Intermediate - How did New Year's Come About
John: Hey guys, this is ChinesePod. We have an Intermediate lesson for you today.
John: And I'm John. So today what are we talking about?
John: 过年 means 'the New Year' or 'spend the New Year'.
Dilu: 对。就是spend New Year。
John: We've had lessons about this before. What exactly are we talking about?
John: 年 means 'year'. Done.
John: So which two things are you talking about?
John: Set off firecrackers.
John: 贴, 1st tone, that means 'to stick' something perhaps to a wall.
John: And what are we sticking?
John: 4th tone, 2nd tone. We can call this a rhyming couplet. Its two verses of some kind of poem.
John: So there's one strip on the right, and one strip on the left. Its usually red paper, right?
John: Just now when we said firecrackers - set off firecrackers - what are the tones on that?
John: Then we get into the whole 年, not talking about a year, but talking about what?
Dilu: A monster. 是一种怪兽。
John: 怪兽 is a monster.
John: So it could be a mythical beast, or it could be just some kind of mysterious animal.
John: 怪兽 - two 4th tones.
John: So 它们 - its not just one. And they live ...
John: 海底, two 3rd tones, and that means 'the bottom of the ocean' ?
John: Some kind of ocean animal. And then what do they do?
John: So they come out and eat people. When do they do it?
John: 除夕 - 2nd tone, 1st tone. That refers to the evening before New Year's Day.
John: The last evening of the lunar year.
John: 除夕. What came before that though?
John: What is 每到?
John: So every time it gets to the last day of the lunar year. 除夕 - doesn't that have another name?
Dilu: 中国人会用哪个中国的lunar year，所以我们有的时候也叫：大年三十。
John: 大年三十. 'Big year thirty'?
John: That's the name - 大年三十. Its also the last day of the lunar year.
Dilu: 没错。［也就是］说New Year's Eve。有两个名字。一个叫除夕，一个叫大年三十。
John: Anyway they have this beast problem every year on the same day, and some old guy thought of a way to deal with it.
John: So he has a way to drive away the 'year beast'.
John: Two 3rd tones. It means 'drive away', but it doesn't have to be for monsters or animals, right?
John: If you have a friend who's visiting you and they're staying too long ...
John: Or if you're in a store and they want to close then they're going to ...
John: Kick the husband out.
John: So that she can get something done. So what was this 办法 to 赶走年兽?
John: Hold on - 'on the door you stick up paper'.
John: That's what we were talking about before - the 贴对联.
John: So then what?
John: 'In the room', or I guess it means 'in the house'.
John: 点灯 means to 'light a lamp'. So its old fashioned flame lighting.
John: Candles or oil lamps.
John: In any case, you put all the lights on, so you're lighting up everything in the house. So that's ...
John: 满 being 'full' - all of them.
John: First of all, 院子, this is a place, and this could be a courtyard or some other kind of yard attached to a house.
John: So they're fenced in.
John: 院子, that's 4th tone, neutral tone.
John: What are you doing in the 院子 again?
John: 弄出. 弄, this word is a kind of 'do', but its vaguer. Often 弄 is used when you don't want to be totally clear how you're doing something.
John: Specifically what you have to do you don't know. But 弄出, when we see this 出 we know that something was a result, and the result is the sound.
John: 响声, 3rd tone, 1st tone, that means a loud noise.
John: And that's the onomatopoeia that ... what kind of sound is that? Is that a firecracker noise?
John: Its really loud.
John: Anyway, in the courtyard he made all kinds of banging noises. How do we say that?
John: Loud noises. What was the result?
John: So we see this 被, 4th tone, and you know that the monsters were driven out.
John: 第二天 doesn't literally mean the second day.
Dilu: 没有。它说的是the next day。
John: And when we say 第二天, we could be referring to a story in the past or something in the future.
John: It just means 'the next day'.
John: In this case, the story started on New Year's Eve, so the next day is the first day of the lunar new year.
John: CHU 1st tone, YI first tone. 初一. So they came out on the first day of the new year, and the monsters were gone, and what did they do?
John: 互相 - 'to each other'.
John: Mutually. 4th tone, 1st tone. And 问好, 'ask good' ?
Dilu: 那因为之前有这个年兽，有者个怪兽，所以第二天大家问"你还好吧？", "你好吗？"
John: Asking if they're OK.
Dilu: 但是现在我们说：问好，就是greet each other，say hi to each other。
John: Say 你好.
John: But you can also use 问好 if you want to tell someone "Say hi to so-and-so for me'.
John: 'Say hi to your mum ...'
John: '...from me'.
John: So that's pretty useful.
John: 拜年 - 4th, 2nd - this is a New Year's tradition which is going and visiting relatives?
John: Got it. Then what is the kid's response?
John: 原来, two 2nd tones, means 'originally'. So 'originally is like this'. What does that mean?
John: So you didn't know before and now you know, [and then you say this].
John: 'Oh, so that's why'.
John: 'Oh, that's where it came from'. Something like that.
John: That's the story. We're going to listen one more time, and then we have a few other comments about it.
10:46 - dialog
John: So Dilu, this story about 过年 and this 年兽, did you hear this when you were really little for the first time?
John: So you're saying you first heard this story when you were in Elementary school?
Dilu: Maybe high school.
John: Really? So its not a really old story?
John: I don't think its a true story, but the story doesn't even have thousands of years of history to it?
John: But nowadays pretty much everyone knows this story?
John: So 拜年 is a very useful phrase for Chinese New Year.
John: Ask how everyone's doing.
John: Set off fireworks and put up the rhyming couplets. Hold on a second. Some of those are what you're supposed to do on 除夕.
John: And some of them you're supposed to do on 初一.