Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Brendan: Welcome to Chineseclass101.com, the fastest, easiest and most fun way to learn Chinese. I’m Brendan.
Echo: 嗨,大家好,我是Echo. (Hāi, dàjiā hǎo, wǒ shì Echo.)
Brendan: And we’re here today with Lower Intermediate Series, Season 1, Lesson 11 – “Yachting in Beijing”.
Echo: Yeah. This lesson will solve an enduring mystery for many of you here in Beijing.
Brendan: Where can I go yachting or can’t I go yachting in downtown Beijing.
Echo: Yes. So, we have a conversation here between two friends who think they found the answer.
Brendan: Because they’re friends, they’re speaking casual Mandarin.
Echo: Yes, as always.
Brendan: Now, we’re going to take you to the dialogue in just a second, but before we do that, a reminder. On our website, we have the premium PDF which is a full transcript of this lesson along with vocabulary and grammar notes.
Echo: Right.
Brendan: It is a very, very helpful study tool. Let’s get to the dialogue.
DIALOGUE
A:那是什么河?(Nà shì shénme hé?)
B:运河。(Yùnhé.)
A:它是用来干吗的?(Tā shì yònglái gànmá de?)
B:什么也不干。它就是运河而已。(Shénme yě bù gān. tā jiùshì yùnhééryǐ.)
A:你能在那儿划船吗?(Nǐ néng zài nàr huáchuán ma?)
B:不能。(Bù néng.)
A:你能在那儿钓鱼吗?(Nǐ néng zài nàr diàoyú ma?)
B:呃……(E ......)
A:你能在那儿游泳吗?(Nǐ néng zài nàr yóuyǒng ma?)
B:你开什么玩笑?(Nǐ kāi shénme wánxiào?)
Brendan: Once more, slowly.
A:那是什么河?(Nà shì shénme hé?)
B:运河。(Yùnhé.)
A:它是用来干吗的?(Tā shì yònglái gànmá de?)
B:什么也不干。它就是运河而已。(Shénme yě bù gān. tā jiùshì yùnhééryǐ.)
A:你能在那儿划船吗?(Nǐ néng zài nàr huáchuán ma?)
B:不能。(Bù néng.)
A:你能在那儿钓鱼吗?(Nǐ néng zài nàr diàoyú ma?)
B:呃……(E ......)
A:你能在那儿游泳吗?(Nǐ néng zài nàr yóuyǒng ma?)
B:你开什么玩笑?(Nǐ kāi shénme wánxiào?)
Brendan: And now, with English translation.
A:那是什么河?(Nà shì shénme hé?)
A: What river is that?
B:运河。(Yùnhé.)
B: That's a canal.
A:它是用来干吗的?(Tā shì yònglái gànmá de?)
A: What is for?
B:什么也不干。它就是运河而已。(Shénme yě bù gān. tā jiùshì yùnhééryǐ.)
B: It’s not for anything. It's just a canal.
A:你能在那儿划船吗?(Nǐ néng zài nàr huáchuán ma?)
A: Can you boat?
B:不能。(Bù néng.)
B: No.
A:你能在那儿钓鱼吗?(Nǐ néng zài nàr diàoyú ma?)
A: Can you fish?
B:呃……(E ......)
B: Uhhhh....
A:你能在那儿游泳吗?(Nǐ néng zài nàr yóuyǒng ma?)
A: Can you swim?
B:你开什么玩笑?(Nǐ kāi shénme wánxiào?)
B: Are you kidding?
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Brendan: Do you know those canals there’re all over Beijing?
Echo: Yes.
Brendan: Have you ever gone swimming in them?
Echo: No.
Brendan: Fishing?
Echo: No.
Brendan: Boating?
Echo: No. You know, friends don’t let friends do that.
Brendan: Yes, it’s kind of a shame, actually, because the, you know, the canals here are pretty dirty, but they’re a really nice part of old Beijing, actually… You know, they, they wine through the old city or at least parts of it…
Echo: Yes, right.
Brendan: And, they, it really is one of my favorite things about the city.
Echo: Yeah, they don’t always keep them filled with water though.
Brendan: Yes, it’s kind of weird, the level just goes up and down throughout the year, but, you know, in winter you get a nice coating of ice over them, you can probably skate on it.
Echo: Probably.
Brendan: Anyway, warts and all, we love the canal system. And that’s why our vocabulary for today is all about canals and the thing you can do with them. Let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
VOCAB LIST
Echo: 运河 (yùnhé)
Brendan: “Canal”
Echo: 河 (hé)
Brendan: “River”
Echo: 水位 (shuǐwèi)
Brendan: “Water level”
Echo: 水质 (shuǐzhì)
Brendan: “Water quality”
Echo: 干旱 (gānhàn)
Brendan: “Drought”
Echo: 干 (gàn)
Brendan: “To do”
Echo: 钓鱼 (diàoyú)
Brendan: “To fish”
Echo: 划船 (Huáchuán)
Brendan: “To go boating”
Echo: 游泳 (yóuyǒng)
Brendan: “To swim”
Echo: 开玩笑 (kāi wánxiào)
Brendan: “To joke”
Echo: 开玩笑 (kāi wánxiào)
VOCAB AND PHRASE USAGE
Brendan: All right. So, let’s take a slightly more in-depth look at usage for some of the words we just covered.
Echo: The first one 运河。(Yùnhé.)
Brendan: Right. A “canal”.
Echo: 运河 (Yùnhé)
Brendan: And that’s, really that’s a shipping canal for boats or for barges.
Echo: Yes. Sometimes you also hear 水道。(Shuǐdào.)
Brendan: Which means “water way”.
Echo: 水道 (Shuǐdào)
Brendan: But that’s a bit less common.
Echo: Yes. And a lot of people will just say 河。
Brendan: Which just means “river”.
Echo: Like in this sentence: 这个城市附近有好几条小河。(Zhège chéngshì fùjìn yǒu hǎojǐ tiáo xiǎohé.)
Brendan: “There are a lot of rivers near this city.”
Echo: 这个城市附近有好几条小河。(Zhège chéngshì fùjìn yǒu hǎojǐ tiáo xiǎohé.) And in our dialogue, we had three activities for our运河。
Brendan: All right. Or three non-activities as it turned out.
Echo: Yes.
Brendan: Now, these were:
Echo: 钓鱼 (Diàoyú)
Brendan: “Fishing”
Echo: 划船 (Huáchuán)
Brendan: “Boating”
Echo: 游泳 (Yóuyǒng)
Brendan: And “swimming”. Let’s hear those again.
Echo: 钓鱼,划船,游泳。(Diàoyú, huáchuán, yóuyǒng.)
Brendan: Now, we don’t recommend you do these in or near a canal.
Echo: Yes.
Brendan: But some people will.
Echo: Right.
Brendan: A friend of mine became locally infamous for Skinny Deeping in one of these artificial bodies of water in Beijing. And, to this day, his wife will not let him forget it.
Echo: And, if you don’t know, if you can, you can always ask 我能在这条河里钓鱼吗?(Wǒ néng zài zhè tiáo hé lǐ diàoyú ma?)
Brendan: “Can I fish in this river?”
Echo: 我能在这条河里划船吗?(Wǒ néng zài zhè tiáo hé lǐ huáchuán ma?)
Brendan: “Can I boat in this river?”
Echo: 我能在这条河里游泳吗?(Wǒ néng zài zhè tiáo hé lǐ yóuyǒng ma?)
Brendan: “Can I swim in this river?”
Echo: Right. And the answer’s usually “No.”.
Brendan: But, Beijingers being Beijingers…
Echo: Yes.
Brendan: A lot of them will do it anyway.
Echo: Right.
Brendan: Now, we’re going to move on to grammar in just a second, but first, there is an interesting measure word there.
Echo: 一条河。(Yītiáo hé.)
Brendan: “A river”, right? Or “a 条”(A tiáo) – “river”.
Echo: Yes. Or 一条运河。(Yītiáo yùnhé.)
Brendan: “A 条”(A tiáo) – “canal”
Echo: 一条水道。(Yītiáo shuǐdào.)
Brendan: “A 条”(A tiáo) – “waterway”
Echo: Yes, 一条。(Yītiáo.)
Brendan: Right. And 条 is the measure word for “long” and “thin” things.
Echo: Right. Like rivers…
Brendan: Right. Or pants…
Echo: 一条裤子。(Yītiáo kùzi.)
Brendan: “Snakes”?
Echo: 一条蛇。(Yītiáo shé.)
Brendan: Right. Anything that’s in kind of a strip, right? Or just something that’s long and thin. All right. So, baring that in mind, find your measure word, let’s move on to the grammar point.

Lesson focus

Brendan: Now, this is actually kind of a fun grammar point.
Echo: Yes, I agree.
Brendan: It’s about a Chinese form of tmesis.
Echo: What?
Brendan: Tmesis. This is a linguistic phenomenon. Now, this is basically, it’s a fancy word for something that all speakers of English know about. And it’s when you cut a word into smaller parts and insert something.
Echo: Like?
Brendan: Unbloodybelievable. Absobloodylutely.
Echo: All right.
Brendan: You know, frequently it’s ruder than that. But, we’re seeing a similar thing in Chinese here, where we have a word…
Echo: Yes.
Brendan: And, we’re cutting it into two halves…
Echo: Right.
Brendan: And we’re sticking something in the middle.
Echo: Like in our dialogue. We have this sentence 你开什么玩笑。(Nǐ kāi shénme wánxiào.)
Brendan: So, what we’re doing here is we’re taking this phrase:
Echo: 开玩笑。(Kāiwánxiào.)
Brendan: Cutting it in half and sticking:
Echo: 什么 (Shénme)
Brendan: In the middle.
Echo: Right. 你开什么玩笑。(Nǐ kāi shénme wánxiào.)
Brendan: And this is “despite 什么”(Despite shénme). It’s not a question actually.
Echo: Yes, I ask emphasize.
Brendan: I mean if we really wanted to, we could translate it as “What is this joke?”.
Echo: But, he’s really just saying “You have to be kidding.” 你开什么玩笑。(Nǐ kāi shénme wánxiào.)
Brendan: Right. So, just think of it as a change in emphasis. It’s like the difference between “absolutely” and “absobloodylutely”.
Echo: Right. We have some sample sentences for you. 开玩笑,那是不可能的。(Kāiwánxiào, nà shì bù kěnéng de.)
Brendan: “You must be joking, that’s impossible.”
Echo: Or开什么玩笑,那是不可能的。(Kāi shénme wánxiào, nà shì bù kěnéng de.)
Brendan: “Are you kidding me? That’s impossible.”
Echo: Right. Or 你开玩笑,我才不去呢。(Nǐ kāiwánxiào, wǒ cái bù qù ne.)
Brendan: “Are you kidding? I’m not going.”
Echo: 你开什么玩笑,我才不去呢。(Nǐ kāi shénme wánxiào, wǒ cái bù qù ne.)
Brendan: “Are you kidding? I’m not going.”
Echo: Exactly. Well, actually, this isn’t a complex grammar point, it’s just how we speak in Chinese.
Brendan: And, there’s actually one exception to this pattern. There’s one situation where Chinese speakers don’t really use 什么。(Shénme.)
Echo: Yes, when 开玩笑(Kāiwánxiào) follows the proposition 跟。(Gēn.)
Brendan: Yes, and you still can use it there, but it’s not really natural sounding.
Echo: For instance, we say 上帝好像在跟我开玩笑。(Shàngdì hǎoxiàng zài gēn wǒ kāiwánxiào.)
Brendan: “It’s like God is making fun of me.”
Echo: Yes, we all say 上帝好像在跟我开什么玩笑。(Shàngdì hǎoxiàng zài gēn wǒ kāi shénme wánxiào.) It sounds strange.
Brendan: Yes, it’s not colloquial, it’s not idiomatic. Anyway, that is our grammar point.
Echo: Yes.

Outro

Brendan: Now that just about does it for today’s lesson, but before we go, I’d like to share a study tip that a listener shared with us.
Echo: So, you’re talking about the student who uses just the conversation tracks to review the lessons.
Brendan: You read either my mind or my notes. Yes, that is correct.
Echo: Your notes.
Brendan: Right. There’s a listener of ours who listens to every lesson several times.
Echo: The afterward, get the conversation only track from our site.
Brendan: Then she listens to them on shuffle again and again. It’s like she’s created her own emersion program using Chineseclass101.
Echo: Yes, this is a great idea. Please give it a try and let us know what you think.
Brendan: Yes, and if you have any other comments about anything else having to do with this lesson, as always…
Echo: You can always leave the comment on the site or write to us at contactus@Chineseclass101.com

11 Comments

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ChineseClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
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Want to try fishing or swimming in the canals in China? Better learn to read the signs first!

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 06:19 PM
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你好 Lisa,


Thank you for your question.

Unfortunately though, the shuffle function is currently not available on our site. So currently, you can only imitate the shuffle function by randomly playing the line-by-line audios. We are sorry for the inconvenience and we hope this feature will be back soon in the future.


Kind regards,

雷文特

Team ChineseClass101.com

Lisa
Monday at 02:15 AM
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Hi


In this lesson it was mentioned that one user put all the conversation audios on shuffle. I can’t seem to find how to do that. Would you be able to let me know how I could do that? I use the app so if it’s able to be done from there that would be great!


Thanks

Lisa

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 04:37 AM
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你好 robert groulx,


Thank you so much for your kind message! 😇❤️️

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Good luck with your language studies.


Kind regards,

雷文特

Team ChineseClass101.com

robert groulx
Wednesday at 10:44 PM
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thank you for the lesson


my favorite words are 你开什么玩笑。


robert

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 01:33 PM
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Hello Stiddy,


Thank you for your comment. Yes you can also use 做, 它是用来做什么的?


If you have any questions, please let us know.


Ngai Lam

Team ChineseClass101.com

Stiddy
Wednesday at 01:01 AM
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它是用来干吗的?

Can I also use 做 instead of 干?

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 06:43 PM
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Hello Roger,


Thank you for posting again.

We're looking into the series.

Thank you for your patience.

Stay tuned, we'll announce when the material is fixed.


Sincerely,

Lena

Team ChineseClass101.com

Roger Weyand
Monday at 08:00 PM
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Thanks for the PDF fix. I noticed this issue with several PDFs in this series. For instance, the problems still persist for lesson 12. I suggest checking all the PDFs, especially in this series. Thanks.

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 06:37 PM
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Hi, Michael,


Thank you for your posting.

油条 is really delicious! But it is not good for health, so we eat it less than before.:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Cho

Team ChineseClass101.com

Michael
Wednesday at 12:54 PM
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你们把最好吃的'条'忘记了 -- 油条!

you forgot the most delicious 'tiao' -- youtiao!