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Lesson Transcript

Victor: 大家好。(Dàjiā hǎo.) I'm Victor.
Amber: Hi, and I'm Amber. Welcome to introduction lesson number 3 here on ChineseClass101.com, the fastest way to learn and to love Chinese.
Victor: With a revolutionary system that allows you the listener to master Chinese in a fast and enjoyable way.
Amber: And Victor learn we had better because Chinese people love to talk right?
Victor: Yeah we do.
Amber: And there are a lot of them.
Victor: There are.
Amber: Many conversations to be had, but you know I find Chinese culture to be extremely interactive.
Victor: Very social.
Amber: Yes very social, and one thing I love about China is how the street life is so vibrant like your neighbors like to sit around and chat about who is doing what...
Victor: Yeah, the weather...
Amber: What the foreigner buys at the grocery store...
Victor: Even your lunch, dinner, how much you make.
Amber: It goes on and on. It's true, Chinese people seem to be fascinated quite a bit by foreigners, living habits, things like that.
Victor: Yeah by what foreign visitors eat, do for fun and things like that.
Amber: Yeah and so what I'm getting at here is we are going to help you to learn Chinese so that you can get to know the juicy gossip rather than be the juicy gossip of your Chinese neighbor.
Victor: Yeah by learning a lot and a lot of vocabulary.
Amber: That's right and here at chineseclass101.com we know from experience a rich vocabulary is one of the keys to fluency so Victor and I have made it a lot easier for you to memorize words.
Victor: You've probably noticed in the first two introduction audio lessons, we introduce and break down the vocabulary from a conversation.
Amber: Yeah and then we'll give you pronunciation and insights on how to use the language. When you visit the website again you will see the vocabulary and the key phrases, it will repeat and really get burned in your brain.
Victor: Yeah, and the new vocabulary is there with corresponding definitions.
Amber: Yeah and also don't forget there's an audio file so that you can hear the pronunciation and there's actually another cool thing that I like which is the word bank so you can save all of these vocab words and then call them up and review them anytime.
Victor: Right, it's a step by step process.
Amber: Yeah, step by step, anyway so we're going to have you gossiping from your very first lesson, well, maybe this is the third.
Victor: Okay, so, what are we talking about today?
Amber: Well we're going to do the neighbors a favor and give them some gossip fodder today.
Victor: Okay, so this dialog is between a local Chinese person and their foreign neighbor.
Amber: Listen in and find out what juicy details your neighbors are dying to know about you. Let's listen to the dialogue.
A: 你是哪国人? (Nǐ shì nǎ guó rén?)
B: 我是美国人. (Wǒ shì Měiguórén.)
A: 很漂亮! (Hěn piàoliàng!)
Victor: 重复一次,慢速。(Chóngfù yīcì, màn sù.)
Amber: One more time, a little slower.
A: 你是哪国人? (Nǐ shì nǎ guó rén?)
B: 我是美国人. (Wǒ shì Měiguórén.)
A: 很漂亮! (Hěn piàoliàng!)
Victor: 重复一次,加英文翻译。(Chóngfù yīcì, jiā yīngwén fānyì.)
Amber: One more time, with the English.
A: 你是哪国人? (Nǐ shì nǎ guó rén?)
A: Which country are you from?
B: 我是美国人. (Wǒ shì Měiguórén.)
B: I am American.
A: 很漂亮! (Hěn piàoliàng!)
A: Very beautiful!

Lesson focus

Amber: So classic Chinese conversation this is, Victor.
Victor: Very true, people are very curious about what country you're from and sometimes they may not always be able to tell based on your appearance.
Amber: Yeah, Chinese people can't really tell foreigners apart. I find it very strange, there's blonde hair, brown eyes, blue eyes, I think there's a lot more variety than Chinese people but they think we all look the same.
Victor: Yeah the big nose is always the, you know... the first sign.
Amber: They can't see beyond... they think we have big noses, well people should know that Chinese people actually like as they call it “Tall noses” so try not to get a complex about your nose it's actually a compliment if someone calls you a “Big Nose”.
Victor: Right, and I think people kind of like to comment on your appearance a lot in China.
Amber: That's true, that's very true.
Victor: Much more than in the US so don't take that personally, you kind of get used to it.
Amber: It's true like it usually comes in the form of a compliment as we heard in the dialogue today, we'll teach you in a moment, but sometimes the compliment might not sound like a compliment like we said the big nose. Often there's a lot of things about being fat, but that's obviously not an insult so this is something important to know as well.
Okay, so first line in the dialogue.
Victor: Is a question.
Amber: Right, the neighbor opens with a question and I think it's quite natural true to life because the Chinese are very curious and...
Victor: They're interested.
Amber: Yeah, they're interested and there's not a lot of personal barriers.
Victor: Right.
Amber: So what did the neighbor ask here?
Victor: So let's start from the end.
Amber: Okay, so the last word in the sentence we heard was?
Victor: 人 (rén).
Amber: 人 (rén). Okay, that's second tone I think, right?
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: And 人 (rén) means “person” or “people,” right?
Victor: Correct.
Amber: Okay before that we heard a word what was it?
Victor: It's 国 (guó).
Amber: Okay, also second tone.
Victor: 国 (guó) is second tone, that means “Country”.
Amber: Okay, so we learned 人 (rén) means “person,” 国 (guó) means “country,” what word came before that?
Victor: 哪 (nǎ).
Amber: 哪 (nǎ), that was third tone, right?
Victor: Correct, 哪 (nǎ).
Amber: And that means “which,” so put it all together we learned three words.
Victor: 哪国人 (nǎ guó rén).
Amber: So “which, country, person”.
Victor: Right.
Amber: Okay, now “Which country person” what came before that?
Victor: 你是 (nǐ shì)
Amber: Right, we learned in intro lesson 2 that 你 (nǐ) means “You,” it's third tone.
Victor: Right and 是 (shì) is fourth tone, and that's like a verb in English, “to be”.
Amber: That's right so put it all together and you get?
Victor: 你是哪国人? (Nǐ shì nǎ guó rén?)
Amber: So word for word this literally means “You, are” which is the “To be,” “Which country person?”
Victor: Right.
Amber: Or naturally “What country are you from?”.
Victor: Right for the nationality, you just put the word for “Person” after the country's name.
Amber: Yes, it's really easy in Chinese.
Victor: That's how you get the nationality.
Amber: In a minute we're going to hear what country the person's from and we can teach you how to make some other nationalities as well. Let's first though Victor, I think people are curious, I'm going to ask you a question, Victor, 你是哪国人? (Nǐ shì nǎ guó rén?)
Victor: Well.
Amber: Which country person are you?
Victor: 我是中国人 (Wǒ shì zhōngguó rén).
Amber: Right, so this is going to help us learn how you say what nationality you are. The word for China is?
Victor: 中国 (Zhōngguó).
Amber: Right, and you said “I am” 我是 (wǒ shì).
Victor: 中国人 (Zhōngguó rén).
Amber: So we know you put the 人 (rén) on to the country, so?
Victor: And that's Chinese, 我是中国人 (Wǒ shì zhōngguó rén).
Amber: Victor is Chinese.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: Good, okay but that was you let's get back to the dialogue.
Victor: Sure.
Amber: In the dialogue what was our foreigner, where were they from?
Victor: They said 我是美国人 (Wǒ shì Měiguórén).
Amber: 美国人 (Měiguórén). We learned in the previous intro lesson that 我 (wǒ), third tone, means “I,” we just heard that 是 (shì) means “To be,” and the last word here is our foreigner's nationality, of course.
Victor: 美国人 (Měiguórén). 美国人 (Měiguórén).
Amber: So we hear 人 (rén). What is the country that comes before? Which country is this Victor?
Victor: 美国 (Měiguó).
Amber: Which is?
Victor: America.
Amber: America.
Victor: Yeah, the US.
Amber: This is not American centric programming, we know there's people all over the world, however, I do have to say that many times, the first guess that Chinese people will make when they see a foreigner is American. And I'm not American so I can attest to that, so don't get offended, it's just like maybe they saw Americans on TV.
Victor: Yeah, I think they probably had a lot of exposure to western culture mostly from the US.
Amber: Exactly.
Victor: And they automatically think...
Amber: Although when I was in Chinese people always asked me if I was French, not American, so it varies, depends on how you look maybe. Okay, so now we're on the country subject let's teach a few more country names. How about Germany?
Victor: 德国 (Déguó).
Amber: So 德 (dé) is second tone, 国 (guó) is also second tone. How about England?
Victor: 英国 (yīngguó)
Amber: So here the 英 (yīng) is first tone, 国 (guó) also second tone. Great, and how about me? Do you know which 国 (guó) I am?
Victor: Yeah, of course.
Amber: It's kind of long, actually.
Victor: Yeah it kind of sounds familiar, too, actually.
Amber: It's kind of a transliteration.
Victor: So Canada is 加拿大 (Jiānádà).
Amber: Yeah, so I am 加拿大人 (Jiānádà rén).
Victor: 加拿大人 (Jiānádà rén).
Amber: Good. Okay, so now we know a few countries, last but not least, we have to throw in a very Chinese feature of this conversation, it's very true to life don't you think Victor?
Victor: Yeah we use it a lot.
Amber: Yeah the Chinese are very complimentary like we say they'll talk about your appearance so if you don't hear “You're fat” you might hear this one.
Victor: Right.
Amber: Which was?
Victor: 你很漂亮! (Nǐ hěn piàoliàng!)
Amber: Victor, you're so sweet, thank you, the classic compliment for ladies, sure to endear all nosy neighbors everywhere is to say 你很漂亮 (Nǐ hěn piàoliàng). Let's break that down, what was that word again, Victor?
Victor: 漂亮 (piàoliàng).
Amber: Girls love to hear it's the word for “Beautiful” or “Pretty”.
Victor: Yeah it's fourth tone and neutral tone, 漂亮 (piàoliàng).
Amber: Yeah and definitely only use this for girls this is not for boys.
Victor: Right, exactly.
Amber: So in spite of our big nose the neighbor in the dialogue still says we're beautiful and 漂亮 (piàoliàng), actually not just 漂亮 (piàoliàng), 很 (hěn).
Victor: 很漂亮 (hěn piàoliàng), it’s “very pretty”.
Amber: So, we learned in “Very nice to meet you,” the 很 (hěn) means “Very”, which is third tone. Okay, Victor, tell us is it true? They can't see me you know.
Victor: 很漂亮 (hěn piàoliàng) Amber, of course.
Amber: Victor is so handsome and I'm so 漂亮 (piàoliàng), they'll never know, anyway I made him say that.


Amber: Okay, so many great words today, so what are we going to do with them all, Victor?
Victor: Remember them and use it.
Amber: How?
Victor: Go to the website.
Amber: Yeah and I think a really good way to do it is like we mentioned, save any of these words to your word bank and you can review them anytime and another really great thing about the word bank is that you can use the words in the flashcards. The flashcard feature is going to enable you to learn the Chinese characters as well.
Victor: Right, they help so much. Our site supports both traditional and simplified characters so make sure you follow up all the lessons with the flashcards.
Amber: Yeah, and you can choose whether you want to learn traditional or simplified. Using all these tools in addition to listening to the lesson is what's going to really make your Chinese stick.
Victor: Right, and as your Chinese gets better and better you'll find that you can advance through all our levels from absolute beginner all the way to advanced.
Amber: Yeah, and one last thing I want to talk about because I am not techie at all is to tell our listeners about this thing called “My feed”. “My feed” has nothing to do with eating unfortunately which I originally thought. Victor, you're the techie one please take it away.
Victor: Basically it's a tool you can use to pick the lessons you want to subscribe to and they will be automatically downloaded to a podcatcher for you.
Amber: So a podcatcher is something like iTunes or something like that, right?
Victor: Yeah any podcatcher is fine, you can find links to them on our website.
Amber: Good, so if you have any problems definitely email Victor or you can leave a comment on the site and we'll definitely help you out with any tech problems or Chinese problems.
Victor: Yeah, of course.
Amber: Now, the time has come for you to go home and share some gossip with your neighbors.
Victor: Yeah, but first if you really want to bask in their compliments first go to the learning center and review the lesson notes.
Amber: Yeah, because they will compliment your Chinese as well as your appearance, maybe they'll compliment your Chinese if they can't really compliment your appearance. On the lesson notes, you’re going to find the pinyin, the characters for the dialogue today and that will really re-enforce what you learned.
Victor: Yeah, and you can also play around with the audio files and get the vocab in your brain with the flashcards and review questions.
Amber: Okay, so, remember we learned the word for “Thank you” Victor, 谢谢 (xièxiè).
Victor: 谢谢 (xièxiè).
Amber: So I'd like to say thank you to our listeners, 谢谢 (xièxiè), and we also love hearing from you and all about your Chinese learning journeys so please come to the site and leave us a comment.
Victor: Yeah, and we the teachers here at chineseclass101.com will respond.
Amber: Yes, and remember chineseclass101.com is a great place to interact with other students and us. Remember Victor said I was 很漂亮 (hěn piàoliàng).
Victor: 很漂亮 (hěn piàoliàng).
Amber: Even though apparently I also have a big nose.
Victor: That's really big compliments, Chinese people really like to...
Amber: Yes, yes, yes. Okay well, you'll never know unless you come visit the site, so, we'll see everybody at chineseclass101.com.
Victor: Yeah, 再见 (zàijiàn).
Amber: See you next time. 再见 (zàijiàn)!