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Lesson Transcript

Taiwanese Mandarin Survival Phrases Lesson 22: I Am a Vegetarian
In this lesson, we’ll talk about being a vegetarian and learn the word for vegetarian.
In Chinese, the word for "vegetarian" is 素食主義者(sùshí zhǔyì zhě).
Let’s break it down by tone:
素(sù) is in fourth tone, falling tone.
食(shí) is in second tone, rising tone.
主(zhǔ) is in third tone, falling-rising tone.
義(yì) is in fourth tone, the falling tone.
者(zhě) is in third tone, falling-rising tone.
Let’s break it down by meaning:
素(sù) means "vegetarian."
食(shí) means "food."
素(sù) means "element" or "component."
主義(zhǔyì) means "doctrine or -ism" like “communism” or “capitalism,” or in this case, "vegetarianism.”
If you want to say you are a vegetarian, you can say, 我吃素(Wǒ chī sù), which means "I eat as a vegetarian.”
Alternatively, you can say 我不吃肉(Wǒ bù chī ròu), which means, “I don’t eat meat.”
Let’s break it down by tone:
我(wǒ) third tone, falling-rising tone.
不(bù) fourth tone, the falling tone.
吃(chī) first tone, the flat tone.
肉(ròu) fourth tone, the falling tone.
Let’s break it down by meaning:
我(wǒ) means "I."
不(bù) means "no."
吃(chī) means "to eat."
肉(ròu) means "meat."
Literally this means "I no eat meat", or more accurately, "I don’t eat meat.”
At a restaurant, you can ask, "Could you make this without meat?" In Chinese, this is 可以不放肉嗎(Kěyǐ bùfàng ròu ma)?
Let’s break it down by tone:
可(kě) is in third tone.
以(yǐ) is in third tone.
不(bú) is in second tone
放 (fàng) is in fourth tone.
肉(ròu) fourth tone, the falling tone.
嗎(ma) which has no tone.
Remember that 不(bù) is usually in fourth tone, but because it comes before 放(fàng) which is also in fourth tone, it becomes second, rising tone.
Let’s break it down by meaning:
可以(ké yǐ) literally means “can” or “may” and is used when asking for permission.
不(bù) means "no."
放(fàng) means "to put" or "to place."
肉(ròu) means "meat."
嗎(ma) makes a statement into a question.
When translated to English, this means “Could you make this without meat?"
Altogether, we have 可以不放肉嗎(Kéyǐ búfàng ròu ma)?
Listen again, one more time, slowly:
[Slow] 可以不放肉嗎(Kéyǐ búfàng ròu ma)?
[Normal] 可以不放肉嗎(Kéyǐ búfàng ròu ma)?

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Do you think Taiwan has a good Vegetarian selection?

ChineseClass101.com
Thursday at 01:53 PM
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Hello Jordan,


Thank you for your positive comment. 😄


These phrases will come in handy the next time you visit China or Taiwan.


Let us know if you have any questions.


Ngai Lam

Team ChineseClass101.com

Jordan
Wednesday at 12:36 PM
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I don't know about Taiwan, but mainland China has many good vegetarian dishes. I wish I had seen this lesson before I left to visit China for the first time this November. Xièxiè to all the people who worked on this lesson!