Model Mandarin: July 2016

Model mandarin

BEAR IN MIND Learn by saying things you shouldn’t

It’s not just hot. It’s Africa hot! This weather is terrible. However, it is a good time to learn some commonly used and interesting expressions about the hot weather.

Other than好热(hǎorè), 热死了(rè sǐle)which are too common to use, Chinese has other high-class expressions to state that the weather is very hot.

(lièrì yányán)
the scorching hot sun

(kùshǔ nánnài)
unbearably hot summer

汗流浃背 (hànliú jiābèi)
with sweat streaming down one’s back

Others which are just more straightway and simple are more of use.

It is popular to say热成狗(rè chénɡ ɡǒu) – “feel hot like a dog” nowadays as becoming a dog is like a helpless, but fashionable way of living.

If you think the weather is just sweltering you say外面像蒸笼一样(Wàimiàn xiànɡ zhēnɡlónɡ yíyànɡ), which means the outside world is like a steamer. And it is fun to imply that the extremely high temperature is killing people:

(Mǎlù shɑnɡ kěyǐ jiān jīdàn le).
You can fry eggs on the road.

(Chēɡài shànɡ dōu kěyǐ kǎoròu le).
We can barbecue on the car bonnet.

TALKING POINTS A supplement for grammar practice

Weather is also one of Chinese people’s favorite topics to talk about. There are tons of Chinese words and phrases you could use in conversations. To start talking about the climate and the current weather condition in Chinese, you should know how to ask questions like this:

今天的天气预报怎么说(Jīntiān de tiānqì yùbào zěnme shuō)?
What’s the weather forecast for today?

天气怎么样(Tiānqì zěnmeyànɡ)?
How is the weather?

外边怎么样(Wàibiān zěnmeyànɡ)?
What’s it like outside?

There are a lot of possible answers when someone ask the weather. Make sure you learn how to describe bad ones so that you can explain why you are late.

下雨了(Xiàyǔ le).
It’s raining.

下雪了(Xiàxuě le).
It’s snowing.

天气不好(Tiānqì bù hǎo).
The weather is not good.

Do you want to learn more weather in Chinese? Check out cool video


CARTOON CHARACTERS Mnemonic devices that work


0716_model-mandarinHi, there!
It is not really difficult to learn Chinese characters, because many basic Chinese characters are actually visual representations of concrete things and objects such as fire 火, tree 木, and the mountain 山.

Today the character we are going to learn is “xià” (下) meaning “down and below”. Looking at the character, you may find it looks like something falling below the horizon. We need another word such as “”(去) to make it a phrase. So “xiàqu” (下去) means “go down”.

We mentioned the phrase for “raining” is 下雨(xiàyǔ). 雨 is rain. 雨 looks like a picture: Outside the window it is raining, right?


CANTONESE CORNER Guangdong conversation starters 

hou3 guk4 (好焗) — The meaning of this expression is stuffy. This is an idiomatic expression in Cantonese. In summer, we feel hot and say: It is very stuffy and it is so hot. (今日好焗,好热 gam1 jat6 hou3 guk4, hou3 jit6). What’s more, we also can say: it’s raining fire (焗死啦 guk4 sei2 laa1)! (For hou, raise the tone from mid to high. And then guk drop low at the end).

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