Top 12 Videos to Improve Your Chinese from Mandarin HQ

Learning Mandarin is a journey in which a student’s evolution continually occurs across a spectrum of skills — e.g. listening, speaking, reading, writing, cultural understanding, etc. This post is focused on two of those skills: speaking and listening. We have compiled a list of 12 videos from Mandarin HQ (an excellent, free resource for Mandarin videos) designed to draw attention to the unique sounds and accents of Mandarin while also providing a study resource containing the vocabulary and phrases of many common daily activities. So warm up some tea, put on your headphones and enjoy ever step of your Mandarin learning journey.



Top 12 Videos to Improve Your Mandarin



The Sounds Of “Southern Accented” Mandarin Chinese



Mandarin Chinese Accent Challenge: “North or South?”



How to Recognize and Pronounce The 4+1 Tones of Mandarin Chinese



Ordering Chinese street food like a local in Mandarin Chinese



Talking about hobbies in Mandarin Chinese



How to ask for the restaurant bill in China



Why do so many Chinese girls use umbrellas when it’s sunny?



Is There Anything You Don’t Eat?



How to wish someone a happy birthday in Mandarin Chinese



How to say “I know” and “I don’t know” in Mandarin Chinese



十一 Celebrating National Day Golden Week in China



十二 5 ways to greet a friend you haven’t seen for a long time in Mandarin Chinese



We hope to study Mandarin in China together some day soon. Don’t forget to follow CLI on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.



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Top 25 Videos from Chinese Class 101

CLI has churned through hundreds of videos by ChineseClass101.com to compile this list of 25 videos covering must-know Mandarin vocabulary. We’ve extracted all of the vocabulary into simple lists of nouns, verbs, adjectives, and phrases at the end of this post — click here to jump to the lists. You can also use this link to download a PDF containing the complete 222 word vocabulary list. Enjoy!



#1 Learn 25 Must-Know Chinese Nouns

People, places, things, and ideas — nouns are an elemental part of speech and this video covers 25 essentials.

   

#2 Learn 25 Must-Know Chinese Verbs

We look to action words (a.k.a. verbs) to keep this Chinese lesson moving.

   

#3 Learn 25 Chinese Adjectives

Learning Mandarin adjectives is a fast way to spice up your ability. This video covers basics like 大 and 小 or 热 and 冷 while also adding some off-beat flare with words like 恶心 and 臭。

   

#4 Learn 5 Mandarin Words Pertaining to Studying a Language

It’s crucial to learn verbs and nouns but how do you say ‘verb’ or ‘noun’? What about ‘to study’? This video covers 5 rudimentary words related to studying a language.

   

#5 Learn 15 Favorite Chinese Words

In this upbeat video with Yuting you’ll review 15 useful words like 喜欢, 对不起,and 尊敬。

   

#6 Learn 25 Chinese Phrases to Improve Your Fluency

In just under 7 minutes this video covers 25 very practical phrase from how to receive a compliment—哪有,哪有—to “don’t worry, I’ve got it”—放心吧,包在我身上。

   

#7 Learn 5 Life Events in Mandarin

This short video teaches us the vocabulary for 5 basic life events: to be born, graduation, to work, to get engaged, and the final act—to die.

   

#8 Learn 5 Subjects of Study in Mandarin

This quick 2 minute video favors history and the sciences. Watch it and learn how to say history, science, physics, biology, and chemistry in Mandarin.

   

#9 Learn 5 Vegetables in Mandarin

Help prepare yourself for Chinese cuisine by reviewing 5 vegetables in this short 2 minute video.

   

#10 Learn 5 Mandarin Words Related to Cooking

This video covers 5 words you should know like stir-fry and barbecue.

   

#11 Learn 5 Flavors in Mandarin

It’s no secret, authentic Chinese food is delicious. This brief 2 minute video covers the 5 main flavors of Chinese cuisine. Dig in.

   

#12 Learn 5 Tableware Words in Mandarin

Sticking with the theme of food, this next 2 minute video teaches us a few staple tableware items you’ll find at a Chinese meal.

   

#13 Learn 5 Words Related to Cleaning Using Mandarin

Now that we’ve learned words related to cooking, it’s time to clean up. Learn 5 easy words having to do with cleaning.

   

#14 Learn 5 Articles of Clothing in Mandarin

Get your outfit ready by learning a few simple words like 帽子,裤子,and the loanword T恤衫。

   

#15 Learn 5 Clothing Accessories in Mandarin

Now it’s time to accessorize your outfit by using words like 皮带,手表, and 太阳镜。

   

#16 Learn 5 Mammals in Mandarin

What does the fox say? Who knows, but after watching this video at least you’ll be able to say 狐狸。

   

#17 Learn 5 Geographic Terms in Mandarin

Desert, lake, river, island, ocean — take 2 minutes and learn them all here.

   

#18 Learn 5 Mandarin Words You’ll Need When Crossing Borders

Crossing the border is official business and knowing your vocabulary can expedite the process.

   

#19 Learn 5 Words Related to Tourism in Mandarin

Saying tourism is a major industry in China is a vast understatement. Saying the word 游客, yóukè, is simple.

   

#20 Learn 5 Words Related to Currency Exchange in Mandarin

Being a 游客 means you’ll need to exchange your local currency for RMB. In this video you will learn some necessary terms to do just that.

   

#21 Learn 5 Mandarin Words You May Need in a Hotel

With this video in less than 2 minutes you can learn some very practical words you’ll need in a hotel.

   

#22 Learn 5 Words Describing Personalities in Mandarin

Describing a person’s personality is a common occurrence in any language. This video teaches us 5 useful Mandarin words for describing a person’s disposition.

   

#23 Learn 5 Mandarin Words Regarding Health Concerns

Health vocabulary is an important set of words to study. This video has 5 simple words to learn.

   

#24 Learn to Say 5 Difference Sports Using Mandarin

Sports are very popular in China. 足球 and 篮球 are among the most popular. It’s time to get your game on.

   

#25 Learn How to Say 5 Kinds of Furniture in Mandarin

Pull up a 椅子 and learn 5 pieces of furniture in less than 2 minutes.

 

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Vocabulary List

Hànzì

Pīnyīn

Definition

1.

杯子

bēi zi

cup/glass

2.

汽车

qìchē

car

3.

电脑

diànnǎo

computer

4.

手机

shǒujī

cellphone

5.

衣服

yīfu

clothes

6.

食物

shíwù

food

7.

筷子

kuàizi

chopsticks

8.

bāo

bag

9.

shuǐ

water

10.

咖啡

kāfēi

coffee

11.

shū

book

12.

本子

běnzi

notebook

13.

chuáng

bed

14.

jiā

home

15.

女人

rén

woman

16.

男人

nánrén

man

17.

大人

dàrén

adult

18.

小孩

xiǎohái

child

19.

老人

lǎorén

old man or woman; the elderly

20.

学生

xuéshēng

students

21.

qián

money

22.

米饭

mǐfàn

rice

23.

tāng

soup

24.

建议

jiànyì

suggestion

25.

钱包

qiánbāo

wallet

26.

语言

yǔyán

language

27.

动词

dòngcí

verb

28.

名词

míngcí

noun

29.

麻将

májiàng

mahjong

30.

尊敬

zūnjìng

respect

31.

zǎo

morning

32.

救护车

jiùhùchē

ambulance

33.

科目

kēmù

subject; course

34.

历史

lìshǐ

history

35.

科学

kēxué

science

36.

生物

shēngwù

biology

37.

化学

huàxué

chemistry

38.

蔬菜

shūcài

vegetables

39.

大蒜

dàsuàn

garlic

40.

洋葱

yángcōng

onion

41.

胡萝卜

húluóbo

carrot

42.

花椰菜

huāyēcài

cauliflower

43.

茄子

qiézi

eggplant

44.

微波炉

wēibōlú

microwave oven

45.

chǎo

stir-fry

46.

烧烤

shāokǎo

barbecue

47.

yán

salt

48.

毕业

bìyè

graduation

49.

胡椒粉

hújiāofěn

pepper

50.

勺子

sháozi

spoon

Hànzì

Pīnyīn

Definition

51.

咖啡杯

kāfēi bēi

coffee mug

52.

杯子

bēizi

cup

53.

盘子

pánzi

plate

54.

茶壶

cháhú

teapot

55.

家务

jiāwù

housework

56.

衣服

yīfu

clothes

57.

帽子

màozi

hat

58.

裤子

kùzi

pants

59.

连衣裙

liányīqún

dress

60.

夹克

jiákè

jacket

61.

T恤衫

tīxùshān

t-shirt

62.

sǎn

umbrella

63.

太阳镜

tàiyángjìng

sunglasses

64.

手套

shǒutào

glove

65.

手表

shǒubiǎo

watch

66.

皮带

pídài

belt

67.

狐狸

húli

fox

68.

老虎

lǎohǔ

tiger

69.

兔子

tùzi

rabbit

70.

gǒu

dog

71.

熊猫

xióngmāo

panda

72.

地理

dìlǐ

geography

73.

沙漠

shāmò

desert

74.

river

75.

海洋

hǎiyáng

ocean

76.

dǎo

island

77.

lake

78.

入境卡

rù jìng kǎ

entry card

79.

国籍

guójí

nationality

80.

护照

hùzhào

passport

81.

海关

hǎiguān

customs

82.

签证

qiānzhèng

visa

83.

寺院

sìyuàn

temple

84.

旅游巴士

lǚyóu bāshì

tour bus

85.

游客

yóukè

tourist

86.

行程

xíngchéng

itinerary

87.

外汇

wàihuì

foreign exchange

88.

现金

xiànjīn

cash

89.

货币

huòbì

currency

90.

美元

měiyuán

US Dollar

91.

宾馆

bīnguǎn

hotel

92.

前台

qiántái

front desk

93.

单人床

dānrénchuáng

single bed

94.

客房服务

kèfáng fúwù

room service

95.

大厅

dàtīng

lobby

96.

性格

xìnggé

personality; disposition

97.

出疹子

chūzhěnzi

to have a rash

98.

咳嗽

késou

cough

99.

恶心

ěxīn

nausea

100.

tòng

pain

101.

yǎng

itch

102.

体操运动

tǐcāo yùndòng

gymnastics

103.

篮球

lánqiú

basketball

104.

足球

zúqiú

football / soccer

105.

乒乓球

pīngpāngqiú

ping pong

106.

游泳

yóuyǒng

swimming

107.

家具

jiāju

furniture

108.

书架

shūjià

bookshelf

109.

书桌

shūzhuō

desk

110.

椅子

yǐzi

chair

111.

沙发

shāfā

sofa

112.

桌子

zhuōzi

table

Hànzì

Pīnyīn

Definition

113.

to die

114.

学习

xuéxí

to study

115.

重复

chóngfù

to repeat

116.

喜欢

xǐhuan

to like

117.

出生

chūshēng

to be born

118.

工作

gōngzuò

to work

119.

放弃

fàngqì

to give up; abandon

120.

旅游

lǚyóu

to tour

121.

兑换

duìhuàn

convert

122.

扫地

sǎodì

to sweep

123.

tuō

to mop

124.

to wipe

125.

收拾

shōushi

to put things away

126.

to wash

127.

yǒu

to have

128.

chī

to eat

129.

xiào

to laugh

130.

zǒu

to walk

131.

pǎo

to run

132.

to drink

133.

过来

guòlái

to come

134.

zhǎng

to grow

135.

huí

to return

136.

shàng

up

137.

to read

138.

游泳

yóuyǒng

to swim

139.

跳舞

tiàowǔ

to dance

140.

工作

gōngzuò

to work

141.

放松

fàngsōng

to relax

142.

开车

kāichē

to drive

143.

xiǎng

to think

144.

试试

shìshi

to try

145.

愿意

yuànyì

to be willing to

146.

开始

kāishǐ

to start

147.

停止

tíngzhǐ

to stop

148.

gǎn

to dare

149.

担心

dānxīn

to worry

150.

变化

biànhuà

to change

151.

shuō

to say

Hànzì

Pīnyīn

Definition

152.

好的

hǎode

okay

153.

淘气

táoqì

naughty; mischievous

154.

热情

rèqíng

passionate; hospitable

155.

真棒

zhēnbàng

awesome

156.

xián

salty

157.

tián

sweet

158.

bitter

159.

spicy

160.

suān

sour

161.

订婚

dìnghūn

to be engaged (to be married); engagement

162.

机灵

jīling

smart

163.

烦人的

fánrénde

annoying

164.

活泼

huópo

lively; bubbly

165.

脾气不好的

píqì bùhǎode

short-tempered

166.

自豪的

zìháode

proud

167.

漂亮

piàoliang

pretty

168.

hǎo

good; kind; nice

169.

明亮

míngliàng

bright

170.

big

171.

xiǎo

small

172.

gāo

tall

173.

ǎi

short

174.

cháng

long

175.

有趣

yǒuqù

interesting

176.

恶心

ěxīn

gross

177.

chǒu

ugly

178.

chòu

smelly

179.

xiāng

fragrant

180.

湿

shī

wet

181.

湿润

shīrùn

humid

182.

干燥

gānzào

dry

183.

黑暗

hēi’àn

dark

184.

无聊

wúliáo

boring

185.

忙碌

mánglù

busy

186.

hot

187.

lěng

cold

188.

好吃

hǎochī

tasty; delicious

189.

nán

hard; difficult

190.

年轻

niánqīng

young

191.

柔软

róuruǎn

soft

192.

yìng

hard; stiff

Hànzì

Pīnyīn

Definition

193.

对不起

duìbuqǐ

I’m sorry

194.

不好意思

bùhǎoyìsi

I’m sorry (casual)

195.

我爱你

wǒ ài nǐ

I love you

196.

是真的。

shì zhēnde.

It’s true.

197.

这是真的吗?

zhè shì zhēnde ma?

Is that true?

198.

有点问题。

yǒudiǎn wèntí.

It’s not alright.

199.

抱抱我。

bàobào wǒ.

Give me a hug.

200.

你好

nǐ hǎo

hello

201.

谢谢

xièxiè  

thank you

202.

早安

zǎo’ān

good morning

203.

早上好

zǎoshang hǎo

good morning

204.

晚安

wǎn’ān

good night

205.

太好了

tàihǎole

great

206.

哪有。

nǎyǒu.

That’s not true.

207.

加油!

jiāyóu!

Go for it! (lit. add oil)

208.

放心。

fàngxīn

Don’t worry.

209.

干嘛呢?

gànmá ne

What’s up?

210.

随便你。

suíbiàn nǐ.

It’s up to you.

211.

没什么

méi shénme

It’s nothing; it doesn’t matter

212.

没事的

méishìde

It doesn’t matter; no problem

213.

我们走吧。

wǒmen zǒuba.

Let’s go.

214.

怎么样?

zěnme yàng

How about it?

215.

我想

wǒ xiǎng

I want

216.

没完没了。

méi wán méi liáo.

There’s no end to this.

217.

我的妈呀!

wǒde mā ya!

Oh my gosh!

218.

好有趣。

hǎo yǒuqù

So interesting; very interesting.

219.

肚子饿了。

dùzi è le

(I’m) hungry.

220.

好撑。

hǎochēng.

(I’m) so stuffed.

221.

我喜欢。

wǒ xǐhuān.

I like it.

222.

再见

zàijiàn

Bye

We hope to study Mandarin in China together some day soon. Don’t forget to follow CLI on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.



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Did you find these videos helpful? Do you have any questions you’d like clarified? Leave your thoughts and questions in the Comments section below and we’ll reply.



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10 Useful Videos from Learn Chinese Now

Learn Chinese Now has been posting excellent Mandarin language learning videos to YouTube for over three years. We’ve compiled our 10 favorite videos spanning from beginner- to expert-level.



#1 How to Count to 10 in Mandarin

Counting is an essential milestone in learning any language, including Mandarin. This video takes us through the first ten digits. 一二三开始!

   

#2 How to Count from 11 to 100 in Mandarin

If you can count to 10 in Mandarin, then you have all of the vocabulary you need to count to 99.

   

#3 Basic Mandarin Grammar Guide

Time, subject, verb, object, asking questions and answering them, — arranging your vocabulary is critical to speaking coherently. This video guides you through the basics of Chinese grammar.

   

#4 Days, Months and Dates in Chinese

Could you keep a schedule without days, months, and years? This video teaches us the days of the week, months of the year, and how to grammatically arrange them.

   

#5 Big Numbers

1,000… 10,000… 100,000… In this video we learn how to say numbers all the way to a billion in Mandarin.

   

#6 Photography in Chinese

This video shoots through the practical vocabulary related to taking photos and sheds light on some of the cultural aspects of taking photos in China.

   

#7 Chinese Tea Etiquette

How do you say “thank you” in Chinese without saying anything at all? Watch this video and learn how.

   

#8 “Speak of the Devil” in Chinese

It happens all of the time, you mention someone’s name and they appear. So how does the Mandarin language address this social phenomenon?

   

#9 Responding to Compliments in Chinese

Responding to a compliment in Mandarin is not as simple as just saying “thanks”. In this video we learn both what to say and what not to say.

   

#10 Clichés within Kung Fu Movies

In this Mandarin-only video Ben Hedges explains several clichés he’s seen repeatedly in Kung Fu classics.



Be sure to subscribe to Learn Chinese Now on YouTube. You can also like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.



Did you find these videos helpful? Do you have any questions you’d like clarified? Leave your thoughts and questions in the Comments section below and we’ll reply.



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We hope to study Mandarin in China together some day soon. Don’t forget to follow CLI on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. 下次见!

Jack Ma Speaks with Charlie Rose

Not only was Jack Ma, 马云 Mǎ Yún, rejected from Harvard when he first applied, the university rejected his nine subsequent application submissions. In his enlightening interview with Charlie Rose, Jack speaks about failures and successes, his world-view, women in the workplace, harmony and balance, the value of introspection, and many other meaningful topics.  

Jack Ma is the founder of Alibaba, an online megastore similar to amazon, and is now the executive chairman of the Alibaba Group, a holding company with nine major subsidiaries including Alibaba.com, Taobao, Tmall, AliExpress.com and Alipay*. He is the first entrepreneur from mainland Chinese to appear on the cover of Forbes*.  

 

Watch the entire interview between Charlie Rose and Jack Ma.

 

We hope to study Mandarin in China together some day soon. Don’t forget to follow CLI on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

 

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下次见!

*Sourced from wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Ma

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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