Chinese vocabulary notes #1

Chinese vocabulary notes (October 2021)

Do you have the habit of making notes when studying Chinese? Since this blog is primarily about learning Mandarin and sharing knowledge (for what it’s worth), I’ll just might as well share my Chinese vocabulary notes here. What are these notes? Well, I watch Chinese content and to challenge myself a little I make notes of those words that seem most relevant to me.

Afu – renting an apartment in Shanghai!

Renting an apartment in Shanghai

I guess most Chinese learners who watch Chinese YouTube content have heard of “Afu” Thomas, the guy from Germany who married a woman from Shanghai and has been living in this insane mega-city since 2016. In China, he’s an internet celebrity who gets recognized on the street. In Germany, he appeared in talkshows, met with the Federal President and published a book about his experiences with his Chinese family.

In other words, Afu is quite a character, but most of all, he’s a prolific Youtuber who publishes new videos on a weekly basis. Many of them – like this one here – concern different aspects of life in Shanghai: is it better to rent or to buy an apartment in Shanghai? What are the costs? In this video, he interviews several seemingly random people who rent a place in Shanghai and all have their own story to tell. Afu always tackles interesting topics, challenges himself and people open up to him to share their thoughts.

Key vocabulary

Finding an apartment to rent in Shanghai, judging from this video, (for a reasonable price and located somewhat favorably) is really tough. Many people here seem to be in a “make or break” situation where things just have to work out or else… Especially young people are eager to make their success in Shanghai, even when this means living in a tiny one-room apartment.

常住人口chángzhù rénkǒupermanent residents
中国最大的城市之一Zhōngguó zuìdà de chéngshì zhī yīChinas nr. 1 largest city
外来常住人 (42%)wàilái chángzhù rénpermanent residents not from Shanghai
租房 (居住方式)zūfáng (jūzhù fāngshì)rent an apartment
10平方米 / 平米 / 平方10 píngfāng mǐ/ píngmǐ/ píngfāng10 m²
独立的公寓dúlì de gōngyùseparate apartment
采光cǎiguānglight / lighting
租金 / 月租Zūjīn/ yuèzūthe rent
包括水电费bāokuò shuǐdiàn fèiincluding water, electricity (costs)
不包括服务费bù bāokuò fúwù fèinot including service costs
押金yājīndeposit
双人床shuāngrén chuángdouble bed
温馨wēnxīngreat
时尚shíshàngtrendy
实习工资shíxí gōngzīinternship salary (just enough to pay the rent)
经济支持jīngjì zhīchífinancial support
上海房价Shànghǎi fángjiàShanghai housing prices
设施shèshīfacilities
房间内的布置fángjiān nèi de bùzhìthe layout of the room
室友shìyǒuroommates
磨合móhérub along, learn to get along
独居的女孩dújū de nǚháisingle girl tenants
类似的房子lèisì de fángzisimilar apartment
兄弟姐妹们xiōngdì jiěmèimenbrothers and sisters
物价wùjiàprices
小区环境xiǎoqū huánjìngneighborhood environment
公用的卫生间gōngyòng de wèishēngjiānpublic toilet
加起来jiā qǐláiadded together, in sum
通勤时间tōngqín shíjiānCommuting time
注意的点zhùyì de diǎnpoints to note
签合同 / 前一年合同qiān hétóng/ qián yī nián hétóngsign a (one year) contract
转租zhuǎnzūto sublet
二房东èr fángdōngprincipal tenant
租客zūkètenant
涨租金zhǎng zūjīnraise the rent
主卧zhǔ wòmaster bedroom

Key sentences

面积有155平方米Miànjī yǒu 155 píngfāngmǐ.The area is 155 m².
我可以接受,因为在上海嘛 毕竟活着就行Wǒ kěyǐ jiēshòu, yīnwèi zài Shànghǎi ma, bìjìng huózhe jiùxíng.I can tolerate it, because in Shanghai surviving is enough.
租金的话3000不到一点点Zūjīn dehuà 3000 bù dào yī diǎndiǎn.When it comes to the rent, it’s about 3000 Yuan.
你跟你的室友原则上有没有什么差异?Nǐ gēn nǐ de shìyǒu yuánzé shàng yǒu méiyǒu shé me chāyì?Are there any major differences between you and your roommates?
租金是多少?Zūjīn shì duōshǎo?how much is the rent?
如果从这里到市中心大概要多久?(Rúguǒ) cóng zhèlǐ dào shì zhōngxīn dàgài yào duōjiǔ?How far is it from here to the city center?
这里一平方大概是多少钱?Zhèlǐ yī píngfāng dàgài shì duōshǎo qián?What’s the price per square meter?

Mandarin Corner – Live Streaming in China is Exploding!

Live Streaming in China is Exploding! On the right, we see legendary livestreamer Li Jiaqi, better known as the “Lipstick King“.

I’ve posted about Mandarin Corner before and really enjoy their content. This video is about the booming livestreaming sector in China. This online phenomenon still hasn’t come to the attention of most people outside of China, but it’s huge! And it’s not only about shopping too! In this podcast episode, Aileen and her guest discuss try to explain why 直播 has become so popular and which types of livestreaming are popular with which audience.

  • 虎牙 hǔyá (a name of a live streaming platform)
  • 斗鱼 dòuyú (a name of a live streaming platform)
  • 熊猫TV xióngmāo (a name of a live streaming platform)
  • 映客 yìngkè (a name of a live streaming platform)

Key vocabulary

I learned there are several sorts of 直播, 美女直播 and 游戏直播 being most popular with the boys. You may have heard about 吃播 where livestreamers eat huge quantities of food. One 19-year-old dude even “bit the dust” due to his extreme 吃播 lifestyle which included “high-carbohydrate, high-calorie and oily food” and lack of sleep. 整容 直播 , plastic surgery livestreaming, also seems to be a thing.

直播zhíbōlivestreaming
直播平台zhíbō píngtáilivestreaming platform
美女直播měinǚ zhíbōbeautiful girls livestream
游戏直播yóuxì zhíbōgaming livestream
最火zuìhuǒmost popular
对着镜头duì zhe jìngtóufacing the camera
粉丝fěnsīfans
观众guānzhòngaudience
主播zhǔbōlivestreamer

Why do people watch this kind of stuff? According to this podcast, it’s a mixture of boredom and loneliness. I’d definitely add a lack of a sense of meaning to that. Meaningful relations, a meaningful profession, you know the thing. I mean why do people spend so many hours on their phone, even after work? On the other hand, this livestreaming is a technological miracle as well.

虚拟xūnǐvirtual
虚拟 礼物xūnǐ lǐwùvirtual gift
跑车pǎochēsports car
整容zhěngróngplastic surgery
表演biǎoyǎnperform
⾊情sèqíngpornographic
节⽬jiémùprogram
污秽wūhuìdirty
词汇cíhuìwords, vocabulary
吃播chībōfood livestream

Key sentences

但最火的还是美女直播和游戏直播Dàn zuì huǒ de háishì měinǚ zhíbò hé yóuxì zhíbò.But the most popular are “beauty” livestreaming and gaming livestreaming.
⽹红脸的特质是⽩⽪肤,⼤眼睛,⾼⿐⼦,尖下巴等等。Wǎng hóngliǎn de tèzhì shì bái pí fū, dà yǎnjīng, gāo bí zi, jiān xiàbā děng děng.The characteristics of a red face are white skin, large eyes, tall, pointed chin and so on.

ActNormal – 30 days social media detox

The main negative impact from using social media – according these girls – is that you start to envy almost everybody else. “They are leading the perfect life, why can’t I?” Secondly, spending time on social media leads to buying lots of unnecessary stuff. They address several of these social media related problems and share tips to free yourself and cultivate healthier habits. Not something I’d normally watch, but interesting nonetheless, because they introduce hipster (minimalist, anti-consumerism) lifestyle ideas to a Chinese (mainly female, slightly upper-class) audience who are looking for more fulfilled and productive lives.

引发攀比心理yǐnfā pānbǐ xīnlǐTrigger comparison psychology
脱离tuōlíGet rid of
购买焦虑gòumǎi jiāolǜBuying anxiety
广告是富人的乞讨guǎnggào shì fù rén de qǐtǎoAdvertising is begging for the rich
价值观jiàzhíguānValues
认同自己的价值观rèntóng zìjǐ de jiàzhíguānConfirm / agree with your own values
时间管理shíjiān guǎnlǐtime management
刺激cìjīprovoke / stimulate

攀比心理 is something I somewhat recognize from my own usage of social media, for example when I see some Facebook friend traveling in a warm country while I’m at home “in lockdown”. You simply can’t help comparing your sad situation to this other person who seems to having be the time of his life. 手机上瘾 is another keyword in this whole discussion.

手机上瘾shǒujī shàngyǐnmobile phone addiction
30天手机&社交媒体戒断挑战30 tiān shǒujī & shèjiāo méitǐ jièduàn tiǎozhàn30 days phone & social media withdrawal challenge
戒断jièduànto withdraw / quit (something addictive)
刷手机shuā shǒujīswipe your phone
提高工作效率tígāo gōngzuò xiàolǜincrease work efficiency
确定自己的目标quèdìng zìjǐ de mùbiāodetermine your goals
美妆měizhuāngmakeup
断舍离duàn shě líto break away from / cut off
记录jìlùto record / write down
替代tìdàito substitute

That’s it for this month! Let’s see what November brings. Feel free to leave a comment down below!

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The Sixty Year Dream: Mandarin Companion Graded Readers Level 1 (Chinese Edition)
The Dwarfs 小矮人 Xiǎo ǎi rén (HSK3+Reading): Chinese HSK Graded Reader
The Prince and the Pauper: Mandarin Companion Graded Readers Level 1,
Chinese Breeze Graded Reader Series Level 1(300-Word Level): Wrong, Wrong, Wrong!
Graded Chinese Reader 3000 Words: Selected Abridged Chinese Contemporary Short Stories

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