Dialogue

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Lesson Transcript

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
Michael: Today’s phrase is absolutely necessary for anybody who doesn’t speak Chinese impeccably. The phrase today is, I don’t understand. In Chinese, that is 我不明白。(Wǒ bù míngbái.), one more time 我不明白。(Wǒ bù míngbái.) Breaking it down syllable by syllable, this is 我(wǒ), third tone, falling rising tone, 我(wǒ), 不(bù), fourth tone, falling tone, 不(bù), 明(míng), second tone, rising tone, 明(míng), and then 白(bái), second tone, rising tone again, 白(bái). 我不明白(Wǒ bù míngbai). (Update: Please be noted that 明白 should be pronounced míngbai. 白 here has no tone.) Literally this means I 我(wǒ), no 不(bù), 明白(míng bai) understand. I no understand, I don’t understand, 我不明白。(Wǒ bù míngbai.) Again this is going to be really important. You are probably going to say this more than anything else, 我不明白。(Wǒ bù míngbai.) A lot of times you can say, you can be polite and say I am sorry, I don’t understand, 不好意思,我不明白。(Bù hǎo yìsī, wǒ bù míngbai.) One more time, 不好意思,我不明白。(Bù hǎo yìsī, wǒ bù míngbai.). We’ve done 不好意思(Bù hǎo yìsi) before, it can mean excuse me or I feel bad or I am sorry. The tones are fourth tone 不(bù), third tone falling rising tone 好(hǎo), fourth tone 意(yì), no tone 思(si), 不好意思(Bù hǎo yìsi). 不好意思,我不明白。(Bù hǎo yìsi, wǒ bù míngbai.) I am sorry, I don’t understand, 不好意思,我不明白。(Bù hǎo yìsi, wǒ bù míngbai.) So remember, 不(bù) means no, 好(hǎo) means good and 意思(yìsi) means meaning. So literally it means no good meaning or I feel bad. 不好意思(Bù hǎo yìsi), I am sorry, 不好意思(Bù hǎo yìsi). 不好意思,我不明白。(Bù hǎo yìsi, wǒ bù míngbai.) The next thing you can say and this might be useful too is I don’t speak Chinese 我不会说中文。(Wǒ bù huì shuō zhōngwén.) . It means I don’t speak Chinese. 我(wǒ), third tone, falling rising tone 我(wǒ), 不(bù), fourth tone 不(bù), 会(huì), fourth tone again, 会(huì). So remember 不(bù) comes before another fourth tone, it becomes 不(bú) second tone, rising tone, so 我不会(Wǒ búhuì), 我不会(Wǒ búhuì), 说(shuō) first tone, flat tone, 说(shuō), 中(zhōng) again first tone, flat tone, 文(wén) second tone, rising tone. 我不会说中文。(Wǒ búhuì shuō zhōngwén.) Literally this means I 我(wǒ), 不会(búhuì) cannot, I am not able to, 不会(búhuì), 说(shuō) to speak 说(shuō), 中文(zhōngwén) Chinese, 中文(zhōngwén). Broken down, Chinese is 中(zhōng) which means middle or it’s the word for China because China is known as the middle kingdom, 中(zhōng) and 文(wén) which means literature or language. So the literature or language of the middle kingdom 中文(zhōngwén). So 我不会说中文。(Wǒ búhuì shuō zhōngwén.) literally I cannot speak Chinese. I can’t speak Chinese, 我不会说中文。(Wǒ búhuì shuō zhōngwén.) So guys, I am sure this would be really useful when you are not used to speaking Chinese. Someone comes up to you and they start saying something and you don’t understand any of it, you can say 不好意思,我不明白。我不会说中文。(Bù hǎo yìsi, wǒ bù míngbai. Wǒ búhuì shuō zhōngwén.) It means I am sorry, I don’t understand. I don’t speak Chinese or even better, lots of times on the street in China, there are people selling goods and they run up to you and throw stuff in your face, Rolex, Rolex, Rolex, Rolex. It’s not a real Rolex guys, I swear. It’s not a real Rolex but they insist on selling these little trinkets to you and you can say to them 不好意思,我不会说中文。(Bù hǎo yìsi, wǒ búhuì shuō zhōngwén.) 不好意思,我不明白。我不会说中文。(Bù hǎo yìsi, wǒ bù míngbai. Wǒ búhuì shuō zhōngwén.) At least this will get a smile out of them. Hopefully it will send them away. 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)! So the first phrase we are going to try, I am sorry or I feel bad, 不好意思。(Bù hǎo yìsi.) I don’t understand, 我不明白。(Wǒ bù míngbai.) I can’t speak Chinese 我不会说中文。(Wǒ búhuì shuō zhōngwén.)
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ChineseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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When traveling do you always ask the meaning of words or customs you do not understand?

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 09:51 PM
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Hello robert groulx,


Thank you for your comment. We hope you enjoy the lessons.


If you have any questions, please let us know.


Ngai Lam

Team ChineseClass101.com

robert groulx
Sunday at 11:12 PM
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thank you for the lesson transcript


Wǒ búhuì shuō zhōngwén.


robert

Hello Kitty
Monday at 07:44 AM
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zhouli
Wednesday at 11:30 AM
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@petiteclaire,

if you don't get the meaning of the language,you can say:我不明白,or 我听不懂, they are both right. but 我不懂了is wrong.

and 我不明白sometimes means: i know every word you have told me, but i dont know what exactly do you mean.

_petiteclaire_
Sunday at 03:16 AM
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How does 我不明白 differ from 我不懂了 or 我听不懂 ?