Ben Hedges Interview: Part 1

We had the privilege of sitting down with Ben Hedges, founder of Learn Chinese Now, and discussing a variety of topics including his personal journey into the Mandarin language. Ben shared such incredible language learning insights and wisdom during our chat that we’ve decided to release the entire interview in three installments. While watching this first installment, follow along in the below transcript for the Chinese characters, pinyin, and English translation. You can also use this link to download a PDF containing the interview transcript and vocabulary list.

 

 

Jump to the vocabulary list.

 

Ben Hedges Interview Transcript

Dayong (00:04 – 00:07)

请做一个简短的自我介绍。

Qǐng zuò yīgè jiǎnduǎn de zìwǒ jièshào.

Can you please briefly introduce yourself?

Ben (00:07 – 01:32)

大家好,我是 Ben Hedges,中文名字叫郝义博。我是英国伦敦大学亚非学院的毕业生。我也在台湾留学了一年,在那边学了一年的中文。毕业之后,我就开始拍网络视频,主要是讨论一些中国的时事、电视剧、新闻、什么电影啊。后来这些视频就在台湾爆红了。所以我们就现在是每一周拍一个新的网络节目,后来我有很多机会跟一些公司合作拍一些影片,比如说我们跟Seven Eleven合作过拍台湾的环岛影片。2013年我也开始拍一个教中文的节目叫 “Learn Chinese Now”。我们每个星期出一个新的视频。这是针对外国人,正在学中文的外国人。帮他们学一点简单的中文,或 是把比较复杂的中文给他们解释一下。这个节目也是用一个幽默的方式,用一个幽默的方式来教中文。观众的反馈是很好的。

Dàjiā hǎo, wǒ shì Ben Hedges, zhōngwén míngzì jiào hǎoyìbó. Wǒ shì yīngguó lúndūn dàxué yà fēi xuéyuàn de bìyè shēng. Wǒ yě zài táiwān liúxuéle yī nián, zài nà biān xuéle yī nián de zhōngwén. Bìyè zhīhòu, wǒ jiù kāishǐ pāi wǎngluò shìpín, zhǔyào shì tǎolùn yīxiē zhōngguó de shíshì, diànshìjù, xīnwén, shénme diànyǐng a. Hòulái zhèxiē shìpín jiù zài táiwān bào hóngle. Suǒyǐ wǒmen jiù xiànzài shì měi yīzhōu pāi yīgè xīn de wǎngluò jiémù, hòulái wǒ yǒu hěnduō jīhuì gēn yīxiē gōngsī hézuò pāi yīxiē yǐngpiān, bǐrú shuō wǒmen gēn 711 hézuòguò pāi táiwān de huándǎo yǐngpiān. Wǒyě 2013 nián wǒ yě kāishǐ pāi yīgè jiāo zhōngwén de jiémù jiào “Learn Chinese Now”. Wǒmen měi gè xīngqī chū yīgè xīn de shìpín. Zhè shì zhēnduì wàiguó rén, zhèngzài xué zhōngwén de wàiguó rén. Bāng tāmen xué yīdiǎn jiǎndān de zhōngwén, huò shì bǎ bǐjiào fùzá de zhōngwén gěi tāmen jiěshì yīxià. Zhègè jiémù yěshì yòng yīgè yōumò de fāngshì,yòng yīgè yōumò de fāngshì lái jiāo zhōngwén. Guānzhòng de fǎnkuì shì hěn hǎo de.

Hello everyone, my name is Ben Hedges and my Chinese name is Hao Yibo. I graduated from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in the University of London. I also studied Chinese in Taiwan for one year. After I graduated, I started making online videos, discussing current affairs, TV dramas, news and movies in China. The videos became a hit in Taiwan, so now we release a new video online every week. We started to get a lot of opportunities to collaborate with companies and create more videos. For example, we worked with 7-Eleven to film a video about traveling around Taiwan. In 2013, I started a new program called “Learn Chinese Now”. It is a program developed for foreigners learning Chinese, and we release weekly videos. The program’s goal is to teach foreigners some simple Chinese, or explain the use of complicated Chinese words, and we try to do it in a humorous way. The program is well received by its audience.

Dayong (01:33 – 01:40)

通过制作Learn Chinese Now对您更好的理解文化差异有什么影响吗?

Tōngguò zhìzuò Learn Chinese Now duì nín gèng hǎo de lǐjiě wénhuà chāyì yǒu shén me yǐngxiǎng ma?

How has building Learn Chinese Now impacted your own journey toward greater fluency and cultural understanding?

Ben (01:40 – 02:36)

制作这些影片的时候我有一个机会在复习我已经在上大学的时候学过的一些成语啊,但是教,作为一个影片,比如说教一个成语的影片,真的会帮我更深的理解那个成语的意义。比如说我们拍了一个介绍“塞翁失马 焉知非福”的这个成语,所以我看了那个,那个故事,看了原文,文言文的那个古代汉语的故事。真的很有趣,真的更深,更深入了解这个故事,然后把它教给学生。这个过程,当一个老师,真的可以让你更深的理解一些中文词的,中文成语的意义、内涵,很深的内涵。

Zhìzuò zhèxiē yǐngpiān de shíhòu wǒ yǒu yīgè jīhuì zài fùxí wǒ yǐjīng zài shàng dàxué de shíhòu xuéguò de yīxiē chéngyǔ a, dànshì jiāo, zuòwéi yīgè yǐngpiān, bǐrú shuōjiāo yīgè chéngyǔ de yǐngpiān, zhēn de huì bāng wǒ gèngshēn de lǐjiě nàgè chéngyǔ de yìyì. Bǐrú shuō wǒmen pāile yīgè jièshào “sàiwēngshīmǎ yān zhī fēi fú” de zhègè chéngyǔ, suǒyǐ wǒ kànle nàgè, nàgè gùshì, kànle yuánwén, wényánwén de nàgè gǔdài hànyǔ de gùshì. Zhēn de hěn yǒuqù, zhēn de gèngshēn, gèngshēnrù liǎojiě zhègè gùshì, ránhòu bǎ tā jiāo gěi xuéshēng. Zhègè guòchéng, dāng yīgè lǎoshī, zhēn de kěyǐ ràng nǐ gèng shēn de lǐ jiè yīxiē zhōngwén cí de, zhōngwén chéngyǔ de yìyì, nèihán, hěn shēn de nèihán.

Making these videos gave me a chance to review what I have learned, for example, idioms in college. Teaching people what I have learned really allows me to have a deeper understanding of the idioms. For instance, we made a video introducing the idiom “Misfortune may actually be a blessing”, and I read the original story in classical Chinese. The story was really interesting and meaningful, and teaching it to the students allows me to discover more meaning behind the idioms.

Dayong (02:37 – 02:40)

您希望Learn Chinese Now对观众有什么影响?

Nín xīwàng Learn Chinese Now duì guānzhòng yǒu shén me yǐngxiǎng?

What impact do you hope Learn Chinese Now has on your audience?

Ben (02:41 – 03:30)

现在很多学生,他们只要学现代汉语可能是因为他们要去中国做生意。但是我觉得学一点古代汉语,学一点文言文,真的会让你更了解现代汉语,因为这个现代汉语就是来自古代的语言。它的每一个中文词,每一个成语背后有一个故事,不像英文那么简单,中文是真的有比较深的内涵。所以我希望现在的学生可以了解这一点。我希望我的节目可以帮他们了解,让他们去探索古代汉语、古代汉语跟现代中文的关系。

Xiànzài hěnduō xuéshēng, tāmen zhǐyào xué xiàndài hànyǔ kěnéng shì yīnwèi tāmen yào qù zhōngguó zuò shēngyì. Dànshì wǒ juédé xué yīdiǎn gǔdài hànyǔ, xué yīdiǎn wényánwén, zhēn de huì ràng nǐ gèng liǎojiě xiàndài hànyǔ, yīnwèi zhègè xiàndài hànyǔ jiùshì láizì gǔdài de yǔyán. Tā de měi yīgè zhōngwén cí, měi yīgè chéngyǔ bèihòu yǒu yīgè gùshì, bú xiàng yīngwén nàme jiǎndān, zhōngwén shì zhēn de yǒu bǐjiào shēn de nèihán. Suǒyǐ wǒ xīwàng xiànzài de xuéshēng kěyǐ liǎojiě zhè yīdiǎn. Wǒ xīwàng wǒ de jiémù kěyǐ bāng tāmen liǎojiě, ràng tāmen qù tànsuǒ gǔdài hànyǔ, gǔdài hànyǔ gēn xiàndài zhōngwén de guānxì.

Nowadays, a lot of students are learning modern Chinese, so they can go to China for business. However, I feel that learning a bit of ancient Chinese and classical Chinese allows you to understand modern Chinese better, as modern Chinese evolved from ancient Chinese. There is a story behind most of the Chinese phrases and idioms, and it is not as simple as English.

 

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Vocabulary List:

Hànzì Pīnyīn Definition Part of Speech
1. 网络视频 wǎngluò shìpín online video n.
2. 环岛影片 huándǎo yǐngpiān around the island videos n.
3. 幽默 yōumò humorous adj.
4. 简短 jiǎnduǎn brief adj.
5. 讨论 tǎolùn discuss v.
6. 观众 guānzhòng audience n.
7. 文化差异 wénhuà chàyì cultural difference n.
8. 古代汉语 gǔdài hànyǔ ancient Chinese (language) n.
9. 内涵 nèihán connotation n.
10. 探索 tànsuǒ explore / probe v.

 

Follow Ben by subscribing to Learn Chinese Now on YouTube, liking him on Facebook and following them on Twitter. You can also check out new content his original channel 老外看中國、老外看台灣

 

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下次见!

Taijiquan

Join Dayong, a CLI team member since 2009, as he learns about Master Huang’s journey into tàijíquán. While watching the video, follow along in the below transcript for the Chinese characters, pinyin, and English translation. You can also use this link to download a PDF containing the interview transcript and vocabulary list.

 

 

Jump to the vocabulary list.

 

Taijiquan Interview Transcript

Dayong (00:05 – 00:11)

请问…你可不可以简单地自我介绍一下?

Qǐng wèn… Nǐ kě bù kěyǐ jiǎndān de zì wǒ jièshào yíxià?

Can you please briefly introduce yourself?

黄师傅 (00:12 – 00:24)

大家好!我叫黄剑,桂林人,是陈氏太极拳第十三代传人,现在呢三十七岁。谢谢!

Dàjiā hǎo! Wǒ jiào huángjiàn, guìlín rén, shì chén shì tàijíquán dì shísān dài chuánrén, xiànzài nē sānshíqī suì. Xièxiè!

Hello everyone! My name is Huang Jian, I’m from Guilin, a learner of the thirteenth generation Chen-style Tai Chi, and am thirty-seven now. Thank you!

Dayong (00:26 – 00:35)

黄老师黄师傅,哎,那您什么时候开始学习了这个太极拳?

Huáng lǎoshī huáng shīfu,ài ,nà nín shénme shíhòu kāishǐ xuéxíle zhège tàijíquán?

Master Huang, when did you begin learning Taiji?

黄师傅 (00:36 – 01:01)

刚开始接触太极拳那应该是九五年,那个时候中央电视台放了那个简化的陈氏太极拳那个教学视屏,我大概看了一下就对它产生了一种兴趣,然后直到两千年的时候我才正式找了一个老师学习那个陈氏太极拳。

GāngKāishǐ jiēchù tàijíquán nà yīnggāi shì jiǔ wǔ nián, nàgè shíhòu zhōngyāng diànshìtái fàng le nàgè jiǎnhuà de chén shì tàijíquán nàgè jiàoxué shìpíng, wǒ dàgài kàn le yíxià jiù duì tā chǎnshēng le yì zhǒng xìngqù, ránhòu zhídào liǎng qiān nián de shíhòu wǒ cái zhèngshì zhǎole yígè lǎoshī xuéxí nàgè chén shì tàijíquán.

I began learning Taiji around 1995, at that time CCTV broadcasted a simplified Chen-style taijiquan instructional video. I was instantly taken from the moment I saw that video. From then until 2000 I was officially looking for a Chen-style Tai Chi teacher.

Dayong (01:03 – 01:21)

那这个中国有中国的功夫,有什么少林的功夫,什么长拳啊,什么别的武术,咏春,您这个当时选择的时候有没有想过为什么没选功夫或者咏春啊?

Nà zhège zhōngguó yǒu zhōngguó de gōngfū, yǒu shénme shàolín de gōngfū, shénme Chángquán a, shénme biéde wǔshù, yǒng chūn , nín zhège dāngshí xuǎnzé de shíhòu yǒu méiyǒu xiǎngguò wèishénme xuǎn gōngfū huòzhě yǒngchūn a?

China has it’s own Kung Fu culture, for example Shaolin Kung Fu, ChangQuan, and others like Wing Chun. Have you ever wondered why you didn’t choose Wing Chun, Kung Fu, or another form of martial arts?

黄师傅 (01:22 – 02:22)

这个问题很多人也问过我,作为我的性格来说我特别喜欢太极,为什么喜欢太极呢?因为中国文化也可以说包涵在太极里面,太极阴阳、折叠,脉脉相接,刚柔,这一切地一切地包涵中国古老的那个哲学的,当然对于个人来说我比较喜欢太极拳那个缓慢柔美而且富有那个艺术舞蹈性的那种动作,刚开始想法很简单,然后就迷上。也可能是因为当时也是电视台热播的太极宗师,给我一种很深的感触,所以说就那么一瞬间你知道的,就像看见一个新的女孩子一样,从此一发不可收拾。

Zhège wèntí hěnduō rén yě wènguò wǒ, zuòwéi wǒ dē xìnggé lái shuō wǒ tèbié xǐhuān tàijí, wèishénme xǐhuān tàijí ne? Yīn wèi zhōngguó wénhuà yě kěyǐ shuō bāohán zài tàijí lǐmiàn, tàijí yīnyáng, zhédié, màimàixiāng jiē, gāng róu, zhè yíqiè de yíqiè de bāohán zhōngguó gǔlǎo de nàgè zhéxué de, dāngrán duìyú gèrén lái shuō wǒ bǐjiào xǐhuān tàijíquán nàgè huǎnmàn róuměi érqiě fùyǒu nàgè yìshù wǔdǎo xìng de nàzhǒng dòngzuò, gāng kāishǐ xiǎngfǎ hěn jiǎndān, ránhòu jiù mí shàng. Yě kěnéng shì yīnwèi dāngshí yěshì diànshìtái rè bō de tàijí zōngshī, gěi wǒ yī zhǒng hěn shēn de gǎnchù, suǒyǐ shuō jiù nàme yíshùnjiān nǐ zhīdào de, jiù xiàng kànjiàn yígè xīn de nǚháizi yíyàng, cóngcǐ yì fā bùkě shōushí.

I’ve been asked this question many times in the past. Personally, I believe my personality best pairs with Taiji. I enjoy it because the art of Taiji holds a great amount of Chinese culture. The components of Taiji Yin and Yang, folding, tenderness phase, rigidness, all this together with an ancient Chinese philosophy. Of course, for me personally, I prefer the slow, gentle, and full art of dance actions in Taiji. In the beginning, I was only a little interested in the art, but after a while I was hooked. It may have been because the Taiji Master series playing on TV moved me. At that moment, it was just like falling in love with a new woman, and I can’t stop practicing Taiji for a second.

Dayong (02:24 – 02:31)

那您是否记得就是说自己的第一位师傅怎么认识的呢?

Nà nín shìfǒu jìdé jiùshì shuō zìjǐ de dì yī wèi shīfù zěnme rènshí de ne?

Do you remember how you met your first Taiji teacher?

黄师傅 (02:32 – 03:32)

哦,那是这样的,因为当时看了那个视屏,然后去图书馆、新华书店翻一下那相关的书籍,但是呢,一个人苦于没有老师指点,也是(事半功倍)。在有一天在我上班的时候,我看见一个有休息的那个小亭子里面有一个老人家在打太极拳,当时我也知道那个太极拳可能不是我所喜欢的那一种,然后我就去问,我就跟他交流了一下,比划了几个动作,然后那老人说那是陈式太极拳,在西山公园,桂林的西山公园有一个老师,姓刘,刘老师在里边教陈式太极拳,我可以去那边看一下,然后第二天我就去直接找过去了,就这样逐渐慢慢地从零的基础接触到一个老师,慢慢地到现在。

Ó, nà shì zhèyàng de, yīnwèi dāngshí kànle nàgè shìpíng, ránhòu qù túshūguǎn、 xīnhuá shūdiàn fān yíxià nà xiāngguān de shūjí, dànshì ne, yígè rén kǔyú méiyǒu lǎoshī zhǐdiǎn, yěshì shìbèigōngbàn, zài yǒu yì tiān zài wǒ shàngbān de shíhòu, wǒ kànjiàn yígè yǒu xiūxī de nàgè xiǎo tíngzi lǐmiàn yǒu yígè lǎorénjiā zài dǎ tàijíquán, dāngshí wǒ yě zhīdào nàgè tàijíquán kěnéng búshì wǒ suǒ xǐhuān de nà yì zhǒng, ránhòu wǒ jiù qù wèn, wǒ jiù gēn tā jiāoliú le yíxià, bǐhuà le jǐ gè dòngzuò, ránhòu nà lǎorén shuō nà shì chén shì tàijíquán, zài xīshān gōngyuán, guìlín de xīshān gōngyuán yǒu yígè lǎoshī, xìng liú, liú lǎoshī zài lǐbiān jiāo chén shì tàijíquán, wǒ kěyǐ qù nà biān kàn yíxià, ránhòu dìèr tiān wǒ jiù zhíjiē zhǎo guòqù le, jiù zhèyàng zhújiàn mànman de cóng líng de jīchǔ jiēchù dào yígè lǎoshī, màn màn de dào xiànzài.

Oh, it was like this… Because of the CCTV broadcast, I began going to the library and Xinhua bookstore to take a brief look at related books. But it was much less effective for me to learn without the guidance of a teacher. So, one day on the way to work I saw an elderly person practicing Taiji in a small pavilion. I knew that it may have not been the style I was interested in, but I went over to talk with him, show him a few moves. The old man told me that my moves are from Chen-style Taiji. The old man told me there is a teacher named Liu in Guilin Xishan Park who teaches Chen-style Tai Chi, I could go learn from him. The next day I went directly to Guilin Xishan park to see this man. From then on, with the help of this new teacher, I slowly and gradually went from zero to where I am now.

Dayong (03:33 – 03:38)

哦…那从那个时候到现在有多少年了练太极拳?

Ó… Nà cóng nà gè shíhòu dào xiànzài yǒu duōshǎo nián le liàn tàijíquán?

Oh, how many years has it been since you began to learn Taiji?

黄师傅 (03:39 – 03:43)

两千年到现在差不多有十六个年头了。

Liǎng qiān nián dào xiànzài chàbùduō yǒu shíliù gè nián tóu le.

It’s been almost sixteen years, from 2000 until now.

Dayong (03:45 – 04:01)

那您说这个第一位师傅是这样知道在西山公园这样认识,他对您的这个生活或者说这个一些选择一些态度上有没有什么影响?

Nà nín shuō zhègè dì yī wèi shīfù shì zhèyàng zhīdào zài xīshān gōngyuán zhèyàng rènshi, tā duì nín de zhège shēnghuó huòzhě shuō zhège yīxiē xuǎnzé yìxiē tàidù shàng yǒu méiyǒu shénme yǐngxiǎng?

So, you met your first teacher in Xishan park. Has he had any influence on your life or your attitude?

黄师傅 (04:03 – 06:40)

你这问题问得挺好,这个当时我很年轻,也就是初出茅庐初出社会,打太极拳包括老师有了人生的轨迹和我的那个人生的处世哲学,还有为人处世和人打交道的那个方面得到很大的提升。以前性子比较急,年轻人嘛,都是火气比较大,然后做事情就毛毛躁躁,然后从学了太极拳以后性格变了,凡是看某些事情的时候三思而后行,考虑清楚了以后再去做,一定要沉稳,给人家感觉到一种很柔和,很好接触的那种感觉,这是太极拳对我人生的一种最直接的影响,然后呢太极拳呢对我身体的各方面影响呢,我记得我年轻的时候可能也是不注意饮食或者是生活习惯,也有一点点那些不是很大的毛病,就是比如说…不怕你见笑可能有点便秘,而且我不怎么出汗,因为我父亲一到夏天的时候他老跟我说我的体温比较高,但是也不是发烧,但是也不出汗,就降不了体温,那自从打太极拳以后,从扎马步比如说我们站的混元桩,关键我是在那个大热天,三十五六度,平时我都不怎么出汗的,一扎下去全身的汗冒出来了,就像那个气,那个汗气啊那个水蒸气啊,全部蒸发出来,把我的汗腺打通了,我呢突然有一天我发现包括我这个上下楼梯,跑步,登山,比平时都有很大的提高,就无意识当中的把自己的身体调节好了,也就是这方面对身体特别有好处,后来我看了下那个书籍,查阅了相关的那个太极拳跟医学的相关的关系的那个书籍的时候,我发现它太极拳呢对那个肠胃功能呢有特别好的好处,然后我想可能也就是肠胃功能不好导致的原因。然后得到一点好处了进而就更激发自己对太极拳的兴趣,慢慢地一步一步就走到今天。

Nǐ zhè wèntí wèn dé tǐng hǎo, zhège dāngshí wǒ hěn niánqīng, yě jiùshì chūchūmáolú chūchūshèhuì, dǎ tàijíáquān bāokuò lǎoshī yǒule rénshēng de guǐjì hé wǒ de nàgè rénshēng de chǔshì zhéxué, háiyǒu wéirénchǔshì hé rén dǎjiāodào de nàgè fāngmiàn dédào hěn dà de tíshēng. Yǐqián xìngzi bǐjiào jí, niánqīng rén ma, dōu shì huǒqì bǐjiào dà, ránhòu zuò shìqíng jiù máomaozàozào, ránhòu cóng xuéle tàijíquán yǐhòu xìnggé biànle, fánshì kàn mǒu xiē shìqíng de shíhòu sānsīérhòuxíng, kǎolǜ qīngchǔle yǐhòu zài qù zuò, yídìng yào chénwěn, gěi rénjiā gǎnjué dào yì zhǒng hěn róuhé, hěn hǎo jiēchù de nà zhǒng gǎnjué, zhè shì tàijíquán duì wǒ rénshēng de yì zhǒng zuì zhíjiē de yǐngxiǎng, ránhòu ne tàijíquán ne duì wǒ shēntǐ gè fāngmiàn yǐngxiǎng ne, wǒ jìdé wǒniánqīng de shíhòu kěnéng yě shì bù zhùyì yǐnshí huòzhě shì shēnghuó xíguàn, yěyǒu yìdiǎndiǎn nàxiē bù shì hěn dà de máobìng, jiù shì bǐ rú shuō… Bùpà nǐ jiànxiào kěnéng yǒudiǎn biànmì, érqiě wǒ bù zěnme chū hàn, yīnwèi wǒ fùqīn yídào xiàtiān de shíhòu tā lǎo gēn wǒ shuō wǒ de tǐwēn bǐjiào gāo, dànshì yě bùshì fāshāo, dànshì yě bù chū hàn, jiù jiàng bùliǎo tǐwēn, nà zìcóng dǎ tàijíquán yǐhòu, cóng zhā mǎbù bǐrú shuō wǒmen zhàn de hùn yuán zhuāng, guānjiàn wǒ shì zài nàgè dà rètiān, sānshíwǔliù dù, píngshí wǒ dóu bù zěnme chū hàn de, yī zhā xiàqù quánshēn de hàn mào chūláile, jiù xiàng nàgè qì, nàgè hàn qì a nàgè shuǐ zhēngqì a, quánbù zhēngfā chū lái, bǎ wǒ de hànxiàn dǎtōngle, wǒ ne túrán yǒu yìtiān wǒ fāxiàn bāokuò wǒ zhège shàngxià lóutī, pǎobù, dēngshān, bǐ píngshí dōu yǒu hěn dà de tígāo, jiù wúyìshi dāngzhōng de bǎ zìjǐ de shēntǐ tiáojié hǎole, yě jiùshì zhè fāngmiàn duì shēntǐ tèbié yǒu hǎochù, hòulái wǒ kànlexià nàgè shūjí, chá yuè le xiāngguān de nà gè tàijíquán gēn yīxué de xiāngguān de guānxì de nàgè shūjí de shíhòu, wǒ fāxiàn tā tàijíquán duì nàgè chángwèi gōngnéng ne yǒu tèbié hǎo de hǎochù, ránhòu wǒ xiǎng kěnéng yě jiùshì chángwèi gōngnéng bù hǎo dǎozhì de yuányīn.Ránhòu dédào yīdiǎn hǎochùle jìn ér jiù gèng jīfā zìjǐ duì tàijíquán de xìngqù, mànman de yībù yībù jiù zǒu dào jīntiān.

This is a great question. I was very young at the time and just entering the real world. The Taiji philosophy has definitely affected the path of my life, as well as improved the way I interact with others in my professional and personal life. Before practicing Taiji, I was short-tempered and careless. But since then, my character has changed. Now, I always think twice before doing something, I am calm, I give people a very gentle feeling, one that is easy to connect with. Taiji has had a direct impact on my life. Regarding the effects to my body, I remember when I was young I didn’t focus on any of my life’s habits. At the time, I actually had a few small problems, but am a little afraid you may laugh at it … constipation. I remember my father telling me my temperature was always relatively high during the summer months. But, when I began practicing Taiji, I began sweating a lot during the summer and my stamina improved. I started to feel the improvement when I was climbing up stairs, running and hiking. I am in good condition now. After doing some research regarding Taiji, by reading related books, I found out that practicing Taiji is good for the Gastrointestinal system. The health benefits boosted my interests in Taiji, and gradually I got to where I am today.

Dayong (06:42 – 06:46)

这个真的是感觉像在听故事一样,不知道能不能亲眼见到你….

Zhège zhēn de shì gǎnjué xiàng zài tīng gùshì yíyàng, bù zhīdào néng bùnéng qīnyǎn jiàn dào nǐ…

Listening to you is really like listening to a story, I really can picture it with my own eyes.

黄师傅 (06:46 – 06:54)

这个本人亲身经历,没有雷同,也不是纯属虚构。

Zhège běnrén qīnshēn jīnglì, méiyǒu léitóng, yě bùshì chún shǔ xūgòu.

This is my personal experience, there is nothing similar, nor is it fictional.

Dayong (06:54 – 07:17)

那现在开始做老师做师傅教学生,然后您今天上午有提到在您以前的时候整个人心无旁骛啊,一心一意,那很多人在这个网上可能会看到很多动作,但是真正打太极拳的时候您在想什么呢?

Nà xiànzài kāishǐ zuò lǎoshī zuò shīfù jiāo xuéshēng, ránhòu nín jīntiān shàngwǔ yǒu tí dào zài nín yǐqián de shíhòu zhěnggè rén xīnwúpángwù a, yīxīnyīyì, nà hěnduō rén zài zhège wǎngshàng kěnéng​​huì kàn dào hěnduō dòngzuò, dànshì zhēnzhèng dǎ tàijíquán de shíhòu nín zài xiǎng shénme ne?

You are a teacher now. This morning you had mentioned how concentrated you were. After this video is published many people will see you practicing Taiji on the internet. What are you thinking of when you practice?

黄师傅 (07:17 – 08:57)

打太极拳呢,很静,何为静呢?就是说你刚才提到的心无旁骛,但是我们要做到绝对地静,脑袋一点东西都不想,这种感觉很难去做得到,就是完全入境的,但是我们可以只想一件事从起势的时候就不要想其他的杂事了,你就想着怎么完成这套拳,在动作这么烦杂又这么艰苦的过程当中能保持你的脑袋的清醒,脑子里的清醒,然后再一心一意的想着打好一套拳别出一点差错,因为这套太极拳、说我们这套太极拳的八十三式,实际上如果你真的区分下去有六七百个动作,那么在这么多的动作的情况下,你还能在这么大的运动量这么大的情况,保证你不出一点差错,那需要你绝对的“守心”。何为“守心”呢,就是思想不要开小差你也想到这个动作,把它打下去。

然后这样的时候,在这一大清早,空气特别好的时候,安安静静地打上一遍两遍甚至三遍的时候,对你的脑袋,脑子里面好像一种清洗的作用,会让你整个一天精神焕发,然后保证你工作生活都有条不紊、积极,很清楚。

Dǎ tàijí quán ne, hěn jìng, hé wéi jìng ne? Jiùshì shuō nǐ gāngcái tí dào de xīnwúpángwù, dànshì wǒmen yào zuò dào juéduì de jìng, nǎodai yīdiǎn dōngxi dōu bùxiǎng, zhè zhǒng gǎnjué hěn nán qù zuò dédào, jiùshì wánquán rùjìng de, dànshì wǒmen kěyǐ zhǐ xiǎng yī jiàn shì cóng qǐ shì de shíhòu jiù bùyào xiǎng qítā de záshìle, nǐ jiù xiǎngzhe zěnme wánchéng zhè tào quán, zài dòngzuò zhème fánzá yòu zhème jiānkǔ de guòchéng dāngzhōng néng bǎochí nǐ de nǎodai de qīngxǐng, nǎozi lǐ de qīngxǐng, ránhòu zài yīxīnyīyì de xiǎngzhe dǎ hǎo yī tào quán bié chū yìdiǎn chācuò,yīn wèi zhè tào tàijíquán,shuō wǒmen zhè tào tàijí quán de bāshísān shì, shíjì shàng rúguǒ nǐ zhēn de qūfēn xiàqù yǒu liùqībǎi gè dòngzuò, nàme zài zhème duō de dòngzuò de qíngkuàng xià,nǐ haí néng zaì zhème dà de yùndòng liàng zhème dà de qíngkuàng, bǎozhèng nǐ bù chū yīdiǎn chācuò, nà xūyào nǐ juéduì de “shǒu xīn”. Hé wèi “shǒu xīn” ne, jiùshì sīxiǎng bùyào kāixiǎochāi nǐ yě xiǎngdào zhège dòngzuò, bǎ tā dǎ xiàqù. Ránhòu zhèyàng de shíhòu, zài zhè yī dà qīngzǎo, kōngqì tèbié hǎo de shíhòu, ān ān jìng jìng de dǎshàng yībiàn liǎng biàn shènzhì sān biàn de shíhòu, duì nǐ de nǎodai, nǎozi lǐmiàn hǎoxiàng yī zhǒng qīngxǐ de zuò yòng, huì ràng nǐ zhěnggè yītiān jīngshén huànfā, ránhòu bǎozhèng nǐ gōngzuò shēnghuó dōu yǒutiáobùwěn jījí, hěn qīngchǔ.

When you are practicing Taiji, you are also practicing inner peace. You just mentioned being concentrated. What we are really searching for is absolute silence, to have not one thought on our minds. This kind of feeling, absolute silence, is very difficult to obtain. But, we can start by thinking of just one thing, Taiji, and block out everything else. You just need to think about perfectly executing the entire Taiji routine. By keeping your thoughts on this complicated and arduous process, you can find clarity. Wholeheartedly thinking about the next move and consciously preventing mistakes, you can find clarity. Chen-style Taiji is comprised of 83 movements, in fact you really need to distinguish between around six to seven hundreds of unique movements. So, within all these movements and situations, you really need to remain focused in order to prevent from making mistakes. Staying focused is having your mindset fully on the movements, not allowing small mistakes to slip in.

In the early morning, when the air is especially clear, you can peacefully practice the Taiji movements once, twice, or even three times. This practice helps to clear your mind, gives you spirit throughout the day, and brings calm and clarity to your work.

Dayong (08:58 – 09:00)

这么多?

Zhème duō?

That much?

黄师傅 (09:01 – 09:05)

不多,这只是其中的一点好处。

Bù duō, zhè zhǐshì qízhōng de yìdiǎn hǎochù.

Not much, this is just one small part of the benefits.

Dayong (09:07 – 09:27)

那现在每天都还在继续练习这个太极拳,您说这个如果天气下雨的话,您也就是养成了这种运动的习惯,还在继续。他们说这个老人在练习的时候您会给出什么意见呢?

Nà xiànzài měitiān dōu hái zài jìxù liànxí zhège tàijíquán, nín shuō zhège rúguǒ tiānqì xià yǔ dehuà, nín yě jiùshì yǎng chéngle zhè zhǒng yùndòng de xíguàn, hái zài jìxù. Tāmen shuō zhège lǎorén zài liànxí de shíhòu nín huì gěi chū shénme yìjiàn ne?

You currently practice Taiji everyday, even when the weather is bad and it’s raining, you keep the momentum up. What kind of advice would you give to elders who want to practice Taiji?

黄师傅 (09:27 – 11:04)

练习的,老人家练太极拳,因为老人家的骨质呢比较疏松,身体的素质当然也比不上我们年轻人,而且呢,太极拳是传统的套路。传统套路有什么好处呢?它不会局限于条条框框,你可以根据自己的实际情况,我们可以分为中、高、低这样的。比如说我们像年轻人,我们为了锻炼身体,自己的强度,我们可以坐低下去,那复合力比较大。老人家呢,应该保护好膝盖,站高一点打,然后保证那一太极拳打下去心不跳呼吸不急促,但是汗流浃背,达到了健身的效果就可以了。对于老人家的练太极拳的最重要的一个温馨的提示呢,就是膝盖不要过脚尖,一定要保护好膝盖,这是最重要的。然后呢,太极拳,套路只是其中的一部分。我们还可以还有很多那种桩功,丹田内转功,七七八八的,很多很多那些功法。就是我们下雨天,站在阳台上面的时候我们就可以抱个混元桩,“手劲”,“十二点上位”,“意守丹田”来晨练它,这样也是锻炼它。而且在这种桩功入境的时候,它又是一种很奇特的感受,方法很多的。

Liànxí de, lǎorénjiā liàn tàijí quán, yīnwèi lǎorénjiā de gǔ zhì ne bǐjiào shūsōng, shēntǐ de sùzhì dāngrán yě bǐ bù shàng wǒmen niánqīng rén, érqiě ne, tàijí quán shì chuántǒng de tàolù. Chuántǒng tàolù yǒu shén me hǎochù ne? Tā bù huì júxiàn yú tiáotiáokuāngkuāng, nǐ kěyǐ gēnjù zìjǐ de shíjì qíngkuàng, wǒmen kěyǐ fēn wéi zhōng, gāo, dī zhèyàng de. Bǐrú shuō wǒmen xiàng niánqīng rén, wǒmen wèile duànliàn shēntǐ, zìjǐ de qiángdù, wǒmen kěyǐ zuò dī xiàqù, nà fùhé lì bǐjiào dà. Lǎorénjiā ne, yīnggāi bǎohù hǎo xīgài,zhàn gāo yìdiǎn dǎ, ránhòu bǎozhèng nà yī tàijí quán dǎ xiàqù xīn bù tiào hūxī bù jícù, dànshì hànliújiābèi, dádàole jiànshēn de xiàoguǒ jiù kěyǐle.Duìyú lǎorénjiā de liàn tàijí quán de zuì zhòngyào de yīgè wēnxīn de tíshì ne,Jiùshì xīgài bùyào guò jiǎojiān, yīdìng yào bǎohù hǎo xīgài, zhè shì zuì zhòngyào de. Ránhòu ne, tàijí quán, tàolù zhǐshì qízhōng de yībùfèn. Wǒmen hái kěyǐ haí yǒu hěnduō nà zhǒng zhuānggōng, dāntián nèi zhuàn gōng, qīqībā​​bā de, hěnduō hěnduō nàxiē gōng fǎ. Jiùshì wǒmen xià yǔtiān, zhàn zài yángtái shàngmiàn de shíhòu wǒmen jiù kěyǐ bào gè hùn yuán zhuāng,“shǒu jìn”,“shí’èr diǎn shàngwèi”,“yìshǒu dāntián” lái chénliàn tā, zhèyàng yěshì duànliàn tā. Érqiě zài zhè zhǒng zhuāng gōng rùjìng de shíhòu, tā yòu shì yī zhǒng hěn qítè de gǎnshòu, fāngfǎ hěnduō de.

For elderly people who practice Taiji, most of them have different levels of Osteoporosis, their physical health is certainly poorer than the younger people who practice. But, Taiji is a traditional exercise. What are the benefits of being traditional? It won’t leave from convention. When practicing, you can act according to your personal situation. We can have people practicing in novice, intermediate, and advance levels. For example, if you are younger you may be practicing Taiji as a means of exercise, or to build strength. In this style you can squat lower, with more power. However, if you are an older person, you need to protect your knees and stand taller. You need to not get too excited and control your breathing. In this form you will still sweat and get the results you want. However, the most important thing for elderly people to be reminded of when practicing Taiji is that they should squat in proper form in order to protect their knees. They should always keep their knees from going out past their toes.

In Taiji, the form is only one part of the martial art. There are also many static movements, single static movements, that are not usually preferable. But, when the weather is poor we can stand on the sundeck and practice static movements like “Shou Jing”, “Standing like a Post (Hun Yuan Zhuang)”, clear our minds. When you are performing these movements, it can also be an extraordinary experience. There are many ways to practice Taiji.

Dayong (11:04 – 11:12)

好的好的。基本上呢,我就都大概明白您的意思了。好,谢谢您啊!

Hǎo de hǎo de. Jīběn shàng ne, wǒ jiù dōu dàgài míngbai nín de yìsile. Hǎo, xièxiè nín a!

That’s great. I know what you mean. Thank you.

黄师傅 (11:12 – 11:18)

不用谢,很高兴为你们解答了太极拳的基本的东西。

Bùyòng xiè, hěn gāoxìng wèi nǐ mén jiě dá le jīběn de dōngxī.

You’re welcome. I’m very glad to speak with you about Taiji.

Dayong (11:18 – 11:19)

谢谢谢谢啊!

Xièxièxiè xiè a!

Big thanks!

 

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Vocabulary List:

Hànzì Pīnyīn Definition Part of Speech
1. 陈氏太极拳 chén shì tàijíquán Chen Style Tai Chi n.
2. 接触 jiēchù come into contact with; get in touch with v.
3. 中央电视台 zhōngyāng diànshìtái CCTV n.
4. 产生 chǎnshēng to give rise to; bring about; v.
5. 少林的功夫 Shàolín gōngfū Shaolin Martial Art n.
6. 长拳 zhǎng quán Longfist Martial Art n.
7. 咏春 yǒng chūn Wing Chun Martial Art n.
8. 太极阴阳 tàijí yīnyáng two opposing principles in nature, positive & negative n.
9. 缓慢柔美 huǎnmàn róuměi slow, soft and graceful adj.
10. 一瞬间 yí shùn jiān a split second n.
11. 一发不可收拾 yī fà bùkě shōushí things that have happened can hardly be controlled expression
12. 事半功倍 shìbàngōngbèi get twice the result with half the effort idiom
13. 初出茅庐 chūchūmáolú to venture out into society for first time idiom
14. 人生的轨迹 rénshēng de guǐjī life’s path n.
15. 处世哲学 chǔshì zhéxué one’s life philosophy n.
16. 为人处世 wéirén chǔshì one’s attitude towards life expression
17. 打交道 dǎjiāodào come into contact with; have dealings with v.
18. 毛毛躁躁 máo mao zào zào imprudently; obtrusively adv.
19. 三思而后行 sānsī érhòu xíng think thrice before you act; look before you leap expression
20. 不怕你见笑 bùpà nǐ jiànxiào not afraid of making a fool of oneself expression

 

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下次见!

Spring Festival Memories

In our Spring Festival video, we invite you to peer into the life of a Guilin resident who walked the same arduous path traveled by so many in China from poverty to prosperity. Join Dayong, a CLI team member since 2009, as he converses with 叶叔叔,Uncle Ye,about how the quality of life has changed for the better.

 

While watching the video, follow along in the below transcript for the Chinese characters, pinyin, and English translation. You can also use this link to download a PDF containing the interview transcript and vocabulary list.

 

 

Spring Festival Interview Transcript

Dayong (00:03 – 00:11)

叶叔叔,您好!首先您可不可以简单地介绍一下自己?

Yè shūshu, nín hǎo! Shǒuxiān nín kěbù kěyǐ jiǎndān de jièshào yīxià zìjǐ?

Hello Uncle Ye! First off, can you offer a basic self-introduction?

Uncle Ye (00:11 – 00:21)

我是1953年出生的,现在63岁了。

Wǒ shì 1953 nián chūshēng de, xiànzài 63 suìle.

I’ll start from the beginning? I was born in 1953, so I’m 63 years old now.

Dayong (00:22 – 00:23)

您是属…?

Nín shì shǔ…?

What is your zodiac sign?

Uncle Ye (00:23 – 00:33)

属蛇,我的儿子也属蛇,我的孙子也属蛇,我们刚好三代都是属蛇的。

Shǔ shé, wǒ de érzi yě shǔ shé, wǒ de sūnzi yě shǔ shé, wǒmen gānghǎo sāndài dōu shì shǔ shé de.

The Snake. My son is also the Year of the Snake. And my grandson! We all happen to be the Year of the Snake.

Dayong (00:35 – 00:51)

这样啊,我想问一下,如果您找一个词,或者找一种感受来表示您对新年的感情,您会选什么词?

Zhèyàng a, wǒ xiǎng wèn yīxià, rúguǒ nín zhǎo yīgè cí, huòzhě zhǎo yī zhǒng gǎnshòu lái biǎoshì nín duì xīnnián de gǎnqíng, nín huì xuǎn shénme cí?

So, I want to ask, if you could find a word, or find a feeling to describe the emotion you feel toward Spring Festival, what word would you choose?

Uncle Ye (00:52 – 01:43)

就春节快乐嘛!小时候就盼着一天能吃上一顿好的,就这么简单。以前生活比较苦,一年到头就盼着能吃点猪肉或者吃个鸡大腿,得个两毛钱的红包就欢天喜地了,现在不需要等,想吃的都有,不用再想着吃什么好吃的,生活水平提高了,不再讲究吃的了,就想着亲朋好友在一起交流一下工作经验,情感之类的。

Jiù chūnjié kuàilè ma! Xiǎoshíhòu jiù pànzhe yītiān néng chī shàng yī dùn hǎo de, jiù zhème jiǎndān. Yǐqián shēnghuó bǐjiào kǔ, yīniándàotóu jiù pànzhe néng chī diǎn zhūròu huòzhě chī gè jī dàtuǐ, dé gè liǎng máo qián de hóngbāo jiù huāntiānxǐdìle, xiànzài bù xūyào děng, xiǎng chī de dōu yǒu, bùyòng zài xiǎngzhe chī shénme hào chī de, shēnghuó shuǐpíng tígāole, bù zài jiǎngjiù chī dele, jiù xiǎngzhe qīnpéng hǎoyǒu zài yīqǐ jiāoliú yīxià gōngzuò jīngyàn, qínggǎn zhī lèi de.

Well, I choose “truly happy.” When I was young, I always looked forward to this time of year because it meant we could eat well. Just that simple. Life was hard. Throughout the year I’d always hope to eat a little pork, or even a chicken leg. But when we got those red envelopes with 0.2 RMB inside, it was overwhelming joy. Now, you can eat whatever you want. There’s so much good food to eat these days. The quality of life has improved drastically, no more worrying about whether we can eat. Spring Festival is now about being with your friends and your family, talking about your experiences with work, and just interacting and socializing.

Dayong (01:44 – 01:47)

您有几个兄弟姐妹?

Nín yǒu jǐ gè xiōngdì jiěmèi?

How many brothers and sisters do you have?

Uncle Ye (01:47 – 01:57)

我们家有三个兄弟姐妹,我是老二,上面有一个哥哥,下面有一个妹妹。

Wǒmen jiā yǒusān gè xiōngdì jiěmèi, wǒ shì lǎo èr, shàngmiàn yǒu yīgè gēgē, xiàmiàn yǒu yīgè mèimei.

Our family has three siblings, I’m the second-oldest brother. Above me is my older brother, and below me is my younger sister.

Dayong (01:58 – 02:01)

您的哥哥妹妹现在都在桂林么?

Nín dí gēgē mèimei xiànzài dōu zài guìlín me?

Are your siblings both in Guilin?

Uncle Ye (02:02 – 03:03)

都在,都在桂林。

Dōu zài, dōu zài guìlín.

Yes, they’re both in Guilin.

Dayong (02:03 – 02:04)

过年的时候…

Guònián de shíhòu…

So, when you celebrate the New Year…

Uncle Ye (02:04 – 02:30)

过年的时候都互相走一走,初一到老大哥哥家。初二到老二我的家,初三到妹妹家,转来转去互相吃个饭,交流一年的工作感情。因为平常都没有这么多时间在一起。

Guònián de shíhòu dōu hùxiāng zǒu yī zǒu, chū yī dào lǎodà gēgē jiā. Chū èr dào lǎo èr wǒ de jiā, chū sān dào mèimei jiā, zhuàn lái zhuàn qù hùxiāng chī gè fàn, jiāoliú yī nián de gōngzuò gǎnqíng. Yīn wéi píngcháng dōu méiyǒu zhème duō shíjiān zài yīqǐ.

We spend the Spring Festival together. On the first day, we go to my older brother’s house. On the second day the family all comes to my house. And on the third day we go to my younger sister’s house. We go here and there eating at each other’s houses, talking about our previous year’s experiences and work. Usually we don’t have the time to be with each other and communicate like we do when celebrating the New Year.

Dayong (02:31 – 02:36)

那现在您的哥哥妹妹都退休了么?还是…

Nà xiànzài nín dí gēgē mèimei dōu tuìxiūle me? Háishì…

So your brother and sister are both retired? Or…

Uncle Ye (02:36 – 02:39)

都退休了。

Dōu tuìxiūle.

They’re both retired.

Dayong (02:40 – 02:47)

想想二十年前、三十年前,你们小的时候过年是怎么样的?

Xiǎng xiǎng èrshí nián qián, sānshí nián qián, nǐmen xiǎo de shíhòu guònián shì zěnme yàng de?

So, 20-30 years ago, when you and your siblings were young, how did you celebrate the Spring Festival?

Uncle Ye (02:47 – 03:06)

我们小的时候就盼着爸爸妈妈初一早上或者年三十晚上吃完饭给压岁钱。两毛钱是最高的了。

Wǒmen xiǎo de shíhòu jiù pànzhe bàba māmā chū yī zǎoshang huòzhě nián sānshí wǎnshàng chī wán fàn gěi yāsuìqián. Liǎng máo qián shì zuìgāo dele.

When we were young, we always looked forward to the morning of the first day, or even the night before, when our parents used to give us “lucky money”.

Dayong (03:06 – 03:08)

两毛钱就是最高的了?!

Liǎng máo qián jiùshì zuìgāo dele?!

0.2 RMB was the most you received!?

Uncle Ye (03:08 – 03:25)

那时候比较穷,父母都不是什么干部,都是靠劳动实打实挣来的血汗钱,生活比较苦,一年到头,家里做一条鱼都不能一顿吃完。一锅汤,放一点佐料,做了,第二天吃鱼冻,寓意年年有余,动动有余。我的母亲那天就买一条一斤多或者两斤多的草鱼,但告诉我们不能一顿吃完,吃完了明年就没有了。要年年有“鱼”。冻者有“鱼”,就是说比方就是我们明年时做事都可以赚到钱,可能有“鱼”。

Nà shíhòu bǐjiào qióng, fùmǔ dōu bùshì shénme gànbù, dōu shì kào láodòng shídǎshí zhēng lái de xiěhàn qián, shēnghuó bǐjiào kǔ, yīniándàotóu, jiālǐ zuò yītiáo yú dōu bùnéng yī dùn chī wán. Yī guō tāng, fàng yīdiǎn zuǒ liào, zuòle, dì èr tiān chī yú dòng, yùyì nián nián yǒuyú, dòng dòng yǒuyú. Wǒ de mǔqīn nèitiān jiù mǎi yītiáo yī jīn duō huòzhě liǎng jīn duō de cǎoyú, dàn gàosù wǒmen bùnéng yī dùn chī wán, chī wánliǎo míngnián jiù méiyǒule. Yào nián nián yǒu “yú”. Dòng zhě yǒu “yú”, jiùshì shuō bǐfāng jiùshì wǒmen míngnián shí zuòshì dōu kěyǐ zhuàn dào qián, kěnéng yǒu “yú”.

We were very poor back then. Our parents weren’t government officials. They didn’t work in some government office. They relied on honest manual labor to earn a living. Life was harder.

 

Vocabulary List:

Hànzì Pīnyīn Definition Part of Speech
1. 春节快乐 chūnjié kuàilè Happy Spring Festival
2. 盼(着) pàn (zhe) to hope for v.
3. 欢天喜地 huāntiānxǐdì with boundless joy; overjoyed adv.
4. 钻来转去 zhuàn lái zhuàn qù to come and go; go back and forth idiom
5. dié to fold v.
6. 红包 hóngbāo Red envelope n.
7. 压岁钱 yāsuìqián lucky money n.
8. 干部 gànbù government official n.
9. 劳动 láodòng physical labor n.
10. 年三十晚上 nián sānshí wǎnshàng Chinese New Years Eve night n.

 

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Chinese Tea Culture



This blog post kicks off a new series of educational videos created by CLI. In this series we will explore and learn Chinese culture and vocabulary by speaking to local Chinese experts in a variety of fields. Each installment focuses on a single topic, shares an interview with an expert from that field, and includes a downloadable transcript and vocabulary list. We look forward to sharing this educational series with you! Please post your comments, questions, and subjects you’d like us to cover in our comments section at the end of each posting. 加油!



It’s common knowledge that tea is a major part of Chinese culture. But to what extent? Does drinking tea relate to Chinese Medicine? Does weather influence what tea we should be drinking?

In this video Dayong, a CLI team member since 2009, interviews a Guilin local tea expert named Yangyang who provides us with excellent cultural insight. Sit back, listen, learn, and enjoy.

While watching the video, follow along in the below transcript for the Chinese characters, pinyin, and English translation. You can also use this link to download a PDF containing the interview transcript and vocabulary list.



Tea Interview Transcript

Dayong (00:04 – 00:13)

我们想问一下您,您记得第一次喝茶的时候自己有多大吗?

Wǒmen xiǎng wèn yīxià nín, nín jìdé dì yī cì hē chá de shíhòu zìjǐ yǒu duōdà ma?

We would like to ask you: Do you remember how old you were the first time you ever drank tea?

Yangyang (00:15 – 00:30)

应该说是从小开始喝 但是真正自己喜欢并且去了解的话还是 从学校毕业出来 步入社会之后.

Yīnggāi shuō shì cóngxiǎo kāishǐ hē dànshì zhēnzhèng zìjǐ xǐhuān bìngqiě qù liǎojiě dehuà háishì cóng xuéxiào bìyè chūlái bù rù shèhuì zhīhòu.

I should say from a very young age. But in reality, I really didn’t become interested in understanding tea until after graduating from university and entering into society.

Dayong (00:31 – 00:43)

步入社会以后真正开始喝茶,是您的朋友还是家人介绍的?是怎样的一个机会来呢?

Bù rù shèhuì yǐhòu zhēnzhèng kāishǐ hē chá, shì nín de péngyǒu háishì jiārén jièshào de? Shì zěnyàng de yīgè jīhuì lái ne?

After you had entered society and began drinking tea, was it a friend or relative that gave you this opportunity to understand tea?

Yangyang (00:43 – 01:09)

是朋友吧,因为工作,他会接触到这些人,然后他们自己开了一个茶庄,我就会去他的茶庄喝茶,慢慢发现其实茶 无论是从口感、营养方面还是从养生方面都是挺好的.

Shì péngyǒu ba, yīnwèi gōngzuò, tā huì jiēchù dào zhèxiē rén, ránhòu tāmen zìjǐ kāile yīgè chá zhuāng, wǒ jiù huì qù tā de chá zhuāng hē chá, màn man fāxiàn qíshí chá wúlùn shì cóng kǒugǎn, yíngyǎng fāngmiàn háishì cóng yǎngshēng fāngmiàn dōu shì tǐng hǎo de.

It was a friend. While employed I found myself meeting many people, and some of these people opened their own tea shop. Because of this I often went to their shop and drank tea. At that time, I found that in terms of taste, nourishment, and health, tea was great.

Dayong (01:11 – 01:22)

所以您喝茶的一个原因可能是为了自己的健康或者是自己的生活情趣 ,对不对?

Suǒyǐ nín hē chá de yīgè yuányīn kěnéng shì wèile zìjǐ de jiànkāng huòzhě shì zìjǐ de shēnghuó qíngqù, duì bùduì?

So, your reason for drinking tea is for your health and lifestyle interests, right?

Yangyang (01:22 – 01:30)

对, 其实也是想 学习更多的我们自己国家的文化吧.

Duì, qíshí yěshì xiǎng xuéxí gèng duō de wǒmen zìjǐ guójiā de wénhuà ba.

Right, but also because I wanted to gain a better understanding of our own country’s culture.

Dayong (01:32 – 01:47)

那您觉得在您的日常生活中,这个喝茶的时间是怎么选择的?比如说早上可能会喝茶还是晚上会喝茶?有什么事情会喝什么样的茶呢?

Nà nín juédé zài nín de rìcháng shēnghuó zhōng, zhège hē chá de shíjiān shì zěnme xuǎnzé de? Bǐrú shuō zǎoshang kěnéng huì hē chá háishì wǎnshàng huì hē chá? Yǒu shé me shìqíng huì hē shénme yàng de chá ne?

Within your daily life, do you find yourself drinking tea in the morning or at night? How do you choose when to drink tea and in what sort of situation do you drink which kind of tea?

Yangyang (01:48 – 02:29)

其实喝茶也需要讲究时间段,早中晚都适宜。但是就是要看您 还有您的体质来喝茶。早上的话,像我们女孩子 就可能会比较适合一些红茶 或者说普洱茶 ,养胃暖胃, 就是比较温和一点。 像晚上呢, 也会喝普洱茶这类的。 男士的话,喜欢喝生普 也都可以。 最主要的是个人喜好吧.

Qíshí hē chá yě xūyào jiǎngjiù shíjiān duàn, zǎo zhōng wǎn dōu shìyí. Dànshì jiùshì yào kàn nín hái yǒu nín de tǐzhí lái hē chá. Zǎoshang dehuà, xiàng wǒmen nǚ háizi jiù kěnéng huì bǐjiào shìhé yīxiē hóngchá huòzhě shuō pǔ’ěr chá, yǎng wèi nuǎn wèi, jiùshì bǐjiào wēnhé yīdiǎn. Xiàng wǎnshàng ne, yě huì hē pǔ’ěr chá zhè lèi de. Nánshì dì huà, xǐhuān hē shēng pǔ yě dū kěyǐ. Zuì zhǔyào de shì gèrén xǐhào ba.

Right, time is an important factor to consider when drinking tea. But, in fact, morning, noon, and night are all suitable. It is also important to look at yourself and your own physical condition.   For a woman, it is better to drink a red tea, or a Pu’er tea in the morning. Drinking a warm tea will warm a woman’s stomach and promote good health. At night, it is also good to drink this kind of Pu’er tea. For men, they tend to like more raw Pu’er teas, but in fact they are all good.   The most important factor is to look at what that individual’s tastes are.

Dayong (02:30 – 02:38)

那从这个男女喝茶的不同来说,是不是我们中医的一些营养跟茶有关系呢.

Nà cóng zhège nánnǚ hē chá de bùtóng lái shuō, shì bùshì wǒmen zhōngyī de yīxiē yíngyǎng gēn chá yǒu guānxì ne.

So in regards to this difference between men and women drinking tea, is it that tea and Chinese medicine have a strong connection?

Yangyang (02:39 – 03:02)

对,这个也有关系,也离不开体质这个问题。每一个人的体质都不一样。像你的体质,如果说是比较凉,就是虚一点,那你就要喝一些温和性的,像红茶,主要是暖胃养胃,普洱也是一样的.

Duì, zhège yěyǒu guānxì, yě lì bù kāi tǐzhí zhège wèntí. Měi yīgè rén de tǐzhí dōu bù yīyàng. Xiàng nǐ de tǐzhí, rúguǒ shuō shì bǐjiào liáng, jiùshì xū yīdiǎn, nà nǐ jiù yào hè yīxiē wēnhé xìng de, xiàng hóngchá, zhǔyào shi nuǎn wèi yǎng wèi, pǔ’ěr yěshì yīyàng de.

Yes, there is definitely a connection. We can’t separate one’s physical health from this question, and every person’s physical condition is different. If you have a colder body temperature and weaker health, you will need to drink warmer tea to promote a healthy body. The main function of a Red or Pu’er is to regulate body temperature and promote warmth and comfort.

Dayong (03:04 – 03:17)

比如说今天天气很好,非常晴朗,阳光很足,跟前几天不一样,今天您喝什么茶。

Bǐrú shuō jīntiān tiānqì hěn hǎo, fēicháng qínglǎng, yángguāng hěn zú, gēnqián jǐ tiān bù yīyàng, jīntiān nín hē shénme chá.

For example, today’s weather is terrific, very clear, sun is shining bright. What tea would you drink on a day like today?

Yangyang (03:17 – 03:22)

像今天这样的天气的话,来点绿茶比较好。

Xiàng jīntiān zhèyàng de tiānqì dehuà, lái diǎn lǜchá bǐjiào hǎo.

On a beautiful day like today, drinking green tea would be ideal.



Vocabulary List:

Hànzì Pīnyīn Definition Part of Speech
1. 步入社会 bù rù shèhuì to step into society *idiom
2. 接触 jiēchù come in contact with; get in touch with v.
3. 茶庄 chá zhuāng tea shop n.
4. 营养 yíngyǎng nutrition; nourishment n.
5. 养生 yǎngshēng to maintain good health v.
6. 日常生活 rì cháng shēnghuó one’s daily routine *idiom
7. 讲究 jiǎngjiù be particular out; pay attention to adv.
8. 早中晚 zǎo zhōng wǎn morning, noon, and night n.
9. 普洱茶 pǔ’ěr chá Pu’er tea (produced in southwestern Yunnan) proper n.
10. 体质 tǐzhí physique; constitution; health n.



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