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David: If you are in Beijing in the mountains, there are stones through away. You can go hiking and see the Great Wall.
Sylvia: Definitely.
David: Yeah. So our dialogue today doesn’t take place on the mountain though.
Sylvia: Well it takes place at home.
David: Right. People are deciding what they are going to do this weekend. So it’s casual Mandarin conversation as always.
A: 周末有什么安排?(Zhōumò yǒu shéme ānpái?)
B: 在家呆着。(Zàijiā dāizhe.)
A: 去爬山怎么样?(Qù páshān zěnme yàng?)
B: 都有谁去?(Dōu yǒu sheí qù?)
A: 我,你,还有老王两口子。(Wǒ, nǐ, háiyǒu lǎowáng liǎngkǒuzi.)
David: One more time a bit slower.
A: 周末有什么安排?(Zhōumò yǒu shéme ānpái?)
B: 在家呆着。(Zàijiā dāizhe.)
A: 去爬山怎么样?(Qù páshān zěnme yàng?)
B: 都有谁去?(Dōu yǒu sheí qù?)
A: 我,你,还有老王两口子。(Wǒ, nǐ, háiyǒu lǎowáng liǎngkǒuzi.)
David: And now with the English translation.
Sylvia: 周末有什么安排?(Zhōumò yǒu shéme ānpái?)
David: What's the plan for this weekend?
Sylvia: 在家呆着。(Zàijiā dāizhe.)
David: Staying at home.
Sylvia: 去爬山怎么样?(Qù páshān zěnme yàng?)
David: What about going mountain climbing?
Sylvia: 都有谁去?(Dōu yǒu sheí qù?)
David: Who's going?
Sylvia: 我,你,还有老王两口子。(Wǒ, nǐ, háiyǒu lǎowáng liǎngkǒuzi.)
David: Me, you, Lao Wang, and his wife.
David: So Sylvia how often do you go mountain climbing?
Sylvia: Maybe once a year. Not very frequently.
David: I guess for us it’s maybe twice a year.
Sylvia: Okay.
David: Especially spring and fall, summer is too hot.
Sylvia: 家 (jiā)[natural native speed]
David: home
Sylvia: 家 (jiā)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sylvia: 家 (jiā)[natural native speed]
Sylvia: 周末 (zhōumò) [natural native speed]
David: weekend
Sylvia: 周末 (zhōumò)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sylvia: 周末 (zhōumò)[natural native speed]
Sylvia: 安排 (ānpái)[natural native speed]
David: to arrange; arrangements
Sylvia: 安排 (ānpái)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sylvia: 安排 (ānpái)[natural native speed]
Sylvia: 呆着 (dāizhe)[natural native speed]
David: to sit around
Sylvia: 呆着 (dāizhe)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sylvia: 呆着 (dāizhe)[natural native speed]
Sylvia: 爬 (pá)[natural native speed]
David: to climb
Sylvia: 爬 (pá)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sylvia: 爬 (pá)[natural native speed]
Sylvia: 山(shān) [natural native speed]
David: mountain
Sylvia: 山 (shān)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sylvia: 山 (shān)[natural native speed]
Sylvia: 两口子(liǎngkǒuzi) [natural native speed]
David: a (pair of) couple
Sylvia: 两口子 (liǎngkǒuzi)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sylvia: 两口子 (liǎngkǒuzi)[natural native speed]
David: Let’s take a closer look at some of these words and phrases. The most important word here is the word for arrangements 安排,(Ānpái,) arrangements 安排.(Ānpái.) Now in our dialogue, this was a noun…
Sylvia: 周末有什么安排? (Zhōumò yǒu shé me ānpái?)
David: On the weekend, are you doing anything? Do you have anything that’s already been arranged but this could also be a verb.
Sylvia: For instance, 安排晚饭.(Ānpái wǎnfàn.)
David: To make an arrangement for dinner.
Sylvia: 安排派对. (Ānpái pàiduì.)
David: To arrange a party. So it can either be a noun or verb. The next word we want to call your attention to is the word to climb a mountain 爬山.(Páshān.) This is really two words. First is to climb 爬 (Pá) and this can also mean to crawl.
Sylvia: Yes.
David: So babies, before they learn to walk moves around to 爬.(Pá.)
Sylvia: But most of the time you would hear 爬山.(Páshān.)
David: Right.
Sylvia: Means to climb.
David: Meaning to climb and that is a really high frequency word. Let’s hear it again.
Sylvia: 爬.(Pá.)
David: To climb a mountain…
Sylvia: 爬山.(Páshān.)
David: Now when we talked about mountain climbing here, for Chinese people we are not talking about ascending vertical rock face.
Sylvia: No.
David: Right. People are talking more about hiking.
Sylvia: Yes.
David: And it doesn’t even need to be a mountain.
Sylvia: Yeah it can be somewhere with steps you know.
David: Yeah it could be a park or it could be a small hill. So don’t be intimidated by the word from mountain here.
Sylvia: Yes 山.(Shān.)
David: And I’ve got a question for you, Sylvia. When westerners think of a mountain, we think of something huge, covered with snow at the top. Now in China, we don’t have those kind of mountains.
Sylvia: Right.
David: So what would you call a smaller hill?
Sylvia: 小山.(Xiǎoshān.) So actually in Chinese, the word mountain and hill are the same one.
David: Yeah.
Sylvia: So 山(Shān) could mean both.
David: Yeah it’s pretty much the same if you want to specifically say although, you should say 小山.(Xiǎoshān.) Small mountain.
Sylvia: Yes.
David: The last word we want to highlight before we get to our grammar section is this word for couple 两口子,(Liǎng kǒuzi,) couple 两口子.(Liǎng kǒuzi.) Literally this means two mouths.
Sylvia: Yes.
David: But we will only here use referring to a husband and wife.
Sylvia: Yes.
David: So boyfriend and girlfriend doesn’t count.
Sylvia: No.
David: This is a couple. A married couple.
Sylvia: Right 两口子.(Liǎng kǒuzi.) So in a dialogue we hear 老王两口子. (Lǎo wáng liǎng kǒuzi.) You can always add your family name. For example, 老张两口子.(Lǎo zhāng liǎng kǒuzi.)
David: Right which would be old Mr. Zhang and his wife or 老张两口子.

Lesson focus

David: Sylvia what’s our grammar point today?
Sylvia: Today we are going to learn how to make suggestions.
David: Specifically suggestions about where to go. In the dialog, we heard the following line. 去爬山怎么样?(Qù páshān zěnme yàng?) How about going climbing?
Sylvia: 去爬山怎么样?So 去...怎么样?(Qù páshān zěnme yàng?So qù... Zěnme yàng?) means doing something how about it?
David: Right and literally means to go and do something. For instance, how about we go dancing?
Sylvia: 去跳舞怎么样? (Qù tiàowǔ zěnme yàng?)
David: How about we go eat food?
Sylvia: 去吃饭怎么样?(Qù chīfàn zěnme yàng?) Another example 去唱歌怎么样? (Qù chànggē zěnme yàng?)
David: How about we go out singing? If your friends are KTV fans, you are going to hear this.
Sylvia: And 去工作怎么样?(Qù gōngzuò zěnme yàng?)
David: If your friends are workaholics right, how about we go work.
Sylvia: Together.
David: Right. Or maybe they just want you to do all the work. Any way our grammar point stays really simple.
Sylvia: Yes.
David: Again you start with 去 and then you put the activity you want to do, be it 唱歌/工作/吃饭, (Chànggē/gōngzuò/chīfàn,) and then you close by saying 怎么样?(Zěnme yàng?)