It can be the things you take for granted that
(guan1 yu2) (ling4 wai4 de.) (yu3 yan2) (zen3 me.) (jiao1) (ni3) (zhong1 yao4 de.) (dong1 xi1)
(concerning, with regard to) (other) (language) (how, what) (to teach) (you) (important) (things)
teach you important things regarding another language
(shi4 shi4 kan4) (mai3) (cai2 liao4) (rang4) (wo3) (zuo4) (mian4 bao1) (you4 you3 qu4 you4 hao3 wan2)
(to try to see) (to buy) (ingredients) (to let, to make) (me) (to work, to make) (bread) (both interesting and fun)
trying to buy ingredients to make bread was interesting and amusing.
When we first moved to Taiwan,
(wo3 men.) [(bu4) (zhi1 dao4)](zen3 me.) (shuo1) (zhong1 wen2)
(we) [(not)(to know)] (how) (to speak) (middle language)❸
we didn’t know how to speak Chinese.
Fortunately, in most cases,
(wo3 de.) (lao3 gong1 de.) (tong2 shi4) (zhi1 dao4) (yi1 xie1) (ying1 wen2)
(my) (husband’s) (same + matter, business, job = colleague) (to know) (some) (English)
my husband’s work colleagues knew some English.
In the case of bread making, however,
(gou1 tong1) (geng4) (nan2)
(groove or ditch + flow, communicate = effective communication) (to a greater degree) (difficult, hard)
communication was more difficult.
When we would say “flour,”
(ta1 men.) (ting1 dao4) (dou1) (yi3 wei2) (shi4) (hua1 duo3)
(they) (heard)(all) (thought as) (is, to be) (flower)
all they heard was “flower.”
Even if we explained exactly how I make bread,
(ta1 men.) (jiu4) (xiang3): (ta1) (yong4) (qi2 guai4 de.) (yuan2 liao4)
(they) (just, exactly) (to think): (she) (to use) (strange) (ingredients)
they just thought： she uses strange ingredients!
I could not figure out how to buy what I needed.
(za2 huo4 dian4) (mai4) (hen3 duo1) (zhuang1) (bai2 se4) (wu4 zhi2 de.) (bao1 zhuang1 dai4)
(mixed, miscellaneous, various + goods, commodity + store = grocery store) (to sell) (very many) (contain) (white) (substance) (packages of products for sale)
the grocery store sold many packages of white substances.
(ta1 men.) (yong4) (bu4 yi2 yang4 de.) (bao1 zhuang1)
(they) (to use) (not the same) (containers, packages)
they used different kinds of containers.
To make things worse,
(mei2 you3) (mian4 bao1 dian4) (mai4) (yi4 ban1 de.) (mian4 bao1)
(not have) (bakery) (to sell) (regular, common, normal) (bread)
no store sold “normal” bread.
Finally, one day,
(yi2 wei4) (lao3 gong1 de.) (tong2 shi4) (shuo1)
(one + measure word for a person) (husband’s) (colleague) (to say)
one of my husband’s colleagues said:
“I was thinking,
(ke3 neng2) (ni3 de.) (yi4 si.) (shi4) (yao4) (mai3) (mian4 fen3)
(possibly) (your) (meaning) (to be, is) (to want) (to buy) (wheat powder)
maybe you mean you want to buy wheat powder？
(mei3 ge.) (ren2) (dou1)(huang3 ran2 da4 wu4)
(every) (person)(all) (suddenly understood, suddenly made sense)
everything made sense to everyone!
But very few people in Taiwan bake anything
(suo3 yi3), (wo3) (zuo4) (chu1 zu1 che1) (qu4) [(hong1 bei4) (cai2 liao4) (dian4)] (mai3) [(geng4) (da4)] (bao1 zhuang1 de.) (mian4 fen3)
(so), (I) (to sit) (taxi) (to go) [(bake) (ingredient) (store)] (to buy) [(more) (big)] (packaged) (wheat powder)
so, I took a taxi to a special baking supply store to buy larger packages of flour.
And so it was that
在此以後，住在台灣 的時候我就能烤麵包給 我的家人了。
(在此以後)，(住)(在)(台灣) (的時候)(我)(就)(能)(烤)(麵包)(給) (我的)(家人)(了)。
(zai4 ci3 yi3 hou4), (zhu4) (zai4) (tai2 wan1) (de. shi2 hou4) (wo3) (jiu4) (neng2) (kao3) (mian4 bao1) (gei3) (wo3 de.) ( jia1 ren2) (le.)
(from then on), (to live) (in, at) (Taiwan) (when, time) (I) (to suit exactly) (able) (to bake) (bread) (to give) (my) (family) (indicates an accomplishment)
from then on, while we lived in Taiwan I could bake bread for my family.
The audio below is me reading the English and my tutor reading the Chinese, after she made me read it over several times, and also made me promise to use the recording to practice speaking out loud more. 🙂
In case you are curious, I have quite a drive to get to meet my tutor and so far have been doing these recordings in the coffee shop where we have our lessons. That is the background noise you hear. Maybe I will go higher tech in the future, but for now, I find these recording helpful to listen to and practice with.
Notes on helpful things I learned or was reminded of while writing these sentences:
❶ 的 (de.) on the end of a word indicates it is being used as an adjective describing the word that follows. However, sometimes if there is more than one adjective, the 的 (de.) is saved for the end of that list.
❷ The construction 又。。。又。。。 (you4…you4…) is the way of saying “both… and…” or “…this…this at the same time”
❸ 中 (zhong1) can be translated “middle, among, within, between.” Hence, when the Chinese refer to their own language, their vocabulary indicates it is the center of their universe.
❹ I originally chose the wrong word for “package,” not knowing that there is a “package” specific for mailing and shipping which is 包裹 (bao1 guo3).
❺ 恍然大悟 (huang3 ran2 da4 wu4) is one of those 4 word idioms. It literally means “all of a sudden + correct, certainly + big + become aware realize.”
❻ When you ride in something, which does not require any activity or action of yours, you use the verbs 坐 (zuo4) for “being seated in” or 搭 (da1) meaning “to take or travel by.” However, when you ride a bike or horse, you use the verb (qi2).
交流更難-use 交流 .it’s fine , but it’s better use溝通 gou1 tong 1
配料- pei4 liao4 used for side materials , pei4 -means to match ,to combine , 材cai2料- for all ingredients