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Visiting the Temple of Heaven

MP3 sound recording (link)
路人:你好,欢迎来到北京。 Lùrén: Nǐ hǎo, huānyíng láidào Běijīng.
史密斯先生:谢谢! Shǐmìsī xiānsheng: Xièxie!
路人:你来自哪里? Lùrén: Nǐ láizì nǎlǐ?
史密斯先生:英国。 Shǐmìsī xiānsheng: Yīngguó.
路人:你喜欢中国吗? Lùrén: Nǐ xǐhuān Zhōngguó ma?
史密斯先生:很喜欢。天坛一直这么热闹吗? Shǐmìsī xiānsheng: Hěn xǐhuān. Tiāntán yìzhí zhème rè’nào ma?
路人:是啊,附近的人,特别是老年人,没事儿的时候都喜欢来这儿。 Lùrén: Shì a, fùjìn de rén, tèbié shì lǎoniánrén, méi shìr de shíhou dōu xǐhuān lái zhèr.
史密斯先生:那位老先生唱得可真好啊! Shǐmìsī xiānsheng: Nà wèi lǎo xiānsheng chàng de kě zhēn hǎo a!
路人:这些都是老戏迷啦!他们唱的都很不错。你也喜欢京剧? Lùrén: Zhèxiē dōu shì lǎo xìmí la! Tāmen chàng de dōu hěn búcuò. Nǐ yě xǐhuān Jīngjù?
史密斯先生:我不太懂,听过几次,觉得很特别。 Shǐmìsī xiānsheng: Wǒ bú tài dǒng, tīngguo jǐ cì, juéde hěn tèbié.
路人:京剧可是我们的国粹。你中文说得可真好! Lùrén: Jīngjù kě shì wǒmen de guócuì. Nǐ zhōngwén shuō de kě zhēn hǎo!

史密斯先生:谢谢!我学了好多年了。那边一群人在玩儿什么?看上去挺热闹的。 Shǐmìsī xiānsheng: Xièxie! Wǒ xuéle hǎo duō nián le. Nàbiān yì qún rén zài wár shénme? Kànshàngqù tǐng rènao de.
路人:在下象棋呢,他们每天都要过来下几局。你会下象棋吗? Lùrén: Zài xià xiàngqí ne, tāmen měi tiān dōu yào guòlai xià jǐ jú. Nǐ huì xià xiàngqí ma?
史密斯先生:不会,我只会下国际象棋。 Shǐmìsī xiānsheng: Bú huì. Wǒ zhǐ huì xià guójì xiàngqí.
路人:喜欢的话可以让中国朋友教你。 Lùrén: Xǐhuān de huà kěyǐ ràng Zhōngguó péngyou jiāo nǐ.
史密斯先生:如果有机会的话,我会的。这跳的是什么舞? Shǐmìsī xiānsheng: Rúguǒ yǒu jīhuì de huà, wǒ huì de. Zhè tiào de shì shénme wǔ?
路人:我也不知道。大妈们随便跳的吧。 Lùrén: Wǒ yě bù zhīdào. Dàmāmen suíbiàn tiào de ba.
史密斯先生:看起来很专业呀。 Shǐmìsī xiānsheng: Kànqǐlái hěn zhuānyè ya.
路人:每天都来跳,跳多了就专业啦!年纪大了都想找点事儿做做。 Lùrén: Měi tiān dōu lái tiào, tiào duōle jiù zhuānyè la! Niánjì dàle dōu xiǎng zhǎo diǎn shìr zuòzuo.
史密斯先生:可以理解。我很喜欢这里,真想再多待一会儿。 Shǐmìsī xiānsheng: Kěyǐ lǐjiě. Wǒ hěn xǐhuān zhèlǐ, zhēn xiǎng zài duō dāi yìhuǐr.
路人:那就再待一会儿呗。 Lùrén: Nà jiù zài dāi yìhuǐr bei.
史密斯先生:我还有重要的事情,必须要走啦! Shǐmìsī xiānsheng: Wǒ hái yǒu zhòngyào de shìqing, bìxū yào zǒula!
路人:好的!很高兴能和你聊天! Lùrén: Hǎo de! Hěn gāoxìng néng hé nǐ liáotiān!
史密斯先生:我也很高兴!再见。 Shǐmìsī xiānsheng: Wǒ yě hěn gāoxìng! Zàijiàn.

Vocab and notes


路人 lùrén ‘passer-by’
欢迎 huānyíng ‘welcome’
来自 láizì ‘come from’ (formal)
天坛一直这么热闹吗? Tiāntán yìzhí zhème rè’nào ma? ‘Is the Temple of Heaven always this lively?’
附近的人 fùjìn de rén ‘people nearby’
特别是老年人 tèbié shì lǎoniánrén ‘especially old people’
没事儿的时候 méi shìr de shíhou ‘when they have nothing to do’
那位老先生唱得可真好啊! Nà wèi lǎo xiānsheng chàng de kě zhēn hǎo a! Note that 位 wèi is used as a measure word for people instead of 个 ge in formal situations. Both 可 kě and 真 zhēn mean ‘really’ and come after the verb, 唱 chàng ‘sing’ and 得 de.
戏迷 xìmí ‘fan of Peking Opera’
啦 la = 了 le + 啊 a (sentence final particle)
不错 búcuò ‘not bad, good’
京剧 Jīngjù ‘Peking opera’
懂 dǒng ‘understand’
觉得 juéde ‘feel’
国粹 guócuì ‘essence of a country’
群 qún (measure word for crowds)
看上去挺热闹的。 Kànshàngqù tǐng rènao de. 'It seems quite lively.'
下象棋 xià xiàngqí ‘play Chinese chess’
他们每天都要过来下几局。 Tāmen měi tiān dōu yào guòlai xià jǐ jú. They come over every day to play a few rounds. 局 Jú is a measure word for rounds in a game.
国际 guójì ‘international; (here) ordinary’
喜欢的话可以让中国朋友教你。 Lùrén: Xǐhuān de huà kěyǐ ràng Zhōngguó péngyou jiāo nǐ. ‘If you like it you can get your Chinese friends to teach you.’
机会 jīhuì ‘chance’
大妈们随便跳的吧。 Dàmāmen suíbiàn tiào de ba. 'I guess the ladies are just dancing as they like.'. 跳舞 tiàowǔ ‘to dance’ (Verb Object construction and so other elements can come in the middle, as here.); 大妈们 dàmāmen ‘old ladies’; 随便 suíbiàn ‘as they like’ etc. Note how 吧 ba is used in colloquial Chinese to mean 'I think/I guess' where e.g. 想 xiǎng would be used in more formal Chinese.
专业 zhuānyè ‘professional’
呀 ya = a (espceially after a word ending in –e)
年纪 niánjì ‘age’
找点事儿做做 zhǎo diǎn shìr zuòzuo ‘find something to do’
理解 lǐjiě ‘understand’
那就再待一会儿呗。 ‘Well stay a little longer then.’ 呗 Bei encourages – “why not?”.
重要的事情 zhòngyào de shìqing ‘something important’
必须 bìxū ‘must, have to’
聊天 liáotiān ‘chat’

Mr Smith visits the Temple of Heaven

Stranger: Hello. Welcome to Beijing.
Mr Smith: Thanks!
Stranger: Where are you from?
Mr Smith: England.
Stranger: Do you like China?
Mr Smith: Yes, I like it very much. Is the Temple of Heaven always as lively as this?
Stranger: Yes. People living around here, especially old people, like to come here when they have time.

Mr Smith: That old gentleman sings so well!
Stranger: They’ve been opera fans for a long time. They all sing very well. Do you like Peking Opera?
Mr Smith: Not too much. I’ve only heard it a few times. They are special.
Stranger: Peking Opera is the essence of China. You speak such good Chinese!
Mr Smith: Thank you. I’ve been studying for several years. What is the crowd over there playing? It looks quite lively.
Stranger: They are playing Chinese chess. They come here and play several rounds every day. Can you play Chinese chess?
Mr Smith: No, I can’t. I can only play ordinary chess.
Stranger: You can ask your Chinese friends to teach you if you like.
Mr Smith: I will if I have the opportunity. What sort of dance are they dancing?
Stranger: I don’t know, either. I guess the ladies are just dancing as they like.
Mr Smith: They look very professional.
Stranger: They come here and dance every day. They look professional because they practise often. People want to find something to do when they get old.
Mr Smith: I can understand. I like it here very much. I really hope I can stay here a little longer.
Stranger: Stay, then.
Mr Smith: I have something important to do. I have to go.
Stranger: All right! I enjoyed talking with you.
Mr Smith: So did I. Goodbye!

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