In this segment, you can learn to ask questions in Chinese, including “What happened? 发生什么事了?”, “What is this sound? 这是什么声音?”, “What are they doing? 他们在干什么?”
Mandarin transcript (in pinyin and characters) for Peppa Pig S01E43 “Tidy Up” Part 1:
- zhěnglǐ fángjiān
- pèiqí hé qiáozhì zài wòshì lǐ wánr wánjù
- qiáozhì, wǒmen lái wán wán’ǒu hé kǒnglóng ba
- zhèshì shénme shēngyīn ya
- tīngshàngqu xiàng yìtóu kǒngbù de guàishòu
- shì yìtóu kǒnglóng! jiùmìng, jiùmìng!
- zhū bàba zài kètīng lǐmiàn kàn bàozhǐ
- zhū māma zài kàn shū
- tāmen liǎnggè rén zài gànshénme
- pèiqí, qiáozhì, fāshēng shénme shì le
- zhèshì shénme shēngyīn na
Show Notes for Learn Chinese with Peppa Pig Season 01 Episode 43 Part 1
- 整理 = zhěnglǐ, to tidy up
- 房间 = fángjiān, room
pèiqí hé qiáozhì zài wòshì lǐ wánr wánjù
佩奇 和 乔治 在 卧室 里 玩儿 玩具
Peppa and George are playing with toys
- 佩奇 = pèiqí, Peppa Pig
- 和 = hé, and
- 乔治 = qiáozhì, George Pig
- 在 = zài, indicating the activity is ongoing.
- 在 also often means at/on/in, used for location. In this sentence, even I was mistaken at a first glance and thought of “在卧室里” as a set phrase. For example, if you ask “Where is Peppa Pig?” I could answer “在卧室里”, in the bedroom. However, in our sentence, 在 isn’t for indicating location.
- Let’s try if we can remove the location description from this sentence. Contrast “佩奇和乔治玩儿玩具” and ”佩奇和乔治在玩儿玩具”: The first one is just “they play with toys” while the latter one is “they are playing with toys”, the latter is obviously more fitting. Here, I’d like to highlight that 在 in our sentence is not for indicating location, rather, it turns “to play” into “playing” to indicate the playing is currently ongoing.
- 卧室 = wòshì, bedroom
- 里 = lǐ, inside
- 玩 = wán, to play
- 玩具 = wánjù, toy
qiáozhì, wǒmen lái wán wán’ǒu hé kǒnglóng ba
乔治 ， 我们 来 玩 玩偶 和 恐龙 吧
George, let’s play with the doll and the dinosaur.
- 我们 = wǒmen, we
- 来 = lái, to come
- people + 来 + verb + 吧 is a common way to suggest a group of people to do something. For example, S01E46 Part 2
- 玩偶 = wán’ǒu, doll. You can also call a doll 娃娃 = wáwá. I used to 玩娃娃 when I was a little girl. (I separated the two characters in pinyin in case you read it wá nǒu, but nǒu isn’t valid pinyin.)
- 恐龙 = kǒnglóng, dinosaur
- 吧 = ba, indicating the sentence is a suggestion
zhèshì shénme shēngyīn ya
这是 什么 声音 呀
What’s this sound?
- 这 = zhè, this
- 是 = shì, is
- 什么 = shénme, something
- 这是什么 = zhèshì shénme, what is this? This phrase can be directly used to ask about an object if you don’t know what the object is at all.
- 声音 = shēngyīn, sound. You can add noun to the 这是什么 sentence if you already know the name of the object you’re inquiring about but you want to know more details. For example,
- 这是什么颜色 = zhè shì shénme yánsè, what is this color?
- 这是什么水果 = zhè shì shénme shuǐguǒ, what is this fruit?
- 呀 = ya, used at the end of a question to make it more casual.
- I want to note that you can’t use 吗 in here, even though you’ve seen 吗 used in questions many times.
- 吗 turns a statement into a question, but it’s not typically added to a question itself.
- By contrast, 呀 is typically added to a question.
- 这是什么声音 by itself is already a valid question (essentially the same question), by adding 呀, the sentence is more casual sounding.
tīngshàngqu xiàng yìtóu kǒngbù de guàishòu
听上去 像 一头 恐怖 的 怪兽
It sounds like it’s a scary monster
- 听上去 = tīngshàngqu, it sounds like… 听上去 and 听起来 can be used interchangeably here.
- 像 = xiàng, like
- 听上去像 is a set phrase for “it sounds like…”.
- Optional explanation: In a way you can interpret this sentence as “the sound, if heard, sounds like a scary monster” I know this is super awkward English, but the 听上去 is essentially the “if heard” part. Read more about 起来 which has similar usage.
- 一 = yì, one
- 头 = tóu, the measure word for many large animals such as elephants. Typically 一只 is for smaller animals.
- 恐怖 = kǒngbù de, scary
- 怪兽 = guàishòu, monster
shì yìtóu kǒnglóng! jiùmìng! jiùmìng!
是 一头 恐龙 ！ 救命！ 救命！
It’s a dinosaur! Help! Help!
- 是 = shì, is. The “it” or 它 in “it is” is omitted in this sentence.
- 救 = jiù, rescue
- 命 = mìng, life
- 救命 = jiùmìng, crying for help, usually in a distressed life and death situation. If you’re just asking for regular help you’d use 帮 = bāng.
zhū bàba zài kètīng lǐmiàn kàn bàozhǐ
猪 爸爸 在 客厅 里面 看报 纸
Daddy Pig is reading the newspaper in the living room.
- 猪爸爸 = zhū bàba, Daddy Pig
- 客 = kè, guest
- 客厅 = kètīng, the living room, 客厅 or 厅 is usually the largest area on the main floor where you can hang out with your family or friends
- 里面 = lǐmiàn, inside, you can use 里 as well, no difference.
- 看 = kàn, to read
- 报纸 = bàozhǐ, newspaper
- Think about what 在 means here! (Hint: Scroll up.)
zhū māma zài kàn shū
猪 妈妈 在 看书
Mummy Pig is reading a book.
- 猪妈妈 = zhū māma, Mummy Pig
- 书 = shū, book
tāmen liǎnggè rén zài gànshénme
他们 两个 人 在 干什么？
What are those two doing?
- 他们 = tāmen, they
- 两 = liǎng, two of. Don’t use 二! Read my post on two and two hundred in Chinese
- 个 = gè, the measure word for people
- 人 = rén, people
- 干 = gàn, a colloquial expression for “to do”. Informal version of 做 = zuò, to do.
- person / people + 在干什么, what is/are person/people doing? An even more colloquial expression for this is 干嘛 = gàn má, for example, 他们在干嘛？
pèiqí、 qiáozhì, fāshēng shénme shì le
佩奇 、 乔治 ， 发生 什么 事 了？
Peppa, Geroge, what happened?
- 发生 = fāshēng, to happen
- 事 = shì, activity, thing
- 了 = le, indicating past tense
- 发生什么事了 is a set phrase for asking what happened. You may also use 怎么了？ = zěnmeliǎo, which is similar to “what’s up?”
zhèshì shénme shēngyīn na
这是 什么 声音 哪？
What’s this sound?
- 哪 = na, it’s quite similar to 呀. Compared to 呀, my impression is that 哪 is more likely to be used by older people. It could make a person sound old to me.