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Why Is the Rabbit the Fourth Animal in the Chinese Zodiac? (Intermediate)

Jan. 31, 2011

兔子为什么在生肖中排第四? (Tùzi wèishénme zài shēngxiāo zhōng pái dì sì?)

 

Key Learning Points (Preview)

生肖 (shēngxiāo): n. Zodiac

 

出发 (chūfā): v. to start off

 

Hěn jiǔ yǐqián, Yùhuángdàdì dǎsuàn zài dòngwù zhōng xuǎn shí’èr gè pái shēngxiāo.
很   久 以前,玉皇大帝          打算      在     动物      中     选    十二     个 排   生肖。

 

Long ago, the Jade Emperor prepared to select twelve animals to be the zodiac signs.

Gēnjù guīdìng, zài zhǐdìng de nà yì tiān,
根据     规定,   在    指定   的 那 一天,
nǎ ge dòngwù xiān dào jiù huì bèi xuǎn zhòng.
哪 个   动物     先    到   就  会  被   选     中。

 

In accord with decree, the first twelve animals to arrive on the appointed day would be selected as the animals of the zodiac.

Huángniú yǔ tùzi yuēdìng yìqǐ cānjiā jìngsài.
黄牛         与  兔子  约定 一起  参加   竞赛。
The ox and the rabbit agreed to take part in the event together.

 

Zhēng shēngxiāo de rìzi zhōngyú lái le.
争          生肖        的  日子 终于    来 了。

 

The day arrived.

Tùzi qǐ de hěn zǎo, méi yǒu děng huángniú jiù chū fā le.
兔子起的 很   早, 没   有    等       黄牛      就   出发  了。

 

The rabbit got up early and started off without waiting for the ox.

Tùzi pǎo le yí zhèn zi, fāxiàn lùshang méi yǒu qí tā dòngwù de yǐngzi.
兔子 跑 了  一阵子, 发现    路上      没    有   其 它   动物   的   影子。

 

After running for a while, the rabbit found that no other animals were on the way.

Yúshì, zài cǎodì shang shuì qǐ jiào lái.
于是,在 草地    上       睡   起  觉  来。

 

So he began to doze off in a meadow.

Suīrán huángniú chūfā wǎn le, pǎo de yòu màn,
虽然      黄牛        出发   晚  了,跑  得  又   慢,
dàn píng zhe yìlì, zài tùzi shuì jiào de shíhou, jiù dàodá  tiāngōng le.
但  凭     着 毅力,在兔子 睡   觉     的    时候,就   到 达   天宫       了。

 

Thanks to his perseverance, the ox, despite starting off later and running slower, arrived at the temple earlier than the rabbit who at the time was fast asleep.

Zuìhòu, tùzi zhǐ pái dào le shēngxiāo de dì sì míng.
最后, 兔子只 排   到  了     生肖      的  第 四  名。

 

In the end, the rabbit was the fourth animal in rank of the zodiac.

Pái zài tā qián miàn de shì lǎoshǔ, huángniú hé lǎohǔ.
排   在 他  前    面   的   是   老鼠,  黄牛       和  老虎。

 

Ranked before him was the mouse, the ox and the tiger.

Key Learning Points:

生肖 (shēngxiāo): n. zodiacs

 

Example:
    Nǐ de shēngxiāo shì shénme?
A: 你的    生肖         是    什么?

 

     Which year of the zodiac were you born in?

    Wǒ shì tù nián de.
B: 我 是 兔   年   的。

 

    I was born in the year of the rabbit.

出发 (chūfā): v. to start off

 

Example:
Wǒmen míngtiān xiàwǔ wǔ diǎn chūfā.
我们        明天      下午    五  点    出发。

 

We will start off at five p.m. tomorrow.

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