Beginner in Chinese?

Sign up to get a free basic Chinese course complete with MP3 audio, 
plus learning tips and video lessons! 

Chinese Conversation Clips – Chinese Liquor (Baijiu)

English translation of video content:

Chris: First question, what kind of alcohol do Chinese people generally drink?

Becca: In fact, the most famous type of Chinese liquor is“Baijiu” It is a kind of thick and transparent liquid distilled from grain.

Chris: Is it because of its transparency that it is called “Baijiu”?

Becca: Yes, it has no colour, so it is called “white liquor” (Baijiu). A lot of Chinese people drink red wine and beer too, so baijiu, red wine, and beer are top three kinds.

Chris: Actually, I’ve found that drinking beer is also quite common. Many people drink beer while eating.

Becca: Especially in the summer, it’s quite refreshing to drink a cup of ice-cold beer. And it is appropriate to drink beer while eating delicious food, hotpot, barbecue, etc, those delicacies we mentioned before.

Chris: So where do people go to have a drink, in a bar or at home while eating?

Becca: Probably only young people have the habit of going to bars. As far as I know, not many people drink at home, unless they really love drinking or tasting alcohol. Most Chinese people drink with friends and family members when there are a lot of people together.

Chris: So do this mean we should be well-prepared if we go out to eat, cause we may have to drink a lot, if you eat out?

Becca: Yes, particularly on business occasions. People gather and have a drink at night after a day’s hard work in business.

Chris: Have you ever drunk baijiu?

Becca: I rarely drink.

Chris: How did you feel [when you drunk it]?

Becca: Baijiu is very strong, and it tastes like vodka from Russia. It tastes very strong.

Chris: It’s different from vodka in fact. It takes stronger, or you could say it is more special. It is very strong.

Becca: Yes, it is a type of strong liquor. Baijiu normally has more than 30% alcohol content, sometimes it could be as high as 50% or 60%.

Chris: Sometimes it could be as high as 60 and 70 percent.

Becca: It’s a strong liquor with a very high alcohol content. But for those who love to drink alcohol, it is quite special. If you love tasting alcohol, it has a grain fragrance, a lot of people drink it, and think that baijiu tastes good.

Chris: But you have to get used to it. You may feel that baijiu is very strong, or doesn’t taste good, or smells too strong. But if you drink more or get used to it…

Becca: You’ll start to love the taste.

Chris: Or maybe you’ll get drunk, and you won’t care about its flavour, because in any case, you won’t be able to taste it. But many people love drinking baijiu.

Sign up here to get access to the full transcripts with Chinese characters and Pinyin:

  • Liam Morgan

    Keep up the good work Chris, I bought your package last year before I moved to China and I only got through the first 4 lessons before I arrived in Beijing and then I got distracted by other things. It might be a bit basic for me now as I plan on doing HSK3 within the next 6 months but your fresh content here is awesome. 我觉得你的妻子很漂亮。你的课很不错, 谢谢你的帮助.