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Author: Bernard

Tips for dining out in China

Tips for dining out in China

Attention Foodies!

China is truly one of the world’s great food cultures, which means a huge range of cuisines for diners to choose from. Spicy, sweet, sour, fragrant, Western, Asian, traditional, fusion – the streets and malls of China are littered with restaurants filled with mouth-watering dishes just begging to be tried. You could live there your whole life and still wouldn’t be able to sample everything on offer… but that would be a poor excuse for not trying!

 

Choices, Choices

Once you have chosen your restaurant, the first obstacle you may run into is the menu – some menus will have pictures of the food, some won’t. Some will have helpful English translations (or sometimes not so helpful – what do you think ‘Buddha Jumps Over The Wall’ contains?) and some won’t. You will also notice the sheer range of dishes on offer – Chinese diners expect choice, and some menus can run to 20 or more pages! It can be overwhelming, even for seasoned expats.

 

yumcha, dim sum in bamboo steamer, chinese cuisine
yumcha, dim sum in bamboo steamer, chinese cuisine

A Helping Hand

So what can you do if you don’t read Chinese characters? For a lot of tourists or new arrivals this is a problem, and may mean they don’t get to sample some of the best China has to offer. Need help? Here are some very common food related Chinese characters to look for, along with their pinyin pronunciations and English translations:

肉(ròu): meat.

鱼(yú): fish.

汤(tāng): soup

饭(fàn): rice, fried rice.

面(miàn): noodles

We also have a lesson just designed for you.

xiānsheng, nǐ yào chī shénme?

A: 先生,你要吃什么?

Sir, what do you want to eat?

e… wǒ yào zhè gè, zhè gè, zhè gè.

B:额……我要这个,这个,这个。

Eh…I want this, this, and this.

a? hǎo de.

A:啊?好的。

Ah? All right.

zhè shì nín de cài.

A:这是您的菜。

These are your dishes.

a? dōu shì tāng.

B:啊?都是汤!

Ah? They’re all soup!

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Garçon!

Once you have decided what you want, you need to order it. Actually ordering food in China can be a difficult process for the uninitiated, and there are some cultural differences to be aware of. For example, in the West, diners usually call the waiters discreetly with a gesture, or wait for them to pass the table. Try this in China and you will sit at an empty table, with an empty stomach! In China, you must overcome your inhibitions and shout the 服务员 (fú wù yuán) whenever you need service – in a busy restaurant you may need to bellow it across the heads of other diners, but don’t worry – no one will mind. Dining out in China is a very lively, bustling experience, noisy and exciting, what the Chinese call 热闹 (rè nào) – so don’t be shy, jump right in and enjoy!

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One of the most effective tools we’ve found recently is called HelloChinese (no relation to HelloTalk). It’s an app for learning Chinese through self guided videos, audio clips, and more. HelloChinese has an entire section dedicated to food and dining. After mastering this, you’ll be ordering Chinese food like a local!

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The app is designed in a fun and highly effective way:

  • Game-based Chinese learning
  • Immersion lessons help you to have real-life, practical conversations quickly
  • Innovative self-adaptive learning games that incorporate Chinese cultural education
  • Speech recognition corrects your pronunciation
  • Handwriting specially designed to learn Chinese characters at a faster rate

 

Check out www.hellochinese.cc to download their free app on iOS or Android.

 

Learning Korean: The first thing you should learn in Korean.

Learning Korean: The first thing you should learn in Korean.

A lot of students try to learn Korean, and they fail to get past the basics. From my experience with thousands of students, I know a way to get past that point where most people give Korean up. It starts with your very first approach to Korean which will set you down a fun, and rewarding language learning path. Before I get into the Korean content, let me quickly ask you a question: have you ever started to learn Korean, with a book or class, and then quickly lost motivation to learn?

The answer for most people is YES. People lose motivation to learn Korean after they’ve started studying because they first start with the nuts and bolts of the language. They start with the alphabet, then simple sentence structure and vocabulary, etc. etc. Yes, the nuts and bolts are absolutely necessary, BUT, from what I’ve seen with thousands of students, the continued desire to learn the language is just as necessary. What good is knowledge of the Korean alphabet if you don’t care enough to use it?

The first thing I always teach the students in my Korean workshops is how to make a bare bones self introduction.  Even if they can’t read the Korean Alphabet (Hangul 한글) I always teach this lesson first. Before I go any further about the self introduction, it’s really important that you understand why it’s so important. This is because a Korean self introduction is relevant, repetitive and interactive.

Relevant

We learn Korean because we want to talk with Koreans and know more about Korean culture, right? The first thing you do when you meet someone new is make a self introduction, am I wrong? When I see the students in my Korean workshop, I can see them mentally preparing themselves and visualizing themselves using the self-introduction phrases I teach them.

Repetitive

Unlike grammar forms and vocabulary, you will use a self-introduction with every single Korean that you meet (in real life or on HelloTalk). This is perfect because you’re forced to pull these phrases out of your memory and say (or type) them in a way that can be understood. The best part is you’ll only get better, and more confident with time.

Interactive

When I see my students use these phrases just minutes after I teach them, I can see their eyes light up. After awkwardly asking in Korean for a new friend’s name, they quickly reach back into their memory to provide their own name in turn. This is communication. The short exchange of 4 or 5 questions feels like a conversation. And as my students progress, I can see them start tweaking their bare bones self-introduction into something a bit more personal and complex. The self introduction serves as a framework where they can tack on extra phrases and words here and there.

Isn’t this what language is about? We don’t have to wait until we have all the grammar and vocabulary that we just might need to use. We can start to speak in Korean immediately with a self introduction.

 

So, let’s get into it. It’s really simple. Below is a chart with the questions and answers that you WILL encounter in just about every self-introduction.  

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To have a native Korean teacher explain and train you on these expressions, you can join our Korean workshop in Gangnam or Hongdae. Also, you can always use the Language Exchange App HelloTalk to have a native Korean help you with them online.

 

David Woodworth
Founder at Global Seoul Mates

 

国外也过端午!? 关于端午的那些事儿

国外也过端午!? 关于端午的那些事儿

你知道吗?除了华人外,还有其他国家的小伙伴也在今天过端午节哟。小编现在就带你来细数一下端午节的那些事。

每年农历的五月初五是端午节,它的发源有很多传说,从最原始的图腾崇拜到纪念屈原投江,从驱邪避魔到祭祀神灵,各地以及各国的发源传说不一样,所以不要认为只有纪念屈原这一种说法 ^_^

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在亚洲,除了中国大陆地区,在农历五月五日这天还有韩国,越南,新加坡,台湾,香港,澳门还有一些其他东南亚地区的小伙伴会一起过端午节。日本在明治维新前也是在这天过端午节,不过明治维新后就改到公历的5月5日了,所以今天日本的小伙伴是不过节的,大家别弄错了。

在英文中、越南端午节是“Tet Doan Ngo Festival(Tết Đoan Ngọ)”,韩国端午祭叫做“Danoje Festival(단오제)”,但是西方人一般统称为“Dragon Boat Festival”。

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华人的端午习俗差不多,基本上都是赛龙舟、吃粽子、挂艾叶、带香囊等传统项目,祈盼驱灾辟邪,护佑平安。但还有一个国家和我们的习俗很相似:越南。越南的端午节写作“Tết Đoan Ngọ”。在端午这天,越南的小伙伴会吃水果、甜酒、还有一种叫烩饼(bánh tro)的食物。烩饼长得很像粽子,但口味和做法和华人地区却有所不同,具体怎么不同法,在HelloTalk找越南的小伙伴聊下就知道啦~

粽子

(粽子)

tet-doan-ngo-chuaadida-7

(bánh tro)

值得一提的是韩国的端午祭(Danoje Festival)。前几年有过很多争议,其实韩国的端午祭和端午节区别还是很大的~

 

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(菖蒲水洗头)

搜狗截图20170526184628

(艾子糕)

韩国端午主要在江陵地区进行庆祝,在这天,除了吃艾子糕和用菖蒲水洗头等传统风俗外,江陵地区的人们还会在这天开展一些历史传承下来的丰富多彩的文化祭祀活动,因此被联合国确认加入世界无形文化遗产名录。这与端午节起源于哪个国家并没有任何关系,别被媒体带跑了^_^ 其实除江陵地区外,韩国其他地方对端午已经有点淡化了。不过大多数韩国小伙伴还是知道这个节日的,收到祝福也会感到很开心的哟~

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在以上的这些国家里,各国都有不同的端午风俗,甚至不同的地区的风俗都完全不同。 最后,我们期望如果你有来自这些地区的伙伴,能够互送端午祝福,互相了解对方的节日。也欢迎大家在HelloTalk里将自己如何过端午节的照片分享出来,和各国学语言的小伙伴们分享哟!

 

对了,端午快乐在各语言里怎么说呢?

“Happy Dragon Festival!”(ENG)

해피 단오절!“(KOR)

(Hae-Pi-Dan-O-Jeol)

Tết Đoan Ngọ Vui Vẻ!” (VIE)

(De-Duan-Kno-Vui-Ve)

弹药准备好了,开撩吧!

친구들과 단오제에 대해 나눠 봅시다!

친구들과 단오제에 대해 나눠 봅시다!

오늘은 음력으로 5월달의 5일째가 되는 날입니다. 중국에서는 Duanwu Festival 라고 말하고 우리나라는 단오제라고 하며, 베트남에서는 Yet Doan Ngo Festival  Tết Đoan Ngọ 라고 합니다.

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서양에서는 일반적으로 `Dragon Boat Festival’이라고 말합니다. 현재는 중국,베트남,태국,타이완,홍콩,마카오, 그리고 한국에서도 기념하고 있습니다.
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단오제의 유래에 대하여는 누구에게 묻느냐에 따라 다양한 대답을 들을 수 있습니다.  헬로톡(HelloTalk) 친구들에게 물어보세요!
Dragon_boat_budapest_2010 (1)
한국외의 다른 나라에서는 단오제 축제중 단오제의 보트 경주가 가장 유명합니다. 용의 모양의 보트를 타고 북을 치면서 경주를 하는 것입니다.

粽子

(Zongzi)

tet-doan-ngo-chuaadida-7

(bánh tro)

중국이나 베트남에서는 잎사귀로 싼 쌀만두를 먹습니다.  중국의 어느 지역에서는 액운을 쫓아내기 위해 쑥이나 창포를 집문에 걸어놓기도 한다고 합니다.

오래전에는 한국에서도 많은 지역에서 단오제를 드렸습니다.  그러나 경제적,사회적인 발전을 통해 단오제의 문화가 많이 사라졌으나 창포물에 머리감기, 수리취떡 먹기등은 남아 있습니다.

搜狗截图20170526184628

강릉에서는 여전히 단오제의 전통축제가 많이 남아 있습니다.  강릉단오제는 유네스코에 세계무형유산으로 등록된 한국의 귀중한 문화 축제로 인정받고 있습니다.

2384716_image_2

헬로톡은 이 날을 기념하기 위해 캠패인을 하고 있습니다. 헬로톡 친구들에게 기념 메세지도 보내고 한국의 이 귀한 단오제 문화를 알리세요!

Here’s how to say “Happy Dragon Boat Festival” to your HelloTalk language exchange partners and international friends: 

“端午安康”(CHN)

(duan-wu-an-kang)

Happy Dragon Festival!“(ENG)

Tết Đoan Ngọ Vui Vẻ!” (VIE)

(De-Duan-Kno-Vui-Ve)

speak to your partners and enjoy the conversation!

Hôm nay không chỉ là Tết Đoan ngọ của bạn!

Hôm nay không chỉ là Tết Đoan ngọ của bạn!

Bạn có biết ngoài Việt Nam thì còn có rất nhiều quốc gia khác cũng có Tết Đoan ngọ? Cùng tìm hiểu xem thế nào nhé.

timg (6)

Ở Châu Á, ngoài Việt Nam, ngày 5 tháng 5 Âm lịch còn là Tết Đoan ngọ của các nước như Trung Quốc Đại lục, Hàn Quốc, Singapore, Đài Loan, Hồng Kông, Macao và một số nước khác. Nhật Bản vào trước Minh Trị Duy Tân thì cũng có Tết Đoan ngọ vào ngày này, nhưng sau Minh Trị Duy Tân thì người Nhật chuyển sang dùng Dương lịch, nên họ không còn cố Tết Đoan ngọ nữa. Trong tiếng Anh, với những khu vực có người Hoa thì Tết Đoan ngọ được gọi là “Duanwu Festival” (端午节), còn đối với người Hàn Quốc thì là “Dano Festival(단오제)”. Tuy nhiên, đối với người phương Tây thì Tết Đoan ngọ được gọi là “Dragon Boat Festival”.

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Trong khi người Hoa thường ăn bánh chưng, treo ngải cứu, đua thuyền rồng, cầu nguyện xua đuổi ma quỷ, cầu mong hòa bình vào ngày này, thì tại Việt Nam chúng ta thường ăn bánh tro, chè hạt sen, trái cây, và rượu nếp để giết sâu bọ, bệnh tật trong người. Người ta cúng lễ cho một tiết mới, mừng sự trong sáng và quang đãng.

粽子

(Zongzi)

tet-doan-ngo-chuaadida-7

(bánh tro)

Đáng nhắc đến ở đây nữa là sự khác biết trong Tết Đoan ngọ của Hàn Quốc. Phong tục đón Tết Đoan ngọ của người Hàn Quốc rất khác với người Việt Nam. Tết Đoan ngọ của Hàn Quốc hiện tại chủ yếu được kỷ niệm tại khu vực Gangneung. Ngoài các phong tục truyền thốn như ăn bánh truyền thống được làm với ngải cứu, hay dùng nước xương bồ rửa đầu, người Hàn Quốc còn tổ chức những lễ hội đầy màu sắc vào ngày này, và được Liên Hiệp Quốc công nhận là Di sản Văn hóa phi vật thể.

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搜狗截图20170526184628

(bánh truyền thống )

Cuối cùng, nếu như có bạn bè đến từ những nước có Tết Đoan ngọ như chúng ta, hãy gửi những lời chúc tốt lành đến cho họ, và cùng nhau chia sẻ những bức ảnh tổ chức ngày lễ này trên Moment nhé!

Here’s how to say “Happy Dragon Boat Festival” to your HelloTalk language exchange partners and international friends: 

“Happy Dragon Boat Festival!” (ENG)

“端午安康”(CHN)

(duan-wu-an-kang)

해피 단오절!“(KOR)

(Hae-Pi-Dan-O-Jeol)

speak to your partners and enjoy the conversation!

What is Dragon Boat Festival?

What is Dragon Boat Festival?

The Duanwu Festival  端午节 (Chinese), Danoje Festival 단오제 (Korean) or Tet Doan Ngo Festival Tết Đoan Ngọ (Vietnamese) is often known as the Dragon Boat Festival in western countries. It is a traditional festival in Asia, which occurs on the 5th day of the 5th month of the lunar calendar.

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The festival is mainly celebrated in Mainland China, certain areas in Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao and other areas in Asia.

The meaning and origin of Dragon Boat Festival varies depending on who you ask, from commemorating famous poets to worshiping gods. Ask your HelloTalk language exchange partners about their interpretation!

Dragon_boat_budapest_2010 (1)

(Dragon Boat Racing)

Dragon boat races are perhaps the most popular activity to participate in or watch during the festival. These boats are dragon shaped and driven by paddlers, while a drummer cheers them on at the front of the boat.

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Besides racing dragon boats, people eat sticky rice dumpling wrapped in leaves. This is called Zongzi (Chinese) or Bánh tro (Vietnamese).

粽子

(Zongzi)

tet-doan-ngo-chuaadida-7

(Bánh tro)

In addition, some areas have a custom of eating sour fruit like plums or hanging antiseptic herbs on the side of door to ward away misfortunes.

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In certain areas of Korea, however, people have totally different customs. They often wash their hair with herbal water or eat surichui rice cakes made by rice flour and herbs to celebrate Danoje Festival.

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(Washing hair)

搜狗截图20170526184628

(Surichui rice cake)

Especially in Gangneung, there are many traditional ceremonies. Gangneung Danoje is designated as part of South Korea’s “Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” by the UN.

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These are just a few of the most common customs today, but there in fact many more. Even in the same country, people in different areas often celebrate Dragon Boat Festival differently. The best way to learn about these customs is to ask your language partners about them!

Here’s how to say “Happy Dragon Boat Festival” to your HelloTalk language exchange partners and international friends: 

“端午安康”(CHN)

(duan-wu-an-kang)


해피 단오절!“(KOR)

(Hae-Pi-Dan-O-Jeol)


Tết Đoan Ngọ Vui Vẻ!” (VIE)

(De-Duan-Kno-Vui-Ve)