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geraldc

Ep1 Plot + Some Language Chinese Style Divorce

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geraldc

Having now watched the first episode of 中国式离婚 in its entirety, the closest western programs to it are "Cold feet" in the UK and "thirtysomething" from the US.

It's definitely watchable, and even if it's not chosen as the Soap of the month, it's interesting enough for me to carry on watching it anyway.

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geraldc

Thing's I noticed other than the aforementioned shocking ambulance situation.

If you can't finish the meal 打包 is the equivalent of a doggy bag.

I think I'll go over so of the more soap related points...

I wasn't clear about this bit, the hospital director referred to Lin as Song, and Lin had to correct him, is this something to do with her not taking her husbands name or something?

The neighbour who Song helps upstairs with her bag 肖莉, discovers a young hair in her bed and discovers another woman's scent on her husband's pillow and kicks him out (although how you can age a hair puzzles me, maybe the young refererred to the perfume?). This will naturally allow her to become a free agent, so now she's no longer in a relationship, I'm sure things that were once only platonic friendships now have the potential to develop further...

换人 used to refer to a non-sporting substitute

I think we need to split into 2 threads, one a vocab thread that can be read through before watching the episode, and one a soap discussion and speculation thread.

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roddy

Chinese women wouldn't normally take the husband's name - it's just part of the 'Lin is forgotten and ignored' theme - the old guy can't even remember her name.

肖莉's pretty cute, I hope we get to see the girl the husband prefers :mrgreen: . I don't think we can rule out the possibility of some 肖莉 and 宋健平 action in the near future - shame on you, 健平! But 小枫, don't nag so. And what about 当当 and the as yet unseen 妞妞 - puppy love?

One bit I didn't quite get, is when 小枫 and 李先生 were having lunch and he forgot about the favor he meant to do, he said 我小时候让猪亲了 - I was kissed by a pig when I was a kid. I googled and there's a few examples of this but I can't quite figure it out - does being kissed by a pig make you lose your memory?

Will set up a Soap Opera forum soonish. I guess we need a seperate discussion topic for each episode to avoid spoiling it, and perhaps for vocab as well.

Quite looking forward to this. Now I've got to go and read 兄弟.

Roddy

EDIT: Question - what speed do you think we should try and work through this? There's no need to keep exactly in step, but having a target might be a good idea. I'll suggest five episodes per week - that will let us get through it in a little over a month, and will allow for both a one-a-day schedule for the disciplined, and weekend catching up for the rest of us. Sound ok?

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roddy

I re-watched the first episode of 中国式离婚 today and made not-very-good notes as I went, which will hopefully help anyone who finds it a little challenging to get into. I'm not planning to do this for every episode as it's kind of time-consuming. However it should make it a little easier to watch the first episode and decide if you want to continue or not. After that you can just ask questions on the stuff you didn't follow.

Having rewatched it I'm fairly impressed. The characters are well-drawn, and there's no simple bad guy / good guy lines being drawn. Both husband and wife have their flaws. I also like the direction - it's not afraid to let things remain silent for a while to give the audience time to think, rather than filling space with constant action as many shows do.

Notes follow, complete with spellling and grammar errors.

Chinese-Style Divorce Episode 1

1) 1:00 We see Song Jianping and Lin Xiaofeng at their respective workplaces. Lin Xiaofeng talks to a colleague, commenting that language teachers aren't in as much demand as maths teachers for home tutoring (家教). Lin phones Song to remind him of a lunch meeting.

2) 4:08. Car crash (车祸). Victim Dongbei phones Song to ask for help.

3) 6:40. Song phones Lin but can't get through. He goes into the operating theater.

4) 7:51 Lin and Dangdang are waiting at the restaurant. The men are late, and they have to take a larger room, meaning more expense. She asks for a discount. Cut between the operating room and the big, empty restaurant.

5) 9:00 李先生 arrives. Lin hopes he can help Song get a better job, but Song still hasn't arrived. 救人一命胜造7级浮屠 - better to save one life, than build a 7-storey pagoda. 下馆子 - eat out.

6) 10:00 Operating room. We find out the victim is Song's neighbour and 干儿子 - godson.

7) 11:00 Restaurant. Song asks Li to speak to his brother-in-law about helping Song move jobs. Li has forgotten and says that when he was small he 让猪亲过. He makes a call.

8) 11:45: Song back at the hospital talking to a colleague about the music he listens to while operating. 贝多芬, 肖邦 - Beathoven, Chopin. His colleague is surnamed 肖 and claims that the 肖 family always produces talent. Song asks him if he knows what is the correct standard for surgery (什么以这为标准) and answers his own question. Watch out for the perfume / actress joke as they leave the hospital

9) 12:50. Restaurant. Li can't get through on the phone, but remembers he has heard the position is already filled. He tells Lin that he is sure Song will be in demand at any hospital and promises to ask around, then leaves.

10) 14:10Hospital canteen, Lin meets a retired director of the hospital 老赵who praises Song as 才华横溢 - full of wit and talent. Lin tells him he's still an ordinary doctory, with no change since he retired - 跟你退的时候没什么两样, except that he is older. The director complains about duck ribs being the same price regardless of size and suggests the canteen staff weigh them. 物有所值 - get value for money. They argue, Lin intervenes and it becomes a 原则问题 - a question of principle. Director collapses.

11) 17:20 Song arrives home and helps an attractive woman (ah, we'll be seeing her again, I bet) up the stairs with her bag.

12) 18:00 We meet Dangdang, who tells his dad mum's gone to the canteen.

13) 18:20 Back at the canteen, the ambulance arrives. After the director is stretchered away the canteen woman ask Lin to stay and help her explain what happened, but Lin gets upset at being called 阿姨.

14) 19.45 At home, Lin tells Song what happened. We hear the director's wife wailing outside.

15) 20:33 Later. 又怎么了 - what's wrong this time? She tells him the director worked all his life and died arguing over the price of duck ribs and asks what the point is of staying at that hospital, apart from reputation. She urges him to go to a joint-venture hospital - 合资医院 and tells him that his 3000Y isn't enough for them to 过好 - to live well. He offers her some Chinese medicine to control her temper. Surprisingly he doesn't get slapped.

16) 23:27. Hospital. Song interrupts a card game, and after he's gone we get a hint of something going on with him and 肖莉,but 肖 who we met before tells them to stop talking nonsense - 扯谈.

17) 24:49. Back with the woman who Song helped earlier.

18) 26:18 Lin and Dangdang.

19) 26:55 Previous woman - 肖莉? - and her husband. 妞妞 is mentioned, presumably their daughter.

20) 28:00 Lin and Song going to bed. Song is friskier than Lin - 你不想我想, and Lin complains about being called 阿姨 by the 丫头 (roughly 'wench') in the canteen She worries about living a monotonous life 平平淡淡一辈子,like 老赵.

21) 30:15 Next day.

22) 30:55 Lin's mother calls to tell her her brother will visit.

23) 31:47 They meet him at the train station. Brother is called 小军. On the way home he courageous rescues a woman from her violent husband. 我打我的老婆跟你有什么事 - what's it to you if I hit my wife?.

24) 33:12 At Lin's mothers. Dangdang wants to sit next to (挨着) 小军. Song has to leave to see a patient.

25) 34:49 Hospital. Song is seeing patients, including his neighbour who promises to sell his motorbike after Song tells him he'll wind up taking a tour of all the other departments if he keeps on riding. The neighbour has changed mobile phone number as he's avoiding a girl called 小丽 as he has 又换了新人了 - got a new one. Song asks why it's best to always tell a girl she is your second girlfriend, rather than first or third.

26) 38:00 Lin and her mother talk about 老赵, and her mother tells her husband not to die first. Lin speaks to her aunt (姑姑), who bought her up for a while, on the phone.

27) 40:05 Hospital. We see that woman again, she is 肖莉

28) 40:15 Minibus to the funeral for 老赵. 肖莉 can't make it because of work.

29) 41:50 Coming back, Song is asked if he's prepared for his application to attend an overseas conference. He hasn't.

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gougou

Finally got around to watching the first episode. I liked it from the intro on (which hit a weak spot...). I also found it to be much easier to understand than I expected (which does not mean I didn't need a dictionary in pretty much every scene.)

Does anybody know where this has been shot? The few views of the city they show look quite appealing.

One language question:

什么以这为标准
Wouldn't that mean: what takes these as standard?
Surprisingly he doesn't get slapped.
Not really surprisingly. He seems to have some experience with women: he first clinches her and then tells her stuff worth a good slap.:mrgreen:

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gougou

I rewatched the entire episode without vocab breaks yesterday.

It sure is a somber start, everybody's life seems to be far from perfect: people die or are involved in car crashes, get beaten or cheated on by their husband (you'd think 萧红 wrote the script...), argue... The ones that aren't dead yet can't wait to be, it seems (小枫 wondering about 平平淡淡一辈子, and her mother trying to beat her husband to it)

In all this misery, the two main characters seem still rather happy, as they have each other and, while arguing, end up in each others arms instead of in tears. Maybe this is supposed to hint at the characters of the people concerned, as 小枫 argues about the same thing as 老院长, but doesn't die over it.

The only two that truly seem happy (left aside 当当, who is too young to have any worries), though, are those that arrive there with questionable means: 李先生 who is treated to a copious meal, while forgetting about the favor he was to do in return, and 东北, who just disposed of his seventh girl friend and got a new one by telling her she was the second.

Doesn't look like one should expect a happy end...

One more thing I noticed but can't really make sense of is that 肖莉's husband doesn't have a face.

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roddy
One more thing I noticed but can't really make sense of is that 肖莉's husband doesn't have a face.

Metaphorical - he cheated on his wife, so 没面子 :mrgreen:

More realistically, I'd guess it's just because he doesn't actually have any part to play in the story, so they just wheeled him in and wheeled him out as quickly as possible. I'll probably be proved wrong when he turns up later though.

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johnmck

Nine minutes into the first episode (in the resturant) there is the sentence: 说是有个出车?的不救不行 (the question mark is a word I don't get).

I translate this as: "(on the telephone) said they have a 'no rescue no good' dispatch rider something". Can anyone shed a bit more light on this sentence for me?

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gougou

The sentence should be 说是有个出车祸的不救不行

车祸 means car crash (you didn't read roddy's summary attentively enough! :nono )

Try the sentence like this: 说是有个出车祸的(人),不救不行

"There is a man who got hit by a car, they have to operate."

不。。。不行 means there is no other way but doing whatever ... stands for.

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johnmck

Im slowly working my way through the first episode...

At 16min 37 sec in the canteen the server uses the words: 你也是一天两天了 what does this mean?

John

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roddy

What she says (on the subtitles on the version I have anyway) is

我盯你也不是一天两天了啊

ie - I've been watching you for more than a couple of days, or something along those lines. She then goes on to list his crimes - taking two food boxes when everyone else uses one, etc . . .

Roddy

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