FOCUS
David: Our grammar focus today is review.
Sylvia: Yes.
David: In an earlier season, we taught you guys how to ask questions with adjectives.
Sylvia: Right. If you look at the dialogue, take a look at the first sentence 你忙不忙?(Nǐ máng bù máng?)
David: Are you busy or not busy?
Sylvia: 你忙不忙?(Nǐ máng bù máng?)
David: The grammar pattern here is adjective 不 (Bù) adjective.
Sylvia: 你忙不忙?(Nǐ máng bù máng?) Another example 行不行?(Xíng bùxíng?)
David: Okay or not okay 行不行? (Xíng bùxíng?)
Sylvia: 冷不冷? (Lěng bù lěng?)
David: cold, not cold.
Sylvia: 好不好? (Hǎobù hǎo?)
David: good or bad; and of course we can put these in more complex sentences.
Sylvia: For instance, you can ask 你冷不冷?(Nǐ lěng bù lěng?)
David: Are you cold?
Sylvia: 你行不行? (Nǐ xíng bùxíng?)
David: It literally means are you okay but you are also implying that maybe they are not capable of doing stuff.
Sylvia: Right, 你行不行? (Nǐ xíng bùxíng?)
David: Right. You could also ask more directly about the weather say so if it’s October, you might ask, is Beijing cold?
Sylvia: 北京现在冷不冷? (Běijīng xiànzài lěng bù lěng?)
David: Is it cold in Beijing now?
Sylvia: 北京现在冷不冷? (Běijīng xiànzài lěng bù lěng?)
David: So this is a review. The reason we are highlighting this again is because of the way the question was answered in our dialogue.
Sylvia: In a dialog, we hear 还行.(Hái xíng)
David: Which literally means still okay 还行.(Hái xíng) It’s yeah, its okay. Now previously we told you to answer questions like this either in the informative 行 (Xíng) or the negative 不行 (Bùxíng) but there are a couple of expressions you can use to answer them as well. This is one of them 还行 (Hái xíng) and it literally means it is okay.
Sylvia: Right, David. If someone asks you 你累不累?(Nǐ lèi bù lèi?)
David: You could say 还行 (Hái xíng) but yeah you know, I am doing okay. I am a bit tired but it’s okay.
Sylvia: It’s yes nor no.
David: You know it’s neither yes nor no.
Sylvia: Right.
David: You know likewise someone might ask you if you are hungry 你饿不饿?(Nǐ è bù è?) You could answer 还行.(Hái xíng) You know, it’s yeah I am kind of hungry but I am not really hungry.
Sylvia: Right. It’s a very indirect way to answer questions.
David: Yeah and you don’t really come down on either side.
Sylvia: Right.
David: So our grammar point today is review but there is something new here which is you don’t need to come down on either side of the fence.
Sylvia: Right.
David: You can always just go right down the middle and say 还行.(Hái xíng).
OUTRO

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