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Learn Chinese Culture – To be the host

Mar. 25, 2015

Have you ever invite your Chinese friend to dinner? How to express “it is my treat, let me be the host”? Listen to how these two guys say.

Jīntiān de cài hěn là.  Búɡuò, wǒ hěn xǐhuɑn.
F: 今天    的 菜  很  辣。不过, 我  很   喜欢。
These dishes are very spicy, but, I like it.

Wǒ zhīdào nǐ yě xǐhuɑn chī là,  suóyǐ jiù dài nǐ lái zhè’ér le.
C: 我  知道    你 也 喜欢    吃 辣,所以  就 带 你 来 这儿  了。
I knew you love spicy food; this is why I brought you here.

Zhēn ɡuòyǐn ā! Fúwùyuán, mǎidān!
F: 真     过瘾    啊!服务员,   买单!
It was terrific. Waitress, bring me the bill.

Děnɡděnɡ, shuō hǎo le jīntiān wǒ zuòdōnɡ!
C: 等等,         说     好   了今天    我  做东!
Wait, I have told you, let me be the host today!

In this dialogue, there is a new word “做东” which refers to be the host, have you got the meaning?

Explanation:Why “zuòdōng” means be the host”?

1. 中国大户人家都是方方正正,坐北朝南(典型:四合院)

In ancient china, the houses are square, and face to the south (courtyard house for example.)

2. 正中是堂屋即 living room

In the centre is living room.

3. living room里面会有坐北朝南的两张椅子,主人会请客人坐在西边的椅子上,然后自己坐在东边的椅子上。所以 “坐东”就是坐在主人的椅子上,就是”be host”。

In the living room, there are two chairs face to the south, the host invite guest to sit in the chair which is in the west side, and the host sit in the east side chair, so “sit in the east side” means sit in the host’s chair, that also means “be host”.

e.g. “今天我做东”(jīntiān wǒ zuòdōng)! Let me be the host today!

4. 同样,在中文中“东”常常有“主人”的意思,如“房东” -房子的主人。

Meanwhile, in Chinese language, “东(dōng)” have the meaning of “host”, for example, “房东(fángdōng)” means landlord.

Ok, let’s practice.

Jīntiān nǐ zuòdōnɡ, xiàcì wǒ zuòdōnɡ.
今天     你 做东,    下次 我  做东。

Ending: Thanks for listening, we have approached the end of this lesson, I hope it can be of help to you in your Chinese learning.

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