Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
David: Sylvia this is your favorite lesson today.
Sylvia: Oh yes. Very confusing dialogue.
David: Yeah confusing but potentially extremely useful especially since family relations in China are really confusing.
Sylvia: Right.
David: So we’ve got our dialogue. It takes place between two friends when they run into an unexpected family member.
DIALOGUE
A: 你的妹妹呢?(Nǐde mèimei ne?)
B: 妹妹?我没有妹妹。(Mèimei? Wǒ méiyǒu mèimei.)
A: 那,你的姐姐?(Nà,nǐde jiějie?)
B: 啊?(ā?)
A: 表妹?(Biǎomèi?)
B: 哦,你是说我妈妈?(ò,nǐshìshuō wǒ māma?)
A: 嗯?(èn?)
B: 有点复杂。(Yǒu diǎn fù zá.)
David: One more time a bit slower.
A: 你的妹妹呢?(Nǐde mèimei ne?)
B: 妹妹?我没有妹妹。(Mèimei? Wǒ méiyǒu mèimei.)
A: 那,你的姐姐?(Nà,nǐde jiějie?)
B: 啊?(ā?)
A: 表妹?(Biǎomèi?)
B: 哦,你是说我妈妈?(ò,nǐshìshuō wǒ māma?)
A: 嗯?(èn?)
B: 有点复杂。(Yǒu diǎn fù zá.)
David: And now with the English translation.
Sylvia: 你的妹妹呢?(Nǐde mèimei ne?)
David: Your younger sister?
Sylvia: 妹妹?我没有妹妹。(Mèimei? Wǒ méiyǒu mèimei.)
David: Younger sister? I don't have a younger sister.
Sylvia: 那,你的姐姐?(Nà,nǐde jiějie?)
David: So, it is your older sister?
Sylvia: 啊?(ā?)
David: Huh?
Sylvia: 表妹?(Biǎomèi?)
David: Cousin?
Sylvia: 哦,你是说我妈妈?(ò,nǐshìshuō wǒ māma?)
David: Oh, you're talking about my mom.
Sylvia: 嗯?(èn?)
David: Um?
Sylvia: 有点复杂。(Yǒu diǎn fù zá.)
David: It's a little complex.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Sylvia: I don’t think it’s likely.
David: Probably not by blood, probably by marriage.
Sylvia: Stepmother, a young stepmother.
David: A very young stepmother or someone who looks really young.
Sylvia: Right.
David: It can happen.
VOCAB LIST
Sylvia: 妹妹(mèimei) [natural native speed]
David: younger sister
Sylvia: 妹妹(mèimei) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sylvia: 妹妹(mèimei) [natural native speed]
Sylvia: 姐姐(jiě jie) [natural native speed]
David: older sister
Sylvia: 姐姐(jiě jie) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sylvia: 姐姐(jiě jie) [natural native speed]
Sylvia: 表妹(biǎomèi) [natural native speed]
David: younger female cousin
Sylvia: 表妹(biǎomèi) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sylvia: 表妹(biǎomèi) [natural native speed]
Sylvia: 妈妈(māma) [natural native speed]
David: mother
Sylvia: 妈妈(māma) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sylvia: 妈妈(māma) [natural native speed]
Sylvia: 没有(méiyǒu) [natural native speed]
David: not to have
Sylvia: 没有(méiyǒu) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sylvia: 没有(méiyǒu) [natural native speed]
Sylvia: 有点儿(yǒu diǎnr) [natural native speed]
David: to be a little
Sylvia: 有点儿(yǒu diǎnr) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sylvia: 有点儿(yǒu diǎnr) [natural native speed]
Sylvia: 复杂(fùzá) [natural native speed]
David: complex
Sylvia: 复杂(fùzá) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sylvia: 复杂(fùzá) [natural native speed]
VOCAB AND PHRASE USAGE
David: So we dialed back the difficulty of the dialogue a bit. The reason being that the family relations here are….
Sylvia: It is complicated.
David: Really complicated yeah. The first person we had was the younger sister 妹妹(mèimei), younger sister 妹妹 (mèimei)which was contrasted again by the older sister 姐姐(jiě jie), older sister 姐姐(jiě jie). Two things to note here. The first is the second character in these kind of family names takes the neutral tone 妹妹(mèimei), 姐姐(jiě jie), 妈妈(māma). Let’s hear those words again. 妹妹(mèimei), 姐姐(jiě jie), 妈妈(māma). and there is another really useful point here too. How do you say my younger sister 我妹妹(Wǒ mèimei); my older sister 我姐姐(Wǒ jiějiě); his mother 他妈妈(Tā māmā), notice that our subordinating particle 的(De) is missing.
Sylvia: Right, David. You could always say, 我的妹妹(Wǒ de mèimei), 我的姐姐.(Wǒ de jiějiě.)
David: Right but you don’t need to. You can leave it out because they are a close family relation. Now the other word we had here that’s really useful is cousin 表妹(biǎomèi), cousin 表妹(biǎomèi), and this would be a younger female cousin.
Sylvia: Yes.
David: Right. If it was an older female cousin, again you’ve got 表姐(biǎojiě) and there is something confusing here which is that these days because of the single child policy, if someone calls someone else their cousin.
Sylvia: Right, they are 表妹(biǎomèi) or 表姐.(biǎojiě.)
David: Usually it actually isn’t family. So people will call close friends, cousins 表妹(biǎomèi) or 表姐(biǎojiě.). They are not always family.
LESSON FOCUS
David: Our grammar point today it’s not really a grammar point.
Sylvia: Right.
David: It’s more of a structure.
Sylvia: Yeah.
David: A way of both asking to confirm something as well as confirming it yourself.
Sylvia: Right.
David: We see the first of these in the following sentence in our dialogue. 你是说我妈妈(Nǐ shì shuō wǒ māmā) Oh you are talking about my mother.
Sylvia: You mean my mom?
David: Right and it’s those three characters, 你是说(Nǐ shì shuō) You to be to say, 你是说(Nǐ shì shuō), you are talking about my mother 你是说我妈妈(Nǐ shì shuō wǒ māmā); you are talking about my cousin 你是说我表妹(Nǐ shì shuō wǒ biǎomèi); you are talking about my older sister 你是说我姐姐(Nǐ shì shuō wǒ jiějiě). Right, you to be to say. If you are not sure what someone said, you can use this to follow up about it.
Sylvia: For instance, you could ask 你是说星期三?(Nǐ shì shuō xīngqīsān?)
David: Oh you are saying Wednesday. 你是说星期三.(Nǐ shì shuō xīngqīsān?.) Right, if you are confirming about the day, maybe you want to confirm the city. So it’s going to be Shanghai...
Sylvia: 你是说上海?(Nǐ shì shuō Shànghǎi?)
David: Right this is really versatile. Now there is the other situation too where you are confirming for someone else what it is you said. 我是说(wǒ shì shuō) We just changed the pronoun. 我是说(wǒ shì shuō). As in I said Wednesday 我是说星期三(wǒ shì shuō xīngqīsān). I meant Shanghai 我是说上海(Wǒ shì shuō shànghǎi); or I was talking about my mother 我是说我妈妈(Wǒ shì shuō wǒ māmā). Right, this is really colloquial and really useful. What you mean is 你是说(Nǐ shì shuō) and 我是说.(Wǒ shì shuō.)
OUTRO

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ChineseClass101.com
Monday at 6:30 pm
Pinned Comment
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ChineseClass101.com
Monday at 7:58 pm
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Hi Keith,


That's right, you can replace 说 with other verb, like 学 in the sense of “Oh, you’re studying...” :thumbsup:


Olivia

Team ChineseClass101.com

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Keith
Thursday at 2:29 am
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Regarding the phrase, 你是说 can 说 be replaced with another verb, 学 in the sense of like, "Oh, you're studying" or other verbs?

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ChineseClass101.com
Monday at 12:48 pm
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Hi Mark,


Thank you for pointing out the issue, we have fixed it now :sweat_smile:

The sentence should be "nǐshìshuō wǒ māma"


Olivia

Team ChineseClass101.com

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Mark
Sunday at 9:28 pm
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Ni hao


There seems to be a slight difference between the recorded track and the transcript. The second speaker seems to say "ni shuo de shuo mama" rather than "ni shi shuo wo mama". Is this an error or just the way I'm hearing it?


Mark

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ChineseClass101.com
Monday at 6:07 pm
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Hi Aruthur,


When you want to express "what was he saying/talking about?", we usually say "他说什么?" instead of "他是说什么?"


Yinru

Team ChineseClass101.com

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Arthur
Tuesday at 5:37 pm
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so how about `他是说什么?' would that mean `what was he saying/talking about?'

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ChineseClass101.com
Tuesday at 10:56 am
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Hi Gene,


Thank you very much for pointing that out :oops: It is fixed now.


Thanks again!

Olivia

Team ChineseClass101.com

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gene
Friday at 12:15 am
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The review track repeats the same words several times.

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Yin Sa
Wednesday at 6:59 am
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Xie xie ni* Gotta work on my Chinese spelling. :smile: Jia you~

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Yin Sa
Wednesday at 2:22 am
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I guess I mean the character for brave. So it would mean Son who is Brave right? Seems like a decent name. I just wanted to make sure I had a good name if I was going to take on a new one. But I guess I will go with Yin Sa since you recommended it to me. Shie shie ni.