Dialogue

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Yinru: Hi everyone, I’m Yinru.
Yuriy: And I’m Yuriy. Welcome back to ChineseClass101.com. This is lower intermediate, season 2 lesson 19 - Getting Invited to Dinner at Your Chinese Boss’s House. In this lesson, Tom has been invited to have dinner with his boss, Mr. Zhou, at his home with his family.
Yinru: The conversation is between Mr. Zhou and Tom. And, since they’re not at work, and they know each other, they’ll be using informal Chinese. At the end of this lesson, you should be able to tell the difference between 还是...吧 (Háishì... Ba) and 还是 (Háishì).
Yuriy: What will they talk about during dinner? Let’s listen to the conversation.

Lesson conversation

周: Tom, 想喝点什么?啤酒还是红酒?(ZHŌU : Tom, xiǎng hē diǎn shénme? píjiǔ hái shì hóngjiǔ?)
Tom: 我开车来的,还是喝点饮料吧。(wǒ kāichē lái de, hái shì hē diǎn yǐnliào ba.)
周: 多吃点,别客气。(ZHŌU : duō chī diǎn, bié kèqi.)
Tom: 周太太做了这么多菜,太丰盛了。(zhōu tàitai zuò le zhème duō cài, tài fēngshèng le.)
周:因为你是稀客,所以她从昨晚就开始准备了。这个是羊肉,你尝尝。(ZHŌU : yīnwèi nǐ shì xīkè, suǒyǐ tā cóng zuówǎn jiù kāishǐ zhǔnbèi le. zhègeshì yángròu, nǐ cháng chang.)
Tom: 太香了!(tài xiāng le!)
Yuriy: Let’s hear the conversation one time slowly.
周: Tom, 想喝点什么?啤酒还是红酒?(ZHŌU : Tom, xiǎng hē diǎn shénme? píjiǔ hái shì hóngjiǔ?)
Tom: 我开车来的,还是喝点饮料吧。(wǒ kāichē lái de, hái shì hē diǎn yǐnliào ba.)
周: 多吃点,别客气。(ZHŌU : duō chī diǎn, bié kèqi.)
Tom: 周太太做了这么多菜,太丰盛了。(zhōu tàitai zuò le zhème duō cài, tài fēngshèng le.)
周:因为你是稀客,所以她从昨晚就开始准备了。这个是羊肉,你尝尝。(ZHŌU : yīnwèi nǐ shì xīkè, suǒyǐ tā cóng zuówǎn jiù kāishǐ zhǔnbèi le. zhègeshì yángròu, nǐ cháng chang.)
Tom: 太香了!(tài xiāng le!)
Yuriy: Now let’s hear it with the English translation.
周:Tom, 想喝点什么?啤酒还是红酒?(ZHŌU : Tom, xiǎng hē diǎn shénme? píjiǔ hái shì hóngjiǔ?)
Yuriy: Tom, what would you like to drink? Beer or red wine?
Tom: 我开车来的,还是喝点饮料吧。(wǒ kāichē lái de, hái shì hē diǎn yǐnliào ba.)
Yuriy: I drove here, so I'd better have a non-alcoholic drink.
周: 多吃点,别客气。(ZHŌU : duō chī diǎn, bié kèqi.)
Yuriy: Eat more; don't be shy.
Tom: 周太太做了这么多菜,太丰盛了。(zhōu tàitai zuò le zhème duō cài, tài fēngshèng le.)
Yuriy: Mrs. Zhou made so many different dishes. It's amazing!
周:因为你是稀客,所以她从昨晚就开始准备了。这个是羊肉,你尝尝。(ZHŌU : yīnwèi nǐ shì xīkè, suǒyǐ tā cóng zuówǎn jiù kāishǐ zhǔnbèi le. zhègeshì yángròu, nǐ cháng chang.)
Yuriy: Because you’re a special guest, she started preparing last night. This is lamb. Try it.
Tom: 太香了!(tài xiāng le!)
Yuriy: It's so good!
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Yinru: Dining is an important part of our culture in China. Especially at formal dinners, we need to pay attention to some etiquette.
Yuriy: The number one rule is to respect the host and senior people at a dinner.
Yinru: This respect starts from the beginning with our seating at the table. Unlike other countries, dinner tables in China are usually round.
Yuriy: And people are seated around the table in a certain order.
Yinru: The host’s seat always faces the door. The guest of honor is seated to the right of the host.
Yuriy: Guests of honor include elderly people, seniors and superiors, or guests from a faraway place.
Yinru: The rest of the guests should only take their seats according to the host’s arrangement.
Yuriy: Once everyone is seated, the dinner starts and the host will invite everyone to enjoy the dinner, serving them food and drinks.
Yinru: The host may even put food on your plate. This may be uncomfortable for you, but it’s just the Chinese way of showing hospitality at the dinner table.
Yuriy: That’s right. You don’t have to eat it all if you don’t like it, but to be polite, I would suggest you try just a little bit.
Yinru: When you’re not comfortable using chopsticks, you can always ask for a fork or knife. Most restaurants have them.
Yuriy: But if you’re using chopsticks, you’ll need to avoid some things.
Yinru: For example, don’t use your own chopsticks to pick up food on a shared plate or stir it up.
Yuriy: And don’t rest your chopsticks in the middle of your rice bowl. Chinese people believe this is inauspicious. It’s best to rest them on the rim, or on the table with a chopstick holder.
Yinru: Usually when starting the dinner, the host will toast to every guest and later on, more toasts will happen. This may happen many times throughout the dinner. Always remember to toast the most senior person and other superiors first.
Yuriy: Are there common phrases you should say when toasting?
Yinru: Yes, such as 身体健康(Shēntǐ jiànkāng), meaning “good health,” or 工作顺利(Gōngzuò shùnlì), meaning that you hope everything goes well with their work. Another phrase is 学习进步(Xuéxí jìnbù), meaning “have progress at school.”
Yuriy: Those are some good tips, listeners. Okay, now onto the vocab.
VOCAB LIST
Yuriy: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
: The first word we shall see is:
Yinru: 喝 (Hē) [natural native speed]
Yuriy: to drink
Yinru: 喝 (Hē)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Yinru: 喝 (Hē)[natural native speed]
: Next:
Yinru: 啤酒 (Píjiǔ)[natural native speed]
Yuriy: beer
Yinru: 啤酒 (Píjiǔ)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Yinru: 啤酒 (Píjiǔ)[natural native speed]
: Next:
Yinru: 红酒 (Hóngjiǔ)[natural native speed]
Yuriy: red wine
Yinru: 红酒 (Hóngjiǔ)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Yinru: 红酒 (Hóngjiǔ)[natural native speed]
: Next:
Yinru: 开车 (Kāichē)[natural native speed]
Yuriy: to drive
Yinru: 开车 (Kāichē)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Yinru: 开车 (Kāichē)[natural native speed]
: Next:
Yinru: 饮料 (Yǐnliào)[natural native speed]
Yuriy: non-alcoholic drinks, beverage
Yinru: 饮料 (Yǐnliào)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Yinru: 饮料 (Yǐnliào)[natural native speed]
: Next:
Yinru: 客气 (Kèqì)[natural native speed]
Yuriy: courteous
Yinru: 客气 (Kèqì)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Yinru: 客气 (Kèqì)[natural native speed]
: Next:
Yinru: 丰盛 (Fēngshèng)[natural native speed]
Yuriy: of large variety
Yinru: 丰盛 (Fēngshèng)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Yinru: 丰盛 (Fēngshèng)[natural native speed]
: Next:
Yinru: 稀客 (Xīkè)[natural native speed]
Yuriy: rare guest
Yinru: 稀客 (Xīkè)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Yinru: 稀客 (Xīkè)[natural native speed]
: Next:
Yinru: 羊肉 (Yángròu)[natural native speed]
Yuriy: lamb
Yinru: 羊肉 (Yángròu)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Yinru: 羊肉 (Yángròu)[natural native speed]
: And Last:
Yinru: 香 (Xiāng)[natural native speed]
Yuriy: delicious, fragrant
Yinru: 香 (Xiāng)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Yinru: 香 (Xiāng)[natural native speed]
KEY VOCAB AND PHRASES
Yuriy: Let’s take a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Yinru: First we’ll talk about the word 客气(Kèqì). There’s no direct translation for this, but it means “polite,”“courteous,”“humble,” “adhering to formality” or any combination of the above.
Yuriy: Let’s try to get a better understanding of this word from some sample sentences.
Yinru: Okay. 你太客气了, 给我带这么多礼物.(Nǐ tài kèqìle, gěi wǒ dài zhème duō lǐwù.)
Yuriy: This means, “It’s so nice of you to bring me so many gifts, which isn’t necessary.” When you visit someone and bring gifts, other than saying “Thank you,” they’re very likely to respond this way.
Yinru: As another example, 想吃什么就吃什么, 别客气.(Xiǎng chī shénme jiù chī shénme, bié kèqì.)
Yuriy: “Eat whatever you want; don’t worry and make yourself at home.” That’s what most hosts will say when taking care of their guests.
Yinru: Next is 她对人很客气. (Tā duì rén hěn kèqì.)
Yuriy: “She treats people politely.”
Yinru: The next word we want to mention is 丰盛(Fēngshèng).
Yuriy: It means something with a large variety, and it’s used to describe meals or food.
Yinru: Now let’s see how to use it in a sentence. 今天的午餐太丰盛了, 蔬菜, 鱼, 肉, 汤 都有了.(Jīntiān de wǔcān tài fēngshèngle, shūcài, yú, ròu, tāng dōu yǒule.)
Yuriy: “Today’s lunch is great; it has vegetables, fish, meat and soup.”
Yinru: 春节的每一餐都很丰盛.(Chūnjié de měi yī cān dōu hěn fēngshèng.)
Yuriy: “Every meal in the Spring Festival has great variety.”
Yinru: 准备一顿丰盛的晚餐要很多时间.(Zhǔnbèi yī dùn fēngshèng de wǎncān yào hěnduō shíjiān.)
Yuriy: “To prepare a big dinner requires a lot of time.”
Yinru: Just remember, 丰盛 (Fēngshèng)is only used for meals. Okay, our last key vocabulary word also has something to do with food. It’s another adjective, 香(Xiāng).
Yuriy: We know from the conversation that it could mean “delicious” and “smells good.” Other than that, it can also be used to describe the fragrance or scent of things, such as flowers.
Yinru: Yes, like 香 (Xiāng)in the word 香水(Xiāngshuǐ), meaning “perfume.” In Chinese it literally means “smell good water.”
Yuriy: Ok, as usual, let’s have some examples.
Yinru: 这盘宫爆鸡丁好香啊!(Zhè pán gōng bào jī dīng hǎo xiāng a!)
Yuriy: “This plate of Kung Pao Chicken smells so good!”
Yinru: 你闻闻这朵玫瑰, 香不香? (Nǐ wén wén zhè duǒ méiguī, xiāng bù xiāng?)
Yuriy: “Smell this rose. Does it smell good?”
Yinru: Other than these examples, sometimes 香 (Xiāng) can also describe people enjoying something.
Yuriy: Eating with a good appetite or sleeping deeply are the two most common uses.
Yinru: 比如说, for example, 看他吃饭吃得多香啊(Kàn tā chīfàn chī dé duō xiāng a).
Yuriy: “Look how he is wolfing down the food.”
Yinru: 小宝宝睡得好香, 让她多睡一会儿.(Xiǎo bǎobǎo shuì dé hǎo xiāng, ràng tā duō shuì yīhuǐ'er.)
Yuriy: “How sound asleep the baby is. Let her sleep a little more.” Okay, now onto the grammar.

Lesson focus

Yinru: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to use 还是...吧.(Háishì... Ba.)
Yuriy: This can be translated as “had better [do something].”
Yinru: 还是...吧 (Háishì... Ba)is used when choosing one option after considering two or more, sometimes at the cost of giving up one’s preference.
Yuriy: Usually a verb or a verb phrase is placed in between. For example...
Yinru: 今天这么热, 我们还是别出门了吧.(Jīntiān zhème rè, wǒmen háishì bié chūménle ba.)
Yuriy: “It’s so hot today. We’d better not go outside.”
Yinru: 虽然中药很苦, 但是很有用, 你还是把药吃了吧.(Suīrán zhōngyào hěn kǔ, dànshì hěn yǒuyòng, nǐ háishì bǎ yào chīle ba.)
Yuriy: “Even though Chinese herbal medicines taste awful, they’re very effective. It would be best if you finish this.”
Yinru: 我们没有多少时间了, 还是坐飞机去吧.(Wǒmen méiyǒu duōshǎo shíjiānle, háishì zuò fēijī qù ba.)
Yuriy: “We don’t have much time left. We’d better take the plane.”
Yinru: 还是 (Háishì)has another meaning, which is “or,” which we have learned before.
Yuriy: Let’s look at a short dialogue that uses both meanings.
Yinru: A says, 我们明天是去看电影还是去看球? (Wǒmen míngtiān shì qù kàn diànyǐng háishì qù kàn qiú?)B responds, 还是去看电影吧.(Háishì qù kàn diànyǐng ba.)
Yuriy: In English, A says, “Should we go watch a movie or a ball game tomorrow?” And B responds, “Let’s see a movie.”
Yinru: Can you tell me which 还是 (Háishì) means “had better” and which 还是 (Háishì) means “or?”
Yuriy: Yes, the first one means “or” because it’s used to offer a choice. The second one makes a choice, which means “had better.”
Yinru: An easy way to distinguish them is to look for the final article 吧. If you see it used with 还是(Háishì), then this 还是 (Háishì) usually means “had better.” Just like in our conversation, Mr. Zhou asked Tom if he would like 啤酒 or 红酒 (Píjiǔ orhóngjiǔ)by putting 还是 (Háishì) between them. Then Tom says, since he drove there, he “had better” have something non-alcoholic, 还是喝饮料吧.(Háishì hē yǐnliào ba.)

Outro

Yuriy: Well, that’s all for this lesson. Thanks for listening….
Yinru: And we’ll see you next time.

3 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Hi Listeners! What do you know about Chinese Dining Etiquette?

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 02:12 PM
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Hello robert groulx,


Thank you for your comment, we hope you enjoyed the lesson!


Let us know if you have any questions.


Ngai Lam

Team ChineseClass101.com

robert groulx
Thursday at 10:08 PM
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thank you for the lesson


my favorite words are 我们没有多少时间了, 还是坐飞机去吧.


i dio not know on chinese etiquette


robert