Vocabulary (Review)

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Lesson Transcript

Amber: Hey, everybody! I’m Amber. Welcome back to Gengo Chinese.
Victor: 大家好,我是 Victor。 (Dàjiā hǎo, wǒ shì Victor.)
Amber: And today is Lesson 22...
Victor: You Paid What? The Best Place to Shop in China
Amber: Yes. So, some insider’s tips today from Victor and Amber. Victor, I don’t know about you, but I love street food in China.
Victor: Me too. It’s a culinary culture that’s really lacking here in North America, except...
Amber: Yeah! I mean, except for the hotdog stands, but I don’t know.
Victor: Somehow, it doesn’t feel the same.
Amber: It doesn’t.
Victor: When it’s like 5 bucks per hotdog.
Amber: Yeah. So, in today’s dialogue, we’re gonna find out what is special about street food in China. Last lesson, we talked about restaurant food.
Victor: Right.
Amber: And we learned a couple of really good Chinese 菜 (cài).
Victor: Yes.
Amber: Which is the word for “dishes” or “food.” What were they, Victor?
Victor: We had 宫爆鸡丁 (gōngbào jīdīng).
Amber: Huh, the spicy chicken dish.
Victor: One of the favorites, all-time favorites for all. And 水煮牛肉 (shuǐ zhǔ niúròu).
Amber: Right, which is basically, “spicy beef in oil.”
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: That’s also very delicious. And we also learned how to say “still.” If you still want more, what else do you want? How do you say that?
Victor: 还要什么? (Háiyào shénme)?
Amber: “What else do you want?” Good. And then, we did learn about asking how much or how many, that there were two words. There’s one for when you’re speaking about smaller amounts like 10 or less.
Victor: 几 (jǐ)
Amber: And if you’re talking about larger amounts, you generally will use…
Victor: 多少 (duōshǎo)
Amber: For “how many.” Good. Speaking of how many, today, we’re probably gonna learn about a few more foods in China. In this lesson, you’re going to learn how to make your way around street food.
Victor: This conversation takes place in a market.
Amber: Yep, and the conversation is between the stall owners and Mike. Let’s listen to the conversation.
Stall 1: 你好,先生。 (Nǐhǎo, xiānshēng.)
Stall 2: 好吃啊! (Hǎochī a!)
Mike: 这个是什么? (Zhè gè shì shénme?)
Stall 2: 这是煎包。 (Zhè shì jiānbāo.)
Mike: 什么馅儿的? (Shénme xiànr de?)
Stall 2: 猪肉。 (Zhūròu.)
Mike: 多少钱? (Duōshǎo qián ?)
Stall 2: 五个三块。 (Wǔ gè sān kuài.)
Mike: 那个呢?那个是什么? (Nàgè ne? Nàgè shì shénme?)
Stall 1: 这是羊肉串儿,一个两块。 (Zhè shì yángròuchuànr, yí gè liǎng kuài.)
Mike: 好的,给我三个煎包和两个羊肉串儿。 (Hǎo de, gěi wǒ sān gè jiān bāo hé liǎng gè yángròuchuànr.)
Victor: 重复一次, 慢速。 (Chóngfù yīcì, màn sù.)
Amber: One more time, a little slower.
Stall 1: 你好,先生。 (Nǐhǎo, xiānshēng.)
Stall 2: 好吃啊! (Hǎochī a!)
Mike: 这个是什么? (Zhè gè shì shénme?)
Stall 2: 这是煎包。 (Zhè shì jiānbāo.)
Mike: 什么馅儿的? (Shénme xiànr de?)
Stall 2: 猪肉。 (Zhūròu.)
Mike: 多少钱? (Duōshǎo qián ?)
Stall 2: 五个三块。 (Wǔ gè sān kuài.)
Mike: 那个呢?那个是什么? (Nàgè ne? Nàgè shì shénme?)
Stall 1: 这是羊肉串儿,一个两块。 (Zhè shì yángròuchuànr, yí gè liǎng kuài.)
Mike: 好的,给我三个煎包和两个羊肉串儿。 (Hǎo de, gěi wǒ sān gè jiān bāo hé liǎng gè yángròuchuànr.)
Victor: 重复一次, 加英文翻译。 (Chóngfù yīcì, jiā yīngwén fānyì.)
Amber: One more time, with the English.
Stall 1: 你好,先生。 (Nǐhǎo, xiānshēng.)
Amber: Hello, Sir.
Stall 2: 好吃啊! (Hǎochī a!)
Amber: Delicious!
Mike: 这个是什么? (Zhè gè shì shénme?)
Amber: What is this?
Stall 2: 这是煎包。 (Zhè shì jiānbāo.)
Amber: These are fried buns.
Mike: 什么馅儿的? (Shénme xiànr de?)
Amber: What filling?
Stall 2: 猪肉。 (Zhūròu.)
Amber: Pork.
Mike: 多少钱? (Duōshǎo qián ?)
Amber: How much do they cost?
Stall 2: 五个三块。 (Wǔ gè sān kuài.)
Amber: Five for 3 RMB.
Mike: 那个呢?那个是什么? (Nàgè ne? Nàgè shì shénme?)
Amber: What about that? What is that?
Stall 1: 这是羊肉串儿,一个两块。 (Zhè shì yángròuchuànr, yí gè liǎng kuài.)
Amber: These are lamb kebabs. It's 2 RMB for one.
Mike: 好的,给我三个煎包和两个羊肉串儿。 (Hǎo de, gěi wǒ sān gè jiān bāo hé liǎng gè yángròuchuànr.)
Amber: Okay, give me three fried buns and two lamb kebabs.
Amber: Mmm, Victor, I can smell the charcoal from the 串儿 (chuànr) already!
Victor: Yeah, those are also my favorite.
Amber: Yeah. Now, I can say that just as a side point, before we get into the other stuff, the street food is really, really delicious and cheap.
Victor: Yeah..
Amber: But it’s kind of eater beware, because some people do get sick.
Victor: Right.
Amber: It’s a disclaimer. So, do you have any tips, Victor, to eat safe?
Victor: Well, you know, I never really had any problems. I think my immune system, which is kind of built out of that street food.
Amber: Your stomach is trained.
Victor: Yeah, it’s trained.
Amber: Okay, well, you can, I don’t know, use common sense. If something is being cooked fresh, that’s generally the ones I will eat, but if they’re sitting around, maybe not.
Victor: Yeah, if you look little…
Amber: With flies on it.
Victor: Oh, yeah.
Amber: Good rule of thumb.
Victor: Common sense, yeah.
Amber: Avoid. Okay. Well, let’s hear about all these treats by taking a look at our vocab.
Victor: 煎包 (jiānbāo) [natural native speed]
Amber: fried stuffed bun
Victor: 煎包 (jiānbāo) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 煎包 (jiānbāo) [natural native speed]
Victor: 馅儿 (xiànr) [natural native speed]
Amber: filling
Victor: 馅儿 (xiànr) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 馅儿 (xiànr) [natural native speed]
Victor: 猪肉 (zhūròu) [natural native speed]
Amber: pork
Victor: 猪肉 (zhūròu) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 猪肉 (zhūròu) [natural native speed]
Victor: 呢 (ne) [natural native speed]
Amber: (follow-up question particle)
Victor: 呢 (ne) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 呢 (ne) [natural native speed]
Victor: 羊肉串儿 (yángròu chuànr) [natural native speed]
Amber: lamb kebab
Victor: 羊肉串儿 (yángròu chuànr) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 羊肉串儿 (yángròu chuànr) [natural native speed]
Amber: Okay, let's have a closer look at some of the usage of phrases and words from this lesson.
Victor: Yep. Well, let’s start with the food, of course.
Amber: Yes, that’s the important part.
Victor: So what is first on our menu?
Amber: I remember, it’s a special kind of tiny bun that’s round, it’s fried, and filled with yummy deliciousness.
Victor: Yep. It’s 煎包 (jiānbāo). 煎 (Jiān) means “to fry” and it’s 1st tone, and 包 (bāo), also 1st tone, is a word we use to describe a lot of different kinds of buns or dumpling-like objects.
Amber: Right. Now, the special thing about 煎包 (jiānbāo) is that they have assorted fillings.
Victor: And the word for “filling” in Chinese is 馅儿 (xiànr).
Amber: Right. So very important, if you’re a picky eater or if you’re a vegetarian, you need to be able to ask, “What filling is it?”
Victor: 什么馅儿的? (Shénme xiàn er de?)
Amber: Right. This is very easy, because we already know the word for “what.”
Victor: 什么 (shénme)
Amber: And basically, you can just say “what filling” plus the 的 (de) particle.
Victor: Right. 什么馅儿的? (Shénme xiàn er de?). 馅儿 (Xiànr) is 4th tone.
Amber: Good. Now, in this case, in our dialogue, the 馅儿 (xiànr) is a kind of meat, a kind of 肉 (ròu).
Victor: Yeah. Remember, that in Lesson 21, we heard about a couple of different kinds of 肉 (ròu), which were 鸡肉 (jīròu) and 牛肉 (niúròu).
Amber: Right, being “chicken” and “beef.”
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: But today, it’s the Chinese meat of choice. I think Chinese people’s favorite.
Victor: My favorite.
Amber: Coz they generally use it a lot, which is...
Victor: 猪肉 (zhūròu)
Amber: “pork”
Victor: Yeah, a very popular 煎包 (jiānbāo) filling.
Amber: Yes. Now, what are some other fillings we could try for 煎包 (jiānbāo), Victor?
Victor: Well, there are mushrooms, chives.
Amber: Oh, that’s a good one. That’s like 韭菜 (jiǔcài), right?
Victor: 韭菜 (Jiǔcài), yeah.
Amber: Yeah. That’s good for our vegetarian friends.
Victor: Cabbage, of course, very popular.
Amber: Oh, yeah, the 白菜 (báicài). Yeah! So, there’s a few different choices. Okay, but I do have to say that if you’re really a vegetarian, sometimes, we opt for the vegetable ones, they still have bits of meat in it. It’s kind of like in China, as long as the meat is really chopped up very tiny, it doesn’t count.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: So, if you’re very sensitive to meat, you might want to be careful. Even though they’re vegetable buns, they probably have little bits of pork.
Victor: And maybe the only one you can consider truly safe is the red bean ones.
Amber: Yeah, that’s true. Okay, well…
Victor: However, as you know Amber, my favorite food is not this one, but rather, our next one.
Amber: Yes, I know all too well, Victor. Your favorite is the…
Victor: 羊肉串儿 (yángròu chuànr)
Amber: The famous meat kebabs of China.
Victor: Yeah. I think a favorite of a lot of people, not just mine.
Amber: Mm-hmm. A lot of foreigners like them too.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: So, tell us about these meat kebabs, Victor.
Victor: Okay. 羊肉串儿 (Yángròu chuànr), 羊 (yáng) is 2nd tone, 肉 (ròu) is 4th tone, and 串儿 (chuànr) is 4th tone.
Amber: And the 羊肉 (yángròu) is actually the word for “lamb.”
Victor: Right. And this kebab title thing, I think, originated from the Xinjiang area of China.
Amber: 串儿 (chuànr) basically means “kebab,” being on a stick.
Victor: Right. And they’ll put some cumin on it and different things.
Amber: Mmm.
Victor: Oh, gosh, it’s great!
Amber: Yeah. So there’s different kinds of meat. Lamb is probably one of the more popular. You can also get beef, right? Beef kebab?
Victor: Right.
Amber: 牛肉 (niúròu)
Victor: Seafood.
Amber: Right.
Victor: Squid.
Amber: Yes. Okay, we’re getting distracted by all this food now, Victor. Back to the grammar.
Victor: Yes.
Amber: You have to ease into the grammar today.
Victor: Yeah, lunch after the grammar.

Lesson focus

Amber: Okay. Well, today, our grammar has a lot to do with asking what something is. Now, we’ve heard it off and on throughout our Gengo series. People asking, what is this, what is that?
Victor: 这是什么?(Zhè shì shénme?) and 那是什么? (Na shì shénme?)
Amber: Yeah. “What is this?” “What is that?” And then again, today, Mike wants to know about the street food and he asks…
Victor: 这个是什么? (Zhè ge shì shénme?) 那个是什么? (Nà gè shì shénme?)
Amber: So, interestingly, we heard before, in our other dialogues, 这是什么 (zhè shì shénme), and now, we’re hearing, 这个是什么 (zhè ge shì shénme)? Is there any difference, Victor?
Victor: The first one doesn’t have a measure word, but the second one does. This case, the measure word being the 个 (gè).
Amber: So, is there any difference if you just say 这是什么 (zhè shì shénme) or if you say, 这个是什么 (zhè ge shì shénme)? Why does one have it and one not?
Victor: Well basically, it’s just the difference between saying “What is this?” and “What is this one?” in English.
Amber: So when you have the measure word, it’s just a little bit more specific.
Victor: Right, exactly. However, you could leave it out if, say, you’re pointing and the person knows which one you’re talking about then.
Amber: Okay, That makes sense. Okay, now, for the next grammar point, I want you all to think back, way..back, because it’s something we learned before that is “reappearing” again.
Victor: Okay. I will give a hint. I will say the sentence we heard it in and you can see if it jars your memory, 那个呢 (nàgè ne).
Amber: What?! That’s all we get, Victor?
Victor: Yes.
Amber: Okay, well since it’s such a small word, well, the word we’re focusing on here is the word at the very end, which is 呢 (ne). Now, we know 那个 (nàgè) means “that.” 那个呢 (nàgè ne), what does it mean? Well, remember, one of our little particles, it is the one called 呢 (ne), and where do we hear this 呢 (ne) before, Victor?
Victor: 你呢 (Nǐ ne) came in Lesson 3. When Mike was chatting with Lili on the plane, she mentioned where she was from, and then she asked him, 你呢 (nǐ ne)?
Amber: Right, which basically means, “What about you?” or “And you?”
Victor: Yeah. And the 呢 (ne) is used to form follow-up questions.
Amber: Right. So, in today’s dialogue, what follow-up question did we hear?
Victor: We heard 那个呢 (nàgè ne)?
Amber: Which means, “What about that one?” Coz remember, he was asking what other foods, and then he’s like, “What about that one?” 那个呢? (Nàgè ne ?)
Victor: Right. A follow-up question. First, we heard him ask about the 煎包 (jiānbāo). She told him about it and then he asked, “Okay, what about this other thing?”
Amber: Right. Because we know 那个 (nàgè) means “that.” Could we use it with 这个 (zhège) as well, which we know means “this”?
Victor: Of course. That would be 这个呢 (zhège ne)?
Amber: Right, which means, “What about this one?”
Victor: Okay. Now, we get to hear about how much all this delicious food costs.
Amber: Yeah. So, once, Mike has apparently done his survey of the land, he comes to a decision of what he wants.
Victor: And there are a couple options of how to say the prices here. First off, let’s look at the one in the dialogue.
Amber: Yeah. Basically, oftentimes, there’s kind of like package deals for the street foods.
Victor: Right. Let’s start with the 煎包 (jiānbāo). We hear that they are 五个三块 (wǔ gè sān kuài).
Amber: Right, which is just, as if we said in English, five for three 块 (kuài) or RMB.
Victor: Right. And remember, 块 (kuài) is the short way to say RMB.
Amber: Mm-hmm.
Victor: Or basically, “buck” in Chinese.
Amber: Yeah, the Chinese money denomination.
Victor: So not a bad deal, five fried buns for 3块 (kuài).
Amber: So what does that equal out to in US dollars, Victor?
Victor: That’s about less than a dollar or 75 cents or so, I guess.
Amber: That’s crazy cheap! I can’t even get a pretzel in New York for that, on the street.
Victor: You can definitely eat well in China.
Amber: Yeah, less than a dollar, geez.
Victor: Yeah. Okay, so we’re getting so carried away with the cheapness that we forgot to tell you the other way you can say five for 3块 (kuài) in Chinese.
Amber: Yeah, just so you don’t get confused, coz they might tell you in a different way.
Victor: Yeah. So, the other way to say that is 三块钱五个 (sān kuài qián wǔ gè).
Amber: Right. So this time, they’re basically just saying 3 RMB for 5 buns, just flipping around, a different way of saying the same thing.
Victor: Right.
Amber: Okay. Well, moving on to the kebabs, the 串儿 (chuànr), are they screaming deal as well, Victor?
Victor: Yes, they certainly are because they are 一个两块 (yí gè liǎng kuà).
Amber: Right! One is 2 RMB. It’s like 30 cents each or something.
Victor: Yeah! I can’t even touch a meat kebab in New York for less than 5 bucks on the streets.
Amber: Yeah. What are we doing here? Wait, but there’s pizza without corn on it here, that’s okay. Well, now, give us another rendition of food pricing. So, one for 2块 (kuài) or RMB, what’s another way to say it, just in case?
Victor: 两块钱一个。 (Liǎng kuài qián yí gè.)
Amber: Okay. So, it’s just a longer way, 2块 (kuài) for one.
Victor: Right.
Amber: Okay, so basically, no matter what, everyone has to try the street food in China.
Victor: Be safe though. Be mindful.
Amber: Yes, but don’t be scared.
Victor: Right.
Amber: And if you don’t like it, I mean, it only costs 30 cents. You can just throw it away.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: It’s not that much of an investment, exactly. Okay.


Amber: Well, that does it for today. Have another listen to the sights and smells, visualize the street food in China and enjoy the dialogue one more time. And we will see you next time on Gengo Chinese.
Victor: See you!
Amber: 再见! (Zàijiàn!)
Victor: 再见! (Zàijiàn!)