“Two Sessions” Period

Every early March, China’s top legislature and political advisory body are meeting in the capital for “两会(liǎng huì Two Sessions)”. Not only are media devoted to covering the event, ordinary folks are also keen on discussing hot-button issues that concern them.

 

对话 Dialogue:

nǐ kàn jīn tiān de xīn wén fā bù huì le ma

Simon: 你看今天的新闻发布会了吗?

Have you watched today’s press conference?

zhī kàn le yī bù fēn ,wǒ dǎ kāi diàn shì de shí hòu chà bù duō jiù yào jié shù le

Xiao Lin:只看了一部分,我打开电视的时候差不多就要结束了。

Only part of it. When I turned on the TV, it was nearly finished.

tài kě xī le jīn tiān fā yán rén de biǎo xiàn hěn jīng cǎi

Simon: 太可惜了,今天发言人的表现很精彩。

What a pity. The spokesman was very impressive.

wǒ kàn dào jì zhě qī zuǐ bā shé de gāo shēng xiàng tā tí wèn shí tā shǐ zhōng biǎo xiàn de zhèn dìng zì ruò

Xiao Lin: 我看到记者七嘴八舌地高声向他提问时,他始终表现得镇定自若。

I saw he kept as cool as a cucumber as the reporters shouted questions at him at once.

 

语言点 Language Points:

“只(zhī/ zhǐ)” can be used as a measure word as well as an adverb. 只zhī m. for one of certain paired things

一只手 a hand

两只脚 two feet

只zhǐ adv. only; merely; just 只有 only, alone

只能在外面看看 can only have a look from the outside

Apparently, in the dialogue above, “只” has the second meaning 差不多 chà bù duō close to; about the same; just about right; not far off; not bad

In the dialogue, it means “nearly”.

One more example, “这部机器和那部机器的质量差不多。”

(The quality of this machine isn’t far off from that one.)

七嘴八舌 qī zuǐ bā shé

七(qī) seven 嘴(zuǐ) mouth 八(bā) eight 舌(shé) tongue

Meaning: all talking at once, many men, with many minds.