Saturday, December 24, 2011

中文 - Week 10 (New Practical Chinese Reader 1)

The book I am using is New Practical Chinese Reader 1 by the Beijing Language and Culture University Press. Volume 1 of the book has 14 lessons. Target end date is April 13, 2012.

MONDAY: Lesson Five – 餐厅在哪儿
Today we discuss your whereabouts! To ask where someone is, you have to use the question word where 在哪儿. Just put the name of the person in front (or personal pronoun if you like). Where are you would be 你在哪儿This is usually a follow up question for Is ---- in? I mean, when you go to someone’s house and you want to know if he is there, or when you call someone on the phone. You ask: --- 在吗Back to the first topic, you could use that construction with places as well if you want to ask where it is located. Where is the dorm would be 宿舍在哪儿

TUESDAY: Lesson Five – 餐厅在哪儿
What if you have no idea? How do you say so? Easy, just say I don’t know which would be 我不知道. Before that you could apologize for not knowing (as if it’s your fault, duh) just for politeness’ sake. You may want to begin with 对不起 which is one of the several ways of saying Sorry in Mandarin.

WEDNESDAY: Lesson Five – 餐厅在哪儿
Okay, so after asking where a place is, you might want to know how to get there. If you are in a building, this comes in handy. First, let us discuss . This is a high frequency “verb” in Mandarin which expresses location. If you hear it, expect to hear a place, or something. Well, I guess we beginners think of it that way. It is then followed by the location. If you are in a building, floor would be . Number would be which could be the room number. In English we say second floor room number 200. In Mandarin they say 二层二OO. No, they don’t say two hundred. They just say the numerals one after the other. Don’t complain, they are all single syllables anyway. Easier too! You know how difficult larger numbers could be.

THURSDAY: Lesson Five – 餐厅在哪儿
You arrived late because you got lost. It happens. Apologize! You already know how. And then state the obvious: I arrived late, which would be 我来晚了. The teacher knows you arrived late. The class knows you arrived late. You know you arrived late. But you know, just apologize and say so. In English we also do that with “Sorry, I arrived late!”

FRIDAY: Lesson Five – 餐厅在哪儿
There isn’t much to discuss about grammar this week, which is what makes me love this book more, hahaha! It’s all about question words. In English they always come first. In Mandarin they have the tendency to come in last, but that really depends on the word they are replacing. This means that their appearance would greatly depend on that. Tip? Say the declarative sentence, or what it would seem to be, and then replace the person/time/location/adjective/whatever with the corresponding interrogative pronoun. In English if you ask “Who am I?” In Mandarin it would be “I am who?” because the declarative sentence would be “I am ---“ so you just replace that.

For next week I will be covering lesson six. We are making progress! The goal is to pass the lowest level of the HSK in September 2012! =)

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