Dialogue

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Vocabulary

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毕业 [畢業] bìyè to graduate
优秀 [優秀] yōuxiù outstanding
奖学金 [獎學金] jiǎngxuéjīn scholarship
全额 [全額] quáné total amount
参加 [參加] cānjiā to participate
报名 [報名] bàomíng to register, to sign up
深造 [深造] shēnzào to deepen one's knowledge
留学 [留學] liúxué to study abroad
出国 [出國] chūguó to leave the country
争取 [爭取] zhēngqǔ to struggle (to do something)

Lesson Notes

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Grammar

The Focus of this Lesson is on Multiple Options (they're good!)
你同意也好,不同意也好,我已经报名参加托福考试了。
"You can agree or not, I've already enrolled to take the TOEFL exam"


Our grammar point for this lesson introduces the ...也好...也好 pattern. In our dialogue, we see this in the following sentence:

你同意也好,不同意也好,我已经报名参加托福考试了.
Nǐ tóngyì yě hǎo, bù tóngyì yě hǎo, wǒ yǐjīng bàomíng cānjiā tuōfú kǎoshì le.
"Whether you agree or not, I've already enrolled to take the TOEFL exam."

What the speaker is literally saying is that each of the two options presented is fine before making a statement about the choice itself.

Grammar Pattern:

Verb Phrase + 也好 + Verb Phrase + 也好,
Noun Phrase + 也好 + Noun Phrase + 也好,
Adjective Phrase + 也好 + Adjective Phrase + 也好.

There are two useful things to note about this grammar pattern. The first is the extreme flexibility of this grammar pattern. As you can see from the section above, the two options we present using this pattern can be courses of action (verbs), objects (nouns), or descriptions of implied people or objects. As long as both phrases use the same part of speech, our sentence will be grammatically correct.

The second and more subtle thing to note about this pattern is that we are not presenting two options so much as commenting on the situation that surrounds them. Consider the following sentence, which might be given by an employer seeking to hire a recent graduate:

研究生也好,本科生也好,无所谓.
Yánjiūshēng yě hǎo, běnkēshēng yě hǎo, wúsuǒwèi.
"A graduate student is fine, an undergraduate is fine too. I don't really care."

Or consider again the sentence:

出国也好,留在国内也好,我听你的.
Chūguó yě hǎo, liú zài guónèi yě hǎo, wǒ tīng nǐ de.
"I can either study abroad or stay at home, it's up to you."

In both of these cases, as with the sentence in our dialogue, this critical final clause colors our interpretation of the two choices and influences how we should understand them.

Cultural Insights

Studying Abroad for Chinese


For most Chinese students, being able to study abroad is a dream. Starting as soon as preschool, students engage in rigorous English studies in the hope that one day they will be able to study higher education abroad, and in return, find a high-paying job. One of the biggest determinants in being able to study abroad is an English proficiency exam. There are a couple of different exams that are given depending on where and what you want to study. One such test is the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). This serves as an admissions requirement for many English-speaking universities. Another common proficiency test is IELTS (International English Language Testing System). Britain, Australia, and Canada sponsor this test. For most of these standardized tests, reading, writing, listening comprehension, and spoken modules are given. While students have ample experience in reading and writing, they still lag behind in oral and listening. This is largely due to the fact that there are few chances for students to practice spoken English with native English speakers. In most elementary and high schools, a non-native English speaker teaches English.

Comparing both the IELTS and TOEFL, some sources say that IELTS is relatively easier. The spoken portion of the IELTS test is given face to face with a real person, whereas the TOEFL test is proctored using a machine.

In China, many companies have set their business model to cater solely to the standardized English testing market. Companies such as New Oriental and Wall Street English are well-known for having well-developed English training methods. Along with large corporations, small start-up businesses have flooded the market. The demand for English testing education is extremely high in China. On average, students who want to study abroad will begin preparing for the exams one to two years beforehand.

Lesson Transcript

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INTRODUCTION
David: Hi, everyone.
Echo: 嗨,大家好。(Hāi, dàjiā hǎo.)
David: Welcome back to ChineseClass101.com, the fastest, easiest and most fun way to learn Chinese! I'm David Lancashire, I’m joined in the studio by Echo.
Echo: 我是(Wǒ shì) Echo.
David: And we’re here with lesson 1, in our first Intermediate series.
Echo: 第一课。(Dì yī kè.)
David: And the name of this lesson is Chinese Study Abroad. It’s what it’s all about.
Echo: 没错。(Méi cuò.)
David: We’ve got a lesson that’s about standing up for yourself.
Echo: 要学会独立。(Yào xuéhuì dúlì.)
David: We gotta tell mom the way it is. So we’ve got a conversation, and our dialogue takes place in a house.
Echo: Right.
David: between a mother and her son.
Echo: 他们之间有一个矛盾。(Tāmen zhī jiān yǒu yīgè máodùn.)
David: Right, they’ve got a conflict; however, they’re not yelling, even though they are family. So they're speaking casual mandarin.
David: Ok, so with that, let's get to the dialogue.
DIALOGUE
秦: 妈妈,毕业了我想出国留学。(Qín: Māma, bìyè le wǒ xiǎng chūguó liúxué.)
小樱: 什么?你应该马上工作。(Xiǎo Yīng: Shénme? Nǐ yīnggāi mǎshàng gōngzuò. )
秦: 我觉得机会难得,我应该出国深造。(Qín: Wǒ juéde jīhuì nándé, wǒ yīnggāi chūguó shēnzào.)
小樱: 你已经很优秀了,而且,我们也没有那么多钱呀!(Xiǎo Yīng: Nǐ yǐjīng hěn yōuxiù le, érqiě, wǒmen yě méiyǒu nàme duō qián ya! )
秦: 你同意也好,不同意也好,我已经报名参加托福考试了,我会争取拿到全额奖学金的!(Qín: Nǐ tóngyì yě hǎo, bù tóngyì yě hǎo, wǒ yǐjīng bàomíng cānjiā tuōfú kǎoshì le, wǒ huì zhēngqǔ nádào quánéjiǎngxuéjīn de!)
English Host: One more time, a bit slower.
秦: 妈妈,毕业了我想出国留学。(Qín: Māma, bìyè le wǒ xiǎng chūguó liúxué.)
小樱: 什么?你应该马上工作。(Xiǎo Yīng: Shénme? Nǐ yīnggāi mǎshàng gōngzuò. )
秦: 我觉得机会难得,我应该出国深造。(Qín: Wǒ juéde jīhuì nándé, wǒ yīnggāi chūguó shēnzào.)
小樱: 你已经很优秀了,而且,我们也没有那么多钱呀!(Xiǎo Yīng: Nǐ yǐjīng hěn yōuxiù le, érqiě, wǒmen yě méiyǒu nàme duō qián ya! )
秦: 你同意也好,不同意也好,我已经报名参加托福考试了,我会争取拿到全额奖学金的!(Qín: Nǐ tóngyì yě hǎo, bù tóngyì yě hǎo, wǒ yǐjīng bàomíng cānjiā tuōfú kǎoshì le, wǒ huì zhēngqǔ nádào quánéjiǎngxuéjīn de!)
English Host: One more time, with English.
秦: 妈妈,毕业了我想出国留学。(Qín: Māma, bìyè le wǒ xiǎng chūguó liúxué.)
David: Mother, now that I've graduated I want to study abroad.
小樱: 什么?你应该马上工作。(Xiǎo Yīng: Shénme? Nǐ yīnggāi mǎshàng gōngzuò. )
David: What? You should start working right away.
秦: 我觉得机会难得,我应该出国深造。(Qín: Wǒ juéde jīhuì nándé, wǒ yīnggāi chūguó shēnzào.)
David: I think opportunities will be hard to come by. I should go abroad to deepen my education.
小樱: 你已经很优秀了,而且,我们也没有那么多钱呀!(Xiǎo Yīng: Nǐ yǐjīng hěn yōuxiù le, érqiě, wǒmen yě méiyǒu nàme duō qián ya! )
David: You're already quite exceptional, and we don't have that much money either.
秦: 你同意也好,不同意也好,我已经报名参加托福考试了,我会争取拿到全额奖学金的!(Qín: Nǐ tóngyì yě hǎo, bù tóngyì yě hǎo, wǒ yǐjīng bàomíng cānjiā tuōfú kǎoshì le, wǒ huì zhēngqǔ nádào quánéjiǎngxuéjīn de!)
David: Whether you agree or not doesn't matter. I've already registered to take the TOEFL exam. I'll try my best to get the full scholarship.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
David: So, it's the moment of truth Echo. Did you ever study abroad?
Echo: No, 但我一直想去。(Dàn wǒ yīzhí xiǎng qù.)
David: Right, everyone that I know in China, they want to study abroad.
Echo: 对 (duì). Yeah. And that's why people talk about it all the time.
David: Right. Which is why our vocab section is all about getting an education and studying abroad.
Echo: And working hard for it.
David: And work hard for it, we’ve got a lot of this kind of words. So let's get to them now.
VOCAB LIST
David: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
: The first word we shall see is:
Echo: 毕业 (bìyè) [natural native speed]
David: to graduate
Echo: 毕业 (bìyè) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Echo: 毕业 (bìyè) [natural native speed]
: Next:
Echo: 出国 (chūguó) [natural native speed]
David: to leave the country
Echo: 出国 (chūguó) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Echo: 出国 (chūguó) [natural native speed]
: Next:
Echo: 留学 (liúxué) [natural native speed]
David: to study abroad
Echo: 留学 (liúxué) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Echo: 留学 (liúxué) [natural native speed]
: Next:
Echo: 深造 (shēnzào) [natural native speed]
David: to deepen one's knowledge
Echo: 深造 (shēnzào) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Echo: 深造 (shēnzào) [natural native speed]
: Next:
Echo: 报名 (bàomíng) [natural native speed]
David: to register, to sign up
Echo: 报名 (bàomíng) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Echo: 报名 (bàomíng) [natural native speed]
: Next:
Echo: 参加 (cānjiā) [natural native speed]
David: to participate
Echo: 参加 (cānjiā) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Echo: 参加 (cānjiā) [natural native speed]
: Next:
Echo: 全额 (quáné) [natural native speed]
David: total amount
Echo: 全额 (quáné) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Echo: 全额 (quáné) [natural native speed]
: Next:
Echo: 奖学金 (jiǎngxuéjīn) [natural native speed]
David: scholarship
Echo: 奖学金 (jiǎngxuéjīn) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Echo: 奖学金 (jiǎngxuéjīn) [natural native speed]
: Next:
Echo: 优秀 (yōuxiù) [natural native speed]
David: outstanding
Echo: 优秀(yōuxiù) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Echo: 优秀 (yōuxiù) [natural native speed]
: Next:
Echo: 争取 (zhēngqǔ) [natural native speed]
David: to struggle (to do something)
Echo: 争取 (zhēngqǔ) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Echo: 争取 (zhēngqǔ) [natural native speed]
VOCAB AND PHRASE USAGE
David: Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Echo: The first word/phrase we’ll look at is....
Echo: I think 毕业 (bìyè) and 出国 (chūguó) are pretty simple. But 留学 (liúxué) is tricky.
David: That means "to study abroad"
Echo: 留学 (liúxué)
David: to study abroad.
Echo: Don't confuse this with 流血 (liu2xue4)!
David: Right. That means to bleed.
Echo: Ha ha. Yeah. Like the sentence
David: Ok, so studying abroad is...
Echo: 留学 (liúxué). Like in the sentence 出国留学 (chūguó liúxué).
David: This means to leave the country to study. It's really popular for kids to do this in China.
Echo: Because most people think it's 深造 (shēnzào).
David: That's another word in our dialogue.
Echo : 深造 (shēnzào)
David: It means "to deepen one's knowledge"
Echo: 深造 (shēnzào).
David: And there's no object there.
Echo: Right.
David: So you don't "deepen your knowledge IN something". You just...
Echo: 深造 (shēnzào). Right. Like in the sentence 我正在找机会出去深造 (Wǒ zhèngzài zhǎo jīhuì chūqù shēnzào).
David: I'm looking for an opportunity to go and deepen my knowledge.
Echo: Right.
David: Awkward translation, but there's no really short way to say that in English.
Echo: Let's hear it again. 我正在找机会出去深造 (Wǒ zhèngzài zhǎo jīhuì chūqù shēnzào).
David: Perfect. So now we know how to go abroad to study [留学 (liúxué)] and how to deepen our knowledge [深造 (shēnzào)]. What's next?
Echo: 下一个词就是 (Xià yīgè cí jiùshì)... 报名 (bàomíng). "to enroll" 报名 (bàomíng)
David: Like enrolling in school.
Echo: No! Actually not schools.
David: That's what to enroll means in English.
Echo: Right. But in Chinese, you 报到(Bàodào) for schools, but 报名 (bàomíng) for tests.
David: I enrolled in the school.
Echo: 我去学校报到。(Wǒ qù xuéxiào bàodào.)
David: I enrolled in the test
Echo: 我报名参加考试。(Wǒ bàomíng cānjiā kǎoshì.)
David: Let's have another sample sentence for 报名.
Echo: Ok. 你报名参加研究生考试了吗?(Nǐ bàomíng cānjiā yánjiūshēng kǎoshìle ma?)
David: Have you enrolled to take the graduate student exam?
Echo: Right. That's also a useful word. 研究生考试.(Yánjiūshēng kǎoshì.)
David: Everyone needs to take that to become a graduate student in China?
Echo: Right. 研究生考试.(Yánjiūshēng kǎoshì.) It's like the GRE.
David: I bet foreigners don't.
Echo: Ha ha. You guys have it easy.
David: Yeah, but we have to learn Chinese.
Echo: Yes, you guys need to 争取学好汉语。(Zhēngqǔ xuéhǎo hànyǔ.)
David: Right, that's exactly the phrase we need, can you give it to us one more time?
Echo: 争取学好汉语.(Zhēngqǔ xuéhǎo hànyǔ.)
David: And that's our next word.
Echo: 争取(Zhēngqǔ)
David: That means "to struggle"
Echo: 争取 (Zhēngqǔ)
David: And it goes before a verb?
Echo: 对(Duì),争取学好(Zhēngqǔ xuéhǎo) - to struggle to learn well.
David: Perfect.
Echo: Because we need a result.
David: Right, you have to struggle to do sth
Echo: 争取得到 (Zhēngqǔ dédào)
David: to struggle to get
Echo: Just like the sentence
David: He's struggling to get the scholarship.
Echo: Yeah, and the last word is scholarship,奖学金.(Jiǎngxuéjīn.)
David: Let's hear it one more time?
Echo: 奖学金 (Jiǎngxuéjīn)
David: Perfect. Now let's move on to the grammar section.
LESSON FOCUS
David: Our grammar point today is all about standing up for yourself.
Echo: Right.
David: Having it your own way.
Echo: My way!
David: Not caring what anyone else thinks!
Echo: jiu zhe yang!
David: Exactly. Let's listen to this line from our dialogue.
Echo: 你同意也好(Nǐ tóngyì yě hǎo),不同意也好(Bù tóngyì yě hǎo),反正我已经报名参加托福考试了(Fǎnzhèng wǒ yǐjīng bàomíng cānjiā tuōfú kǎoshìle),
David: Wow. That's standing up to mom. Let's hear that again?
Echo: 你同意也好(Nǐ tóngyì yě hǎo),不同意也好(Bù tóngyì yě hǎo),反正我已经报名参加托福考试了(Fǎnzhèng wǒ yǐjīng bàomíng cānjiā tuōfú kǎoshìle),
David: So that means, "whether you agree or not, I've already signed up for the TOEFL test."
Echo: Yeah. Let's hear it again. 你同意也好(Nǐ tóngyì yě hǎo),不同意也好(Bù tóngyì yě hǎo),反正我已经报名参加托福考试了(Fǎnzhèng wǒ yǐjīng bàomíng cānjiā tuōfú kǎoshìle),
David: Whether you agree or not.
Echo: 你同意也好(Nǐ tóngyì yě hǎo),不同意也好....(Bù tóngyì yě hǎo....)
David: And that's our grammar point.
Echo: ... 也好 ...也好(... Yě hǎo... Yě hǎo)
David: We use this to present two options.
Echo: 同意(Tóngyì) and 不同意(Bù tóngyì)
David: They both have to be the same part of speech.
Echo: Verbs here. 同意(Tóngyì) and 不同意(Bù tóngyì)
David: So the whole phrase is
Echo: 你同意也好,不同意也好....(Nǐ tóngyì yě hǎo, bù tóngyì yě hǎo....)
David: Whether you agree or not.
Echo: Exactly.
David: This is a really useful grammar patterns. Let's listen to some other examples.
Echo: Ok. 出国也好,留在国内也好,我听你的。(Chūguó yě hǎo, liú zài guónèi yě hǎo, wǒ tīng nǐ de.)
David: That means... Whether I go abroad or stay in the country is fine. You decide.
Echo: If it was me, I'd say 出国好(Chūguó hǎo). Just skip that 也.(Yě.)
David: Right. Anyway, the literal translation might be... "Going abroad is ok"
Echo: 出国也好(Chūguó yě hǎo)
David: "Staying in China is ok"
Echo: 留在国内也好(Liú zài guónèi yě hǎo)
David: And then... you decide.
Echo: 我听你的.(Wǒ tīng nǐ de.)
David: And we have to have that final statement.
Echo: Right. 也好...也好...(Yě hǎo... Yě hǎo...) something.
David: Let's get another example.
Echo: Ok. 优秀也好,不优秀也好,他能考上大学就行了。(Yōuxiù yě hǎo, bù yōuxiù yě hǎo, tā néng kǎo shàng dàxué jiùxíngle.)
David: That's what my parents said about me.
Echo: Ha ha.
David: It means, "Doesn’t matter if he's smart or not, as long as he can get into university."
Echo: You have very good parents.
David: Actually, they'd have killed me if I didn't go. Let's listen to that again.
Echo: 优秀也好,不优秀也好,他能考上大学就行了。(Yōuxiù yě hǎo, bù yōuxiù yě hǎo, tā néng kǎo shàng dàxué jiùxíngle.)
David: And we're using two adjectives there.
Echo: 优秀也好,不优秀也好,(Yōuxiù yě hǎo, bù yōuxiù yě hǎo,)
David: That means outstanding.
Echo: 优秀(Yōuxiù)
David: One more example.
Echo: Right. You might say this one if you're hiring someone for a job. 、研究生也好(Yánjiūshēng yě hǎo),本科生也好(Běnkē shēng yě hǎo),无所谓(Wúsuǒwèi).
David: Graduates and undergraduates are both ok. It doesn't really matter.
Echo: Right. 研究生也好,本科生也好,无所谓.(Yánjiūshēng yě hǎo, běnkē shēng yě hǎo, wúsuǒwèi.)
David: And those are two nouns.
Echo: 研究生(Yánjiūshēng) [graduate student] and 本科生 (Běnkē shēng)[undergraduate]
David: So this is a very flexible pattern.
Echo: 也好... 也好...(Yě hǎo... Yě hǎo...)
David: Use it to say that either is OK with you.
Echo: Or with 反正(Fǎnzhèng) like in the dialogue, to say you don't care....
David: Great.
OUTRO
David: Now before we leave you if you're premium member we want to remind you not forget to subscribe to the premium feed.
Echo: Right, one of our most powerful web 2.0 features to date.
David: Right the premium feed that easily and effortlessly get all of the contents. Switch your buttons just at iTunes and then iTunes is going to download all of those files to your computer, or your iPod, or iPhone, with just a single click of a button.
David: From Beijing, I’m David.
Echo: 我是(Wǒ shì)Echo.
David: Thanks a lot for listening, and I’ll see you next time.
Echo: 网上见吧。(Wǎngshàng jiàn ba.)