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Start speaking Chinese in minutes and grasp the language, culture and customs in just minutes more with Chinese survival phrases, a completely new way to master the basics of Chinese. To get more Chinese lessons and for free, go to chineseclass101.com and sign up for your free lifetime account. Signing up takes less than a minute and you will find more great lessons just like this one. To get more free Chinese lessons, go to chineseclass101.com
Hey guys, I know in China, you might miss some American or whatever your hometown food is, but please don’t be one of those people who is afraid of trying Chinese food. Today we are going to make it a little bit easier and we are going to go over phrases to use in the restaurant. The first phrase we are going to teach you is waiter. The way you say waiter is 服务员(fú wù yuán). Let’s do that again 服务员(fú wù yuán). One more time 服务员(fú wù yuán). This literally means service person but it’s the same meaning as waiter 服务(fú wù) means service and 员(yuán) means staff member or worker. So literally it means service staff member 服务员(fú wù yuán). Now this might not seem very important. In America, it wouldn’t be very important. Why do I have to know how to say waiter. Do I want to say I need a new waiter but in China, this is really important. Chinese people have a different idea of service in a restaurant. Often times you will be in a restaurant – in a really busy restaurant and you will see 3 or 4 of the waiters or waitresses just sitting around the register talking. The way to get a waiter’s attention in China is you yell out really. I mean yell out. You go 服务员(fú wù yuán). This is the way that Chinese people do it and it’s really the only way to get attention. You have to be really lucky or in a really nice foreigner oriented restaurant to get service without actually saying 服务员(fú wù yuán). It is not like America where you just look at the waiter, raise one finger and the waiter comes over and asks you politely what you want. In China, you raise your hand and yell 服务员(fú wù yuán) and don’t worry. Nobody else is going to look at you strange, only the waitress. So let’s go over the pronunciation. First it’s second tone, rising tone 服(fú), then fourth tone, falling tone 务(wù), then second tone again 员(yuán), 服务员(fú wù yuán). All right guys, now you’ve got your waiter or waitress over here. She is handing you a menu, you look at the menu. Hopefully it’s got English on it because otherwise you know even I am lost sometimes. You look at the menu, you see something you just think you like and you want to order that. How do you do that? Well the easiest way and the way we are going to teach you is a way we’ve talked about before. Point at the things and just go 这个(zhè ge). 这个(zhè ge) means this. It’s fourth tone and then no tone, falling tone, then no tone 这个(zhè ge). If you want to, you can say I want this and this sounds more Chinese. You say 我要这个(Wǒ yào zhège). 我(wǒ) means I and 要(yào) is to want. So 我要这个。(Wǒ yào zhège.), 我(wǒ) is third tone falling rising and then 要(yào) is fourth tone falling. 我要这个。(Wǒ yào zhège.) All right now, a lot of food in China can be really spicy and I know a lot of people from the west are not used to spicy foods or maybe you think you are used to spicy foods but two days into your China trip, you’ve had enough and you want to rest maybe just for one day, maybe just for one meal, it would be nice, wouldn’t it? So when you are pointing at things before you order them, you can ask, is this spicy? The way you ask this is 很辣吗?(Hěn là ma?) One more time 很辣吗?(Hěn là ma?) 很(hěn) means very, 辣(là) means spicy and 吗(ma) is just a particle that indicates the sentence is a question. It’s like adding a question mark to the end of a sentence. So 很辣吗?(Hěn là ma?)
very spicy question. The tones for this are third tone, falling rising tone 很(hěn) and then fourth tone, the falling tone 辣(là) and then of course no tone 吗(ma). 很辣吗?(Hěn là ma?)
All right, to close our today’s lesson, we’d like you to practice what we’ve just learned. I will provide you with the English equivalent of a phrase and you are responsible for shouting it out loud. You will have a few seconds before I give you the answer. So 加油(jiā yóu)! Waiter, 服务员(fú wù yuán). I want this, 我要这个。(Wǒ yào zhège.) Is it very spicy, 很辣吗?(Hěn là ma?)
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Please to leave a comment.
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ChineseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Have you tried yelling for the wait staff in a Chinese restaurant?

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Sunday at 12:25 AM
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你好 robert groulx,

谢谢 for posting and studying with us. If you have any questions, please let us know.😄

Kind regards,

雷文特 (Levente)

Team ChineseClass101.com

robert groulx
Sunday at 12:20 AM
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thank you for the lesson transcript

(Wǒ yào zhège)


ChineseClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 01:17 AM
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Hello, Julia,

要 is "yào", not the first tone.

我要这个。(Wǒ yào zhè ge .)


Team ChineseClass101.com

Saturday at 05:17 AM
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Whenever I come across the sentence "我要这个", yao is always in the first tone. However, whenever it is alone it is the fourth tone. Can you please clarify?


ChineseClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 11:26 AM
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Hi Jathon,

Thank you for posting.

You can find any word you are interested in here - https://www.chineseclass101.com/learningcenter/reference/dictionary/spicy

In our site's dictionary.



Team ChineseClass101.com

Monday at 01:46 AM
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The vocabulary words "waiter" and "spicy" were not included in the lesson vocabulary section.

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 12:14 PM
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Hi Niall Hamilton,

You can say:


Wǒ duì guǒrén guòmǐn.

"I am allergic to nuts."

果仁 (guǒrén) is the generic term for "nuts"; and 过敏 (guòmǐn) is "allergic; allergy".


Team ChineseClass101.com

Niall Hamilton
Monday at 09:11 PM
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I have quite a severe nut allergy - how would I say/write "I'm allergic to all nuts".

Thanks for the lessons