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Lesson Transcript

Eric: Hello and welcome to Culture Class: Chinese Superstitions and Beliefs, Lesson 2 - Splitting a Pear and Eating Fish on Chinese New Year. I'm Eric and I'm joined by Dehua.
Dehua: 你好! (nǐhǎo!), I'm Dehua.
Eric: In this lesson we’ll talk about two common superstitions in China. The first superstition is about bad luck. What’s it called in Chinese?
Dehua: 分“梨”, (fēn " lí ").
Eric: Which literally means "to split a pear." Dehua, can you repeat the Chinese phrase again?
Dehua: [slow] 分“梨” [normal] 分“梨”
Eric: In China, it's believed that cutting a pear is bad.
Dehua: This superstition comes from the pronunciation of the words.
Eric: How does that work?
Dehua: The pronunciation Li for 梨 ("pear") could also mean 离 ("separation").
Eric: So splitting a pear could also be translated as ending a relationship or parting ways.
Dehua: Exactly.
Eric: The second superstition is about good luck. What's it called in Chinese?
Dehua: 过年吃鱼, (guònián chī yú).
Eric: Which literally means "to eat fish on Chinese New Year." Let’s hear it in Chinese again.
Dehua: [slow] 过年吃鱼 [normal] 过年吃鱼
Eric: In China, it's believed that fish should be served at the New Year's Eve dinner.
Dehua: And this superstition is also based on pronunciation.
Eric: Right the pronunciation for “fish” and for “left over” is the same.
Dehua: Right 鱼, or "fish," and 余, "left over."
Eric: So if you eat fish on New Year’s, you’ll have so much to eat in the new year that you have some left.
Dehua: A good problem to have.


Eric: There you have it - two Chinese superstitions! Are they similar to any of your country’s superstitions? Let us know in the comments!
Dehua: 再见! (Zàijiàn!)


Please to leave a comment.
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ChineseClass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 06:30 PM
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Have you ever heard about these beliefs?

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Saturday at 02:07 AM
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你好 robert groulx,

谢谢 for commenting. We are very happy to have you here. Let us know if you have any questions.

Kind regards,

雷文特 (Levente)

Team ChineseClass101.com

robert groulx
Saturday at 12:54 AM
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thank you for the lesson transcript

favorite phrase is : 过年吃鱼, (guònián chī yú)


Sunday at 09:40 AM
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No 沒有