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Pod cast - Speak Chinese
To Speak Chinese, talk about hobby in Chinese, 'should do something' and 'love to do'. Let's speak Chinese around these topics
Speak Chinese
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Topic: Speak Chinese
Sentences: 你有什么爱好?What’s your hobby? You can answer with either 喜欢 or 爱. 得 means have to. 我得减肥, I have to lose weight. 应该 means should. 你应该去睡觉。You should go to sleep.
Level: Zero to Survival Level (see level map)
Tag: Speak Chinese Pod cast mp3
Copyright: CRI FM
Audio Download: Pod cast MP3 (64kbps, 4.7mb)
Allen: Welcome to Chinese Studio on China Radio International. I’m Allen.
Y: And I’m YJ. It's great to be able to share this weekend with you all.
A: Now let's look back upon what we've learned this past week. First, Sentences in the Week.
Sentences in the Week
你有什么爱好?What’s your hobby? You can answer with either 喜欢 or 爱. 得 means have to. 我得减肥, I have to lose weight. 应该 means should. 你应该去睡觉。You should go to sleep.
A: Hey, Yajie, 你有什么爱好 (ni you shen me ai hao)? What’s your hobby? 爱好(ai hao), hobby.
Y: 我爱唱歌。I love singing. 唱歌, singing.
A: Wo ai chang ge, word for word, I- love-singing. So I guess I can use “wo ai” to describe all the hobbies I love.
Y: Correct. And we can also use the verb “to like”, 喜欢, as in, 我喜欢唱歌 (wo xi huan chang ge). Allen, do you remember how to say you don't love or don't like something?
A: Just put 不 (bu) before either爱 (ai) or 喜欢 (xi huan). Bu ai, or bu xi huan.

Conversations (1):

A: Hey Yajie, we learned many ways to 运动, to exercise, this week, such as: 网球 (wang qiu), tennis; and 游泳 (you yong), swimming.
Y: Right. Because I have to lose weight, 我得减肥。得 means have to. 我得减肥. I have to lose weight.
A: So you have to diet and exercise. 你得节食 (dei jie shi),还得运动 (hai dei yun dong)。
Y: Yes, I’ve booked a Yoga lesson. Yoga, 瑜珈. 我得练瑜珈。I have to practice Yoga.
A: So, when you have to do something, a helpful construction is: Subject + 得 (dei) + what the subject has to do.


Conversations (2):

Y: We also learned 应该, which means should. 应该can be shorten to just 该.
A: Yes, I remember. To say someone should do something, you use the construction: subject + 应该/ 该 + what the subject should do.


Conversations (3):

A: 你怎么了 (ni zen me le)?What’s wrong with you?
Y: 我有点儿头疼 (wo you dian tou teng)。I have a bit of a headache.
A: 你应该去看病 (ni ying gai qu kan bing)。You should go to see a doctor.
Y: 不用, No need. Here, 不 changes its tone. Usually 不 is in the fourth tone. But it changes to the second tone when followed by another fourth tone character. Remember, 用 is in the fourth falling tone.
A: So the phrase reads bu (second tone) yong, no need. But in不应该 (bu ying gai) and 不该 (bu gai), which mean should not, the bu remains in the fourth falling tone because the following character are not in the fourth tone.
Y: Hey, Allen, test time. What’s the meaning of 午饭?
A: Lunch.
Y: 上网,
A: To go or be online.
Y: 打扫,
A: To clean.
Y: 房间,
A: A room.
Y: 游泳,
A: To swim.
Y: Very good.Now question of the day: How do you say, “I like going online?”

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Background: A Cameroonian Chinese Crosstalk Fan

There are a couple of foreigners in Beijing who frequently appear on Chinese TV programs. They perform Xiangsheng, or crosstalk, a Chinese comedy genre that requires outstanding spoken language skills and quick-reflex intellect.

Francis Tchiegue from Cameroon is one of them. The 35-year-old is now a PhD candidate at a prominent university in the Chinese capital.

One day, I dropped by Tchiegue's apartment and asked him why he speaks Chinese so well and how he got into crosstalk, an art form few Chinese even dare to try.

It's hard to tell Tchiegue is a foreigner when you speak to him on the phone. He has no problem with the tones in the Chinese language, a struggle for most foreigners when they speak Chinese.

When I arrive at his home in the western part of the city, Tchiegue's TV is playing a well-known Chinese play called "Shajiabang" that originates from eastern China's Jiangsu province. It tells of a story that happened during the anti-Japanese War. Tchiegue tells me the play is his favorite and he himself can sing it!

What Tchiegue is singing is an aria by the leading actor. The actor recalls the help a rural woman offered him when he first organized his troops.

I am stunned by Tchiegue's near-perfect pronunciation and singing. I can't help but wonder how long this man has been in China for his Chinese to be so good.

I could hardly believe it when he told me he only came to the country about three years ago.

"I came to China in late 2003. I went to Beijing Language and Culture University. I studied there for eight months. Then I moved to Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, where I am still studying for my PhD in aeronautics and computer sciences."

Before moving to China, Tchiegue already earned a PhD in mathematics in Cameroon. He then taught math and hosted a TV program about classical music on Cameroon National Radio and Television.

Given these good jobs, why would this man decided to come to China for further study?

"The most important thing in life for me is not the degrees, not just jobs, but happiness. I had a dream to come to China since I was a child. In my childhood, I had Chinese movies I used to watch in Cameroon with people like Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Jet Li. After growing up, I realized these Chinese movies were not all about fighting. There's a complete cultural background, huge cultural background, so I became interested in the background."

He says in those Chinese movies, he also found China had much common ground with Africa and his own country.

"For example, people consider family highly. It's quite close to the way it is in Africa and it's very different from the way in European countries. In China, the family core is very important and it's the same in Africa too. We used to live with our grandparents, uncles, cousins and nephews. These movies brought me closer to China and strengthened my view of coming to China."

Tchiegue realized his dream when he was selected and funded through a scholarship by an exchange program between Cameroon and China.

However, the experience the first couple of months was a little frustrating. Tchiegue can speak French, English and German. Despite his foreign language background, he started to believe it would be impossible for a foreigner to speak Chinese fluently given the difficulties.

"Previously, when I studied German, after only three or four months, I could speak good German. I felt very comfortable wherever I went. But in China, after three or four months, I still couldn't have a discussion in Chinese. I was convinced it was impossible and a terrible language."

However, his mind changed one day while watching TV. He saw a Canadian called Dashan performing Chinese crosstalk with his teacher, Ding Guangquan.

"Dashan was speaking so fluently, I couldn't believe my eyes. I said, 'Wow, this guy is a foreigner. How could he speak so nice, how come?!' I started inquiring around my Chinese classmates. They told me he is Canadian. The guy with him is his teacher, Ding Guangquan. So I said, dele, I have to study with him."

It was Ding Guangquan who helped Tchiegue improve his Chinese remarkably by teaching him crosstalk. However, it wasn't easy to become a student of Ding Guangquan.

If you want to hear more about Francis' story, please join us next time on Africa Express. I am your host, Wei Tong. Bye for now.

Speak Chinese