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Amber: Hey, everybody! This is Amber.
Victor: 大家好, (Dàjiā hǎo,) I’m Victor.
Amber: And welcome back to Gengo Chinese Season 1. This is Lesson 5. It’s a great topic today, Victor.
Victor: Yes.
Amber: This lesson is called - Welcome to China! And it’s got a little byline that’s very important - Avoid Immersion Shock with this Lesson. Do you think it’s possible for one Chinese lesson to stave off culture shock?
Victor: You can try, but I think it’s…it’s something to be had, actually, but, you know.
Amber: Yeah, well it’s a start. It’s a start.
Victor: Yeah, yeah.
Amber: OK, well before we get into anything too shocking, let’s just do a little review from last lesson. In Lesson 4, we learned....
Victor: Last lesson, we learned that California has a nice weather.
Amber: Yes, which, I guess, that wasn’t really new to any of us, but more importantly, we learned how to talk about the weather in Chinese.
Victor: Right, and the weather is good today, right?
Amner: Yeah, so the weather is good today. How do we say that Victor?
Victor: 天气很好。 (Tiānqì hěn hǎo.)
Amber: 天气 (Tiānqì) being the word for “weather,” and then 很好 (hěn hǎo), of course, means “very good.”
Victor: Very good.
Amber: And we also learned something very important which was the way to negate sentences, in Chinese.
Victor: Yes. You just add the word 不 (bù) in front of the verb.
Amber: Yes! Very easy. And another thing we learned is something that we’re all learning here which is how to speak Chinese. So we learned the verb 会 (huì) which is the verb used to express “ability.”
Victor: Yeah, as in 我会说中文。 (Wǒ huì shuō zhōngwén.)
Amber: That’s right! Of course, you can, Victor. But pretty soon, we’ll all be saying 我会说中文。 (Wǒ huì shuō zhōngwén.)
Victor: Yeah, 我会说中文。 (Wǒ huì shuō zhōngwén.)
Amber: OK, so today’s lesson, we’re here to welcome you to China, just like we promised.
Victor: Yep, so today, the plane has finally landed.
Amber: Yes, and apparently, it seems like our friends, Lili and Mike, fell asleep, fast asleep because the conversation died a little. Fast forward 15 hours later, but they’re in China now!
Victor: So today, we hear a little familiar plane language, just the Chinese version.
Amber: Yeah. It’s the thing that the pilot says as he welcomes you to China.
Victor: Oh, OK. Yeah.
Amber: So in this lesson, we’re gonna learn about time, more about the weather, and the days of the week. So let’s listen to the conversation.
Pilot: 各位乘客,下午好。 欢迎来到上海浦东机场。今天是星期四,现在是下午三点,今天气温36度。祝您在中国旅途愉快! (Gè wèi chéngkè xiàwǔ hǎo. Huānyíng láidào Shànghǎi Pǔdōng Jīchǎng. Jīntiān shì xīngqīsì, xiànzài shì xiàwǔ sān diǎn, jīntiān qìwēn 36 dù. Zhù nín zài Zhōngguó lǚtú yúkuài.)
Mike:36度?太热了。 (36 dù? Tài rè le.)
Lili:是啊。对了,我有扇子。 (Shì a. Duì le, wǒ yǒu shànzi.)
Mike:我也有。 (Wǒ yě yǒu.)
Victor: 重复一次, 慢速. (Chóngfù yīcì, màn sù.)
Amber: One more time, a little slower.
Pilot: 各位乘客,下午好。 欢迎来到上海浦东机场。今天是星期四,现在是下午三点,今天气温36度。祝您在中国旅途愉快! (Gè wèi chéngkè xiàwǔ hǎo. Huānyíng láidào Shànghǎi Pǔdōng Jīchǎng. Jīntiān shì xīngqīsì, xiànzài shì xiàwǔ sān diǎn, jīntiān qìwēn 36 dù. Zhù nín zài Zhōngguó lǚtú yúkuài.)
Mike:36度?太热了。 (36 dù? Tài rè le.)
Lili:是啊。对了,我有扇子。 (Shì a. Duì le, wǒ yǒu shànzi.)
Mike:我也有。 (Wǒ yě yǒu.)
Victor: 重复一次, 加英文翻译. (Chóngfù yīcì, jiā yīngwén fānyì.)
Amber: One more time, with the English.
Pilot: 各位乘客,下午好。 欢迎来到上海浦东机场。今天是星期四,现在是下午三点,今天气温36度。祝您在中国旅途愉快! (Gè wèi chéngkè xiàwǔ hǎo. Huānyíng láidào Shànghǎi Pǔdōng Jīchǎng. Jīntiān shì xīngqīsì, xiànzài shì xiàwǔ sān diǎn, jīntiān qìwēn 36 dù. Zhù nín zài Zhōngguó lǚtú yúkuài.)
Amber: Good afternoon, passengers. Welcome to Shanghai Pudong Airport. Today is Thursday. It is now three o'clock in the afternoon. The temperature today is 36 degrees. I wish you a pleasant trip in China.
Mike:36度?太热了。 (36 dù? Tài rè le.)
Amber: 36 degrees? That's so hot!
Lili:是啊。对了,我有扇子。 (Shì a. Duì le, wǒ yǒu shànzi.)
Amber: Yeah. Oh right, I have a fan.
Mike:我也有。 (Wǒ yě yǒu.)
Amber: Me too.
Amber: Woah, these people come prepared, Victor.
Victor: Yeah, a fan even on the plane.
Amber: Even on the plane.
Victor: I know.
Amber: I never remember to bring that. Maybe they’re taken away from you at the security, though.
Victor: Really, a fan?
Amber: It looks like a weapon, maybe. But anyways, China can get hot, so we highly recommend it if they let you through.
Victor: Yeah. You’ll see a lot of those, actually, on the streets, right? People have fans.
Amber: Yeah, it’s so hot Victor that, you know, five of the cities in China are referred to as “the fiery furnaces.”
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: OK, let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Victor: 各 (gè) [natural native speed]
Amber: each, every
Victor: 各 (gè) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 各 (gè) [natural native speed]
Amber: Next one
Victor: 位 (wèi) [natural native speed]
Amber: polite measure word for people
Victor: 位 (wèi) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 位 (wèi) [natural native speed]
Victor: 乘客 (chéngkè) [natural native speed]
Amber: passenger
Victor: 乘客 (chéngkè) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 乘客 (chéngkè) [natural native speed]
Victor: 下午好 (xiàwǔ hǎo) [natural native speed]
Amber: good afternoon
Victor: 下午好 (xiàwǔ hǎo) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 下午好 (xiàwǔ hǎo) [natural native speed]
Victor: 欢迎 (huānyíng) [natural native speed]
Amber: to welcome
Victor: 欢迎 (huānyíng) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 欢迎 (huānyíng) [natural native speed]
Victor: 来到 (láidào) [natural native speed]
Amber: to arrive at
Victor: 来到 (láidào) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 来到 (láidào) [natural native speed]
Victor: 上海 (Shànghǎi) [natural native speed]
Amber: Shanghai
Victor: 上海 (Shànghǎi) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 上海 (Shànghǎi) [natural native speed]
Victor: 机场 (jīchǎng) [natural native speed]
Amber: airport
Victor: 机场 (jīchǎng) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 机场 (jīchǎng) [natural native speed]
Victor: 今天 (jīntiān) [natural native speed]
Amber: today
Victor: 今天 (jīntiān) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 今天 (jīntiān) [natural native speed]
Victor: 下午 (xiàwǔ) [natural native speed]
Amber: afternoon
Victor: 下午 (xiàwǔ) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 下午 (xiàwǔ) [natural native speed]
Victor: 星期四 (xīngqīsì) [natural native speed]
Amber: Thursday
Victor: 星期四 (xīngqīsì) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 星期四 (xīngqīsì) [natural native speed]
Victor: 现在 (xiànzài) [natural native speed]
Amber: now
Victor: 现在 (xiànzài) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 现在 (xiànzài) [natural native speed]
Victor: 气温 (qìwēn) [natural native speed]
Amber: temperature
Victor: 气温 (qìwēn) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 气温 (qìwēn) [natural native speed]
Victor: 度 (dù) [natural native speed]
Amber: degree
Victor: 度 (dù) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 度 (dù) [natural native speed]
Victor: 祝 (zhù) [natural native speed]
Amber: to wish, to bless
Victor: 祝 (zhù) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 祝 (zhù) [natural native speed]
Victor: 在 (zài) [natural native speed]
Amber: at
Victor: 在 (zài) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 在 (zài) [natural native speed]
Victor: 中国 (Zhōngguó) [natural native speed]
Amber: China
Victor: 中国 (Zhōngguó) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 中国 (Zhōngguó) [natural native speed]
Victor: 旅途愉快 (lǚtú yúkuài) [natural native speed]
Amber: have a nice trip
Victor: 旅途愉快 (lǚtú yúkuài) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 旅途愉快 (lǚtú yúkuài) [natural native speed]
Victor: 太 (tài) [natural native speed]
Amber: too
Victor: 太 (tài) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 太 (tài) [natural native speed]
Victor: 热 (rè) [natural native speed]
Amber: hot
Victor: 热 (rè) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 热 (rè) [natural native speed]
Victor: 有 (yǒu) [natural native speed]
Amber: to have
Victor: 有 (yǒu) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 有 (yǒu) [natural native speed]
Victor: 扇子 (shànzi) [natural native speed]
Amber: fan
Victor: 扇子 (shànzi) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 扇子 (shànzi) [natural native speed]
Amber: Okay, let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Victor: The first phrase we’re looking at is the pilot's greeting. This is pretty formal. He says 各位乘客,下午好。 (Gè wèi chéngkè xiàwǔ hǎo.)
Amber: Now, it sounds a little long, but actually, there’s something at the end of the sentence (let’s start at the end) that’s reminiscent of another greeting that we’re really familiar with, which is the normal greeting we use for every day is 你好。 (Nǐ hǎo.)
Victor: Right! 你好。 (Nǐ hǎo.)
Amber: But what did he say?
Victor: He said 下午好。 (Xiàwǔ hǎo.) 下 (Xià) is 4th tone.
Amber: Hmm-mm.
Victor: 午 (Wǔ) is 3rd and 好 (hǎo), of course, is 3rd.
Amber: Right! So, I think everyone can probably guess what it means, because if 你好 (nǐ hǎo) “you good” literally in English means “hello,” then the word for “afternoon” being 下午 (xiàwǔ).
Victor: 下午 (xiàwǔ)
Amber: And then we have the 好 (hǎo), what do you think it means?
Victor: Yep, “good afternoon.”
Amber: That’s right! Literally, it means “afternoon good,” so it’s a more formal greeting, just the way of saying “good afternoon.” So that was the easy part, but what was before that? It was kind of a mouthful?
Victor: He said 各位乘客 (Gè wèi chéngkè). 各 (Gè) is 4th tone, 位 (wèi) is also 4th tone, 乘 (chéng) is 2nd, and 客 (kè) is 4th tone again.
Amber: Good.
Victor: Yep, so this is the formal part.
Amber: Right! So, well I have a little insight on this because I know that the last word, 乘客 (chéngkè), means “passenger.”
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: Because that’s my favorite Wong Faye song.
Victor : Your song, right.
Amber: Everyone can look it up.
Victor: It’s called 乘客 (chéngkè).
Amber: It’s a good song. I sing it in karaoke every time. But what is this 各位 (gè wèi)?
Victor: 各位 (Gè wèi) is a way in Chinese to say “each person.”
Amber: So, when you put it together, 各位乘客 (gè wèi chéngkè), it basically means “each person passenger.”
Victor: Yes. It is a form of address to a group of people.
Amber: Good. So, you put it all together and you get...
Victor: 各位乘客,下午好。 (Gè wèi chéngkè xiàwǔ hǎo.)
Amber: “All passengers, good afternoon.”
Victor: And next, we hear 欢迎来到上海浦东机场。 (Huānyíng láidào Shànghǎi Pǔdōng Jīchǎng.)
Amber: OK, that’s a little bit long.
Victor: Yeah, so let’s start with a clump of it. That might help, right?
Amber: Yeah, because one big chunk of this sentence is devoted to telling us where we have landed, predictably, and in this case, it is the Pudong Airport in Shanghai.
Victor: Yeah. 上海浦东机场 (Shànghǎi Pǔdōng Jīchǎng)
Amber: Now, probably everyone can hear the “Shanghai” and the “Pudong” in that sentence. Can you say it again, Victor?
Victor: 上海浦东 (Shànghǎi Pǔdōng)
Amber: Right! And then, what was the word for airport?
Victor: 机场 (Jīchǎng), 机 (jī) is 1st tone, 场 (chǎng) is 3rd.
Amber: Good. So we know the last half of the phrase now. What was the beginning half? What did he say?
Victor: He said, 欢迎 来到 (huānyíng láidào).
Amber: OK. So the first word we hear is 欢迎 (huānyíng). What are the tones on that, Victor?
Victor: 欢 (huān) is 1st and 迎 (yíng) is 2nd.
Amber: Right, and this is a great word to learn, because you will hear it, probably almost every day in China.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: For example, when you’re walking into a store or into a restaurant, people will yell something out.
Victor: Everybody says that in your face.
Amber: What do they yell out, Victor?
Victor: 欢迎光临 (Huānyíng guānglín)
Amber: Yeah. It’s sort of like a...sort of like a generic store greeting.
Victor: Right, you hear it a lot.
Amber: You’ll hear it a lot.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: So it’d be easy to remember this word for welcome because that’s the first half of that phrase, 欢迎 (huānyíng).
Victor: 欢迎光临 (Huānyíng guānglín), yeah, 欢迎 (huānyíng).
Amber: So, the pilot first says welcome and then what was after that?
Victor: He says, 来到 (láidào).
Amber: So 来 (lái) is 2nd tone, 到 (dào) is 4th tone.
Victor: Yes, 来到 (láidào).
Amber: And 来到 (láidào) basically means “to arrive at,” or “to come to.”
Victor: Right! So, we’re gonna put it together.
Amber: Yeah and I’ll say basically in English, it is - “Welcome to Shanghai Pudong Airport.”
Victor: 欢迎来到上海浦东机场。 (Huānyíng láidào Shànghǎi Pǔdōng Jīchǎng).
Amber: Good. OK, so we all know what comes next for the disoriented travelers, they have to get oriented, so they’re gonna get a time update. That always comes next in the plane. So, how does this sound in Chinese, Victor?
Victor: Well, it starts with 今天是星期四 (Jīntiān shì xīngqīsì).
Amber: Right! So because when you cross oceans, sometimes, the day changes.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: He starts with the day. So, This is a good phrase because there’s so much we can learn in one line.
Victor: OK, so let’s start with the end—we can learn how to say the days of the week!
Amber: Yeah, we can learn that right now.
Victor: Here, we hear the term “Thursday”, which is 星期四 (xīngqīsì); 星 (xīng) is 1st tone, 期 (qī) is also 1st tone, and 四 (sì), the number 4, is 4th tone.
Amber: Right. So, for all of you who have done our bootcamp lesson, that was Lesson 4, you’ll know that the number 4 in Chinese is 四 (sì).
Victor: Yeah, 四 (sì).
Amber: And coincidentally, Thursday is the 4th day of the week, so yes, it is that easy to make the days of the week in Chinese.
Victor: Pretty easy, right.
Amber: Because the word 星期 (xīngqī) actually means “week.”
Victor: Week, right.
Amber: So basically, just “week” and then the number “4.”
Victor: Right. So, if you can count to 6, you can basically say up to Saturday.
Amber: Now, that places the Saturday, but what about Sunday, Victor? Is there something different? It’s not 星期7 (xīngqī7)?
Victor: Yeah, you can’t say 星期七 (xīngqíqī), no, no.
Amber: No.
Victor: But it’s easy enough though. It’s 星期日 (xīngqírì).
Amber: Right, or you can also say 星期天 (xīngqītiān).
Victor: 星期天 (xīngqītiān)
Amber: There’s two ways.
Victor: Basically, it’s the “day,” the “week day.”
Amber: Right. Good! OK, so now, to say “today is Thursday,” it’s just like what the pilot said.
Victor: We need to say, 今天是星期四。 (Jīntiān shì xīngqīsì.)
Amber: Right! So, the word for “today” is 今天 (jīntiān).
Victor: 今天 (Jīntiān). That is 1st tone and 1st tone.
Amber: Right and then we hear the verb “to be” in Chinese.
Victor: Once again, it’s 是 (shì). It’s a 4th tone.
Amber: Right and then just the day of the week! So, that’s really easy. It’s basically the same as English word order.
Victor: Yep!
Amber: Today is Thursday.
Victor: Thursday.
Victor: OK. So, we go from the days of the week to another very helpful thing that you are going to love learning.
Victor: Yeah, how can you get through life in China without knowing how to say the time?
Amber: Yeah, so we learned that now . The pilot says next…
Victor: 现在是下午三点。 (Xiànzài shì xiàwǔ sān diǎn.)
Amber: Right! So before we get to the part where we break down how you say the time, we heard the time word which is 现在 (xiànzài) which means “right now.” What were the tones on that, Victor?
Victor: 现 (xiàn) is 4th tone, 在 (zài) is also 4th tone, and 是 (shì) is, again, 4th tone.
Amber: Right, so “here now” then the verb “to be” is…
Victor: 现在是 (xiànzài shì)
Amber: Yeah, and then we get to the time. So, when you’re talking about time in Chinese, if you wanna specify the morning or the afternoon, that comes first.
Victor: Right.
Amber: Before the time. So here, we heard that it was the afternoon.
Victor: So you said, 下午 (xiàwǔ).
Amber: Right, “afternoon,” and then came the time.
Victor: 三点 (sān diǎn)
Amber: So we know that 三 (sān) is the number “3.”
Victor: 3
Amber: And then the word for “o’clock” is…
Victor: 点 (diǎn)
Amber: Which is 3rd tone.
Victor: 3rd tone, 点 (diǎn).
Amber: So, simple time. For the time, if it is on the hour, if it’s something “o’clock,” we can just use any number, the time that it is.
Victor: Right.
Amber: And then we just add 点 (diǎn).
Victor: Yeah, as in 五点 (wǔ diǎn) “5 o’clock,” 六点 (liù diǎn) “6 o’clock.”
Amber: That’s right. But there is...that’s kind of the short form. Sometimes, you might hear someone say a little bit longer. What do they say?
Victor: 五点钟 (Wǔ diǎn zhōng)
Amber: Right! And 钟 (zhōng) basically just means “hour,” 1st tone.
Victor: Right, 五点钟 (Wǔ diǎn zhōng).
Amber: 钟 (zhōng). It’s kind of just a long form of saying the time. Both are acceptable.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: OK. So, we know it’s Thursday, 星期四 (xīngqīsì).
Victor: And we know it’s 3 o’clock, 三点钟 (sān diǎn zhōng).
Amber: Now, what else do we know?
Victor: Something else that’s really helpful, the temperature.
Amber: That’s right! Very good to know, so that you have your fan ready. And how do you say “temperature” in Chinese?
Victor: 气温 (Qìwēn), 气温 (qìwēn) which is 4th tone and 1st tone.
Amber: Right! So what did we hear the pilot say the temperature is?
Victor: 今天气温36度。 (Jīntiān qìwēn 36 dù.)
Amber: Right! So again, we hear 今天 (jīntiān) which means “today.”
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: Then the word for “temperature” which we just learned…
Victor: 气温 (qìwēn).
Amber: Right. But here now, the most alarming thing about the sentence is not all this vocabulary, it’s the actual temperature.
Victor: It’s actual...yeah.
Amber: So, those of us who studied our numbers hard in the bootcamp lessons know that 三十六 (sānshíliù) means…
Victor: “36”
Amber: And we’re not talking Fahrenheit here.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: We’re talking Celsius. Generally in China, they always use Celsius.
Victor: There’s a conversion there, yeah.
Amber: Yeah. So, we heard him say...
Victor: 36度 (36 dù)
Amber: So 度 (dù) means “degrees.”
Victor: Means degrees, yes.
Amber: And it’s a 4th tone. So all together now, to say ~ “Today, the temperature is 36 degrees.”
Victor: 今天气温36度。 (Jīntiān qìwēn 36 dù.)
Amber: Right, that easy.
Victor: Yeah, 36 degree Celsius.
Amber: Right. OK, so now, we’re all up to date with the weather report and in the time report. So what is left but some nice welcoming words from the hospitable Chinese.
Victor: The pilot says, 祝您在中国旅途愉快! (Zhù nín zài Zhōngguó lǚtú yúkuài!)
Amber: OK, so it might sound a little long, but actually, there is a very familiar phrase in here that we can recognize right off the bat. It’s at the end of the sentence.
Victor: 旅途愉快! (Lǚtú yúkuài!)
Amber: Yeah. Remember our traveler, Mike, the very first lesson we had, he got a very similar wish from his friend.
Victor: Right...from his friend, 旅途愉快! (Lǚtú yúkuài!) 旅 (Lǚ) is a 3rd tone, 途 (tú) is a 2nd, 愉 (yú) is 2nd, and 快 (kuài) is a 4th tone.
Amber: Right! And remember, it was because his friend wished him a good trip. OK, now, what did the pilot say right before that?
Victor: Well, he says, at first, 祝您 (zhù nín).
Amber: So, let’s first stop there. 祝 (zhù) is 4th tone.
Victor: 您 (nín) is 2nd tone.
Amber: So, 您 (nín) is actually the formal word for “you.” We know 你 (nǐ), right, but sometimes you’ll hear people say 您 (nín) just to be more polite.
Victor: Very polite, yeah.
Amber: And so, 祝 (zhù) means “to wish someone (something).” 祝您 (Zhù nín) means “to wish you…” then what?
Victor: 在中国 (zài Zhōngguó)
Amber: So these words might be a little familiar. 在 (zài) is 4th tone.
Victor: 在 (zài), 4th tone.
Amber: It means “at.”
Victor: 中国 (Zhōngguó) “the middle kingdom”
Amber: Yes.
Victor: “China”
Amber: So, we put it all together and we get…
Victor: 在中国 (Zài Zhōngguó); 中 (zhōng) is 1st tone, 国 (guó) is 2nd tone.
Amber: OK, so put it all together and what is the whole wish from the pilot?
Victor: 祝您在中国旅途愉快! (Zhù nín zài Zhōngguó lǚtú yúkuài!)
Amber: Right! “Wish you in China happy trip,” basically.
Victor: Yes, exactly.
Amber: So, the pilot is wishing us all a pleasant trip in China, and I’m sure it will prove to be very pleasant.
Victor: Yeah.

Lesson focus

Amber: OK, so that’s it for the pilot’s cameo, and we are back to our friends, Mike and Lili.
Victor: Yeah, let’s hear what they have to say.
Amber: Now, I think, of course, Mike says exactly what I would say, which would be, probably to exclaim… “What!!!! 36 degrees?
Victor: He repeats that ghastly temperature.
Amber: Yes, and who wouldn’t! And then of course, he had to make some kind of comment on it.
Victor: Yes. This is a very common structure in Chinese.
Amber: Yes, it’s good for making exclamations. So, let’s take a moment and see what other kind of situations we can use it in. Let’s first breakdown the pattern, Victor.
Victor: Sure. Basically, it is used to make an emphasis. The word 太 (tài) which is 4th tone means “too,” too much.
Amber: Yes. And then, what you do next is you put in an adjective. So, in this case, it’s “hot” or…
Victor: 热 (Rè), which is 4th tone, 热 (rè).
Amber: Yeah and then we tack on a little 了 (le) particle at the end for good measure. It makes kind of like a nice Chinese grammar sandwich, right, Victor?
Victor: 太热了。 (Tài rè le.)
Amber: Right. So basically, literally, it means “too hot.”
Victor: Yes.
Amber: And it just basically can be used anytime you wanna say “too hot” or even like “soooo hot.”
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: Let’s try with another adjective.
Victor: How about “cold”?
Amber: Yes. I can say I’ve exclaimed that many times on the flipside, in China.
Victor: 冷 (lěng)
Amber: Victor just said the word for “cold.”
Victor: 冷 (Lěng) which is a 3rd tone.
Amber: Right. So, if you find you are 太热了 (tài rè le), you can just wait a few months and you will be…
Victor: 太冷了! (Tài lěng le!)
Amber: Exactly! So, 4th tone is 太 (tài), 冷 (lěng) is 3rd tone, and the 了 (le) is neutral tone.
Victor: Right.
Amber: Too cold!
Victor: How about another one? We can say, Amber, 太高了! (Tài gāo le!)
Amber: Hey, what? I’m not that tall.
Victor: Well, for Chinese people, you are.
Amber: All right, OK.
Victor: Yeah, for Chinese people, yeah.
Amber: So the word for… the word for tall, in Chinese, is 高 (gāo).
Victor: 高 (gāo)
Amber: 1st tone.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: So, put it together, if you really want to emphasize, I would say, maybe, yeah, when I’m in China, people would say…
Victor: 太高了! (Tài gāo le!)
Amber: 太高了! (Tài gāo le!)
Victor: Yeah. Amber, so there is one more really common grammar structure at the end of our dialogue.
Amber: Yes, and actually, we’ll bring you back to the fans.
Victor: Yeah. The sentence was 我有扇子。(Wǒ yǒu shànzi.)
Amber: Right and this is very straightforward, but very useful. It’s using the verb 有 (yǒu), which is 3rd tone.
Victor: “to have”
Amber: Yes.
Victor: To express possession.
Amber: Yeah, that’s right! So, the verb “to have,” in Chinese, 有 (yǒu) is actually quite versatile and it’s used in different ways, but in this case, this is probably the first and most basic usage. Basically, it just means “to have.”
Victor: Right, so anything from “I have a book…”
Amber: Right, you could say 我有书。 (Wǒ yǒu shū.)
Victor: To 我有 (wǒ yǒu) a million dollars.
Amber: Yes!
Victor: Yeah. Just repeat that.
Amber: If you have anything, you just use the pronoun, the verb “to have” and then whatever it is that you have. It works! And there’s one more word too that we should mention, which is when Mike responds that he also has a fan. So what is the word for “also,” in Chinese?
Victor: 也 (Yě) which is a 3rd tone.
Amber: Right, so we heard Mike answer. If you wanna say “me to,” “I do too”?
Victor: 我也有。 (Wǒ yěyǒu.)
Amber: Right, so it’s basically just subject, 也 (yě) for “also”, and then the verb.
Victor: Repeat the verb, yes.


Amber: OK, well that’s it for Lesson 5, Gengon Lesson 5. We welcome you all to China, of course, and we hope that you avoid immersion shock. We hope this helps you.
Victor: Yeah, definitely.
Amber: Maybe the fan will help you. And we’ll see you next time!
Victor: See you next time! 再见。(Zàijiàn.)
Amber: 再见。(Zàijiàn.)