This is the first few paragraphs from a storybook, the book is aimed at older children/young teens and contains a nice mix of simple Chinese with idioms and some excellent vocabulary. The storybook is of the kind that allows you to choose which way the characters will go by giving the readers choices as to what page to turn to. Let’s look at some of the key words that will be appearing in the text below.

The name of the book is 夺宝奇兵 if you would like to find it.

Key Words

博物馆 – Meaning museum. Often combined with the word 历史 to form 历史博物馆 meaning a historical museum.

道别 – Goodbye. In the text below 道了别 which is something that can be done with many verbs in Chinese that consist of two characters.

亚当 – Simply the name Adam.

Introducing Uncle Adam

(Hover over the Chinese for pinyin)

这个暑假前所未有的悠闲。正和朋友在游泳池里避暑嬉戏的你,突然接到一通你的叔叔亚当的电话。虽然在外人看来,他是一个整天衣衫褴褛,疯疯癫癫的怪人,但是你一直都和他相处得很不错,也正是他身上有这样古怪的气息才让你觉得他风趣且与众不同。

“亚当叔叔你好!”

“你好,时间有限,我长话短说,你现在快到博物馆来见我”。

不多说一个字,电话断了。这可真够奇怪的!你叔叔一直都慢条斯理的,博物馆细致的工作和清净的工作环境练就了他这样的生活。你从未见过他如此急切,想必是有什么重要的事情。你立刻起身,和朋友们道了别,向博物馆赶去。不一会便来到了大门口,门卫叔叔让你在门口稍等片刻。

你叔叔为博物馆呕心沥血工作了十年,是这家博物馆里无人不晓的科学家。在你印象中,每次出差回来,他都会带回不同年代的珍贵化石,并牵着你的小手带你一同前去参观它的战利品。同样,你也非常喜欢亚当叔叔在博物馆的大厅里为你讲解恐龙骨架结构和侏罗纪白垩纪时期的故事。就当你在博物馆大堂的巨幅蝴蝶展前看得出神时,亚当叔叔就来了。

 

Difficult Translations

Let’s look at a couple of the trickier Chinese parts and translate them into English.

If you want a useful book to help you understand Chinese grammar then I recommend buying “Basic Patterns of Chinese Grammar” (This link will take you to Amazon where you can purchase it). It is a great resource for beginner/intermediate learners and helped me a lot when I first started.

字,电话

断 means to “to cut” or sever, it has a lot of uses and by saying 断了 it implies a slightly more serious air than simply sayings 挂了 which means “hang up”. In the context of the story above then we can translate this to “Without saying another word, the connection severed”.

从未如此急切

This sentence uses 过 as an experience marker. For example, 我见过它 Would translate to “I saw him”. In the sentence above we could translate it to “You have never seen him so rushed before”

门卫叔叔门口稍等片刻

This might be confusing as the story focuses upon an “Uncle Adam” but in this sentence the guard is referred to as “门卫叔叔”. 叔叔is a title of address that children often give to male adults, not just to their own uncles. It is also very common for children to call females “阿姨”。These are usually used when the person being addressed is around the same age as the child’s parents. In English we do not really use this and would translate this to be “The guard told us to wait by the door a few moments”.

Comprehension Questions

Answer the questions in the comment section below.

  1. 亚当叔叔在哪里工作?
  2. 请解释“道了别”是什么意思
  3. 亚当叔叔在博物馆工作了十年,十年是很长一段时间,你做过的最长时间的工作是什么呢?主要负责什么?请做简单介绍。

What do you think?

If you have learnt any new words then comment below and let us know. Please share if you found it useful. Thanks! and happy learning.