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
Chu1qu4 Chi1
出去吃

A:

Good morning!
Zao3!
早!
Note: Literally, "early!"

B:

Good morning!
Zao3!
早!

A:

Go do what?
Qu4 gan4shen2me?
去干什么?

B:

Go eat breakfast.
Qu4 chi1 zao3can1.
去吃早餐。

A:

I also haven't eaten breakfast - shall we go together?
Wo3 ye3 mei2 chi1 zao3can1, wo3men yi4qi3 qu4 ba?
我也没吃早餐,我们一起去吧?

B:

Let's go.
Zou3 ba.
走吧。

A:

By the way, I feel - that subject we talked about last time - very interesting.
Dui4le4, wo3 jue2de shang4ci4 wo3men liao2 de na4ge4 hua4ti2 hen3 you3yi4si.
对了,我觉得上次我们聊的那个话题很有意思。

B:

Which subject?
Na3ge4 hua4ti2?
哪个话题?

A:

It's that subject related to - Chinese / western - cultural differences.
Jiu4shi4 na4ge4 guan1yu2 zhong1xi1fang1 wen2hua4 cha1yi4 de hua4ti2.
就是那个关于中西方文化差异的话题。

B:

You really feel - very interesting?
Ni3 zhen1de jue2de hen3 you3yi4si ma?
你真的觉得很有意思吗?

A:

Really extremely interesting!
Zhen1de fei1chang2 you3yi4si!
真的非常有意思!

B:

I feel that Chinese and westerners also have another big difference, ...
Wo3 jue2de Zhong1guo2ren2 he2 xi1fang1ren2 hai2you3 yi2ge4 hen3 da4 de bu4tong2, ...
我觉得中国人和西方人还有一个很大的不同,……

this difference is deeply rooted.
zhe4ge4 bu4tong2 shi4 gen1shen1di4gu4 de.
这个不同是根深蒂固的。
Note: "Gen1shen1di4gu4" is a "cheng2yu3" - 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?
Ni3 neng2 cai1cai shi4 shen2me ma?
你能猜猜是什么吗?

A:

I can't guess - don't keep me guessing ....
Wo3 cai1bu2dao4, bie2 mai4guan1zi1 le ...
我猜不到,别卖关子了……

please tell me!
kuai4 gao4su4 wo3!
快告诉我!

B:

Ha-ha, I'll tell you a story, ...
Ha1ha1, wo3 gei3 ni3 jiang3 yi2ge4 gu4shi4 ba, ...
哈哈,我给你讲一个故事吧,……

is - related to eating.
shi4 he2 chi1fan4 you3guan1 de.
是和吃饭有关的。

That was my first time - with Americans - eat meal ...
Na4 shi4 wo3 di4yi1ci4 he2 Mei3guo2ren2 chi1fan4, ...
那是我第一次和美国人吃饭,……

five Chinese - two Americans - Mike and Tom.
wu3 ge4 Zhong1guo2ren2, liang3 ge4 Mei3guo2ren2, Mike he2 Tom.
五个中国人 ,两个美国人,Mike 和 Tom。

Each of us ordered a dish of food.
Wo3men yi4ren2 dian3 le yi2 dao4 cai4.
我们一人点了一道菜。

The first dish of food - was Mike's Kung Pao Chicken.
Di4yi1 dao4 cai4 shi4 Mike de Gong1bao3ji1ding1.
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, ...
Cai4 shang4lai2 hou4, Mike ba3 cai4 na2dao4 zi4ji3 mian4qian2, ...
菜上来后,Mike把菜拿到自己面前,……

started to eat it himself.
kai1shi3 zi4ji3 chi1qi3lai2.
开始自己吃起来。

We all felt - very amazed.
Wo3men dou1 jue2de hen3 jing1ya4.
我们都觉得很惊讶。

A:

Why amazed - can it be this wasn't right?
Wei4shen2me jing1ya4, zhe4 nan2dao4 bu2dui4 ma?
为什么惊讶,这难道不对吗?

B:

We and you - not the same.
Wo3men he2 ni3men bu4 yi2yang4.
我们和你们不一样。

In China, when friends eat food together, ...
Zai4 Zhong1guo2, dang1 peng2you3men yi4qi3 chi1fan4 de shi2hou, ...
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, ...
mei3ge4 cai4 dou1 shi4 da4jia1 yi4qi3 chi, bu2 shi4 ge4 chi1 ge4 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, ...
er3qie chi1wan2 fan4, jing1chang2 shi4 peng2you3 zhong1 zui4 you3qian2 de ren2 mai3dan1, ...
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.
huo4zhe3 shi4 lun2liu2 mai3dan1.
或者是轮流买单。

We don't - each pays each's money.
Wo3men bu2hui4 ge4 fu4 ge4 de qian2.
我们不会各付各的钱。

A:

Oh, this definitely is - with us - not the same.
O1, zhe4 que4shi2 he2 wo3men bu4 yi2yang4.
噢,这确实和我们不一样。

B:

Actually, this is a very profound issue.
Qi2shi2, zhe4 shi4 yi2ge4 hen3 shen1ke4 de wen4ti2.
其实,这是一个很深刻的问题。

This shows westerners emphasize individual consciousness, ...
Zhe4 biao3ming2 xi1fang1ren2 zhu4zhong4 ge4ti3 yi4shi4, ...
这表明西方人注重个体意识,……

but Chinese emphasize group consciousness.
er2 Zhong1guo2ren2 zhu4zhong4 qun2ti3 yi4shi.
而中国人注重群体意识。

In the West, the individual is society's smallest unit.
Zai4 xi1fang1, ge4ren2 shi4 she4hui4 de zui4xiao3 dan1wei4.
在西方,个人是社会的最小单位。

Everyone's behavior - all come from oneself - decide and choose, ...
Mei3ge4ren2 de xing2wei2 dou1 you2 zi4ji3 lai2 jue2ding3 he2 xuan3ze2, ...
每个人的行为都由自己来决定和选择,……

also by oneself - be responsible.
bing4 you2 zi4ji3 fu4ze2.
并由自己负责。

For example - eat what? Kung Pao Chicken.
Bi3fang1shuo1, chi1 shen2me? Gong1bao3ji1ding1.
比方说,吃什么?宫保鸡丁。

My individual choice - I'm individually responsible - so I eat myself.
Wo3 ge4ren2 de xuan3ze2, wo3 ge4ren2 fu4ze2, suo3yi3 wo3 zi4ji3 chi1.
我个人的选择,我个人负责,所以我自己吃。

However, in China, everything I do ...
Er2 zai4 Zhong1guo2, wo3 zuo4 de mei3yi2jian4 shi4qing2 ...
而在中国,我做的每一件事情 ……

all is for the group - all should be responsible towards the group.
dou1 shi4 wei4le qun2ti3, dou1 shi4 yao4 xiang4 qun2ti3 fu4ze2 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, ...
Suo3yi3 zai4 Zhong1guo2 ni3 qing3ke4 chi1fan4, ...
所以在中国你请客吃饭,……

whether or not - can order food - is an art.
hui4bu2hui4 dian3cai4, shi4 yi4 men2 yi4shu4.
会不会点菜,是一门艺术。

Because you order food - is ordered for everyone - isn't ordered for yourself.
Yin1wei2 ni3 dian3cai4, shi4 wei4 da4jia1 dian3 de, bu2 shi4 wei4 zi4ji3 dian3 de.
因为你点菜,是为大家点的,不是为自己点的。

A:

Mmm, sounds reasonable.
En4, yan2zhi1you3li3.
嗯,言之有理。

B:

Ha, we've arrived - "Always With Big King".
Ha, wo3men dao4le, Yong3he2da4wang2.
哈,我们到了,永和大王。

A:

Wow, this restaurant - nice.
Wa, zhe4ge4 can1guan3 bu2cuo4 a.
哇,这个餐馆不错啊。

B:

It is - suggest we go in.
Shi4 a, wo3men jin4qu4 ba.
是啊,我们进去吧。

A:

You come here to eat breakfast every day?
Ni3 mei3tian1 dou1 lai2 zher4 chi1 zao3can1 ma?
你每天都来这儿吃早餐吗?

B:

More or less.
Cha4bu4duo1.
差不多。

A:

Chinese people - usually eat what for breakfast?
Zhong1guo2ren2 zao3can1 chang2chang2 dou1 chi1 shen2me?
中国人早餐常常都吃什么?

B:

Soybean milk, Chinese style twisted crullers, steamed stuffed-buns, ...
Dou4jiang1, you2tiao2, bao1zi, ...
豆浆,油条,包子,……

uncongealed tofu, porridge, congee etc.
dou4fu3nao3, you2cha2, zhou1 deng3deng3.
豆腐脑,油茶,粥等等。
Note: "You2cha2" is a type of sweetened, fried porridge. Beijing you2cha2 is made by roasting flour, then adding sugar, oil from ox or sheep bones, and water.

A:

Wow, so many choices.
Wa, zhe4me duo1 xuan3ze2.
哇,这么多选择。

B:

Right - Chinese breakfasts - have many kinds.
Dui4, Zhong1guo2 de zao3can1 you3 hen3duo1 zhong3.
对,中国的早餐有很多种。

We have a saying that says ...
Wo3men you3 ju4 su2hua4 jiao4 ...
我们有句俗话叫 ……

"breakfast should eat well - lunch should eat full - supper should eat little."
"Zao3can1 yao4 chi1 hao3, wu3can1 yao4 chi1bao3, wan3can1 yao4 chi1 shao3."
"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?
O1, zhe4yang4 chi1 dui4 shen1ti3 hao3, dui4 ma?
噢,这样吃对身体好,对吗?

B:

Right, this restaurant's specialties are soybean milk and twisted cruller, ...
Dui4, zhe4ge4 can1guan3 de te4se4 shi4 dou4jiang1 he2 you2tiao2, ...
对,这个餐馆的特色是豆浆和油条,……

Very delicious. Want to give it a try or not?
Hen3hao3chi1. Yao4bu2yao4 chang2yi4chang2 a?
很好吃。要不要尝一尝啊?

A:

Ok... mmm!, it's truly great!
Hao3 a... en4, que4shi2 hen3 bu2cuo4!
好啊……嗯,确实很不错!
Note: Que4shi2 implies that the speaker is confirming that they agree that what the other person is saying is correct.

I will often - come later.
Wo3 yi3hou4 hui4 chang2lai2.

我以后会常来。 


About Language Mentor

You can study this lesson, and many others, using Language Mentor - an audio-centric app that is designed to be used while your hands and eyes are busy doing other things. You can download it at the Android Play Store and the iPhone App Store.


Creative Commons License

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