Mǎkè 马克 introduces Wang Xing 王星 to his girlfriend.

Name
Chinese English
王星 Mǎkè, níhǎo! Wó hěn gāoxìng jiàndào nǐ. 马克,你好! 我很高兴见到你。 Hi Mike! Nice to see you again.
马克 Wáng Xīng, níhǎo! Wó yé hěn gāoxìng. Zhè shì wǒ nǚpéngyou, Xiáo Lǐ. 王星,你好! 我也很高兴。这是我女朋友,小李。 Hi Wang Xing! Nice to see you too. This is my girl friend, Little Li.
马克 Xiáo Lǐ, zhè shì wó hǎopéngyou Lǎo Wáng. 小李,这是我好朋友老王。 Little Li, this is my good friend, Old Wang.
小李 Wáng xiānsheng nínhǎo. 王先生您好。 Hello Mr Wang.
王星 Níhǎo Xiáo Lǐ. 你好,小李。 Hi.Little Li.
小李 Wǒ tīngshuō nín yóu liǎng ge háizi. 我听说您有两个孩子。 I hear you have two children.
王星 Shì de. Wó yóu liǎng ge nǚér. méiyǒu érzi. Ní xiǎng kàn tāmen de zhàopiàn ma? 是的,我有两个女儿,没有儿子。你想看她们的照片吗? Yes. I have 2 daughters, no sons. Would you like to see their picture?
小李 Dāngrán xiǎng. A, tāmen tài kěài le. Tāmen jǐ suì? 当然想,啊,她们太可爱了,她们几岁? Of course. (.. looks at the picures) Oh, they are so cute. How old are they?
王星 Xiáo nǚér bā suì, dà nǚér shíyī suì. 小女儿八岁,大女儿十一岁。 The little one is eight, the older one is eleven.
小李 Nín yǒu nín tàitai de zhàopiàn ma? 您有您太太的照片吗? Do you have a picture of your wife?
王星 Shì de. nǐ kàn. 是的,你看。 Yes. See.
小李 Qǐngwèn, nín háizi de míngzi shì shénma? 请问,您孩子的名字是什么? May I ask, what are your daughter’s names?
王星 Tāmen jiào Xià Jú hé Dōng Méi. 他们叫夏菊和冬梅。 Xiaju and Dongmei
马克 Duìbuqǐ. qǐng zàishuō yícì. Kéyǐ shuō màn yīdiǎn ma? 对不起,请再说一次,可以说慢一点吗? Excuse me, can you say that again, a little more slowly?
王星 Kéyǐ. Xià Jú hé Dōng Méi. 可以,夏菊和冬梅。 Can. Xia-Ju and Dong-Mei

Vocabulary

Pinyin Chinese Definition
gāoxìng 高兴 adj. happy  
jiàndào 见到 to meet jiàn is the verb and dào is the resultative compliment. By adding dào you clarify that you are talking about the completion of the action.
woman/girl examples: nǚpéngyou (girl friend) and nǚér (daughter).
tīngshuō 听说 exp. heard said This is common abbreviated expression indicating that you “have heard it said … “
zhàopiàn 照片 photograph  
nǚér 女儿 daughter  
érzi 儿子 son  
dāngrán 当然 exp. of course An expression confirming what has just been said and indicating that it is obvious.
suì age in years  
tàitai 太太 wife  
kě ài 可爱 adj. cute/lovely  
occurrence/instance an instance of an occurrence. example: yicì (one time).
màn adv. slow  
háizi 孩子 child  

 

Language Patterns

Greetings

When encountering someone in a social situation is is nice to use one of the following expressions

  • Wǒ hěn gāoxìng jiàndào nǐ., “I am happy to meet you”.
  • Wǒ hěn gāoxìng kànjiàn nǐ., “I am happy to see you”.
  • Wǒ hěn gāoxìng rènshi nǐ., “I am happy to know you”.

Heard it said

The expression tīngshuō is really two verbs tīng (to listen) and shuō (to speak). This is a very common expression, but the more proper way to use these verbs would be to give tīng an object.

  • Wǒ tīng Mǎkè shuō nǐn yǒu liǎng ge háizi.

It is interesting to note that the object of tīng is the subject of shuō. Many Chinese text books refer to this grammar pattern as a pivotal sentence.

How old are they?

There are many ways to ask someones age. When asking about a child the expression jǐ suì is common. But remember jǐ is for counting things less that 12, so it won’t work well for adults. A typical expression that works well for both adults and children is.

  • Tāmen duō dà? /他们多大?

Here the literal meaning is “they are how big?”, but all Chinese speakers understand it to be a question about age. It will never be answered with weight or height as might be expected from the literal translation.

Say it again

It is unavoidable. When you are learning a language you need to ask people to repeat themselves.The polite way to ask would be one of these two sentences.

  • Qǐng zàishuō yīcì. /请再说一次。
  • Qǐng zàishuō yībiàn./清再说一边。

In these sentences zài (再) means “repeat” or “again”, not to be confused with the other zài (在) which means “located at”. This is the same zài (再) that is found in zàijiàn (再见), which can be translated as “meet again”. Both yībiàn and yīcì means “one time”. So putting it all together both sentences mean get “Please repeat one time”.

A little slower

Probably the reason you are asking to repeat is because your ears/brain are not ready for native speed. So to request that the speaker slow it down use the sentence.

  • Qǐng shuō màn yīdiǎn.

If someone is speaking too slowly you might want make the following request

  • Qǐng shuō kuài yīdiǎn.

Homework

Check this link for Sentence Practice 

Audio

Audio courtesy of Cecilia Shang

(right click Download , select “save as”)

Audio courtesy of Amy Zhai, and friends. This one is a little closer to natural speed.

(right click here , select “save as”)