… already married, (we) have two sons called (Mako and) Bolin.
They bring us no small amount of joy and…
much trouble. I believe you (formal and plural) can understand…
(I/We) hope that one day you (formal and plural) and them can (meet) each other …
On top (is) our photograph.
Notes: Chinese has two ‘you’ 你 (ni) and 您(nin). 您 is formal, similar to the German “Sie”. That their father uses it with his family can have two meanings, either it is a show of respect (in the past it was normal to address one’s parents that way) or it means they are distant, which, considering that he left after a big fight, is also a possibility. These days 、您is not used with one’s family anymore, but a show of respect to your boss, elders, your Professor or customers.
🌷 脚踏实地 (jiǎo tà shí dì) 脚踏实地 literally means “to step on solid ground.” It means that you work hard, focus on the fundamentals, and proceed in a steady and stable fashion. It’s an extremely positive chengyu. Here’s an example : “现在我们要继续脚踏实地” “xiànzài wǒmen yào jìxù jiǎotàshídì” “Right now we need to continue staying grounded and pushing ahead”
🌷 九牛一毛 (jiǔ niú yì máo) 九牛一毛 literally means “9 cows and 1 strand of cow hair.” It indicates something that’s so small that it’s like one strand of cow hair among 9 cows. Here’s an example: “电子商务的盈利在中国整体商业环境中简直是九牛一毛.” “diànzǐ shāngwù de yínglì zài zhōngguó zhěngtǐ shāngyè huánjìng zhōng jiǎnzhí shì jiǔniúyìmáo.” “In the entire Chinese commercial environment, the profits from E-commerce are simply just a drop in the bucket.”
🌷 一无所有 (yìwúsuǒyǒu) 一无所有 means to have absolutely nothing at all. It’s basically being penniless. Here’s an example: “他无家可归，一无所有” “tā wújiākěguī， yìwúsuǒyǒu” “He was homeless, and didn’t have a penny to his name.”
🌷 一见钟情(yí jiàn zhōng qíng) 一见钟情 means “love at first sight.” It’s generally used for people, but you can also use it for other physical objects. Here’s an example: “她就是我的一见钟情 “ “tā jiùshì wǒ de yíjiànzhōngqíng“ “She is my love at first sight.”
🌷 自由自在 (zì yóu zì zài) 自由自在 means that something is free and easy. It can be used to describe someone’s personality, how someone behaves, or how a place makes people feel. For example: “这是一个自由自在的地方。” “zhè shì yī gè zì yóu zì zai de dì fāng” “This is a free and easy place”
🌷 莫名其妙 (mò míng qí miào) 莫名其妙 literally means that it’s hard to articulate the profoundness or mystery or something. It basically means that something is baffling. For example: “他说了几句莫名其妙的话。” “tā shuì le jī gōu mò míng qí miào de huà” “He said some mysterious words. ”
🌷 半途而废 (bàn tú ér fèi) 半途而废 means to start doing something, only to give up halfway. Literally, it means to walk half the road and give up. Here’s an example: “我不是半途而废的人” “wǒ búshì bàntúérfèi de rén” “I’m not someone who gives up halfway”
🌷 抛砖引玉 (pāo zhuān yǐn yù) 抛砖引玉 (pāo zhuān yǐn yù) basically means you’re “just tossing an idea out there.” It literally means “to cast a brick to attract jade.” You’re basically saying, “this idea I’m tossing out there is garbage, but perhaps it will lead one of you to make a better contribution.” It’s a humble way to contribute to a conversation. Here’s an example: “我的建议还不够成熟，算是抛砖引玉吧 “ “wǒ de jiàn yì hái bú gòu chéng shú, suàn shì pāo zhuān yǐn yù ba “ “My suggestion is still half-baked — you could see it as just me tossing an idea out there“
🌷 豁然开朗 (huò rán kāi lǎng) 豁然开朗 (huò rán kāi lǎng) has two meanings which are linked. The first meaning is the refreshing and liberating feeling you get when you see a beautiful, open area. Typically, immediately before this moment, the beautiful area is not visible and you might be feeling a little stuffy. Second, it’s also used for the feeling you get when you achieve an “aha” or “eureka!” moment. Here’s an example: “大学时期，乔尼开始有机会用Mac做设计，那是一种豁然开朗的体验“ “dàxué shíqí, qiáoní kāishǐ yǒujīhuì yòng Mac zuò shèjì, nàshì yīzhǒng huòránkāilǎng de tǐyàn” “During college, Jony began to have opportunities to use a Mac to design, and that was a refreshing, eye-opening experience”
🌷 津津有味 (jīn jīn yǒu wèi) 津津有味 means to eat something deliciously. Also, it can be used for activities beyond just eating, as long as the person doing the activity finds it engaging. It’s not something that people typically use to describe themselves, but you can liberally use it on your friends as it has a positive tone. Here’s an expressive example: “津津有味地看报” “jīnjīnyǒuwèi de kànbào” “to devour the newspaper”
🌷 理所当然 (lǐ suǒ dāng rán) 理所当然 sounds like “to go without saying” or “as a matter of course,” but literally means that “according to reason, it should be the case.” Here’s an example: “Some things which are obvious or natural in the course of a marriage…” “。。。在婚姻中的一些～的事。。。” “。。。zài hūnyīn zhōng de yīxiē ～de shì 。。。”
🌷 全力以赴 (quán lì yǐ fù) 全力以赴 basically means to give it your all (literally “exert all your strength”) for a goal. It has a positive tone, and is somewhat formal but can still be used in everyday speech. It’s important to note that 全力以赴 is typically used for actions that haven’t finished yet, rather than actions that have already been completed. Here’s an example: “无论考生的笔试成绩如何，都要全力以赴准备面试” “wúlùn kǎoshēng de bǐshì chéngjì rúhé ，dōuyào quánlìyǐfù zhǔnbèi miànshì” “No matter how the student’s written test score is, he/she needs to give 100% to prepare for the interview”
🌷 心血来潮 (xīn xuè lái cháo) 心血来潮 basically means “spur of the moment” or “on a whim.” Literally, it evokes the image of blood rushing to your heart (of course in English we’d say head). It’s a perfect chengyu for when you’re telling a story a friend. For example: “某日他们心血来潮，决定比拼一下各自的脚法“ “mǒu rì tāmen xīnxuèláicháo,juédìng bǐpīn yíxià gèzì de jiǎofǎ” “One day, on a spur of the moment, they decided to compare and compete to see whose footwork was best”
🌷 乱七八糟 (luàn qī bā zāo) 乱七八糟 means that something is a total mess. You can use it to describe tangible things like messy rooms, or more abstract things, like a messed up life. For example: 是谁弄得乱七八糟的？ “shì shéi nòng de luàn qī bā zāo de?” “who made this mess?”
🌷 不可思议 (bù kě sī yì) 不可思议 means that something is noteworthy or amazing in an unexpected way. It can be used for things which are really amazing (eg. magic or larger phenomena) but also for unexpected, everyday occurrences. For example: “真是不可思议，我的名字跟你一样！” “zhēn shi bù kĕ sī yì wŏ de míng zi gēn nĭ yī yàng” “It’s incredible, I have the same name as you!”
Modern Chinese have developed the habit of using the character 死 sǐ (die) to spice up their colloquial expressions. Let’s take a closer look to see what we can learn from these colorful language extremes. Often these “dying” expressions are used to express negative feelings with lighthearted charm…
饿死了è sǐ le – extremely hungry 渴死了 kě sǐ le – extremely thirsty 吓死我了 xià sǐ wǒ le – frightened me to death 疼死了 téng sǐ le – to really hurt 热死了 rè sǐ le – unbearably hot 冷死了 lěng sǐ le – unbearably cold 累死了 lèi sǐ le – dying from overwork 堵死了 dǔ sǐ le – blocked road; plugged hole 烦死了 fán sǐ le – annoyed to death 困死了 kùn sǐ le – incredibly sleepy 气死我了 qì sǐ wǒ le – infuriating me 无聊死了 wúliáo sǐle – bored to death
人民币 rén mín bì: yuan, “money of the people” 认识 rènshi: to meet 日rì: sun 日本 rìběn: Japan 容易 róng yì: easy 肉 ròu: meat 三 sān: three 散步 sànbù: to take a walk 嫂子 săozi: sister-in-law, the wife of a friend 商 shāng: trade 商场 shāng chăng: shopping centre 商店 shāng diàn: store 商人 shāng rén: trader, merchant 上 shàng: up, to go up 上班 shàng bān: to go to work 上次 shàng cì: on the last time 上课 shàng kè: having classes 上网 shàng wăng: surf the web 上午 shàng wŭ: morning 上星期shàng xīng qī: last week 勺 sháo: spoon 生 shēng: to be born 生日 shēng rì: birthday 生意人shēng yì rén: business man 圣诞节 shèngdàn jié: Christmas 圣诞老人 shèngdàn lăorén: Santa Claus 声音shēng yīn: voice 什么shénme: what?, how? 什么时候 shénme shíhou: when?, what time? 身体 shēntĭ: health, body 设计师 shè ji shī: designer 师 shī: master 诗 shī: poem 失业人员shī yè rén yuán: unemployed 十 shí: ten 是 shì: to be 时候 shíhou: time, specific moment 事儿shìr: business, matter 手 shŏu: hand 手机shŏu jī: cell phone 瘦 shòu: thin 帅 shuài: handsome, good looking (used for males) 双胞胎 shuāngbāotāi: twins 谁 shuí, sheí : who? 水 shŭi: water 睡觉 shuì jiào: to sleep 说 shuō: to speak 书 shū: book 书店 shūdiàn: bookstore 四 sì: four 送 sòng: to accompany 岁suì: classifier for ages 所 suŏ: classifier for school, university 宿舍 sùshè: bedroom, dorm 素食者 sùshízhě: vegetarian 他 tā: he, him 她 tā: she, her 他们 tāmen: they, them 太 tài: very, a lot 太了tài le: to much 天 tiān: day, sky 天天tiān tiān: everyday 听tīng: to listen to, to hear 体重 tĭzhòng: weight 体育 tĭyù: sports 同学 tōngxué: class buddy, class colleague 同事 tōngshì: co-worker, work colleague 头发 tóufà: hair 头 tóu: head 兔 tù: rabbit 图书馆 tú shū guăn: library 西 xī: west
下 xià: bellow, underneath, next 下班 xiā bān: to finish work, leave work 下次 xià cì: next time 下课 xià kè: to finish class 下星期xià xīngqī: next week 下午xià wŭ: afternoon 下雨 xià yŭ: to rain 下一个 xià yi ge: the next one, next 香港 xiāng găng: Hong Kong 想xiăng: to want
向东拐 xiàng dōng guăi: to turn east 现在 xiànzài: now, in this moment, currently 先生xiānsheng: sir, mister, husband (formal) 小姐xiăojie: miss, young lady 小区 xiăo qū: neighborhood, district, block
小说 xiăo shuō: novel 小学xiăo xué: school, elementary school 西班牙 xī bān yá: Spain 谢谢xiè xie: thank you 喜欢 xĭhuan: to like 心 xīn: heart 新年 xīn nián: New Year 行 xíng: ok, alright 姓 xìng: last name 姓名xìng míng: full name 幸福 xìngfú: hapiness 星期 xīngqī: week 星期一xīngqī yī: monday 星期二xīngqī èr: tuesday 星期三xīngqī sān: wednesday 星期四xīngqī sì: thursday 星期五xīngqī wŭ: friday 星期六xīngqī liù: saturday 星期天 / 星期日xīngqī tiān/ rí: sunday 兄弟兄弟姐妹 xiōngdì jiěmèi: brothers and sisters 洗 xĭ: to wash 洗手间 xĭshŏujiān: bathroom 休息xīuxi: to rest 希望 xīwàng: to want, to wish 学xué: to study, to learn 学习xuéxi: to study, to learn 学生xuésheng: student 学校xuéxiào: school 学院xuéyuàn: college 雪鱼 xuě yú: codfish 训练 xùnliàn: to train 外wài: out of, foreign 外公 wàigōng: grandfather (mother’s side) 外婆 wàipó: grandmother (mother’s side) 外国 wàiguó: foreign country 外国人 wàiguórén: foreigner 晚会 wănhuì: a feast 晚 wăn: late 晚上 wăn shàng: night 晚饭 wăn fàn: dinner 玩游戏 wán yóu xì: to play
喂 wèi: expression used when answering the phone
为什么wèi shénme: why?
文 wén: writing, culture
问 wèn: to ask
我 wŏ: I, me
我们 women: We, us
五 wŭ: five
午饭 wŭ fàn: lunch
宴会 yànhuì: feast
要 yào: to really want
也 yě: also, too, as well
爷爷 yéye: grandfather (father’s side)
一 yī: one
一定 yídìng: to be sure
一共 yígòng: altogether
一会儿见yíhuìr jiàn: see you really soon
一起 yìqĭ: together
一下儿 yīxiàr: a little
衣服 yīfu: clothes
以后 yĭhòu: after
以前 yĭqián: before
医院 yīyuàn: hospital
医生 yīsheng: doctor
英国 yīngguó: Englang
英语 yīngyŭ: english
银行 yínháng: bank
音乐 yīnyuè: music
音乐家 yīnyuè jiā: musician
有yŏu: to have
有名 yŏu míng: famous
有时候 yŏushíhou: sometimes
有空yŏu kòng: to have free time
有意思 yŏu yì sī: interesting
邮局 yóu jú: post office
邮箱yóu xiāng: e-mail
鱼 yú: fish
圆 yuán: round
远 yuăn: far
语言 yŭyán: language
愿意 yuànyì: to agree
月 yuè: moon
一月 yi yuè: january
二月èr yuè: february
三月sān yuè: march
四月sì yuè: april
五月wŭ yuè: may
六月liù yuè: june
七月qī yuè: july
八月bā yuè: august
九月jiŭ yuè: september
十月shí yuè: october
十一月shí yi yuè: november
十二月shí èr yuè: december
在 zài: to be, stay at
再 zài: again, one more time
再见 zàijiàn: goodbye
早上 zăo shàng: dawn
早饭zăo fàn: breakfast
找zhăo: to look for
照片 zhàopiàn: photo
这次zhè cì: this time
这个zhè ge: this
这人 zhèr: here
这么 zhème: so
这样 zhèyàng: this way, this kind, similar
怎么样 zěnmeyàng: how?, in what way?
怎么走 zěnmezŏu: how to get to?
真zhēn: really, truly
政客zhēng kè: politician
只 zhī: just, only
只有 zhī yŏu: the only one
知道 zhīdào: to know
中国 Zhōngguó: China
中国人 zhōngguórén: chinese
中文 zhōng wèn: Chinese culture
中间 zhōng jiān: in the middle of
中学 zhōng xué: highschool
中午 zhōng wŭ: noon
重要 zhòng yào: important
周 zhōu: cicle, week
周末zhōu mò: weekend
住zhù : to live in
祝 zhù: to wish
走 zŏu: to walk
最 zuì: the most (comparison)
最近 zuìjìn: recently, lately
坐 zuò: to sit
做 zuò : to do, to make
做饭zuò fàn: to cook
做生意 zuò shēng yì: to do business
作家 zuò jiā: writer
昨天 zuótiān: yesterday
作业 zuò yè: homework
左右 zuŏyòu: roughly, approximately
足 zú: feet, foot
足球 zú qiu: football
END OF PART 3 This vocabulary list is the result from my Level 1 Chinese Mandarin Classes at the University. The books used are: New Practical Chinese Reader Volume 1 Textbook/ Workbook; Great Wall Chinese Essentials in Communication Volume 1 Textbook/ Workbook.
Nüshu, the only gender-specific writing system in the world
Nüshu (女书; literally “women’s writing”), is a syllabic script, a simplification of Chinese characters created and used exclusively by women in the Jiangyong County in Hunan province. It remains the only gender-specific writing system in the world.
Unlike the standard written Chinese, which is logographic, Nüshu is phonetic, with each of its approximately 600-700 characters representing a syllable. This is about half the number required to represent all the syllables in the local variety of spoken Chinese as tonal distinctions are frequently ignored. In that sense, Nüshu is the most revolutionary and thorough simplification of Chinese characters ever attempted. Zhou Shuoyi, described as the only male to have mastered the script, compiled a dictionary listing 1,800 variant characters and allographs.
In the sex-segregated traditional China, girls and women did not have the same access to literacy as boys and men, though throughout China’s history, there were always women who could read and write. Most people - male or female - were illiterate. Reforms of the early 20th century, which popularized education and promulgated a writing style reflective of speech (baihuawen) to replace the arcane literary style (wenyanwen), increased literacy rates for both males and females. It is not known when or how Nüshu came into being, but, because it is clearly based in the standard Chinese script, hanzi, Nüshu could not have been created before standardization of hanzi (circa 900). Many of the simplifications found in Nüshu have been in informal use in standard Chinese since the Song and Yuan dynasty (13th - 14th century). The script seems to have reached its peak during the latter part of the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911).
The script was suppressed by the Japanese during their invasion of China in the 1930’s-40’s, because they feared that the Chinese could use it to send secret messages, and also during the Cultural Revolution. It is no longer customary for women to learn Nüshu, and literacy in Nüshu is now limited to a few scholars who learned it from the last women who were literate in it. The original writers of the script died in the 1990’s (the last one in 2004). However, after a recent documentary about Nüshu, the government has started to popularize the effort to preserve the increasingly endangered script, and some younger women are beginning to learn it.
1. Something is about to happen or just started happening These are usually very brief statements ending with 了
下雨了 (Xiàyǔ le) It’s raining
Meaning the rain just started or someone just noticed it’s raining. The change in the situation is that before it didn’t rain but now it does.
上课了 (Shàngkè le) Class is beginning, let’s start the class
快放假了 (Kuài fàngjià le) Vacation starts soon
2. Something has happened - 了after whole sentence
你吃了吗? (Nǐ chī le ma?) Have you eaten?
吃了 (Chī le) Yes I have.
This is a very common and casual way for the Chinese to greet each other instead of 你好 (nǐhǎo).
我回来了 (Wǒ huílai le) I’m back, I have returned
我买新的裤子了 (Wǒ mǎi xīn de kùzi le) I have bought new pants
3. After something has happened - 了after verb
下了课 (Xià le kè) After class is over
回了来 (huí le lái) After returning
买了新的裤子 (Mǎi le xīn de kùzi) After buying new pants This indicates you are telling something more about what happened. You could also replace 了 with 以后 (yǐhòu) which means after
下课以后 (Xiàke yǐhòu) After class is over
回来以后 (Huílai yǐhòu) After returning
买新的裤子以后 (Mǎi xīn de kùzi yǐhòu) After buying new pants
了 has more uses than this although generally it marks a change in a situation. Chinese doesn’t have tenses the same way english has (e.g. do - did - done), instead the tense is often understood from little words like 了 or 以后 and of course context. I will tell more about this in the future.
The Complicated Chinese Family Tree by Off The Great Wall
This is for all you who are learning Chinese–I know it is difficult, but maybe this vid will make it a bit easier.
The Chinese people use different names to call their aunts and uncles from their father’s and mother’s side of the family, so it can be a bit of a headache. This video is a good way of learning about the names of each relatives–it even teaches you what to call your first cousin once removed!
But dang, these presenters go about it really quickly so you may want to watch it two or three times.
》working on my presentation for commercial and touristic chinese 💭 I have to do a 10 minute presentation (entirely in Chinese) on the itinerary for a week in China. The sun is shining outside ☀️🍂🌿