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Chinese Conversation Clips – Chinese Foods You Have to Try

English translation of video content:

Chris: OK. So if you come to China and want to eat out, is there any dishes that you must order, or dishes that you recommend, apart from hot pot, which we’ve talked about already?

Becca: I think if you come to Beijing you should definitely try Beijing Roast Duck, and there are also many dishes are adapted to foreigners’ tastes, because I have many foreign friends and I often recommend these dishes to them. I know that if many foreign friends order dishes in China, they have food that they don’t eat, for example they don’t like eating internal organs, or whole fish, whole shrimp or crabs, which have the eyes, small bones or large bones. You might not particularly like to eat these things, so I recommend that you order dishes like kung pao chicken, shredded pork with sweet bean paste, shredded pork with garlic sauce and so on, which have a sweet and sour taste, and the meat is prepared precisely. You have to try Beijing Roast Duck. If you go to Sichuan, there will be more delicious foods to try. As well as hot pot, you can try chuanchuanxiang (ingredients on skewers in a pot of boiling soup), and also…

Chris: That’s also very spicy.

Becca: Yes it is also very spicy. The foods are skewered on sticks of bamboo. You can also try Chinese barbecue.

Chris: I also like to eat barbecue, when we go out to eat.

Becca: There are also Chinese dumplings, one of China’s staple foods. You’ve got to try Chinese dumplings with different fillings.

Chris: Boiled dumplings and steamed buns with fillings.

Becca: And there are all kinds of pastries.

Chris: There are various types of pastries. Just talking about it, you’re making my mouth water, I’m starting to feel a bit hungry. So who is supposed to pay the bill if we go out for dinner, for example if a foreigner is coming to China, who is supposed to pay the bill? Will other people always treat you? Or do you split the bill?

Becca: I believe you have experience of this. If you have a meal with your Chinese friends, they will definitely treat you, right?

Chris: But sometimes I will feel awkward/embarrassed if other people treat me every time. After a few times, you may feel a bit uncomfortable, or you don’t want other people to treat you. So sometimes should foreigners, even they are guests in China, be proactive and express their intention to pay the bill?

Becca: Yes. It’s like this, Chinese people really want to have ‘face’. If everybody is sitting together having it meal, it proves that we are very close, right? And we have eaten together. But if when it`s time to pay the bill, we still split the bill, we pay ten yuan per person, the meal itself is not very expensive. For example us two have a meal costing 100 yuan, and we are good friends, then each of us has to pay 50 yuan to pay for the food, it may give the expression that we are very distant, don’t you think?

Chris: Or it could feel like you are very stingy.

Becca: Yeah, you would feel you have lost face. For example, generally men are supposed to treat women and hosts treat guests. If someone has a happy event or wants to thank the other person, he/she will take the initiative to treat them.

Chris: And if it is between friends, for example the first time I treat you, then you treat me the second time?

Becca: That’s right, that’s what you do between friends. It’s not that you treat me, and I accept it calmly, but that I will remember that you treated me last time, so the next time we eat together, I will take the initiative and say that I will pay this time. In fact, it is just a form of ‘courtesy demands reciprocity’, ultimately you have to keep the balance.

Chris: Okay, then let me treat you to a meal. What would you like to

Becca: Let’s go and see what we can order now.

Chris: Ok.

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