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Pod cast - Chinese Lesson
Learn Chinese Lesson, how to ask questions. Let's learn Chinese Lesson around these topics
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Topic: Chinese Lesson
Vocabulary: 老师 teacher, 医生 doctor, 护士 nurse
Function: How to ask questions - 她是老师吗?Is she a teacher? 您是医生吗?Are you a doctor? 他是护士吗?Is he a nurse?
Level: Zero to Survival Level (see level map)
Tag: Chinese Lesson Pod cast mp3
Copyright: CRI FM
Audio Download: Pod cast MP3 (64kbps, 4.7mb)
Yajie: Hello, everyone. Welcome to the first Chinese Studio of the new week 欢乐汉语. I’m Yajie.
Allen: And I’m Allen. This week, we'll be learning useful sentence structures for asking questions. For example, today we'll be learning how to ask if someone has a certain profession.
Y: Yes. Remember, Allen, when you saw my friend and started asking me all these questions about her? You asked, “Is she a teacher?” because you thought she was so warm and kind? Well, today we'll learn how to ask that question in Chinese. If you learn, maybe I'll tell you the answer.
A: Really, then I'll try my best. Let's get started with the key words of the day.
Key words of the day
Today, we’ll learn how to deliver a question in Chinese. 她是老师吗?Is she a teacher? 您是医生吗?Are you a doctor? 他是护士吗?Is he a nurse? All in today’s Chinese Studio.
Y: 她是老师吗? Is she a teacher?
A: 她是老师吗? (Ta shi laoshi ma?)
Y: T-a, first tone, 她, means she.
A: 她 (ta). Interestingly, I found that he in Chinese is also pronounced “ta”, right?
Y: Exactly. They are homonyms. “Ta”, she, and “ta”, he, both sound the same, but the characters are written differently.
A: Oh, I see. No wonder so many Chinese confuse he and she when speaking English. In Chinese, they only have to remember one word, “ta”.
Y: Right. Now, let's move to the next word, sh-i, fourth tone, 是, which means is.
A: 是, sh-i, is.
Y: Next, 老师, which means teacher. 老师 (laoshi).
A: 老师 (laoshi), teacher.
Y: 她是老师吗? Is she a teacher?
A: 她是老师吗? (Ta shi laoshi ma?)
Y: Then, if she is a teacher, the person you're asking the question to would reply 她是老师 (ta shi laoshi), She is a teacher.
A: 她是老师吗? (Ta shi laoshi ma?) 她是老师 (ta shi laoshi). Oh, the only difference between question and statement, besides tone, is that with the question you have a 吗 (ma) at the end.
Y: Very observant, Allen. 吗 (ma) is very often the only difference between asking a question and making a statement in Chinese. Putting 吗 (ma) at the end of a statement changes it into a question.
A: 她是老师 (ta shi laoshi) She is a teacher. 她是老师吗? (Ta shi laoshi ma?) Is she a teacher?

Conversations (1):

A: Yajie, could you please tell me what the Chinese is for doctor?
Y: It’s 医生 (yisheng). Yi, 医; sh-eng, 生. Both are in the first tone.
A: 医生 (yisheng).
Y: 我是医生 (wo shi yisheng), I am a doctor.
A: 我是医生 (wo shi yisheng).
Y: And nurse in Chinese is 护士 (hushi).
A: 护士 (hushi).
Y: H-u, fourth tone, 护, and sh-i, 士.. But here士 is in the light tone. So it’s护士 (hushi).
A: 护士 (hushi).
Y: How do you say, “He is a nurse,” Allen?
A: 他是护士 (ta shi hushi).
Y: How about, “She is a nurse?”
A: Also 她是护士 (ta shi hushi). Come on Yajie, he and she in Chinese are only written differently.


Conversations (2):

Key words Reminder
她是老师吗?Is she a teacher? 您是医生吗?Are you a doctor? 他是护士吗?Is he a nurse?

Y: Well, it's time to wrap up this edition of Chinese Studio.Now question of the day: How do you say “Is he a doctor?”in Chinese?

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Background: Chinese Premier Has Classes with Pupils Prior to Teachers' Day

An elementary school in Beijing's downtown area received a visit from Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Thursday morning to coincide with the 22nd National Teachers' Day of China which falls on Sept. 10 each year.

Wen joined a class of grade five students in a Chinese language lesson, which lasted 40 minutes.

Wen paid tribute to teachers across the country at a symposium which was held after the class with headteachers and teachers of primary, secondary and vocational schools in the capital.

The teachers put forward their suggestions on future educational reform and development.

Wen pointed out that promoting the all-round development of students does not mean there is no longer a need for an appraisal system. We are in dire need of a "comprehensive and regular" appraisal system for their character building, physical training and intellectual performance, he said.

China's education system has focused on intellectual performance for decades. In recent years, however, the education authorities have been trying to boost the all-round performance of students.

"Only if we respect teachers and highlight the importance of education, can our country flourish," Wen said.

Among those who accompany the premier were Liu Qi, member of the Political Bureau of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) Central Committee and secretary of the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee, Chen Zhili, state councilor, Zhou Ji, minister of Education, and Wang Qishan, mayor of Beijing.

Chinese Lesson