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Lesson Transcript

David: Welcome to chineseclass101.com. I am David.
Echo: Hi, 大家好, 我是(Dàjiā hǎo, wǒ shì) Echo。
David: And we are here today with lower beginner, season 1, Lesson 25.
Echo: Have You Heard of My Chinese Band?
David: Right. If you are not musical at home and you come to China, it’s not too late to get a band.
Echo: 对。(Duì.)
David: And if you are not going to get one, your friends are going to. So we’ve got a lesson today about expressing your opinion on music.
Echo: 没错。(Méi cuò.)
David: Right. Our dialogue takes place where?
Echo: I think it’s in a bar.
David: Right and it’s between two friends, one of whom is talking about his band.
Echo: 没错。(Méi cuò.)
David: This is casual Mandarin as always. Let’s listen.
A:你喜欢爵士乐吗?(Nǐ xǐhuān juéshìyuè ma?)
B:还可以,不过我更喜欢快一点儿的。(Hái kěyǐ, búguò wǒ gèng xǐhuān kuài yìdiǎnr de.)
B:没错。(Méi cuò.)
A:我以前是摇滚乐队的吉他手。(Wǒ yǐqián shì yáogǔn yuèduì de jítāshǒu.)
B:哇,真的,你太厉害了!(Wa, zhēnde, nǐ tài lìhài le!)
David: Once more a bit slower.
A:你喜欢爵士乐吗?(Nǐ xǐhuān juéshìyuè ma?)
B:还可以,不过我更喜欢快一点儿的。(Hái kěyǐ, búguò wǒ gèng xǐhuān kuài yìdiǎnr de.)
B:没错。(Méi cuò.)
A:我以前是摇滚乐队的吉他手。(Wǒ yǐqián shì yáogǔn yuèduì de jítāshǒu.)
B:哇,真的,你太厉害了!(Wa, zhēnde, nǐ tài lìhài le!)
David: And now with an English translation.
Echo: 你喜欢爵士乐吗?(Nǐ xǐhuān juéshìyuè ma?)
David: Do you like jazz music?
Echo: 还可以,不过我更喜欢快一点儿的。(Hái kěyǐ, búguò wǒ gèng xǐhuān kuài yìdiǎnr de.)
David: It’s okay but I like something a bit faster.
Echo: 摇滚?(Yáogǔn?)
David: Rock n’ roll.
Echo: 没错。(Méi cuò.)
David: That’s right.
Echo: 我以前是摇滚乐队的吉他手。(Wǒ yǐqián shì yáogǔn yuèduì de jítāshǒu.)
David: I used to be a guitarist for a rock n’ roll band.
Echo: 哇,真的,你太厉害了!(Wa, zhēnde, nǐ tài lìhài le!)
David: Wow! Really, you are so cool.
David: I used to be a guitarist for a rock n’ roll band too.
Echo: Wow, you are so cool.
David: When I was 13 years old. Anyway…
Echo: What kind of band is it?
David: Not anymore but if you – listener, if you are musician or have friends who are, the vocab today is going to be useful for you.
Echo: 没错。(Méi cuò)
David: So let’s get to it.
Echo: 爵士乐。(juéshìyuè.)
David: Jazz music.
Echo: 爵士乐, 爵士乐, 还可以。(juéshìyuè, juéshìyuè, hái kěyǐ.)
David: It’s okay.
Echo: 还可以, 还可以, 不过。(hái kěyǐ, hái kěyǐ, búguò.)
David: But
Echo: 不过, 不过, 摇滚。(búguò, búguò, yáogǔn.)
David: Rock n’ roll.
Echo: 摇滚, 摇滚, 以前。(yáogǔn, yáogǔn, yǐqián.)
David: Previously.
Echo: 以前, 以前, 乐队。(yǐqián, yǐqián, yuèduì.)
David: Band.
Echo:乐队, 乐队。(yuèduì, yuèduì.)
David: Guitarist.
Echo: 吉他手, 吉他手, 厉害。(jítāshǒu, jítāshǒu, lìhài.)
David: Extreme.
Echo: 厉害, 厉害。(lìhài, lìhài.)
David: Let’s take a closer look at some of these words and phrases. The first word I want to touch on is that last one.
Echo: 厉害。(lìhài.)
David: Which we heard in the dialogue here.
Echo: 你太厉害了!(nǐ tài lìhài le!)
David: Right. So now that we’ve got the 太....了(Tài....Le) construction, all right it just happened that you are so extreme.
Echo: 唔, 你太厉害了!(Wú, nǐ tài lìhàile!)
David: Right. This is the interesting thing about 厉害.(lìhài.) It’s a word that’s very difficult to translate into English.
Echo: 对, 它好像 (Duì, tā hǎoxiàng) awesome.
David: Right. It’s usually good.
Echo: Yeah.
David: You are saying that someone is fierce or they are extreme.
Echo: 对。(Duì.)
David: But it can also be negative.
Echo: 对, 没错。(Duì, méi cuò.)
David: So you can use it either to describe someone that’s good as in this case.
Echo: 你太棒了! 你太厉害了!(Nǐ tài bàngle! Nǐ tài lìhàile!)
David: Or you can use it to describe someone who is negative and often violently negative.
Echo: 没错, 比如说这个人太厉害了!(Méi cuò, bǐrú shuō zhège rén tài lìhàile!)
David: Right. This person is – you don’t maybe want to spend too much time with them.
Echo: 脾气不好。(Píqì bù hǎo.)
David: Right they are in a bad mood. So 厉害(Lìhài) is a pretty good word for describing the extremes of rock music.
Echo: 唔, 没错。(Wú, méi cuò.)
David: Right and in our lesson today, we heard the word for rock music.
Echo: 摇滚。(Yáogǔn.)
David: Rock n’ roll
Echo: 摇滚。(Yáogǔn.)
David: And that’s literally what it means to shake and to rock. Right, we have the word for jazz.
Echo: 爵士乐。(Juéshìyuè.)
David: Jazz.
David: And now the truth Echo, we also have pop in China. The most popular kind of music.
Echo: 流行乐。(Liúxíng lè.)
David: Popular music.
Echo: 流行乐。(Liúxíng lè.)
David: Right. So 乐 here it’s coming from
Echo: 音乐。(Yīnyuè.)
David: Music. So we are just tagging at the end of these words to make music.
Echo:没错。(Méi cuò.)
David: We also have other kinds of music.
Echo: 比如说 流行音乐。(Bǐrú shuō liúxíng yīnyuè.)
David: Which is literally it’s popular music.
Echo: 流行音乐。(Liúxíng yīnyuè.)
David: Or pop.
Echo: 流行音乐。(Liúxíng yīnyuè.)
David: Right. You could also like alternate music.
Echo: 非主流音乐。(Fēi zhǔliú yīnyuè.)
David: Right which is a bit tricky and in China, I don’t think people make much of the distinction.
Echo: 对。(Duì.)
David: Right.
Echo: 啊! 也有...但是 (A! Yěyǒu... Dànshì) It’s not like what you think.
David: Yeah and I mean, even pop music, people will talk about it as rock.
Echo: 对, 摇滚乐。(Duì, yáogǔnyuè.)
David: Right. So in China, there is a distinction between rock and jazz.
Echo: 唔, 没错, 在中国摇滚和爵士乐很不同。(Wú, méi cuò, zài zhōngguó yáogǔn hé juéshìyuè hěn bùtóng.)
David: Right but other kinds of music they are not really going to know what you are talking about right. So you can just tell them, my band is very special.
Echo: 我的乐队很特别。(Wǒ de yuèduì hěn tèbié.)
David: Right. My band is very special.
Echo: 我的乐队很特别 (Wǒ de yuèduì hěn tèbié) or well, when you listen to some band and you can say, oh 你的乐队很特别.(Nǐ de yuèduì hěn tèbié.)
David: Right. Very polite way, your band is very special. How about your band is both special and awesome?
Echo: 唔, 你的乐队又特别又厉害。(Wú, nǐ de yuèduì yòu tèbié yòu lìhài.)
David: Right. Okay so that’s our vocab section. In our grammar section, we are going to talk about ways of expressing lukewarm emotions. It’s grammar time. Okay Echo, what are we talking about today?

Lesson focus

Echo: 唔, 今天我们的这个词是 还可以。(Wú, jīntiān wǒmen de zhège cí shì hái kěyǐ.)
David: Right. Its words like 还可以 (Hái kěyǐ) which mean yeah it’s okay.
Echo: Yeah it’s like to express a degree of how much you like something.
David: Yes and the – but the words we are going to review today are words that are – they are not 厉害.(Lìhài.)
Echo: 对。(Duì.)
David: They are not at all enthusiastic either in a positive or negative sense.
Echo: 没错。(Méi cuò.)
David: Right. So if someone asks you what do you think of my band.
Echo: 唔, 你觉得我的乐队怎么样? (Wú, nǐ juédé wǒ de yuèduì zěnme yàng?)
David: You can answer as the person on our dialogue answered.
Echo: 还可以。(Hái kěyǐ.)
David: It’s okay.
Echo: Yeah 还可以。(Hái kěyǐ.)
David: And that’s not a negative answer.
Echo: No.
David: Right it’s not really positive but it’s a bit positive.
Echo: Yeah it’s not bad.
David: Yeah it’s not bad. Maybe I don’t love it but it’s you are pretty good.
Echo: 还可以。(Hái kěyǐ.)
David: Right. You can also say
Echo: 一般。(Yībān.)
David: Average
Echo: 一般(Yībān.) And that’s considered…yeah..
David: This is a good negative, yeah…If you say 一般 (Yībān) you are saying Ah Ha.
Echo: Not so good.
David: Yeah not so good. So…
Echo: Not outstanding.
David: Right. So 一般(Yībān) is less good than 还可以.(Hái kěyǐ.)
Echo: 对,一 般 没有 还可以好。(Duì, yībān méiyǒu hái kěyǐ hǎo.)
David: So if you are actually positive about them
Echo: Yeah you don’t want to piss people off.
David: Right.
Echo: That would be impolite.
David: Yeah you can be a bit more enthusiastic and you can say
David: Not bad.
Echo: 不错。(Bùcuò.)
David: Your band is not bad.
Echo: 你的乐队不错.(Nǐ de yuèduì bùcuò.) And in Chinese, it is actually better than not bad in English.
David: Yes and that we are translating it literally but it means pretty good.
Echo: Yeah it’s a positive.
David: Like 挺好的 (Tǐng hǎo de) kind of.
Echo: 不错。(Bùcuò.)
David: Right and that is actually the last one we want to highlight. The most positive of these lukewarm…
Echo: Not extreme words. 挺好的. (Tǐng hǎo de.)
David: Pretty good.
Echo: 挺好的。(Tǐng hǎo de.)
David: Let’s hear these four again from the most negative to the most positive.
Echo: 一般, 还可以, 不错, 挺好的。(Yībān, hái kěyǐ, bùcuò, tǐng hǎo de.)
David: And of course, if you really love something, you can take it to the extreme and you can say, your band is really awesome.
Echo: 你的乐队太厉害了!(Nǐ de yuèduì tài lìhàile!)
David: Right. Or the guitarist is really awesome. Can I have his number?
Echo: 这个结他手太厉害了! 能给我他的电话吗? (Zhège jié tā shǒu tài lìhàile! Néng gěi wǒ tā de diànhuà ma?)


David: Okay. So well that’s all the time we have for today. We want to remind you. Well, we are done this lesson series today. We have tons more.
Echo: 没错。(Méi cuò.)
David: Everything from lower beginner all the way up to intermediate and advanced shows. So stick with us, keep learning and your Chinese is going to get a lot better.
Echo: Yeah and whenever you have any questions or any suggestions, you can always leave them on the website.
David: Right.
Echo: Or write to us at contactus@chineseclass101.com
David: Yeah, suggestions, feedback. We look forward to hearing from you.
Echo: 没错。(Méi cuò.)
David: For now though, that is all the time we have. From Beijing, I am David.
Echo: 我是 (Wǒ shì) Echo。
David: Thanks for listening and we will see you on the site.
Echo: 网上见吧! (Wǎngshàng jiàn ba!) Bye bye.