(ㄓㄨㄣˇ ㄅㄟˋ)(ㄍㄨㄛˋ)(ㄍㄢˇ ㄣ ㄐㄧㄝˊ)
(zhǔn bèi)(guò)(gǎn ēn jié)
(to prepare)(to celebrate)(Thanksgiving)
Preparing for Thanksgiving❶
(ㄕㄤˋ)(ㄓㄡ)(ㄧㄣ ㄨㄟˋ)(ㄧㄠˋ)(ㄍㄨㄛˋ)(ㄍㄢˇ ㄣ ㄐㄧㄝˊ)， (ㄨㄛˇ ㄇㄣ˙)[(ㄅㄨˊ)(ㄉㄨㄢˋ)](ㄉㄜ˙)(ㄇㄤˊ)(ㄓㄜ˙)
(shàng)(zhōu)(yīn wèi)(yào)(guò)(gǎn ēn jié), (wǒ men.)[(bú)(duàn)](de.)(máng)(zhe.)
(last)(week)(because)(want to, need to)(to live, to celebrate)(to be grateful + gratitude + holiday = Thanksgiving Day), (we)[(not)(broken) = continuous)] (ly)(busy)(-ing/particle indicating action in progress)
Last week, because of Thanksgiving, we were constantly busy.
(ㄕㄤˋ)(ㄒㄧㄥ ㄑㄧˊ ㄙˋ)(ㄕˋ)(ㄍㄢˇ ㄣ ㄐㄧㄝˊ)
(shàng)(xīng qí sì)(shì)(gǎn ēn jié)
(last)(week day four/Thursday)(is/to be)(Thanksgiving)
Last Thursday was❷ Thanksgiving.
(ㄓㄥˇ)(ㄒㄧㄥ ㄑㄧˊ)(ㄨㄛˇ ㄇㄣ˙)(ㄉㄡ)(ㄗㄞˋ)
(zhěng)(xīng qí)(wǒ men.)(dōu)(zài)
……[(ㄓㄨˇ ㄈㄢˋ)(ㄓㄨㄛˋ)(ㄌㄧㄠˋ ㄌㄧˇ)]
……[(zhǔ fàn)(zuò)(liào lǐ)]
……[(to cook meal)(to make)(cuisine, gourmet food)]
………(ㄏㄢˋ)(ㄑㄧㄥ ㄐㄧㄝˊ)(ㄑㄩㄢˊ ㄅㄨˋ)(ㄉㄜ˙)(ㄈㄤˊ ㄗ˙)
………(hàn)(qíng jié)(quán bù)(de.)(fáng zi.)
………(and)(to clean)(whole, complete)(adjective marker)(house)
The whole week we all cooked special food and cleaned the whole house.
(ㄨㄛˇ ㄇㄣ˙)(ㄉㄜ˙)(ㄌㄠˇ ㄙˋ)(ㄧㄠˋ)
(wǒ men.)(de.)(lǎo sì)(yào)
(our)(adjective marker)(fourth child)(to want)
……(ㄗˋ ㄐㄧˇ)(ㄐㄧˋ ㄏㄨㄚˋ)(ㄍㄢˇ ㄣ ㄐㄧㄝˊ)(ㄉㄚˋ ㄊㄢ)
……(zì jǐ)(jì huà)(gǎn ēn jié)(dà cān)
……(oneself)(to plan)(Thanksgiving)(big meal)
Our number four child wanted to plan Thanksgiving dinner by herself.
(ㄅㄨˊ ㄍㄨㄛˋ)(ㄉㄚˋ ㄐㄧㄚ)(ㄉㄡ)(ㄅㄤ)(ㄊㄚ)(ㄓㄨㄣˇ ㄅㄟˋ)(ㄕˊ ㄨˋ)
(bú guò)(dà jiā)(dōu)(bāng)(tā)(zhǔn bèi)(shí wù)
(however)(whole family, everybody)(all)(to help)(her)(to prepare) (food)
……(also)(to wash)(very)(many)(bowl + plate = dishes)
However, the whole family helped her prepare the food and also wash the many dishes.
(ㄨㄛˇ ㄇㄣ˙)(ㄏㄨㄟˋ)(ㄧ ㄓˊ)(ㄇㄤˊ)(ㄉㄠˋ)(ㄕㄥˋ ㄉㄢˋ ㄐㄧㄝˊ)
(wǒ men.)(huì)(yī zhí)(máng)(dào)(shèng dàn jié)
(we)(will)(straight through, continuously)(busy)(to arrive) (Christmas)
We will be busy continuously until Christmas.
(ㄗㄞˋ)(ㄧ ㄍㄜ˙)(ㄩㄝˋ)(ㄐㄧㄡˋ)(ㄕˋ)(ㄕㄥˋ ㄉㄢˋ ㄐㄧㄝˊ) (ㄌㄜ˙)
(zài)(yī ge.)(yuè)(jiù)(shì)(shèng dàn jié)(le.)
(again, then)(one)(month)(exactly)(to be/is)(Christmas)(indicates completion)
In one month, it will be Christmas!
❶ The translation could be “Preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving” also, but what I asked my tutor about was saying “preparing for Thanksgiving” and this is what needs to be said in Chinese. Recall there are not prepositions in Chinese.
❷ This is translated as “was” because the time indicator in the Chinese sentence has stipulated “last week.” If the time indicator had been “today,” it would be translated “is”; or if it had read “next week” it would have been translated “will be” even though in Chinese the character 是 ㄕˋ (shì) would be used in each instance.
❸ In this case, it would not be enough to say simply 煮飯 ㄓㄨˇ ㄈㄢˋ (zhǔ fàn), as that would imply indicate an ordinary, every day meal. Adding 做料理 ㄗㄨㄛˋ ㄌㄧㄠˋ ㄌㄧˇ (zuò liào lǐ) adds what is needed for preparing food for a festival or celebration.
❹ Like in English, we usually say we are going to someone’s “home,” but when we are cleaning, it is referred to as a “house.”
❺ Please see this blog about ordering things in Chinese to understand this term better.
❻ In Chinese, most meals are referred to by time of day, so in order to indicate the unique type of meal here, it is called a “big meal,” instead of dinner, because it is not dependent on time of day.
❼ Two other ways to say “continuously” are
ㄅㄨˊ ㄉㄨㄢˋ ㄉㄜ˙
(bú duàn de.)