Learning Mandarin Online: Is "龙 (lóng) the Dragon" Your Animal?
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Is the Year of the Dragon your birth year?

Jan. 4, 2012

Key Learning Points (Preview):

龙年 (lóngnián): n. the Year of the Dragon


本命年 (běnmìngnián): n. one’s year of birth in relation to the Chinese Zodiac


China's celebration of the lunar New Year, the renowned Spring Festival, is less than a month away. As the zodiac's limelight shifts to a different animal each year, 2012 has been designated "龙年 (lóngnián) the Year of the Dragon." If your birth year also happens to be in the Year of the Dragon, it is your "本命年 (běnmìngnián). You've got quite a few concerns to be conscious of.

In Chinese culture, your "本命年 (běnmìngnián)" will align with one of 12 animals in the "生肖 (shēngxiào) Chinese Zodiac." Your sign will align with the present year’s animal every twelve years, namely at the age of twelve, twenty-four, thirty-six and so on. However, according to traditional Chinese culture, if your animal sign is the same as the current lunar year's, it's considered an unlucky year. That's why people also call it "槛儿年 (kǎnrnián) threshold year," that is thought difficult to get through. Therefore, to alleviate this ill fortune, one should wear the lucky color red on a "腰带 (yāodài) belt," and additionally don red socks, red clothes, and stitch a red cloth stripe on one's coat. Children might also wear red "背心 (bèixīn) vests" and red underpants.

So, if "龙年 (lóngnián) the Year of the Dragon is your "本命年 (běnmìngnián)," why not buy yourself a red belt for some extra luck, just in case? 

Key Learning Points:

龙年 (lóngnián): n. the Year of the Dragon



Lóngnián kuài dào le, zhù dàjiā shìshìshùnxīn, tiāntiānkāixīn.
龙年          快    到 了,祝  大家     事事顺心,     天天开心。


The Year of the Dragon is coming! I hope everything goes well with you and you find a bit of happiness everyday.

本命年 (běnmìngnián): n. one’s year of birth in relation to the Chinese Zodiac



       Míngnián jiùshì běnmìngnián le, wǒ děi gěi zìjǐ mǎi jiàn hóng yīfu.
Ella: 明年        就是       本命年     了,我 得  给自己买 件    红  衣服。


       Next year is my year of birth. I need to get myself a red dress.
        Shì ma? Wǒ sòng nǐ yí jiàn ba. 
Lisa: 是 吗?  我    送   你 一件  吧。


        Really? I should get it for you as a present.

槛儿 (kǎnr): n. threshold, block


腰带 (yāodài): n. belts


背心 (bèixīn): n. vests


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