Thursday, May 1, 2008

Travel in China | Learn Essential Chinese

Travel in China - Sports Chinese - Lesson One - Part 1

For Zero level - Survival Level learners (What's it)




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10 comments:

Tom Scott said...

This is a supplemental explanation for “谁” (shui2 and shei2). As you know, some Chinese characters have a few different pronunciations, and they are called “多音字 (duo1 yin1 zi4)”. And some of 多音字 have two contrasting readings, namely colloquial and literary one.

As to “谁”, the reading “shei2” is more colloquial than “shui2”, but of course the latter is also used especially in a relatively formal situation. In ancient written Chinese, the character “谁” had only one reading which was the counterpart of “shui2” in modern Mandarin.

The same goes for, e.g. “熟” (shu2, shou2) and “色” (se4, shai3). In the case of “熟悉”, both “shu2 xi1” and “shou2 xi1” would be OK in conversation, but it should be pronounced “shu2”, for example, when you read a chengyu (成语), such as 轻车熟路 (qing1 che1 shu2 lu4)…..theoretically.

Lisa Yvonne said...

There's definitely something 'deep' about what is creepy or not. I know there are lots of Chinese products meant for kids that strike me as rather demented. Some of the color schemes and the freaky big eyes, etc. At first I thought these were mostly just 'cheap' or 'low quality' products that were sort of blindly plastered with random art, but my wife assured me that no manufacturer decorates things in a way that won't sell... There's just a different aesthetic.

With Dr. Seuss there's sort of a difference between early Seuss and late Seuss, where he started putting in moral lessons into the later books. Some of those later ones are the ones I really don't like.

azerdocmom, your Mom is a good sport! What a great clip.

Benjamin said...

I know so many Chinese people (usually girls) who are just fearful of cats... and most of them it isn't the cat they are afraid of... it's the hair!! I have yet to figure this out, but my friend who has this fear, when with a hairless cat had no problem. I also had a Chinese friend who was horrified of birds because of feathers, as she said when she was in school a boy tried to tease her with a big feather. Why so easily scared I wonder...

Amanda said...

Oooh, this series will be good. Just before doing this lesson, I had been Googling "top ten shanghainese dishes." My goal is to eat each of these ten at least once by 2010. Then maybe I'll start on the top 10 Hunan cai.

Yvonne said...

about 30 years ago, when Hunan food was new o the U.S. foodie, The New Yorker, one of the most highly regarded magazines in our country, announced that a place called the Hunan restaurant in San Francisco's North Beach was the best Chinese restaurant in the world. It turned out later that that was the first real Chinese restaurant that writer ha ever eaten in. And, I guess, he liked it. (Don't ask me how a fellow who hd lived in both New York and the San Francisco Bay Area (and, I think, Los Angeles) had managed to avoid Chinese food until he was well into his thirties, but the world is a strange and wonderful place.

Melody said...

For those of you who have a low tolerance for spicy food I would respectfully suggest a special lesson on the use of Chinese in the local restaurants. I think it is really unfair for us older folks to have to differentiate in Chinese between medium and hot. To me it sounds like the same Word. But I know it is not due in part or maybe in totality because of its tone. Both the wonders of tone. I guess just to be on the safe side a person with a bold stomach like me off to stick with the mild. at any rate no matter what category of spiciness you choose you will know the next day for sure whether with mild medium or hot.

Nancy said...

My usual take on bu2cuo4 不错 has been "not bad." But in this lesson it is being given a much more positive spin.

I would have said (having been to Suzhou with a friend, many years ago) is that it is not just 不错, but actually 美丽. But I now learn that bu2cuo4 不错 is really much more positive that I had thought.

So, I have learned something new here.

William said...

This lesson is very useful. I'm a newbie so lessons classified make me easy to learn. Xiexie.

Joseph said...

I’m curious about your ID, i.e. hitokiri. If it is a Japanese word, it would be “人斬り”, which means “cut a man with a sword”. Wow, a bit frightening! Did you find the word in Japanese anime or movies?

Btw, in Chinese 101 and 110 are somewhat tricky. The number 101 is “一百零一”, and 110 is “一百一“ or “一百一十” in Chinese. I don’t think that 一百十 (110) is grammatically correct, at least on textbooks.

Melody said...

This is a very important lesson in that there are several differences to be learned between Chinese culture and Western Culture. the Supplementary vocabulary refers to next week (xia ge xingqi) and last week (shang ge xingqi), Shang means up and xia means down. In the west since we tend to be eschatological, due to our Judeo/Christian tradition and think ofthe future as being up and past as being down. This refers to the notion of the future as returning to Heaven. Westerners constantly make the mistake by referring to shang xing qi as next week and xia xing qi as last week for this reason.