We're excited to announce that 席爱娜 Xi Aina (Diana) has just published "Cultural Differences: Are They Crazy?", a new Intermediate level Mandarin Chinese lesson, on Language Mentor! 

Lesson Script

Are They Crazy?
Ta1men Feng1le Ma?
他们疯了吗?

A:

Today, when I went to work - encountered a very strange situation.
Jin1tian1 wo3 shang4ban1 de shi2hou, peng4dao4 yi2jian4 hen3 qi2guai4 de shi4.
今天我上班的时候,碰到一件很奇怪的事。

B:

What situation?
Shen2me shi4qing?
什么事情?

A:

Our German boss came to Beijing - to inspect work.
Wo3men De2guo2 de lao3ban3 lai2 Bei3jing1 shi4cha2 gong1zuo4.
我们德国的老板来北京视察工作。

He - with regards to our work - very dissatisfied.
Ta1 dui4 wo3men de gong1zuo4 hen3 bu4 man3yi4.
他对我们的工作很不满意。

B:

Really?
Zhen1de ma?
真的吗?

A:

Right. Today - during meeting - he - very angry.
Dui4. Jin1tian1 kai1hui4 de shi2hou, ta1 hen3 sheng1qi4.
对。今天开会的时候,他很生气。

I've worked at the company ten years, ...
Wo3 zai4 gong1si1 gong1zuo4 le shi2 nian2, ...
我在公司工作了十年,……

never seen him so angry.
cong2lai2 mei2 jian4guo4 ta1 na4me sheng1qi4.
从来没见过他那么生气。

B:

Oh, then you must be very nervous.
O1, na4 ni3 yi2ding4 hen3 jin3zhang1 le.
噢,那你一定很紧张了。

A:

Right. But very strange, ...
Dui4. Dan4shi4 hen3 qi2guai4, ...
对。但是很奇怪,……

all my Chinese colleages - all - with lowered heads - laughing.
wo3 suo3you3 de Zhong1guo2 tong2shi4 dou1 zai4 di1zhe tou2 xiao4.
我所有的中国同事都在低着头笑。

Can it be - they all crazy?
Nan2dao4 ta1men dou1 feng1le ma?
难道他们都疯了吗?

B:

Is it so? When your boss angry - is like what?
Shi4 ma? Ni3men lao3ban3 sheng1qi4 shi2 shi4 shen2me yang4 de?
是吗?你们老板生气时是什么样的?

A:

Everyone when angry - aren't all the same?
Da4jia1 sheng1qi4 de shi2hou bu4 dou1 shi4 yi2yang4 ma?
大家生气的时候不都是一样吗?

Very ferocious, just like this, like this ...
Hen3 xiong1, jiu4 zhe4yang4, zhe4yang4 ...
很凶,就这样,这样……

B:

Ha! ha! ha! ...
Hahaha ...
哈哈哈……

A:

How is it - you also laugh?
Ni3 zen3me ye3 xiao4 le?
你怎么也笑了?

B:

If - speaking of - your boss - use so many expressions - and body language - ...
Ru2guo3 ni3men lao3ban3 yong4 zhe4me duo1 biao3qing2 he2 shen1ti3 yu3yan2 de hua4, ...
如果你们老板用这么多表情和身体语言的话,……

then no wonder your Chinese colleagues laughed.
na4 jiu4 guai4bu4de2 ni3de Zhong1guo2 tong2shi4 xiao4 le.
那就怪不得你的中国同事笑了。

A:

Why? When angry, of course you'll look very fierce, ...
Wei4shen2me? Sheng1qi4 de shi2hou ni3 dang1ran2 hui4 kan4qi3lai2 hen3 xiong1, ...
为什么?生气的时候你当然会看起来很凶,……

furthermore you use a lot of body language to let everyone know!
er2qie3 ni3 yong4 hen3duo1 shen1ti3 yu3yan2 lai2 rang4 da4jia1 zhi1dao4 a!
而且你用很多身体语言来让大家知道啊!

B:

But in China - if we really angry, ...
Dan4shi4 zai4 Zhong1guo2, ru2guo3 wo3men zhen1de sheng1qi4, ...
但是在中国,如果我们真的生气,……

we are expressionless, furthermore we will not speak.
wo3men shi4 mei2you3 biao3qing2 de, er2qie3 wo3men hui4 bu4 shuo1hua4.
我们是没有表情的,而且我们会不说话。

This kind of anger - only - will make us feel afraid.
Zhe4yang4 de sheng1qi4 cai2 hui4 rang4 wo3men jue2de hai4pa4.
这样的生气才会让我们觉得害怕。

Your boss's - that kind of manner - will just make us feel it's funny.
Ni3 lao3ban3 de nei4zhong3 yang4zi zhi3 hui4 rang4 wo3men jue2de hen3 hao3wan2.
你老板的那种样子只会让我们觉得很好玩。

A:

Oh, really?
O1, zhen1de ma?
哦,真的吗?

No wonder - usually when I get angry at the company ...
Guai4bu4de2 wo3 ping2shi2 zai4 gong1si1 li3 sheng1qi4 de shi2hou, ...
怪不得我平时在公司里生气的时候,……
Note: Literally... no wonder ~ I ~ commonly ~ at ~ company ~ in ~ angry ~ de ~ time ...

I always feel they are laughing at me.
wo3 zong3 jue2de ta1men zai4 xiao4 wo3.
我总觉得他们在笑我。

Okay, next time I'll imitate - not speak - not use hand/body language.
En1, xia4yi2ci4, wo3 yao4 xue2zhe bu4 shuo1hua4, bu2yong4 shou3shi4yu3.
嗯,下一次,我要学着不说话,不用手势语。

Like this way?
Xiang4 zhe4yang4 ma?
像这样吗?

B:

Yes - right! right! right! - it is just this appearance.
En, dui4dui4dui4, jiu4shi4 zhe4ge4 yang4zi.
嗯,对对对,就是这个样子。

When you act like this I'm actually a little afraid!
Ni3 zhe4yang4 wo3 hai2shi4 zhen1de you3dian3 hai4pa4 ne!

你这样我还是真的有点害怕呢! 


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