Dialogue

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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
All right guys, last lesson got you through getting your waitress, getting your food and so now you’ve had your meal, you are feeling stuffed. You are leaning back in your chair, you can’t even really move and well, you need to get your check. You got to go home and go to sleep. Just like we discussed in the last lesson where you raise your hand, call for the waiter, yell out for the waiter. You need to do that for the check too. People are not going to respond to quiet signals. You can either yell out waiter or you can just yell out check. First you should probably yell out waiter. When the waiter comes over, you tell them check. The way you say check in Chinese is 买单(Mǎidān!). And let’s do this syllable by syllable 买(mǎi) third tone, falling rising tone and 单(dān) first tone, flat tone. 买单!(Mǎidān!) All right literally this means buy form. So 买(mǎi) means to buy and 单(dān) means form or it can mean sort of a sheet of paper, anything that is put on paper. So this is the buying form, 买单(Mǎidān!). Now when you are paying your check, I know most of you have the instinct. You know you just do it and you can’t help but do it. You put a tip on your check. Don’t do that in China. Most of the time if you try to tip, they will refuse your tip and they will take it as kind of an insult. Why do you give me this extra money? I am just doing my job. Don’t give me this extra money. They do not want your tips though sometimes especially if they are used to foreigners, they will just say, okay take your money and go. You do not need to tip, you are not supposed to tip. If you are in a really, really fancy foreigner oriented restaurant, then there might be a tip but that will be written down and probably will already be included with your check. So you almost never, ever have to think about tips. This goes for the restaurant, for cabs, for bellboys. Nowhere do they have tips in China. Okay now in China, most people never split the check. Usually one person from the party pays the entire check. Now sometimes I go out with foreign friends and we are all used to splitting the check and so we split the check and the waitress always looks at us strange like really. Why doesn’t one of you just pay? You know, she comes and she says, its 40 quays and we look at our money and we go, oh shoot! I don’t have any change. So we ask for change from her and she just goes, oh okay! They think it’s just really strange. Now if you are out with Chinese people, this can be even more of a problem because they are going to want to pay the whole check. In fact, it’s a way of gaining face. You always, always ask to pay the check and really they are serious. They want to pay this check. Even people who make a quarter, a tenth of what you make are going to want to buy you meals. Truthfully I let people buy me meals. I don’t like arguing about it. I don’t want to spend the whole time haggling over who is going to buy the meal. So usually what I just say is, all right, I will buy the next one and this is common custom in China. Friends go out all the time and this time one person pays, next time, the other person is going to pay. Now I know you are visiting China. You are not going to be there for a long time. Maybe you are never going to see this person again. It’s probably silly and kind of underhanded to say I will buy the next one but they are going to like this. They are going to feel better about you saying it and well, it saves you time. So if they are grabbing for the bill and you don’t want to feel bad about them paying for your whole bill. You just say to them, hey, hey stop and they stop and they look at you and you go, 下一次我请你(Xià yīcì wǒ qǐng nǐ.). That means, I will pay next time. A lot of times Chinese people, they fight for a long time over who is going to pay the bill. It ends up being a big argument though not actually a serious argument but it takes a lot of time and I kind of find it frustrating. If you don’t feel comfortable with people just paying for you and truthfully, it is not always the most comfortable experience, what you do is, you just say, I will pay next time. So somebody grabs the check and they say, I am going to pay, I am going to pay, I am going to pay and you just sort of stop them for a second and say, okay, okay but 下一次我请你(Xià yīcì wǒ qǐng nǐ.). It means I will pay next time. Next time, I will treat you. So 下一次我请你(Xià yīcì wǒ qǐng nǐ.). Let’s break it down word by word. 下一次(xià yīcì), 下(xià) means below or next, 一(yī) means one, 次(cì) means time. So it means next one time. 我(wǒ) is I, 请(qǐng) is a verb that means to treat somebody, to take them out for dinner, to pay for them, 你(nǐ) is you. 我请你(wǒ qǐng nǐ), I treat you. 下一次我请你(Xià yīcì wǒ qǐng nǐ.). Next time, I treat you.
Now let’s go over the syllables because this is kind of a long phrase all right. 下(xià) fourth tone, 一(yī) first tone, 次(cì) fourth tone [the tone for "一", it will be changed from the first tone [yī] to the second tone [yí] when it is before a fourth tone, so "一次" pronounces [yí cì]], 我(wǒ) third tone, 请(qǐng) third tone, 你(nǐ) third tone but remember, three third tones in a row, the middle one becomes a second tone, rising tone. So 我请你(wǒ qíng nǐ). So it’s fourth tone, first tone, fourth tone, third tone, second tone, third tone. 下一次我请你(Xià yīcì wǒ qíng nǐ.). Okay guys, my boss is looking at his watch. So I guess I got to go. So let’s just go over the phrases one last time and then we will finish it up next time, sorry. 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)! Check! 买单!(Mǎidān!) Next time, I will treat you. 下一次我请你(Xià yīcì wǒ qíng nǐ.).
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ChineseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Have you ever tried getting the bill at a crowded and loud Chinese restaurant?

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 05:56 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
Monday at 05:32 AM
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thank you for the lesson transcript


(Xià yīcì wǒ qíng nǐ.


robert

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Sunday at 04:00 PM
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Hi, Ethan,

For bill/check, we usually use 账单(zhàng dān).:smile:


Cho

Team ChineseClass101.com

Ethan
Friday at 12:04 PM
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Which is the better word for bill/check, mǎidān or zhàngdān?