Advanced - 中国通 (E1616)

A:  我们今天在座的嘉宾呢,是一位美国人。但是我们不用英语交流,也不用翻译,就说纯粹的中文。好了,先请外国朋友来个自我介绍吧。
wǒmen jīntiān zàizuò de jiābīn ne, shì yī wèi Měiguó rén. dànshì wǒmen bù yòng Yīngyǔ jiāoliú, yě bù yòng fānyì, jiù shuō chúncuì de Zhōngwén. hǎo le, xiān qǐng wàiguó péngyou lái gè zìwǒ jièshào ba.
Our guest here today is an American. However, we won't be using English to communicate and we won't be using an interpreter - we'll be using pure Chinese. OK, first let's let our foreign friend introduce himself.
B:  我是美国人,我的中文名字是何思哲。我大学一毕业就来中国了。先去了一个小城市,一边教英文一边学中文。我去过很多地方,还在少林寺学过半年功夫。我对老子和道教很感兴趣。我了解一些中国的潜规则,譬如要在饭桌上谈生意......
wǒ shì Měiguó rén, wǒ de Zhōngwén míngzi shì Hé Sīzhé. wǒ dàxué yī bìyè jiù lái Zhōngguó le. xiān qù le yī gè xiǎo chéngshì, yībiān jiāo Yīngwén yībiān xué Zhōngwén. wǒ qù guo hěn duō dìfang, hái zài Shàolínsì xué guo bàn nián gōngfu. wǒ duì Lǎozǐ hé Dàojiào hěn gǎn xìngqù. wǒ liǎojiě yīxiē Zhōngguó de qiánguīzé, pìrú yào zài fànzhuō shàng tán shēngyì......
I'm an American. My Chinese name is He Sizhe. I came to China right after graduating from university. At first, I went to a small city and taught English while studying Chinese. I've been to many different places and I also studied kung-fu at a Shaolin temple for 6 months. I'm really interested in Lao-Tzu and Taoism. I understand a bit about the unspoken rules of Chinese culture. For example, you have to talk business at the dinner table...
C:  这个老外中文真好。还知道道教和老子。
zhè ge lǎowài Zhōngwén zhēn hǎo. hái zhīdào Dàojiào hé Lǎozǐ.
This foreigner's Chinese really is good. He's even familiar with Taoism and Lao-Tzu.
D:  现在懂中文的老外越来越多了,在公共场合千万别随便议论外国人,说不定你说什么人家都听得懂,搞不好还要回敬你一句。
xiànzài dǒng Zhōngwén de lǎowài yuèláiyuè duō le, zài gōnggòngchǎnghé qiānwàn bié suíbiàn yìlùn wàiguórén, shuōbudìng nǐ shuō shénme rénjiā dōu tīng de dǒng, gǎobuhǎo hái yào huíjìng nǐ yī jù.
These days, more and more foreigners understand Chinese. When you're out in public and around foreigners, by all means, don't talk about them, otherwise they may understand you and maybe even reply.
A:  这位美国朋友中文很地道,在中国的经历也很丰富,可以说是一位“中国通”了。
zhè wèi Měiguó péngyou Zhōngwén hěn dìdao, zài Zhōngguó de jīnglì yě hěn fēngfù, kěyǐ shuō shì yī wèi" Zhōngguó tōng” le.
Our American friend here speaks very authentic Chinese and he's had a lot of experience in China. You could say he's an 'old China hand'.
B:  哪里哪里,过奖了,我算不上“中国通”,我对中国的了解还很少,只知道一些皮毛。
nǎli nǎli, guòjiǎng le, wǒ suàn bu shàng" Zhōngguó tōng”, wǒ duì Zhōngguó de liǎojiě hái hěn shǎo, zhǐ zhīdào yīxiē pímáo.
No, no, no. You flatter me. I'm no 'old China hand'. I don't really know all that much about China, I just have some superficial knowledge.
A:  看,一开口就是中国式的谦虚。下面我要考考你,问你几个中国的俗语。
kàn, yī kāikǒu jiùshì Zhōngguóshì de qiānxū. xiàmian wǒ yào kǎo kao nǐ, wèn nǐ jǐ ge Zhōngguó de súyǔ.
See, as soon as he opens his mouth, out comes Chinese modesty. Next up, we're going to put you to the test - ask you a few questions about Chinese sayings.
B:  我最头疼的就是俗语成语了。
wǒ zuì tóuténg de jiùshì súyǔ chéngyǔ le.
Sayings and idioms give me the worst headache of all.
A:  “鸡蛋里挑骨头”是什么意思?
" jīdàn lǐ tiāo gǔtou” shì shénme yìsi?
What does 'to pick bones from a chicken egg' mean?
B:  呃,这个我真不知道。
è, zhè ge wǒ zhēn bù zhīdào.
Uh, I don't know this one.
C:  呵呵,这家伙被问住了。不过话说回来,没几个人能称得上是“中国通”吧,我们中国人都不敢说自己是“中国通”。
hēhē, zhè jiāhuo bèi wèn zhù le. bùguò huàshuōhuílai, méi jǐ ge rén néng chēng de shàng shì" Zhōngguó tōng” ba, wǒmen Zhōngguórén dōu bùgǎn shuō zìjǐ shì" Zhōngguó tōng”.
Heh-heh. We've stumped him. But to get back on topic, there aren't many people that can be called an 'old China hand'. We Chinese people don't even dare call ourselves 'old China hands'.
D:  有时候就是一句恭维,客气的话罢了。有的老外只会说一两句中文也会被叫做“中国通”的。
yǒushíhou jiùshì yī jù gōngwéi, kèqi de huà bàle. yǒude lǎowài zhī huì shuō yīliǎng jù Zhōngwén yě huì bèi jiàozuò" Zhōngguó tōng” de.
Sometimes it's just a compliment. Just a way of being polite. Some foreigners can only say a few things in Chinese and they get called 'old China hands'.
C:  就是,跟老外夸我们“Your English is so good”是一样的,呵呵。
jiùshì, gēn lǎowài kuā wǒmen" Your English is so good” shì yīyàng de, hēhē.
That's right. It's like when foreigners say, "Your English is so good". Heh-heh.

Key Vocabulary

在座zàizuòto be present
嘉宾jiābīnhonored guest
纯粹chúncuìpure, unadulterated
少林寺ShàolínsìShaolin temple
老子LǎozǐLao-Tzu
道教DàojiàoTaoism
潜规则qiánguīzéunspoken rules
搞不好gǎobuhǎoperhaps, otherwise
回敬huíjìngto do something in response
地道dìdaoauthentic
中国通Zhōngguó tōng'old China hand'
过奖了guòjiǎng leto praise excessively
算不上suàn bu shàngcannot be considered
皮毛pímáosuperficial knowledge
谦虚qiānxūmodest
鸡蛋里挑骨头jīdàn lǐ tiāo gǔtouto nitpick
问住wèn zhùto be stumped
话说回来huàshuōhuílaibut then again, on the other hand
称得上chēng de shàngto be worthy of being called
恭维gōngwéito flatter
罢了bàle'that's all'

Supplementary Vocabulary

表面biǎomiànsurface, appearance
肤浅fūqiǎnsuperficial, shallow
精通jīngtōngto be proficient in
算得上suàndeshàngcan be considered
称不上chēngbushàngto be unworthy of being called

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