We believe our voice actors for this lesson must have had horrible memories of music lessons as a child. Nonetheless, the more musically inclined among you may wish to join us as we cover some useful vocabulary for impressing friends and intimidating rivals at KTV showdowns. In addition to the sexy new lingo, we also pay a brief visit to our old friend 了, whose occasional lack of clarity should be par for the course at this point.
 said on
July 22, 2009
Update: sorry for the inconvenience everyone. mp3 uploaded now.
 said on
July 22, 2009
hi, David你最近好吗?
 said on
July 23, 2009
hey leping,

good to hear from you. we're all doing pretty well. drop a line the next time you're in Beijing and we'll have you over to the studio/office.


 said on
July 24, 2009
 said on
June 8, 2010
Hi! I'd really like to know the Mandarin for "off key". Whenever I ask, I get the impression that people don't really know what I'm talking about. In fact, I'm beginning to wonder if there is an equivalent to this in Chinese and don't trust the dictionary. The answers I get seem to mean rather more like playing or singing the wrong note, whereas "off key" means going a bit sharp or flat. Could you help me here?
 said on
June 10, 2010

yes, in Chinese we do have an equivalent to this, but with a different usage. The word is 走调(zou3diao4) or 跑调(pao3diao4). 走(zou3) is to walk. 跑(pao3) is to run. 调(diao4) is tones. The literal translation would be to walk or run away from the tones. 跑调(pao3diao4) and 走调(zou3diao4) are verbs.

The right way to use them:

他唱歌跑调了。(ta1 chang4ge1 pao3diao4 le5) He sings off key.

你又走调了。(ni3 you4 zou3diao4 le5) You are off key again.

他唱歌走调,弹琴也走调。(ta1 chang4ge1 zou3diao4, tan2qin2 ye3 zou3diao4) He's off key both in singing and playing piano.

开始你唱得不错,但是最后走调了。(kai1shi3 ni3 chang4 de5 bu4cuo4, dan4shi4 zui4hou4 zou3diao4 le5) You were pretty good at the very beginning, but became off key later.

Remember, 跑调 (pao3diao4) and 走调 (zou3diao4) are interchangable.

I hope this is useful for you.


from Popupchinese