Documentary: The Bite of China

Chinese people have successfully inherited the diversification and delicacy of Chinese food from their ancestors. So Chinese food nowadays is not only used to satisfy people’s appetites, but also to represent thousands of years of China’s cultural background.

This documentary “The bite of China (舌尖上的中国)” will demonstrate how Chinese cuisines are diversified and connected to Chinese culture.

It will be a good source of learning Chinese because you will see the lives of ordinary Chinese people through the process of making food. It is also satisfying to watch because you can see how Chinese food is made by ingredients from different regions of China.

I have written down certain narrations from the documentary. After reading, you can find the corresponding parts in the documentary to help you with your listening and pronunciation.

The beginning narration

jiā,  shēngmìng kāishǐ de dìfang.
家 ,    生命          开始 的  地方 。

rén de yìshēng zǒng zài huíjiā de lùshang.
人  的     一生      总    在    回家 的   路上 。

zài tóngyì wūyán xià,   tāmen shēnghuǒ, zuòfàn,
在   同一      屋檐  下 , 他们          生火 , 做饭 ,

yòng shíwù níngjù jiātíng, wèijiè jiārén.
用     食物    凝聚    家庭 , 慰藉 家人 。

píngdànwúqí de guōwǎnpiáopén lǐ,    chéng mǎn le zhōngguóshì de rénshēng,
平淡无奇    的       锅碗瓢盆      里 ,   盛       满 了         中国式     的    人生 ,

gèng zhéshè chū zhōngguóshì lúnlǐ.
更        折射  出          中国式    伦理 。

rénmen chéngzhǎng, xiāngài, biélí,    tuánjù. jiācháng měiwèi, yě shì rénshēngbǎiwèi.
人们            成长 ,    相爱 , 别离 , 团聚 。 家常         美味 , 也 是      人生百味 。

Home, where life begins.

People are always on the way home.

Under the same roof, people light fires and cook,

using food to unite family and comfort family members.

Everyday pots and pans are brimming with the Chinese lifestyle,

and more, are used to reflect Chinese morals.

People grow up, fall in love, separate and reunite. Delicious home cooking also reflects many different flavors of life.

 

5:26

zhǐyào bǎ gǔwù yánmó chéng fěn,
只要    把   谷物  研磨       成     粉 ,

měi yígè shānxīrén dōu shì zhìzuò miànshí de tiāncái.
每   一个     山西人    都   是     制作     面食     的   天才 。

tóngyàng shì miànshí, shānxī zhōngbù de huòzhōu zuòfǎ gèng jīngzhì.
     同样      是     面食 , 山西       中部     的     霍州      做法   更      精致 。

yì shuāng qiǎoshǒu ràng rìfùyírì     de shíwù hé rìzi dōu xiǎnde búzài dāndiào fáwèi.
一    双            巧手      让    日复一日 的 食物   和 日子 都     显得   不再      单调 、  乏味 。

xīnhūn de nǚér huímén, niángjia huì zhìzuò zǎo huā mó.
   新婚   的  女儿   回门  娘家       会     制作   枣   花   馍 。

mó de shùliàng hé huāyàng dàibiǎo le duì nǚér de téngài chéngdù.
馍   的     数量     和     花样       代表    了 对 女儿  的   疼爱      程度 。

méiyǒu yígè mǔqīn huì dàimàn.
    没有 一个     母亲   会   怠慢。

Every Shanxi person is a geniuswith flour as long as he/she can ground grain into powder.

The same wheat-derived food is made more delicately in Huozhou (a city located in central Shanxi province).

People there rely on their sophisticated skills to make their food and lives feel no longer tedious.

When a newly married daughter comes back home after 3 days, jujube buns will be made in their parents’ house.

The numbers and varieties of buns represent the love of the daughter’s family towards her,

so no moms will slack off.

 

回门 (huímén): Newly-married daughters need to go back to their parents’ house 3 days after the wedding. It’s called 回门

娘家 (niángjia): when a lady is married, the family of the lady (including all of the relatives) , is called 娘家, husband’s family is called 夫家 (fū jia).

 

7:05 

zhuōyǐ chūxiàn zhīqián, zhōngguórén chīfàn shì fēn shí zhì.
  桌椅      出现        之前 ,      中国人       吃饭  是    分  食 制 。

jīngguò le 1400 duōnián, cái kāishǐ wéizhuō hé cān.
    经过 了 1400     多年 , 才    开始      围桌   合 餐 。

sìdài tóngtáng wèi fēngshōu tuánjù qǐlai.
 四代     同堂      为       丰收       团聚   起来 。

jǐnguǎn shì zuì pǔtōng de jiācháng fàncài,
    尽管    是  最     普通  的       家常     饭菜 , 

  yào    jiǎngjiu    luòzuò  de    shùnxù    cháoxiàng .
也   要       讲究          落座   的       顺序      和       朝向   。 

zǔ yéye 90 suì,    yíbèizi zuò nóngshì,
祖 爷爷 90 岁 , 一辈子  做      农事 ,

zhèngduì yuànmén de zuòwèi yào liúgěi tā,
    正对           院门    的    座位   要     留给 他 ,

zhèshì chuántǒng  zhōngguó zhǎngyòu  zūnbēi  de  zhìxù .
这是       传统           中国           长幼             尊卑   的   秩序   。

Before the tables and chairs were invented, Chinese people had meals separately.

Only after 1400 years did people start to sit around a table and eat together.

Four generations gather to celebrate the harvest.

Even when it’s the most ordinary meal,

people pay particular attention to the order and orientation of the seat arrangement.

The grandpa is 90 years old now; he did farm work for his entire life.

The seat facing the courtyard door is reserved for him.

This is the traditional social order regarding seniority.

 

讲究(jiǎngjiu): As a verb, to pay special attention to;  as an adjective, it means elegant, exquisite, tasteful

长幼尊卑

长幼(zhǎngyòu):old and young

尊卑(zūnbēi):honorable and humble

 

Join our event. Let’s read it together and learn more!

Chinese book club – A Bite of Chia 舌尖上的中国

Saturday, Jul 25, 2020, 7:00 PM

Online event
,

10 Chinese lover Went

Let’s take a look at one of the most famous documentaries in China. It’s a food making documentary which not only shows all kinds of Chinese food, but also reflects Chinese daily lives, traditions and ethics. So it’s a great documentary for Chinese learners to learn language and culture! On the event day, we will read certain narrations of the docu…

Check out this Meetup →



LEAVE A COMMENT