Shenzhen How do foreigners learn Chinese "(才cài)"

编辑: 培智乐学来源: www.happylearn.net.cn时间: 2017-08-11 19:23:55浏览次数:435
“才” is one of those Chinese words with a number of different meanings. Taken as a noun, it could mean “talent,” as in “才华 (cái huá),” or “talented person,” as in “人才 (rén cái).

“才” is one of those Chinese words with a number of different meanings. Taken as a noun, it could mean “talent,” as in “才华 (cái huá),” or “talented person,” as in “人才 (rén cái).

However, when used on its own, “才” takes on a variety of meanings that are difficult to translate perfectly into English. As a result, the word “才” often confuses students who are beginning to understand the nuances of the Chinese language.

Just like the word “就 (jiù),” understanding “才” is all about using context clues. In this post, we cover a few of the common ways that "才" is used, and what the character means in each instance.

Using “  ” to express lateness / As in “Not until”

“才” is often used to express how late something occurred, often with a slightly negative connotation.

Sample sentence:

Chinese: 我昨天十一点才下班!

Pinyin: Wǒ zuó tiān shí yī diǎn cái xià bān

Translation: I did not get off work until 11 o’clock yesterday!

Without the word ““才,” the sentence becomes “I left work at 11 o’clock yesterday,” and we would have no way of knowing if that is considered early or late, or how the speaker feels about it. In this case, the use of the word “才” tells us that leaving work at 11 o’clock is late for the speaker, and odds are that he isn’t very happy about leaving so late.

Using “  ” to emphasize small numbers / As in “Only”

“才” is also used to express how few in quantity something is. It is often used to place emphasis on how small the number is.

Sample sentence:

Chinese: 你给他三个,你才给我两个!

Pinyin: Nǐ gěi tā sān gè, nǐ cái gěi wǒ liǎng gè

Translation: You gave him three, you only gave me two!

When using “才” in this way, the addition of “才” can be positive or negative. In the above example, the speaker is clearly unhappy about having received one less. However, “才” can also have a positive connotation, if having a smaller number is a good thing, as in this shopping example:

Sample sentence:

Chinese: 才三块钱一条,真便宜!

Pinyin: Cái sān kuài qián yī tiáo, zhēn pián yi

Translation:Only three dollars per pair, so cheap!

Using “  ” to express recency / As in “Just now”

“才” is also used to emphasize that something happened only a moment ago, but it happened with some delay. For example, if someone is asking you why you haven’t responded to their message, you might say:

Sample sentence:

Chinese: 我才接到你的信息。

Pinyin: Wǒ cái jiē dào nǐ de xìnxī

Translation: I got your message just now

When you are using “才” in this instance, you are implying that you should have replied earlier, but you haven’t because you only received the message a moment ago. When it is used like this, you can substitute “刚刚 (gāng gang), which also means “just now”, for “才”.

Using for general emphasis / expressing superiority

Lastly, and this may be the most difficult meaning for beginner learners to fully grasp, but sometimes “才” is used to add general emphasis to a sentence. This is a very informal way of using “才,” and it is usually used by kids or among close friends. At the same time, using “才” like this conveys a small sense of smugness/superiority, as in:

Sample sentence:

Chinese: 我才不吃呢!

Pinyin: Wǒ cái bù chī ne

Translation: I’m not eating it!

This sentence would be spoken by a child who is rejecting some food that he finds gross. He likely thinks that the food is not good enough for his taste. These sentences usually end with “呢 (ne)” to exaggerate the emphasis, but the “呢” is not necessary to make the sentence complete.

延伸阅读:

培智乐学汉语学院自成立以来,秉持严谨和规范的培训体系,汇聚对外汉语业界培训名师和专家教授资源,研发出独具特色的对外汉语教学体系。培智乐学汉语学院吸引了大量外籍中文学习爱好者和外资企业中文培训需求,同时吸引了大批国际对外汉语教学爱好者加入到全球推广汉语的队伍中来。培智乐学汉语学院被学员誉为对外汉语行业的“黄埔军校”。2016年培智乐学汉语学院荣幸地被国家汉办——孔子学院总部授予国家汉语水平考试考点的资质.


联系方式
CONTACT US
咨询热线:0755-25781095  25781009
24小时热线:13322922632
总部
深圳市罗湖区翠竹路1163号华盐酒店二楼培智乐学教育
宝安教学中心

宝安区罗田路20号幸福海岸10栋202C嘉升教育培训中心

南山教学中心
南山科技园南区高新南四道W1-B栋首层科技园培训中心;地铁:罗宝线深大站C出口50米(左边篮球场旁)


关注我们
FOLLOW US
扫一扫关注公众号
Copyright © 2017 深圳培智乐学教育科技有限公司 版权所有 粤ICP备16056845号-1