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I Meant Chinese Style (Not Chinese Food)! (Beginner)

Mar. 23, 2010

I Meant Chinese Style (Not Chinese Food)!

With a slight change in pronunciation, foreigners can often be misunderstood when speaking Chinese. One of the ways this happens is when a foreigner refers to something having a “Chinese style”, but ends up getting mistaken for having said “Chinese food.”

If you are speaking of something having a Chinese style without adding “r” sound–a suffix–to the end, then you may be misinterpreted by Chinese people as referring to Chinese food instead. In fact, the “r” sound appears both in mandarin Chinese and some Chinese dialects, and Beijing people use this kind of dialect most frequently. So if you are learning Chinese or interested in this language, adding the “r” sound to some of your words and your pronunciation may make you sound more native like.

The following are some words often used with the “r” sound.

范儿 (fànr): n style

“范 (fàn)” means style. “儿 (ér)” means son, but here it is used as a suffix.

Example:

Tā  tǐng yǒu zìjǐde  fànr  de.
他  挺   有   自己的 范儿 的。

He has his own style.

花儿 (huār): n flower

“花 (huā)” means flower. “儿 (ér)” means son, but here it is used as a suffix.

Example:

A: Zǎoshànghǎo, xiáojiě. Wǒ xiǎng yào yíshù méiguihuār.
早上好,         小姐。 我   想      要   一束 玫瑰花儿。

Good morning, Miss. I want a bouquet of roses.

B: Hǎode, nín shāoděng.
好的, 您    稍等。

OK, wait a moment please.

事儿 (shìr): n event/ affair

“事 (shì)” means event or affair. “儿 (ér)” means son, but here it is used as a suffix.

Example:

A: Chū shénme shìr  le?  Nǐ zěnme shàngqìbùjiēxiàqì de?
出   什么      事儿  了?你 怎么 上气不接下气         的?

What happened? Why are you out of breath?

B: Méishìr. Wǒ gāngcái qù pǎobù le.
没事儿。我 刚才      去 跑步    了。

Nothing. I went out running just now.


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Dear link:
Glad to hear from you. I am not very sure what do you mean exactly. Are you confused about the article I Meant Chinese Style (Not Chinese Food)? “Chinese style” in Chinese is “中国范儿(zhōnɡɡuó fànr),” Which sounds very like “Chinese food 中国饭(zhōnɡɡuó fàn).” So comes the story. Hope my answer helps. If you still have questions, just feel free to ask me here.
Jennifer Zhu

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