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Lesson 166 What is Your Job?

M: Peng2you3men. Ni3men hao3! Huan1ying2 shou1ting1 Xian4zai4 Xue2 Han4yu3. Wo3 shi4 ML.

S: Da4 jia1 hao3. Wo3 shi4 Stuart. Well, we've learnt 丈夫, husband, zhang4fu.
M: Now for ‘wife'.
S: And after 医生 yi1sheng, or 大夫 dai4fu, we must learn ‘nurse'.
M: And more. So let's crack on.
S: 陈女士,What is your job? 你是做什么工作的? ni3 shi4 zuo4 shen2me gong1zuo4 de?
M: I'm a nurse 我是护士wo3 shi3 hu4shi.
S: 啊,你是护士。a4, ni3 shi4 hu4shi. The husband's a doctor, the wife's a nurse. 丈夫是医生,妻子是护士. That's very convenient.那很方便.na4 hen3 fang1bian.
M: A very short chat, but plenty to learn. Stuart asked –
S: 你是做什么工作的?
M: ni3 shi4 zuo4 shen2me gong1zuo4 de ne? 做 ZUO zuo4 here means ‘to do'. 工作GONG ZUO gong1zuo4 is ‘work' or ‘job'. So, ni3 shi4 zuo4 shen2me gong1zuo4 de? Literally, You are doing what job? In real English, What's your job? Say it with me, ni3 shi4 zuo4 shen2me gong1zuo4 de? 你是做什么工作的?
S: But remember, if you want to say What are you doing? (By my tone of voice, something naughty) We say, 你干什么 ni3 gan4 shen2me?
M: I'm never naughty. Because I'm a nurse, 因为,我是护士yin1wei2, wo3 shi3 hu4shi. 护士 HU SHI hu4shi is ‘nurse'. Say with me, He, or she, is a nurse. 他(她)是护士 ta1 shi4 hu4shi.
S: Hen3 hao3. And I said, 丈夫是医生,妻子是护士.
M: qi1zi shi4 hu4shi. 妻子 QI ZI,first tone third tone, qi1zi3 is ‘wife' qi1zi. So try to say, He is a doctor, his wife is a nurse. Fei1chang2 hao3. 他是医生,他的妻子是护士 ta1 shi4 yi1sheng, ta1 de qi1zi3 shi4 hu4shi.
S: qi1zi3 is a bit formal. More colloquial is 爱人 AI REN ai4ren2, literally, ‘love person'. Ai4ren2 can mean wife, husband, and also sweetheart.
M: So say, My sweetheart, or wife or hubby, is at the hospital. Hen3 hao3. 我的爱人在医院 wo3 de ai4ren2 zai4 yi1yuan4.
S: That's inconvenient. 那不方便.
M: na4 bu4 fang1bian. 方便 FANG BIAN, fang1bian4, convenient, fang1bian4.
S: Now everybody say, That's very convenient.
M: Mei2 cuo4, 那很方便 na4 hen3 fang1bian4.
S: That's very inconvenient.
M: 那很不方便 na4 hen3 bu4 fang1bian4.
M: To finish, a quick dialogue.
S: 你是做什么工作的 ni3 shi4 zuo4 shen2me gong1zuo4 de?
M: 我是护士wo3 shi3 hu4shi.
S: 丈夫是医生,妻子是护士. 那很方便 na4 hen3 fang1bian4.
M: Stuart, we've learnt ai4ren, but we haven't taught the three most important words in any language.
S: You're right, that's terrible. Je t'aime, te amo, I love you. 我爱你 wo3 ai4 ni3.
M: Great way to xia4 ke4. Zai4 jian4.