Wouldn’t it be grand if disputing nations would sit down and join in a feast together, especially around a bowl of steaming jiaozi?

This PSA highlights the importance of chopsticks and food in Chinese culture and concludes with a New Year’s celebration. It comes from China’s CCTV and is a minute and a half long, with English subtitles. Please note that the scenes are set in different parts of China and the people are often speaking a dialect, not Putonghua (the “common tongue,” which we call Mandarin). This makes the video excellent exercise for a Chinese learner! See if you can identify words in dialect, as well as the Mandarin words like those in our vocabulary list.

Written Chinese is always the same, even though it is spoken in different ways. Here are some questions in Chinese about the video:

  1. 这个视频发生在哪里? (Where does this video take place?)
  1. 视频里的事情是什么? (What is the occasion?)
  1. 人物的感受是什么? (What does the [character] feel?)
  1.  视频想要传达的信息是什么?(What is the message of this video?)
  1. 你喜欢这个信息的哪些方面? (What do you like about the message?)
  1. 这个故事让你觉得怎么样? (How does the story line make you feel?)
  2. ut the video:

For a full vocabulary list to use for personal study or in the classroom, please register (free) with ChinaConnectU. The vocabulary list includes characters and pinyin, and is linked to a five-minute version of the video.

Vocabulary from “Just Another Pair of Chopsticks”

We have made a vocabulary list to accompany this longer version of the “Chopsticks” public service announcement, with English translations and location names (the latter are very useful if you’re trying to follow the different dialects): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soBtqb15s0A. The longer version runs for five minutes, and the vocabulary below gives time stamps for when the word or phrase is used.

Characters Pinyin Word Type Translation (with time stamp)
筷子 kuàizi N. chopsticks
用筷子 yòng kuàizi VO. to use chopsticks
过年 guònián V. to celebrate Chinese New Year
启迪 qǐdí V. to enculturate (0:25)
传承 chuánchéng V. to inherit (1:06)
烟火 yānhuǒ N. fireworks
明礼 mínglǐ V. to be civil (1:33)
做饭 zuò fàn VO. to prepare food/to cook
吃饭 chī fàn VO. to eat
关爱 guān‘ài VO. to love and care (2:05)
思念 sīniàn V. to yearn /pine for (2:32)
拜托 bàituō V. to thank/request something
新年快乐 xīn nián kuài lè! Expr. Happy New Year!
对联 duìlián N. couplet (written on scrolls, hung on door)
高兴 gāoxìng Adj. happy
睦邻 mùlín V. to remain on friendly terms with the neighbours (3:15)
傻瓜 shǎguā N. “You silly!” (said affectionately
守望 shǒuwàng V. to anticipate with care (3:59)
感恩 gǎnēn V. to appreciate (4:31)
展翅高飞 zhǎn chì gāo fēi Expr. Spread your wings and soar high
年年有余 nián nián yǒu yú Expr. Abundance every year
五谷丰登 wǔ gǔ fēng dēng Expr. Bumper harvest
长命百岁 cháng mìng bǎi suì Expr. Live long and healthy