0514_Model mandarin

BEAR IN MIND Remember how to speak by saying things you shouldn’t

Autumn 秋 (qiū) is such a special season. In China, autumn is bestowed with many characteristics.

It is golden not only in its color, but also with the value to people. 金秋十月 (jīnqiū shíyuè) means the golden autumn in October describing a gorgeous, comfortable and harvest-time.

People get rid of the hot, endless summer and start to adjust their lifestyle to keep in good health. Doctors of traditional Chinese medicine suggest people to moisten dryness as one of the two opposing principles in nature. Yin is rising, so people will have to nourish Yin. At this moment, it is important to take good care of your lungs. It is good to eat apples, pears, oranges, white radishes, hawthorns, honey and more. Do not eat too many spicy things like ginger. In a phrase, more sour and less spicy.

Some special slang about 秋 (qiū):
老气横秋 (lǎoqì héngqiū) literally means the elder’s pride is filled in the autumn sky, which describes someone acting as an elder or being arrogant on account of one’s seniority.

Another interesting meaning for 秋 (qiū), is about the beginning of autumn. As this period follows summer, but is still very hot, people call it 秋老虎 (qiū lǎohǔ) autumn tiger which means the Hot Autumn.

TALKING POINTS A supplement for grammar practice

Autumn is at the top of China’s ancient poets. They praise the great autumn as it is romantic and beautiful. They express their feelings no matter good or not. Here are some classics.

天凉好个秋 (tiānliáng hǎo gè qiū) is from the famous poet in the Southern Song Dynasty. It means what a great cool autumn.

Here is a classic sentence, which is easy and good to know: 一日不见,如隔三秋 (yīrì bújiàn, rú gé sānqiū). One day of separation is as long as three autumns. It means you think about someone all the time and really miss him/her. A brilliant trick for pursuing a girl!

人有悲欢离合,月有阴晴圆缺,此事古难全。(rén yǒu bēihuān líhé, yuè yǒu yīnqíng yuánquē cǐshì gǔ nánquán). If you happen to know this one, people would sit up and notice. This is from the famous Prelude to Water Melody by Su Shi. The meaning of this sentence is people are in grief at separation and joy in union, the moon dims or shines; this has been hard to fix since ancient times to the present.Autumn is the only season that makes people sigh with such emotion.

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CARTOON CHARACTERS Mnemonic devices that work

1016_model-mandarinYou can easily remember many Chinese characters by making up your own stories. For today’s instance, the top part (西) means “west” and the bottom part (女) “woman.” You can think about a WESTERN (西) WOMAN (女) WANTS (要) a lot of attention. “钱” (qián) means “money,” so “要钱” is “want money” or “begging for money.”

Another popular expression is to want someone to do something.

要 someone 做 (zuò) [do] something
(Wǒde lǎobǎn búyào wǒ jiābān)
E.g.: My boss doesn’t want me to work overtime.

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CANTONESE CORNER Conversation starters for Guangdongers

Caul 2 fung3 hei2 sik6 laap6 mei6(秋风起食腊味)This is an idiomatic proverb. We use this expression when autumn comes. It means we can eat preserved meat when autumn is coming. Preserved meat is the traditional food in Guangdong province and most of the locals love it. (For caul, raise the tone, and take fung from mid to high. And then take hei drop a little, take sik low at the end. Take laap from mid to high and take mei higher and stay steady).

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