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Mandarin Chinese - Lesson 5 - Food

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中文 - 课数五 - 食物

Zhōngwén - kè shù wǔ - shíwù


你好! Today we are going to learn all about food and drink (饮食) in Mandarin. Note that I am going to be using the alternative form of marking tones for this lesson using numbers. If you are confused:

  • 1st Tone: ā or a1
  • 2nd Tone: á or a2
  • 3rd Tone: ǎ or a3
  • 4th Tone: à or a4

If you are still confused please see this lesson. Lemme know what you think of it. I'm still debating whether to use it or not in the course.


Culture tips

Requests

Chinese people are known for their hospitality. When you visit you will often be told to sit down and have something to drink. Tea is usually the drink of choice and is the national drink of China. There are many different types of tea but most people drink black and green tea without milk.

The Chinese word for please is "请" (qing3) and always goes at the start of a request. For example:

  • 请进! - Please, come in. (qing3 jin2)
  • 请坐!- Please, sit down (qing3 zuo4)
  • 请喝茶! - Please, have a cup of tea [lit drink tea] (qing3 he1 cha2)

Setting the Table

This can confuse foreigners. Chinese don't set the table like this:

Instead you set it like this:

Chinese people usually take bite-sized morsels of food from different bowls on the table using chopsticks (筷子). The bowl (碗) usually contains rice which can also be eaten with chopsticks. The spoon (勺子) is used to eat soup.


Some useful vocab

Here are some useful words for food and drink in Chinese.

Food / 食物 / shi2wu4

  • 米饭 - Rice (mi3fan4)
  • 面条 - Noodles (mian4tiao2)
  • 肉 - Meat (rou4)
  • 鸡 - Chicken (ji1)
  • 鱼 - Fish (yu2)
  • 鸭 - Duck (ya1)
  • 水果 - Fruit (shui3guo3)
  • 蔬菜 - Vegetables (shu1cai4)
  • 点心 - Dim Sum (dian3xin1)
  • 饺子 - Dumplings (ziao3zi)

Drinks / 饮料 / yin3liao4

  • 咖啡 - Coffee (ka1fei1)
  • 茶 - Tea (cha2)
  • 果汁 - Juice [to be specific fruit juice] (guo3zhi1)
  • 矿泉水 - Mineral Water (kuang4quan2shui3)

Phrases Taught in This Skill:

  • 请进! - Please, come in. (qing3 jin2)
  • 请坐!- Please, sit down (qing3 zuo4)
  • 请喝茶! - Please, have a cup of tea (qing3 he1 cha2)

Words Taught in This Skill:

  • 请 - Please (qing3)
  • 叉 - Fork (cha1)
  • 刀 - Knife (dao1)
  • 盘子 - Plate (pan2zi)
  • 碗 - Bowl (wan3)
  • 筷子 - Chopsticks (kuai4zi)
  • 勺子 - Spoon (shao2zi)
  • 食物 - Food (shi2wu4)
  • 米饭 - Rice (mi3fan4)
  • 面条 - Noodles (mian4tiao2)
  • 肉 - Meat (rou4)
  • 鸡 - Chicken (ji1)
  • 鱼 - Fish (yu2)
  • 鸭 - Duck (ya1)
  • 水果 - Fruit (shui3guo3)
  • 蔬菜 - Vegetables (shu1cai4)
  • 点心 - Dim Sum (dian3xin1)
  • 饺子 - Dumplings (ziao3zi)
  • 饮料 - Drinks (yin3liao4)
  • 咖啡 - Coffee (ka1fei1)
  • 茶 - Tea (cha2)
  • 果汁 - Juice (guo3zhi1)
  • 矿泉水 - Mineral Water (kuang4quan2shui3)

That's all for now!

目前为止就这样了!

Mùqián wéizhǐ jiù zhèyàngle!


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