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I watched 10 minutes of the first episode. I could follow along with pausing. But Jesus Christ, a guy with a red shirt appeared, and I swear he wasn't even speaking Mandarin. Ugh. I'm pretty sure I'll never be able to understand crazy northern accents. I have no idea how you guys do it! Anyway, this is the first drama I've watched. Already I'm cringing non-stop. Good thing I'm watching it for more than entertainment value. I guess I have to get use to this kind of absurd stuff eventually if I wanna keep using TV to practice!

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              lin1                        maybe this is 上海话 too, as here the meaning doesn't seem to match with the dictionary


So I asked a friend. It is Shanghainese. The sentence 我拎得清的 means "I understand your meaning" or I "understand the rules". In the context of the show the guy is trying to explain his relationship with his boss and the taxi driver says jokingly "ahh I see how it is" - 我拎得清的. You can also use it in another context. For example say you're violating some kind of social rules, your friend can say "你要拎得清" - obey the social conventions。 etc.



卡座                                       ???

 This a noun, "booth seating". Just do an image search.



一贴药                                    obedient  (上海话,sounds like "yi ti ye")


This is very old Shanghainese not used much any more. But you got it right. It means obedient.



0开头                                      ???

She's referring to the taxi drivers license number (which he later makes clear to the guy: it starts with lots of zeros because he's a 老司机

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Epsode 7: 条子 痞子 铐子


Local ne'er-do-well 胡超 is arrested by police officer/old school classmate/unrequited love of his life 梅婷. At the police station we get to meet a gallery of other lovable rogues. 胡超 is up to something dodgy (ticket scalping, pimping, forging illegal documents?). 梅婷 tries to get to the bottom of it.




理直气壮            li3zhi2qi4zhuang4               sure, certain that one s rght

身不由己            shen1bu4you2ji3                involuntarily, in spite of oneself

不待见               bu2dai4jian4                       dislike

分道扬镳           fen1dao4yang2biao1          to part company, each go their different ways

截然不同           jie2ran2bu4tong2                completely different

一心                  yi1xin1                                 wholeheartedly

向善                  xiang4shan4                       inclined to goodness or charity

辜负                  gu1fu4                                let down, disappoint

期盼                  qi1pan4                               expectations

年华                  nan2hua2                           time, years

拉皮条              la1p2tiao2                           act as a pimp

严惩不怠/贷      ren2cheng2bu2dai4            punish without leniency

古董                  gu3dong3                           antique

世道                  shi4dao4                            the manners and morals of the time

拷                     kao3                                   the dict says to flog or beat, but unless the modern police are more brutal than I imagne, this probably means to queston/interrogate

太师椅              tai4shi1yi3                          old-fashioned wooden chair


忧伤                 you1shang1                        weighed down with sorrow

谗言                 chan2yan2                         to slander, false charge, give a false account

凄美                 qi1mei3                              poignant, sad and beautiful

毛片                 mao2pian4                         porno

油条                 you2tiao2                           a dodgy character, sly person

塞满                 sai1man3                           to fill up

兢兢业业          jing1jing1ye4ye4                cautious and conscientious

勤勤恳恳          qin2qin2ken3ken3             industrious and conscientious

审                     shen3                                interrogate

猜忌                 cai1ji4                                jealous and suspicious

敷衍                 fu1yan0                             just go through the motions, do something in a perfunctory way

地痞                 di4pi3                                local riffraff

全力以赴          quan2li4yi3fu4                  go all out, spare no effort

光线                 guang1xian4                     light

称兄道弟          cheng1xiong1dao4di4      call each other brothers

胡扯                 hu2che3                            talk nonsense

脚崴                 jiao3wai3                           to sprain one's ankle

荷包蛋             he2bao1dan4                   fried/poached eggs

过意不去          guo4yi4bu2qu4                 feel sorry/apologetic

洗心革面          xi3xin1ge2mian4              turn  over a new leaf

影视圈             ying3shi4quan1                 TV and movie circles (of friends)

前科                 qian2ke1                           have a previous record (of crime)

扛把子             kang2ba4zi0                      mafia kingpin (江湖话)



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Thanks for the help with the vocab Stapler. I'm not in China right now, so can't ask any friends for help.


Regarding the accents, despite being set in Shanghai, most of them definitely sound northern to me (hard "sh" sound, lots of "er" added on the end of words, even the choice of words used). Don't worry, keep on watching and you'll quickly get used to it. I remember the first time I came across northern accents watching the show 奋斗, I could hardly understand a word the boys said (the girls spoke more clearly), but I was fine be the end of the series. 加油!

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Demonic_Duck, I thought it had something to do with the black stuff too at first, but then thought no way would they introduce a rival alcoholic beverage when they're pushing the 人头马CLUB so hard (they even managed to slip a reference into this episode too, despite being set in a police station.

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Episode 8: 阉不阉


Claire(梁怡) is pondering two questions: whether to 阉 (castrate) her philandering cat and whether or not to divorce her philandering husband 叶军. Meanwhile, 胡超 has arranged a meeting with a young lady at Claire's coffee shop. Is he really there to arrange a mate for her cat, or is it just an excuse for a 约炮 (hook up). 




席卷                 xi2juan3                     to engulf (lit. roll up like a mat)

绝境                 jue2jing4                    hopeless situation

本分                 ben3fen4                   stay within bounds

吃奶的力气      chi1nai3de0li4qi4       all one's strength

有过之而无不及                                  even worse (than before)

高端                 gao1duan1                high-end

柠檬                 ning2meng2               lemon                    

比斯开              Bi3si1kai1                  Biscay (Spain)

烘焙                 hong1bei4                  to cure (by drying over a low fire, like tea), here it seems to mean to bake (as in the biscuits)

心得                 xin1de2                      tips, insight, knowledge

冰清玉洁          bing1qing1yu4jie2      pure as jade and chaste as ice, pure and noble

金莲                 jin1lian2                      lily feet (mens laudatory term for women's bound feet) 

潘金莲             Pan1jin1lian2              notorious femme fatale-like character from Chinese literature http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_Jinlian

勾搭                 gou1da0                     to fool around with (sb.)

百无禁忌          bai3wu2jin4ji4             anything goes (no taboos)

打马虎眼          da3ma3hu0yan3         act dumb, pretend to be ignorant about something

穿一条裆裤      chuan1yi1tiao2dang1ku4        to collude, gang up together

你借我十个胆我也不敢这么干啊            借我十个胆 seems just to emphasise the 不敢 part of the sentence.

配种                 pei4zhong3                  breeding

拆穿                 chai1chuan1                to expose, unmask

逆反心理          ni4fan3xin1li3               reverse psychology

不分青红皂白   bu4fen1qing1hong2zao4bai2        make no distinction between right and wrong

发情期              fa1qing2qi1                  heat/breading period

窜                     cuan4                           flee, scurry

碍眼                 ai4yan3                         be an eyesore

布朗尼              bu4lang3ni2                 brownie

搅                     jiao3                             disturb, annoy

心头肉              xin1tou2rou4               dearly loved person

伪装                  wei3zhuang1               pretend, disguise

过夜                  guo4ye4                      from the previous night

贵族                  gui4zu2                       aristocrat

酸甜苦辣           suan1tian2ku3la4        the joys and sorrows of life

正宗                  zheng4zong1              genuine

浪子回头金不换    lang4zi3hui2tou2jin1bu2huan4       a prodigal son who returns home is worth more than gold

核对                  he2dui4                       to check, verify

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Note that there's a bit of Sichuanese in here, principally when Claire and her dad are talking. I think Sichuannese is the coolest dialect. Most of the words seem similar to standard mandarin, only with completely messed up tones. If I ever move back to China and get to choose where to live, I'm definitely choosing Chengdu! 


Here's a classic short scene from 爱情公寓 with more sichuanese:


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I don't think 紀亞文 is speaking slowly like that for any sort of acting reason. At first I thought it might be because he is trying to hide his Taiwanese accent by deliberately forcing out a more "mainland" accent, but then I watched some interviews of him and he actually just talks slowly. Maybe he has a learning disability or something. I just find the way he talks takes a lot of patience to pay attention to...

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I think the whole 人头马CLUB plugging got a bit out of hand the last episode. It was funny how Claire (the coffee shop owner) was trying to sell cognac to the customer. What kind of young Chinese girl would go to a coffee shop in the middle of the afternoon to drink hard liquor!?!?!  :shock:  

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Episode 9: 双保险


I'm sure all of us at chinese-forums have been through this situation countless times before, right? You're an incredibly talented foreigner living and working in China. Unfortunately, due to your mesmerizing good looks you never get the credit you deserve for your hard work. Well you'll sympathize with 安东尼 then when he goes to a company party to celebrate his first successful case. Ling had better be careful though, because 安东尼 has become the object of the affections of a beautiful young French girl.


Episode 9 is unavailable on the main 男人不醉 youku page for some reason. I've found this alternative link, hopefully it's working for everyone:




好比                hao3bi3                         just like, may be likened to

顺从                shun4cong2                  to comply

力求                li4qiu2                           make every effort to, strive to

提案                ti2an4                           proposal

反馈                fan3kui4                       feedback, response

公关                gong1guan1                 public relations

布置                bu4zhi4                         assign

挖墙脚            wa1qiang2jiao3             sap the wall, to undermine

土生土长        tu3sheng1tu3zhang3     locally born and bred

好伐                                                      ???

上阵               shang4zhen4                 go into battle

实打实            shi2da3shi2                  honest, genuine

老相识            lao3xiang1shi2              people who have known each other for a long time

假纯               jia3chun2                       ???

情不自禁        qing2bu2zi4jin4             can't refrain from

憎恶               zeng1wu4                     abhore, loathe (but Ling seems to pronounce it as zeng4wu4)

擅自               shan4zi4                       do something without permission

默认               mo4ren4                       acquiesce in

说一不二        shuo1yi1bu2er4            keep one's word

剥夺               bo1duo2                       to expropriate

以此为            yi3ci3wei2                    regard as, treat as

丘比特           qiu1bi3te4                     Cupid

千瓦               qian1wa3                      kilowatt


I don't really get that last little conversation just before the end credits. Hopefully someone can explain.

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A couple of thoughts about this episode:


1. Tony (who turned up as the man-for-hire in the first episode) has the most 欠抽的 face ever.


2. The cute little french girl's Chinese is pretty good. If I were to make a guess I'd say she probably came to China a year or two ago with her expat parents. Although still far from native level, her pronunciation seems much more natural an less affected than most adult learners of Chinese (a benefit of being a kid I suppose). I particularly like the way she slurs 法国人.

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Episode 10: 情兽


The boys are all out at a nightclub to celebrate 叶军's divorce. 安东尼 learns about 叶军's 三眼法搭讪理论. Tune in for a Chinese masterclass in picking up girls.





责无旁贷                  ze2wu2pang2dai4                    to be one's responsibility, be duty bound

一蹶不振                  yi1jue2bu2zhen4                      collapse after a single setback

定时炸弹                  ding4shi2zha4dan4                  time bomb

精辟                         jing1pi4                                     penetrating (analysis), insightful

柳下惠                     liu3xia4hui4                               a man from the 春秋 period who acted in a very gentlemanly way and didn't take advantage of a woman when he had the chance

傻叉                        sha3cha1                                   fool

菲佣                        fei1yong1                                   Filipino maid

净身出户                 jing4shen1chu1hu4                   leave a marriage with nothing (no possessions or property)

二郎神                    er4lang2shen2                           figure in Chinese mythology http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erlang_Shen

屌                           diao3                                          penis (but here it probably means "cool" or something, as I don't think he's insulting 叶军)

牵牛花                   qian1niu2hua1                            white-edged morning glory (I don't understand the joke that 叶军 is making here)

烟熏妆                  yan1xun1zhuang1                       smoky-effect make-up around the eyes

斗志                     dou4zhi4                                      fighting spirit

打头阵                  da3tou2zhen4                             spearhead the attack

捣江湖                  dao3jiang1hu2                            

毛线                     mao2xian4                                   from baidu: 现代网络用语,表示强烈的感叹,近似于英文里的“Fucking”

豁出去                 huo1chu0qu0                               go ahead regardless of risk

为所欲为             wei2suo3yu4wei2                         do whatever one likes

以不变应万变      yi3bu2bian4ying4wan4bian4        cope with a contantly changing situation by sticking to a fixed principle or policy

单刀直入            dan1dao1zhi2ru4                  come straight to the point

光说不练            guang1shuo1bu2lian4           all talk no action

下身                   xia4shen1                              genitals

杰尼亚               jie2ni2ya4                               Ermenegildo Zegna (Italian clothing brand)

宵夜                  xiao1ye4                                 late-night snack

肾                       shen4                                    kidney

虚                      xu1                                         weak (of health)

脂肪肝               zhi1fang2gan1                       fatty liver

头破血流           tou2po4xue4liu2                     badly bruised and beaten

脑震荡              nao3zhen4dang4                    cerebral concussion

档次                  dang4ci4                                 grade, level

殡仪馆               bin4yi2guan3                          funeral parlour

迟钝                  chi2dun4                                 slow witted, obtuse

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Episode 11: 六合拳与白眼狼


There's a lot of talk about Harbin having the most standard mandarin in China. Well now you can listen for yourself what a 东北纯爷们儿 sounds like as 皓子's friend 六合拳 comes to pay him a visit in Shanghai. 六合拳 has been a good friend to 皓子, financially supporting him through uni by working as a KTV boy (an experience which he amusingly describes as 喝了吐,吐了喝,喝了再吐,吐了再喝,喝了接着吐,吐了接着还喝). Has the time come for 皓子 to return the favour?




六合                 liu4he2                   the six directions, the whole world

扯                     che3                      talk nonsense 东北话

犊子                 du2zi0                    calf (small cow)

削                    xiao1                      to peel

传单                 chuan2dan1          leaflet

伸手不见五指   shen1shou3bu2jian4wu3zhi3    pitch dark

壮胆                 zhuang4dan3        build up somebody's courage

跳贴面             tiao4tie1mian4       dance cheek to cheek

褶子                zhe3zi0                   wrinkle, crease

麻痹                ma2bi4                   benumb, numbness

尽然                jin4ran2                  entirely so (used here for extra emphasis

吃低保            di1bao3                  to be on welfare 

杨浦                yang2pu3              Yangpu district, Shanghai

两万户/二万户                               a series of housing estates built to house workers in Shanghai in the 1950s

阁楼               ge2lou2                  loft, attic

小家碧玉        xiao3jia1bi4yu4      pretty girl of humble birth

垫                   dian4                     to pad out

当断则断        dang1duan4ze2duan4     to make a decision when it's time to decide

大家闺秀        da4jia1gui1xiu4      a girl from a wealthy family

次要               ci4yao4                  secondary, less important

嘎达               ga1da                 place, 地方 (东北华)

天妇罗           tian1fu4luo2           tempura

接济              jie1ji4                      give financial assistance

身价              shen1jia4                social status

保镖              bao3biao1              bodyguard

碧池              bi4chi2                   bitch (loanword)

垫背              dian4bei4               act as a cushion, act as the fall guy for other's misdemeanors

讹                  e2                          to swindle

奖励              jiang3li4                  reward

总裁              zong3cai2              director, president

赤手空拳       chi4shou3kong1quan2   bare-handed

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