10 minutes reading time (1906 words)

New Mandarin Chinese Lesson: Cultural Differences: Eating Out Together

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

Lesson Script

Eating Out
Chūqù Chī
出去吃

A:

Good morning!
Zǎo!
早!
Note: Literally, "early!"

B:

Good morning!
Zǎo!
早!

A:

Go do what?
Qù gànshénme?
去干什么?

B:

Go eat breakfast.
Qù chī zǎocān.
去吃早餐。

A:

I also haven't eaten breakfast - shall we go together?
Wǒ yě méi chī zǎocān, wǒmen yìqǐ qù ba?
我也没吃早餐,我们一起去吧?

B:

Let's go.
Zǒu ba.
走吧。

A:

By the way, I feel - that subject we talked about last time - very interesting.
Duìlè, wǒ juéde shàngcì wǒmen liáo de nàgè huàtí hěn yǒuyìsi.
对了,我觉得上次我们聊的那个话题很有意思。

B:

Which subject?
Nǎgè huàtí?
哪个话题?

A:

It's that subject related to - Chinese / western - cultural differences.
Jiùshì nàgè guānyú zhōngxīfāng wénhuà chāyì de huàtí.
就是那个关于中西方文化差异的话题。

B:

You really feel - very interesting?
Nǐ zhēnde juéde hěn yǒuyìsi ma?
你真的觉得很有意思吗?

A:

Really extremely interesting!
Zhēnde fēicháng yǒuyìsi!
真的非常有意思!

B:

I feel that Chinese and westerners also have another big difference, ...
Wǒ juéde Zhōngguórén hé xīfāngrén háiyǒu yígè hěn dà de bùtóng, ...
我觉得中国人和西方人还有一个很大的不同,……

this difference is deeply rooted.
zhègè bùtóng shì gēnshēndìgù de.
这个不同是根深蒂固的。
Note: "Gēnshēndìgù" is a "chéngyǔ" - root ~ deep ~ root ~ solid. Its meaning is a bit more emphatic than the English "deeply rooted" and suggests "so deeply rooted that it will never be removed."

Can you guess what it is?
Nǐ néng cāicai shì shénme ma?
你能猜猜是什么吗?

A:

I can't guess - don't keep me guessing ....
Wǒ cāibúdào, bié màiguānzī le ...
我猜不到,别卖关子了……

please tell me!
kuài gàosù wǒ!
快告诉我!

B:

Ha-ha, I'll tell you a story, ...
Hāhā, wǒ gěi nǐ jiǎng yígè gùshì ba, ...
哈哈,我给你讲一个故事吧,……

is - related to eating.
shì hé chīfàn yǒuguān de.
是和吃饭有关的。

That was my first time - with Americans - eat meal ...
Nà shì wǒ dìyīcì hé Měiguórén chīfàn, ...
那是我第一次和美国人吃饭,……

five Chinese - two Americans - Mike and Tom.
wǔ gè Zhōngguórén, liǎng gè Měiguórén, Mike hé Tom.
五个中国人 ,两个美国人,Mike 和 Tom。

Each of us ordered a dish of food.
Wǒmen yìrén diǎn le yí dào cài.
我们一人点了一道菜。

The first dish of food - was Mike's Kung Pao Chicken.
Dìyī dào cài shì Mike de Gōngbǎojīdīng.
第一道菜是Mike的宫保鸡丁。

After the dish was served, Mike took the dish and put it in front of him, ...
Cài shànglái hòu, Mike bǎ cài nádào zìjǐ miànqián, ...
菜上来后,Mike把菜拿到自己面前,……

started to eat it himself.
kāishǐ zìjǐ chīqǐlái.
开始自己吃起来。

We all felt - very amazed.
Wǒmen dōu juéde hěn jīngyà.
我们都觉得很惊讶。

A:

Why amazed - can it be this wasn't right?
Wèishénme jīngyà, zhè nándào búduì ma?
为什么惊讶,这难道不对吗?

B:

We and you - not the same.
Wǒmen hé nǐmen bù yíyàng.
我们和你们不一样。

In China, when friends eat food together, ...
Zài Zhōngguó, dāng péngyǒumen yìqǐ chīfàn de shíhou, ...
在中国,当朋友们一起吃饭的时候,……

every dish - all is - everyone eats together - isn't - each eats one, ...
měigè cài dōu shì dàjiā yìqǐ chi, bú shì gè chī gè de, ...
每个菜都是大家一起吃,不是各吃各的,……

furthermore - after eating meal - often is - among the friends - person with the most money - pays restaurant bill, ...
ěrqie chīwán fàn, jīngcháng shì péngyǒu zhōng zuì yǒuqián de rén mǎidān, ...
而且吃完饭,经常是朋友中最有钱的人买单,……

or it's - take turns - paying restaurant bill.
huòzhě shì lúnliú mǎidān.
或者是轮流买单。

We don't - each pays each's money.
Wǒmen búhuì gè fù gè de qián.
我们不会各付各的钱。

A:

Oh, this definitely is - with us - not the same.
Ō, zhè quèshí hé wǒmen bù yíyàng.
噢,这确实和我们不一样。

B:

Actually, this is a very profound issue.
Qíshí, zhè shì yígè hěn shēnkè de wèntí.
其实,这是一个很深刻的问题。

This shows westerners emphasize individual consciousness, ...
Zhè biǎomíng xīfāngrén zhùzhòng gètǐ yìshì, ...
这表明西方人注重个体意识,……

but Chinese emphasize group consciousness.
ér Zhōngguórén zhùzhòng qúntǐ yìshi.
而中国人注重群体意识。

In the West, the individual is society's smallest unit.
Zài xīfāng, gèrén shì shèhuì de zuìxiǎo dānwèi.
在西方,个人是社会的最小单位。

Everyone's behavior - all come from oneself - decide and choose, ...
Měigèrén de xíngwéi dōu yóu zìjǐ lái juédǐng hé xuǎnzé, ...
每个人的行为都由自己来决定和选择,……

also by oneself - be responsible.
bìng yóu zìjǐ fùzé.
并由自己负责。

For example - eat what? Kung Pao Chicken.
Bǐfāngshuō, chī shénme? Gōngbǎojīdīng.
比方说,吃什么?宫保鸡丁。

My individual choice - I'm individually responsible - so I eat myself.
Wǒ gèrén de xuǎnzé, wǒ gèrén fùzé, suǒyǐ wǒ zìjǐ chī.
我个人的选择,我个人负责,所以我自己吃。

However, in China, everything I do ...
Ér zài Zhōngguó, wǒ zuò de měiyíjiàn shìqíng ...
而在中国,我做的每一件事情 ……

all is for the group - all should be responsible towards the group.
dōu shì wèile qúntǐ, dōu shì yào xiàng qúntǐ fùzé de.
都是为了群体,都是要向群体负责的。

So in China - you invite guests to eat a meal, ...
Suǒyǐ zài Zhōngguó nǐ qǐngkè chīfàn, ...
所以在中国你请客吃饭,……

whether or not - can order food - is an art.
huìbúhuì diǎncài, shì yì mén yìshù.
会不会点菜,是一门艺术。

Because you order food - is ordered for everyone - isn't ordered for yourself.
Yīnwéi nǐ diǎncài, shì wèi dàjiā diǎn de, bú shì wèi zìjǐ diǎn de.
因为你点菜,是为大家点的,不是为自己点的。

A:

Mmm, sounds reasonable.
Èn, yánzhīyǒulǐ.
嗯,言之有理。

B:

Ha, we've arrived - "Always With Big King".
Ha, wǒmen dàole, Yǒnghédàwáng.
哈,我们到了,永和大王。

A:

Wow, this restaurant - nice.
Wa, zhègè cānguǎn búcuò a.
哇,这个餐馆不错啊。

B:

It is - suggest we go in.
Shì a, wǒmen jìnqù ba.
是啊,我们进去吧。

A:

You come here to eat breakfast every day?
Nǐ měitiān dōu lái zhèr chī zǎocān ma?
你每天都来这儿吃早餐吗?

B:

More or less.
Chàbùduō.
差不多。

A:

Chinese people - usually eat what for breakfast?
Zhōngguórén zǎocān chángcháng dōu chī shénme?
中国人早餐常常都吃什么?

B:

Soybean milk, Chinese style twisted crullers, steamed stuffed-buns, ...
Dòujiāng, yóutiáo, bāozi, ...
豆浆,油条,包子,……

uncongealed tofu, porridge, congee etc.
dòufǔnǎo, yóuchá, zhōu děngděng.
豆腐脑,油茶,粥等等。
Note: "Yóuchá" is a type of sweetened, fried porridge. Beijing yóuchá is made by roasting flour, then adding sugar, oil from ox or sheep bones, and water.

A:

Wow, so many choices.
Wa, zhème duō xuǎnzé.
哇,这么多选择。

B:

Right - Chinese breakfasts - have many kinds.
Duì, Zhōngguó de zǎocān yǒu hěnduō zhǒng.
对,中国的早餐有很多种。

We have a saying that says ...
Wǒmen yǒu jù súhuà jiào ...
我们有句俗话叫 ……

"breakfast should eat well - lunch should eat full - supper should eat little."
"Zǎocān yào chī hǎo, wǔcān yào chībǎo, wǎncān yào chī shǎo."
"早餐要吃好,午餐要吃饱,晚餐要吃少。"

A:

Oh, eating this way - in relation to health - good - right?
Ō, zhèyàng chī duì shēntǐ hǎo, duì ma?
噢,这样吃对身体好,对吗?

B:

Right, this restaurant's specialties are soybean milk and twisted cruller, ...
Duì, zhègè cānguǎn de tèsè shì dòujiāng hé yóutiáo, ...
对,这个餐馆的特色是豆浆和油条,……

Very delicious. Want to give it a try or not?
Hěnhǎochī. Yàobúyào chángyìcháng a?
很好吃。要不要尝一尝啊?

A:

Ok... mmm!, it's truly great!
Hǎo a... èn, quèshí hěn búcuò!
好啊……嗯,确实很不错!
Note: Quèshí implies that the speaker is confirming that they agree that what the other person is saying is correct.

I will often - come later.
Wǒ yǐhòu huì chánglái.

我以后会常来。 


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Creative Commons License

​This article and the lesson that it presents are both licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

New Mandarin Chinese Lesson: Cultural Differences:...
New Mandarin Chinese Lesson: Cultural Differences:...
 

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Friday, 30 October 2020
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