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First Episode 31: 花樣少年少女


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A part of the Grand First Episode Project -- See this thread for more info.

Official website - English overview (includes a pretty decent summary and character list)

Emule (rmvb, high quality) - Emule (avi, low quality)

youku - youtube - youtube (English subs) - veoh (English subs)

Difficulty level: Elementary

A Taiwanese manga adaptation about a girl who pretends to be a boy so she could go to an all-boys college and meet her sport idol. A light-hearted (and easy) teenager show.

When this project started, I don't think anyone expected that there would be a show that is simple enough for even relatively inexperienced learners to follow. I think that this is such a show. The vast majority of the vocabulary is really such common and everyday stuff that anyone thinking of doing well on the HSK basic should have no problems following.

The vocabulary list is kind of long, but this is because this episode is twice the normal length (over one hour in total), and also because I listed many common words so less experienced learners who try this can have an easier time. Have a look at it, most of those words are trivial, and many of them are not crucial to the plot anyway. I don't think that a TV show not for children can be much simpler than this.

A small problem for some people will be the use of traditional characters throughout. Still, even lower intermediate people should be able to follow much of the conversation here without subtitles. It's fast in places, but mostly really easy. I've listed both the traditional and simplified variants in the vocabulary list below.

樱開 樱开 yīng kāi (name of a college)

遲到 迟到 chí dào to arrive late

付出 fù chū to pay

代價 代价 dài jià price / cost

讓開 让开 ràng kāi to get out of the way / to step aside

表述 biǎo shù to formulate / to explain sth precisely

海帶 海带 hǎi dài kelp

執著 执着 zhí zhuó stubborn / persistent

證明 证明 zhèng míng to prove / to confirm the truth of

目標 目标 mù biāo target / goal / objective

重新 chóng xīn again / once more / re-

出發 出发 chū fā to start out / to set off

擔當 担当 dān dāng to undertake

怯場 怯场 qiè chǎng to have stage-fright

觀念 观念 guān niàn notion / thought

攻勢 攻势 gōng shì (military) offensive

猛烈 měng liè fierce / violent

人稱 人称 rén chēng a person's name / person (grammar)

聞風喪膽 闻风丧胆 wén fēng sàng dǎn terror-stricken at the news

除非 chú fēi only if (..., or otherwise, ...) / only when / only in the case that

計較 计较 jì jiào to bicker / to argue

菜鳥 菜鸟 cài niǎo (derog.) sb new to a particular subject / newbie

震撼 zhèn hàn shake / rock / shock

體育 体育 tǐ yù sports / physical education

田徑 田径 tián jìng track and field (athletics)

獨來獨往 独来独往 dú lái dú wǎng keeping to oneself / unsociable / maverick


小氣 小气 xiǎo qì stingy / petty / miserly / narrow-minded

寢室 寝室 qǐn shì bedroom / dormitory

還蠻 还蛮 (I think this is like 挺好, Taiwanese slang)

練球 练球 liàn qiú practice (a ball game)

引起 yǐn qǐ to give rise to / to lead to / to cause

沙拉 shā lā salad

小甜心 xiǎo tián xīn little sweetheart (???)

惡意 恶意 è yì malice / evil intention

懷孕 怀孕 huái yùn pregnant / to have conceived

思議 思议 sī yì to imagine / to comprehend

芭樂 芭乐 bā lè

黄金右脚 golden right foot

饼臉 饼脸 bǐng liǎn

門禁 门禁 mén jìn guarded entrance

測驗 测验 cè yàn test / to test

陽間 阳间 yáng jiān (I'm assuming this means the mortal world)

製造 制造 zhì zào to manufacture / to make

傷亡 伤亡 shāng wáng casualties / injuries and deaths

直排轮社 (I think this is the inline skating club, 直排轮 = inline skates, I think)

加入 jiā rù to become a member

認輸 认输 rèn shū to concede / to admit defeat

血壓 血压 xuè yā blood pressure

昏迷 hūn mí to lose consciousness / to be in a coma

大呼小叫 to scream in shock

精神 jīng shén spirit / mind / consciousness


器官 qì guān organ (part of body tissue)

骨髓 gǔ suǐ bone marrow

請教 请教 qǐng jiào consult

示意 shì yì to hint / to indicate (an idea to sb)

報答 报答 bào dá repay / requite

國泰 国泰 Guó tài Cathay Pacific (Hong Kong airline)

命案 mìng àn a fatal case (legal, criminal, medical etc)

誠意 诚意 chéng yì sincerity / good faith

校醫 校医 xiào yī school doctor

誇張 夸张 kuā zhāng to exaggerate / overstated

躲 duǒ avoid

節目 节目 jié mù program

意外 yì wài accident / mishap

騙人 骗人 piàn rén to cheat somebody / liar

I couldn't find some of the words, and some of them I couldn't even look up, as I couldn't identify the characters. Still, most of the tricky stuff should be up there.

In terms of story/acting, this was OK, teenager stuff that's luckily nowhere near as annoying as I had feared. As a learning resource, it was excellent, lots of dialogue that's easy to follow (listening practice) and traditional subtitles to practice with (cause the dialogue is so easy to follow).


Edited by renzhe
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  • 4 months later...

(This is going to be a low content post ><)

I've watched 9 episodes before giving up.

on the plus side, it's pretty easy to follow (elementary vocabulary), easily available english subs, and they don't sing all that much during the episodes.

on the minus side, ridiculously silly story line and acting; way too long with 15 one hour episodes...

there are loads of shows in the same style, just look for Taiwanese adaptations of Japanese Shoujo manga. I watched half of the 1st episode of "18 禁不禁" but the story is even worse.

I'm going to try 家有儿女 now (奋斗 is still way too hard).

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  • 3 months later...

Thanks for the description. I'll watch it. It's hard my me because i;m a beginner and i study putonghua and this is different. But i watched "Devil beside you" and the language was soooo nice. And i like the generic, so i guess i'll like the show too. It's girly. Thanks again.

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It's not very different.

The language is quite standard but the accent is quite Taiwanese. But any show will have some kind of accent. And unfortunately, all the subtitles are in traditional characters.

You could try a version with English subtitles, though.

and the first show is always hard. But it's really cool when you start understanding more and start enjoying the show.

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  • 2 months later...

I was hoping this show would hook me, because I would then have something at a fairly easy level to watch. I found it enjoyable enough and not overly irritating, but there is nothing really pulling me in.

Slight spoiler of first episode - I was disappointed a few characters already figured out she was a girl. Especially since she makes a pretty convincing boy, as far as these type of things go.

And that doctor creeps me out.

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