Yajie: Dajia hao. Welcome to the Chinese Studio! I’m Yajie.
Cam: Hello, everybody! Wo shi Cam. Yajie, my landlord often visits me but doesn’t speak any English. How can I invite her in for a cup of tea?
Yajie: That’s very nice of you. Let’s Check Key Words of the Day.
****** key words of the day
请进！Come in please. 请坐，请喝茶！Please take a seat and have some tea. 帮忙, to help. Please do me a favor. 请帮我一个忙, or 请帮个忙。All in today’s Chinese studio.
Yajie: 请进！Come in please.
Cam: 请进！(qing jin) Ok. That’s what I often hear the waiters say when entering a restaurant or a hotel.
Yajie: Yes. As we mentioned before, the Chinese character 请 means please, the third tone. And 进 means “come in”, the fourth tone. Together it’s请进！(qing jin)
Cam: 请进！(qing jin), please come in. So what should the response be?
Yajie: Well you may say “谢谢”, thanks. Or just a nod or sweet smile.
Cam: Ok. Sounds easy. 谢谢(xiexie), thanks
Yajie: After your guest comes in, you could say请坐，请喝茶！Please take a seat and have some tea.
Cam: 请坐，请喝茶！(qing zuo, qing he cha)
Yajie: 坐 means to sit down
Cam: 坐(zuo), the fourth tone.
Yajie: 喝, to drink, h-e, the first tone. And 茶 means tea. C-h-a, the second tone. Together it’s 喝茶(he cha).
Cam: 喝茶(he cha), to have some tea.
Yajie: From the conversations you may notice that Chinese say “请进” twice. That is a traditional Chinese way of expressing hospitality.
Cam: 请进(qing jin), 请进! You know Yajie, I noticed the Chinese do this with other phrases as well, such as 谢谢，谢谢. To say Thank you or 对不起，对不起! To say sorry.
Yajie: That’s a very good method of learning Chinese, Cam.
Cam: I also recently went to Shanghai and stayed at a hotel.
Yajie: You probably heard the front-desk clerk say 请看一下您的护照, May I have a look at your passport, please?
Cam: Yes, I did hear that! 请看一下您的护照(qing kan yi xia nin de huzhao)。
Yajie: 看一下, to have a look at.
Cam: 看一下(kan yi xia).
Yajie: 护照, huzhao, passport.
Cam: 护照, hu4zhao4.
Yajie: 请看一下您的护照, May I have a look at your passport, please?
Cam: 请看一下您的护照(qing kan yi xia nin de huzhao).
Yajie: 请帮我一个忙(qing bang wo yi ge mang), please do me a favor.
Cam: 请帮我一个忙(qing bang wo yi ge mang).
Yajie: This is the general expression of asking for help. 帮忙, help. The first and the second tone.
Cam: 帮忙 (bangmang), help.
Yajie: 一, one. 个 is a unit noun, it has no real meaning here. 一个together means one.
Cam: 一个. One. I heard some Chinese people say一个苹果(yi ge pingguo), one apple. Does一个忙 means a favor?
Yajie: You bet! You can also say 请帮个忙 for short, please do me a favor.
Cam: Ok. 请帮个忙 (qing bang ge mang), also meaning please do me a favor.
****** key words reminder:
请进！Come in please.请坐，请喝茶！Please take a seat and have some tea. 帮忙, to help. Please do me a favor. 请帮我一个忙, or 请帮个忙。
Yajie: We are using “请” to show politeness and formality. If you are quite familiar with your friends, then you can say 帮个忙 directly.
Cam: Ok. I see.
Yajie: That’s all for today’s Chinese Studio. Now comes question of the day: what’s Chinese for “Please do me a favor”. There might be more than one way of saying it.
Cam: Send us your answer to Chinese@crifm.com. If you are lucky enough, you may win the CRI prizes.
Yajie: Class is over. Ming tian jian.
Cam: Mingtian jian!