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Did you have “早点” this morning?

早点-1.png

Simon has just arrived in China for business. He loves learning Chinese; however, he only studied the language briefly before leaving for China. What will happen to him with such limited knowledge about China? How much culture shock will he face?

The first day when he got up and took a walk on the street, he was confused by all the signs he saw that read "早点 (zǎo diǎn)," which were in front of many shops and stalls along the streets. Simon thought the sign told people to get up early for work. Because of this, Simon thought that Chinese people are very diligent and hardworking.

This afternoon, while chatting with a friend, he mentioned this discovery.

zhōng guó rén zhēn qín láo 

Simon:中国人真勤劳。

Chinese are really hard-working.

wéi shí me zhè me shuō 

Xiao Lin:为什么这么说?

Why do you say so?

dà jiē shàng dào chù dōu yǒu "zǎo diǎn "

Simon:大街上到处都有”早点”。

Everywhere on the street there are signs saying “early”.

hā hā, nà xiē "zǎo diǎn" kě shì "zǎo cān"de yì sī ā.

Xiao Lin:哈哈,那些”早点”可是”早餐”的意思啊。

Haha, those signs means "breakfast".

The signs "早点 (zǎo diǎn)" in front of the shops and stalls actually means "breakfast", which may confuse foreigners.

The word "早点 (zǎo diǎn)" has two meanings in Chinese. First, it literally means "early," as in early in the day. However, 早点 (zǎo diǎn) can also mean "breakfast," being a combination of "早上" (zǎo shàng), which means "morning," and "点心" (diǎn xīn), which means "dim sum". 早点 (zǎo diǎn) isn't just dim sum, though; it refers to anything you might eat in the morning. 早点 (zǎo diǎn) has the same meaning as 早餐 (zǎo cān), which is a more typical word for "breakfast."

Example:

Jīn tiān de zǎo diǎn hěn hǎo chī.

A: 今天的早点很好吃。

Today's breakfast is very delicious.

míng tiān zǎo diǎn  lái chī

B: 明天早点来吃。

Come to eat early tomorrow.

2016-06-21

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