Model Mandarin: December 2014

0514_Model mandarinBEAR IN MIND

Remember how to speak by saying things you shouldn’t.

If you are in a taxi and trying really hard to make the taxi driver understand you, besides “zuǒ zhuǎn” (turn left), “yòu zhuǎn” (turn right), “yì zhí zǒu” (go ahead), here are some useful expression that may help us and make for a fun ride.

qǐng diào tóu.
请 掉 头。
Please make a U-turn.

wǎng huí zǒu.
往 回 走。
Go back.

qián mian lù kǒu tíng.
前 面 路 口 停。
Please stop at the crossing in front.

lí rén mín gōng yuán hěn jìn.
离 人 民 公 园 很 近。
It’s very near People’s park.

wǒ zhī dào zěn me zǒu.
我 知 道 怎 么 走。
I know how to get there.


A supplement for grammar practice

In daily communication “modern words” are also used quite often to enrich the conversation Let’s use “gěi lì” and “hòu zhù” as examples.

gěi lì – 给力
A term made popular in Northern China that means helpful, supportive, inspiring and nice.

jīntiān de tiānqì tài gěilì le, wǒmen qù sàn sàn bù ba!
今天 的 天气 太 给力 了,我们 去 散 散 步 吧!
The weather today is really nice, let’s go for a walk!

zuìjìn dàjiā hěn gěi lì, gōngzuò dōu wánchéng de hěnhǎo.
最近 大家 很 给力, 工作 都 完成 得 很好。
Everybody has been very supportive; you’ve done a very good job.

hòu zhù – 候住
The word is actually half English, which hòu is the same meaning as “hold,” it means “keep going and don’t give up.”

suīrán hěn duō kùn nán, dànshì nǐ yídìng yaò hòuzhù!
虽然 很 多 困 难, 但是 你 一定 要 候住!
Although there are many difficulties, you should not give up!
Although a lot difficulties, you should not give up!

rúguǒ nǐ xiànzài hòuzhù le, nǐ jiù chéng gōng le.
如果 你 现在 候住 了,你 就 成 功 了。
If you can hold on now you will succeed.


Mnemonic devices that work

The characters with the pictophonetic radical “饣”, which derives from the pictographic character shí (食), are often connected with food and drink, when standing on the left of a character it is written as “饣”. Sometimes it is used in the lower part of a character.

fàn 饭 – rice, meal

yǐn 饮 – to drink

wǒmen yìqǐ chī fàn ba.
我们 一起 吃 饭 吧。
Let’s have dinner together.

nǐ xǐhuan shénme yǐnliào?
你 喜欢 什么 饮料?
What do you like to drink?

jiǎo 饺 – dumpling

jīntiān wǎnshang wǒ xiǎng chī jiǎozi.
今天 晚上 我 想 吃 饺子。
This evening I would like to eat dumplings.


Conversation starters for Guangdongers

sik ye ng zou ye – Literally meaning “You’re sharing the meal, but you didn’t do your chores,” it can be a harsh way to call someone lazy, a goof off or good for nothing. You can tease your colleagues when they make a silly mistake or fail at a very simple task. (Speak sik with a steady, mid-low tone, rising on each ye, down again for ng and keep zou at a steady tone.)