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At the Market – Vegetables Posted by on Aug 8, 2013 in Byki Lists, Culture, food, Shopping, Vocabulary

An important part of your daily life is going to the market (市场 – shì chǎng) to buy groceries. Of course, doing this in China can be difficult if you’re not a native speaker – you can’t understand the labels, you don’t know to ask for what you want, and you find things you’ve never seen before and can’t quite identify.

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To make life easier for you, and to ensure that you don’t end up just eating kung pao chicken (宫保鸡丁 – gōng bǎo jī dīng) every day, I’m going to write a short series of posts that provides tons of useful vocabulary for grocery shopping in China. For the first post, here are 25 Chinese words for vegetables (蔬菜 – shū cài):

Screen Shot 2013-08-08 at 10.11.10 AMStudy those words, and then get out there and hit the market or a restaurant to practice! If that’s not an option for you, try answering these questions at home in Chinese:

  • What vegetables do you like to eat?
    你喜欢吃什么蔬菜? (nǐ xǐ huan chī shén me shū cài)
  • Do you eat vegetables every day?
    你天天吃蔬菜吗? (nǐ tiān tiān chī shū cài ma)

This short video will help you with your pronunciation.

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About the Author:sasha

Sasha is an English teacher, writer, photographer, and videographer from the great state of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he moved to China and spent 5+ years living, working, studying, and traveling there. He also studied Indonesian Language & Culture in Bali for a year. He and his wife run the travel blog Grateful Gypsies, and they're currently trying the digital nomad lifestyle across Latin America.


Comments:

  1. Peter Simon:

    Hi, really important. But funnily enough, this was the first, so probably the easiest thing to learn as a beginner in China. You just go out, point and listen what they say, consult a friend perhaps, and voila! I know most fruits and vegetables at the market. No kidding! But the ‘dou’ in the picture is not beans, it’s something the Indians would call yellow lentils, and I think in English they’re yellow half-peas. Hungarians call them almost the same as that (without the ‘half’). Definitely not beans! Try making ‘doufu’ out of them 😉

  2. Mike Stalder:

    I didn’t see On Cai (water spinach) on that list. I could get it in California, ate it all the time in Nanning, Guangxi, but can’t seem to find it here in Florida.


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