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 coming at you today with Lower Intermediate Series, Season 1, Lesson 14 – “The big topics”. Now, we’ve covered small talk before, we’ve covered small conversation, we’ve covered weekend activities.
Echo: Yes.
Brendan: But, today, we’re going to tell you how to talk about big issues.
Echo: Exactly.
Brendan: National issues, population issues…
Echo: Right.
Brendan: Linguistic issues.
Echo: But, the two speakers are still speaking casual mandarin.
Brendan: Yes, it is, it’s a casual language, let’s face it. Before we get to the dialogue, just a reminder. If you want to fine tune your pronunciation, one of the best things you can do for it is to log on and voice our voice recording tool.
Echo: Right.
Brendan: It will let you record yourself speaking Chinese then play yourself back so that you can listen and pick out any mistakes you might be making.
Echo: That’s right.
Brendan: There is, as far as I know, no better way of improving your pronunciation than this.
Echo: 同意。(Tóngyì.)
Brendan: Let’s get to the dialogue. Oh, snap. Told him.
DIALOGUE
A:你知道吗,中国的网民比美国多。(Nǐ zhīdào ma, zhōngguó de wǎngmín bǐ Měiguó duō.)
B:我知道。(Wǒ zhīdào.)
A:你知道吗,中国有五十六个民族。(Nǐ zhīdào ma, Zhōngguó yǒu wǔshíliù ge mínzú.)
B:知道。(Zhīdào.)
A:你知道吗,中国有二百九十二种语言。(Nǐ zhīdào ma, Zhōngguó yǒu èrbǎi jiǔshíèr zhǒng yǔyán.)
B:你知道吗,你说得太多了。(Nǐ zhīdào ma, nǐ shuō de tài duō le.)
Brendan: Once more, slowly.
A:你知道吗,中国的网民比美国多。(Nǐ zhīdào ma, zhōngguó de wǎngmín bǐ Měiguó duō.)
B:我知道。(Wǒ zhīdào.)
A:你知道吗,中国有五十六个民族。(Nǐ zhīdào ma, Zhōngguó yǒu wǔshíliù ge mínzú.)
B:知道。(Zhīdào.)
A:你知道吗,中国有二百九十二种语言。(Nǐ zhīdào ma, Zhōngguó yǒu èrbǎi jiǔshíèr zhǒng yǔyán.)
B:你知道吗,你说得太多了。(Nǐ zhīdào ma, nǐ shuō de tài duō le.)
Brendan: And now, with English translation.
A:你知道吗,中国的网民比美国多。(Nǐ zhīdào ma, zhōngguó de wǎngmín bǐ Měiguó duō.)
A: Did you know China has more Internet users than the U.S?
B:我知道。(Wǒ zhīdào.)
B: I knew that.
A:你知道吗,中国有五十六个民族。(Nǐ zhīdào ma, Zhōngguó yǒu wǔshíliù ge mínzú.)
A: Did you know China has fifty-six ethnicities?
B:知道。(Zhīdào.)
B: I knew that.
A:你知道吗,中国有二百九十二种语言。(Nǐ zhīdào ma, Zhōngguó yǒu èrbǎi jiǔshíèr zhǒng yǔyán.)
A: Did you know China has 292 languages?
B:你知道吗,你说得太多了。(Nǐ zhīdào ma, nǐ shuō de tài duō le.)
B: Did you know you talk too much?
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Echo: 被发现了。
Brendan: Yes, well, you know, and a lot of time people hear will talk a lot about China, you know, 5000 years of history, 56 ethnicities, 292 languages and…
Echo: 这就有点太...大家都知道。 You know, if you really want to talk about these kind of things, you don’t want to add 你知道吗?
Brendan: Yes, it’s this sort of a nerdy show off kind of thing.
Echo: Right.
Brendan: And as you said, everybody knows. So, let’s get to the stuff that people might not know…
Echo: Right.
Brendan: Which is at first, the vocabulary for this.
VOCAB LIST
Echo: 人口 (rénkǒu)
Brendan: “Population”
Echo: 网民 (wǎngmín)
Brendan: “Internet user”
Echo: 经济 (jīngjì)
Brendan: “Economy”
Echo: 世界大国 (shìjièdàguó)
Brendan: “Global power”
Echo: 生产 (shēngchǎn)
Brendan: “Manufacturing”
Echo: 民族 (mínzú)
Brendan: “Ethnicity”
Echo: 少数民族 (shǎoshùmínzú)
Brendan: “Ethnic minority”
Echo: 多数 (duōshù)
Brendan: “Majority”
Echo: 语言 (yǔyán)
Brendan: “Language”
Echo: 语言 (yǔyán)
VOCAB AND PHRASE USAGE
Brendan: So let’s take a look and slightly more detail about how these words are used.
Echo: Ok. The first word is 人口。(Rénkǒu.)
Brendan: Yes, and that’s “population”.
Echo: Yes, and it’s very popular topic in China.
Brendan: Yes, I mean, if you’re using this word in the context of China, there’s one sentence in particular that you’re going to hear a lot.
Echo: Yes. 中国的人口很多。(Zhōngguó de rénkǒu hěnduō.)
Brendan: “China has a very big population.”
Echo: 中国的人口很多。(Zhōngguó de rénkǒu hěnduō.) In English, we’ll say “big”, in Chinese we’ll say 多。(Duō.)
Brendan: Right.
Echo: Instead of 大。(Dà.)
Brendan: Right. It’s literally you’re saying “the population is many”.
Echo: And so, 中国的网民也很多。(Zhōngguó de wǎngmín yě hěnduō.)
Brendan: “Chinese netizens” or “Chinese Internet users” are also 很多。(Hěnduō.)
Echo: Right. 网民,中国的网民也很多。(Wǎngmín, zhōngguó de wǎngmín yě hěnduō.)
Brendan: “There are many Internet users.”
Echo: 所以奇怪的人也很多。(Suǒyǐ qíguài de rén yě hěnduō.)
Brendan: Yes, yes. Well, that’s hard to avoid, especially online. Not you guys, of course. Now, another thing that you’ve probably heard a lot especially recently…
Echo: Yes.
Brendan: Is in connection not just to the number of Internet users, not just to the population, but also to China’s economy.
Echo: 经济。(Jīngjì.)
Brendan: And here again a sentence that you’ll hear a lot.
Echo: 这个国家的经济很好。(Zhège guójiā de jīngjì hěn hǎo.)
Brendan: “This country’s economy is very good.”
Echo: Or, you can say 这个国家的经济发展很快。(Zhège guójiā de jīngjì fāzhǎn hěn kuài.)
Brendan: “This country’s economy is developing very quickly.”
Echo: Like, talking about China.
Brendan: Yes.
Echo: So, 世界大国们纷纷表示抗议。(Shìjiè dàguómen fēnfēn biǎoshì kàngyì.)
Brendan: So, “The major global powers are expressing one after the other their opposition.”
Echo: 对,世界大国。(Duì, shìjiè dàguó.)
Brendan: “The major global powers”
Echo: 对,现在世界大国们纷纷表示抗议。(Duì, xiànzài shìjiè dàguómen fēnfēn biǎoshì kàngyì.)
Brendan: Now, one of the reasons that China’s economy…
Echo: 经济 (Jīngjì)
Brendan: Has developed so quickly is manufacturing.
Echo: 生产行业 (Shēngchǎn hángyè) or we can also say 制造业,(Zhìzào yè,) especially in the South part of China.
Brendan: Yes, there are many, manufacturing businesses down South.
Echo: 南方的生产行业很庞大。(Nánfāng de shēngchǎn hángyè hěn pángdà.)
Brendan: “There are many, manufacturing businesses down South.”
Echo: 南方的生产行业很庞大。(Nánfāng de shēngchǎn hángyè hěn pángdà.)
Brendan: And now, other big topics, something you’ll see in the news more or less, especially at certain times of year, is China’s ethnic composition. There are a lot of different ethnicities in China.
Echo: Yes, 民族。(Mínzú.)
Brendan: And how many ethnicities are there?
Echo: 中国有56个民族。(Zhōngguó yǒu 56 gè mínzú.)
Brendan: “China has 56 ethnicities.”
Echo: 中国有56个民族。(Zhōngguó yǒu 56 gè mínzú.) or you can say 中国是一个多民族国家。(Zhōngguó shì yīgè duō mínzú guójiā.)
Brendan: Yes, “China is a multi ethnic country.”
Echo: 中国是一个多民族国家。(Zhōngguó shì yīgè duō mínzú guójiā.) And most of these 民族 (Mínzú) are 少数民族。(Shǎoshù mínzú.)
Brendan: “The majority of ethnicities are in fact ethnic minorities.”
Echo: 这个地区有很多的少数民族。(Zhège dìqū yǒu hěnduō de shǎoshù mínzú.)
Brendan: “There are many ethnic minorities in this region.”
Brendan: That region’s probably the South-West, right?
Echo: Yes, 差不多。“少数”的反义词是“多数”(Chàbùduō.“Shǎoshù” de fǎnyìcí shì “duōshù”)
Brendan: Right. And that simply means “majority”.
Echo: 多数,我站在大多数这边。(Duōshù, wǒ zhàn zài dà duōshù zhè biān.)
Brendan: “I’m on the side of the majority.”
Echo: Yes, so you can add 大 (Dà) before it, too. 大多数.(Dà duōshù.) Ok, the last word is, of course, 语言。(Yǔyán.)
Brendan: Yes. We saved the best for last, or at least my favorite for last…
Echo: Yes, me too.
Brendan: It’s “language”.
Echo: Yes. 你说什么语言 (Nǐ shuō shénme yǔyán) Brendan?
Brendan: What languages do I speak? Well, I speak a couple, some better than others. Mostly English and Mandarin.
Echo: Ok.
Brendan: Now, that’s about it for vocabulary. Bare this in mind and we’re going to discuss the grammar point for today’s lesson.
Echo: Right. 如果你们想说好这个语言,需要好好学习我们的 (Rúguǒ nǐmen xiǎng shuō hǎo zhège yǔyán, xūyào hǎo hào xuéxí wǒmen de) grammar point.

Lesson focus

Brendan: Now, for grammar, what we’re going to talk about today is something that we see in the very first line of this dialogue.
Echo: Yes, 比。中国的网民比美国多。(Bǐ. Zhōngguó de wǎngmín bǐ měiguó duō.)
Brendan: “China’s netizens”, “比”,(“Bǐ”) “the United States”, “many”. And so that means, is “China has more Internet users than the U.S.” or, literally, “China’s Internet users are more plentiful than the U.S.”
Echo: 中国的网民比美国多。(Zhōngguó de wǎngmín bǐ měiguó duō.)
Brendan: So, what we have here is a comparison.
Echo: Right. We learned this before, right? So, let’s just give some more examples. 地铁要比公交快多了。(Dìtiě yào bǐ gōngjiāo kuài duōle.)
Brendan: “The subway is way faster than the bus.”
Echo: 美国的经济比很多国家好。(Měiguó de jīngjì bǐ hěnduō guójiā hǎo.)
Brendan: “The United States’ economy is better than many countries’.”
Echo: 所以在我们的后两个句子里,还有在我们的对话里的句子里有一点不一样。(Suǒyǐ zài wǒmen de hòu liǎng gè jùzi lǐ, hái yǒu zài wǒmen de duìhuà li de jùzi li yǒu yīdiǎn bù yīyàng.)
Brendan: Yes, so, if we look at those last two sentences, or if we look at the first sentence in the dialogue, there’s a slight difference, a kind of a subtle one, from the patterns that we’ve learned before.
Echo: Let’s take the sentence in the dialogue as example 中国的网民比美国多。(Zhōngguó de wǎngmín bǐ měiguó duō.)
Brendan: “There are more Internet users in China than the United States.”
Echo: But I didn’t say中国的网民比美国的网民多。(Zhōngguó de wǎngmín bǐ měiguó de wǎngmín duō.)
Brendan: Or, in these other sentences that we just saw.
Echo: 美国的经济比很多国家好。(Měiguó de jīngjì bǐ hěnduō guójiā hǎo.) And we didn’t say美国的经济比很多国家的经济好。(Měiguó de jīngjì bǐ hěnduō guójiā de jīngjì hǎo.)
Brendan: The reason is there’s no need to. If we’re comparing things, chances are we’re comparing the same thing.
Echo: Like 网民 (Wǎngmín) or 经济。(Jīngjì.)
Brendan: And so, in all of these cases, there’s no need to repeat the noun again. Instead, we simply make it possessive. “Your score is higher than hers.”
Echo: 你的分数比她的高。(Nǐ de fēnshù bǐ tā de gāo.)

Outro

Brendan: So, that’s it for our grammar point. If you have any questions about it…
Echo: You can always write to us at contactus@Chineseclass101.com or leave a comment on the site.
Brendan: It will take a moment of your time and you will make our day. We’ve been looking forward to hearing from you for quite a while.
Echo: 没错 (Méi cuò)
Brendan: From…

15 Comments

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ChineseClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
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Have you met someone who thinks everything about his/her country is superior to other countries?

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 01:39 PM
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Hello James,


Thank you for your comment. Using 比 bǐ is the most common way to make comparisons, and your sentence is correct, that's how we would say it.


If you have any questions, please let us know.


Ngai

Team ChineseClass101.com

James
Wednesday at 07:21 AM
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Hi

How would you compare slightly different subjects? For example, I once tried to say to a Chinese colleague "your English is better than my Chinese" using "bi", I said "ni de yingwen bi wo de zhongwen hao", but they didn't understand. How should I say this?

Thanks

James

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Sunday at 07:26 PM
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你好 robert groulx,


You are very welcome. 😇

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
Thursday at 10:12 PM
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thnk you for the lesson


my favorite words are 美国的经济比很多国家好。


robert

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Friday at 03:30 AM
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你好 杰米


Your writing is pretty well.

Probably you'd like to show your writing to Chinese people who are not good at mandarin, with your mobile. Most of Chinese people in cities can read. A foreign aid worker told me this.


Thanks for learning with us.


Amy

Team ChineseClass101.com

杰米
Thursday at 12:41 PM
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在中国的语言太多了。实际上在我附近还有很多不会普通话的人。虽然我跟他们说普通话,可是我们不能交流。这里的local dialect和普通话完全不一样。我有时候感觉学习中文没用!

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Sunday at 04:04 PM
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Hi, Werner,

Do you want to know the meaning of "要" in such sentences as 地铁要比公交快多了 and 你比他的分数要高?

要 in comparative sentences has no meaning.

The meaning of these sentences don't change even there are no 要 in it.

We usually use 要 to emphsis the result in comparative sentences.

Difference between the following two sentences:

地铁比公交快多了 is just a declarative sentence, while 地铁要比公交快多了 is a sentence with subject feeling.


Cho

Team ChineseClass101.com

Werner
Friday at 05:44 PM
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Hi There

Just a quick question. I noticed that 'yao4' has been used in several of the 'bi3' sentences, yet it's meaning is unclear?

E.g. 'dìtiě yào bǐ gōngjiāokuài duō le' and 'nǐ bǐ tā de fēnshù yào gāo'. What exactly is the meaning / purpose of 'yao4' in these sentences? The usual meanings of yao4 as 'to want', 'have to', 'going to' etc. don't seem to make sense in this context?

Thank you for your time!

Best wishes

Werner

Team ChineseClass101.com
Sunday at 07:54 PM
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Hi Kord,


Thank you for poiting out the issue.

You're right, it should be "de". We've fixed it in the pdf.


Thank you,

Chloe

Team ChineseClass101.com

Kord
Friday at 04:20 PM
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Hi again,


another pinyin typo? Last line of dialog

"nǐ shuō děi tài duō le"

"děi" should be "de", right?


cheers,

Kord