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Lesson Transcript

Start speaking Chinese in minutes and grasp the language, culture and customs in just minutes more with Chinese survival phrases, a completely new way to master the basics of Chinese. To get more Chinese lessons and for free, go to chineseclass101.com and sign up for your free lifetime account. Signing up takes less than a minute and you will find more great lessons just like this one. To get more free Chinese lessons, go to chineseclass101.com
Hey guys, this is very important. I need you to listen very closely. Electricity in China is different from electricity in the US. I mean well, the electricity isn’t different, it is just the voltage is different. I am telling you, the important part is that if you plug your appliances into the wall in China, you are going to break them. That’s just how it works. I have broken a PalmPilot and an electric shaver. My boss is sitting right here. He said he broke his 120 Gig hard drive. Don’t plug your stuff straight into the wall. We were stupid’s that you don’t have to be. Power sockets in China give off 220v AC. This is much stronger than in the US. If you plug your stuff into the wall, you will notice they start to get hot and then you will notice they don’t work. Some stuff may have a built in power converter. I was very lucky. My Macintosh computer has a built-in power converter and so when I went to China and I plugged it straight into the wall not thinking anything of it, nothing ever happened. I went three months never realizing that you couldn’t plug US appliances into the Chinese wall sockets. You need to use a power converter when you are plugging your 110v appliances into the wall. This means you have to have a power converter. Now let’s say you get to China and you realize, you’ve forgotten your power converter, what do you do? I mean you need to know how to buy one too. So today, we are going to do the phrase, do you sell power converters? So you go to a hardware store, a big supermarket, some place where you think they might have power converters and you go in and you ask, do you have power converters. In Chinese, this is 你有变压器吗(Nǐ yǒu biànyāqì ma?) One more time let’s do it a little bit slower 你有变压器吗(Nǐ yǒu biànyāqì ma?) So tone by tone guys, 你(nǐ) is third tone, the falling rising tone, 有(yǒu) is third tone again, the falling rising tone. So when they are put together, the first third tone becomes a second tone, the rising tone. So 你有(Ní yǒu) second tone, then third tone, 变(biàn) fourth tone falling tone, 压(yā) first tone, the flat tone, 器(qì) fourth tone falling tone and once again guys, 吗(ma) has no tone. So it’s 你有变压器吗(Ní yǒu biànyāqì ma?) And now the meaning, 你(nǐ) means you, 有(yǒu) is to have, 变压器(biàn yā qì) is power converter and 吗(ma) turns the word into a question,it’s like putting a question mark at the end of the phrase. So literally it’d mean you have power converters, question which we can translate as, do you have power converters. And there are stores. So if they have them, they are probably selling them. Now I am trying to help you guys. So I am going to tell you the truth. A lot of stores are not going to have this. In fact, I’ve never actually bought one of these in Beijing. I always end up buying Chinese appliances. My boss here, he says he went with his wife to five different stores and they never had one. So this means when you get there, you might want to ask where can I buy one because probably their answer is going to be, we don’t have any. So the way you say, where can I buy a power converter is 我在哪可以买变压器(Wǒ zài nǎ kěyǐ mǎi biànyāqì?) So you hope the answer is 有(Yǒu.) which means to have. That means they have it. It’s yes but unfortunately the answer will probably be 没有(Méi yǒu.) which means we don’t have it. It’s not have 没(méi) means not when used with have and 有(yǒu) means have. So not have 没有(Méi yǒu.) All right guys, after you ask this question, there are two possibilities. The first possibility, the one you are really hoping for and the one you are probably not going to get is 有(Yǒu.) means to have. This would mean yes, we have this. 有(yǒu) is third tone, the falling rising tone 有(yǒu). Unfortunately the answer is probably going to be 没有(Méi yǒu.) which means we don’t have that. Literally it means not have 没(méi) is second tone, the rising tone and 有(yǒu) is third tone, the falling rising tone, 没(méi) means not and 有(yǒu) means have 没有(Méi yǒu.) This is probably going to be the answer you get. So if your answer is 没有(Méi yǒu.) then the question you are going to want to ask is, well where do I buy it. Unfortunately the answer is probably going to be 不知道(Bù zhīdao.) which means I don’t know, 不知道(Bù zhīdao.) Tone by tone, this is 不(bù) fourth tone falling tone, 知(zhī) first tone the flat tone and then 道(dào) which is normally fourth tone, the falling tone but here it has no tone, 不知道(Bù zhīdao.) Literally this means 不(bù) no and 知道(zhī dao) to know something, 不知道(Bù zhīdao.) I don’t know. All right guys, I am really sorry but we are running out of time. We will go over the next question, where can I buy it in the next lesson. See you soon.
All right, to close our today’s lesson, we’d like you to practice what we’ve just learned. I will provide you with the English equivalent of a phrase and you are responsible for shouting it out loud. You will have a few seconds before I give you the answer. So 加油(Jiā yóu!) Do you have power converters 你有变压器吗(Nǐ yǒu biànyāqì ma?) Yes we do, 有(Yǒu.) No we don’t, 没有(Méi yǒu.) I don’t know, 不知道(Bù zhīdao.)
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ChineseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Don't forget these on your trip to China!

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 10:29 PM
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你好 robert groulx,


谢谢 for posting and studying with us. If you have any questions, please let us know.😄


Kind regards,

雷文特 (Levente)

Team ChineseClass101.com

robert groulx
Thursday at 07:52 AM
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thanks for ghe lesson transcript


Nǐ yǒu biànyāqì ma?) Yes we do,


robert

BJT
Thursday at 09:46 PM
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There is no Hanzi PDF for this lesson

Amber
Tuesday at 01:36 AM
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I remember fondly using my 120v coffee bean grinder for 3 years in Shanghai. I could just barely touch the button and the power would practically blow the top off. But i found just the right force to grind the beans without the smoke that would waft out if i held the button too long. It still works to this day. It took skill, but my desperation enabled me to find the way.

Frank
Monday at 11:22 PM
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One of the most surprising things for me about living in China - the "where" you can buy certain things. On my second day here, I tried to find a store that would sell me a new SIM card for my cellphone. I thought I'd need some big box chain, or at least a kind of Radio Shack.


No.


My landlord walked me across the street to a fruit stand (yes, an actual fruit stand) and I bought the SIM card there. Craziness.