Lesson Five Going to the Barbers (2)

Updated 2014-05-28 17:03:04

CRI reporter: Dominic Swire

Receptionist: 只剪十五块。

Dominic: Not bad. A little more expensive than the street barbers, but at least here you get the added luxury of a roof and four walls! Ok, let's see what these guys can do with my messy hair. 我要洗剪吹。

Receptionist: 好的。

(Sit down for shampoo, with head in sink being washed)

Dominic: Normal practice in China is to have your hair washed before it's cut. A shampoo in China is pronounced 洗头, which directly translates as “wash head”. But to be honest, I hate having my hair washed, so normally I would say 我不需要洗头!

GRAPHIC FLASH: 我不需要洗头。我不需要 I don't want or I don't need, 洗头 means shampoo, the third tone and the second ton, 我不需要洗头。I don't want my hair washed.

(Move to barber's chair)

Barber: 你好!
Dominic: 你好!
Barber: 你想剪什么样的?
Dominic: Hmm. Now I have to tell the barber exactly what I want. This could be a bit tricky. I wonder if anybody else here is having a similar haircut to me.

(Comic scene: Dominic looks to his right and is shocked to see Ludo in the chair. Ludo is a foreign expert from the french department at cri. He has a skinhead.)

Ludo's barber to Ludo: 您觉得怎么样?
LUDO to his barber: 后面再多剪点儿。

(Dominic now is very worried because of seeing Ludo's “hairstyle”.)

Dominic: 我想修剪一下。请别剪太短。
Barber: 好的。

GRAPHIC FLASH: 我想修剪一下。Remember 我想 means I want, 修剪 to trim, the first tone and the third tone, 一下 means a little bit or slightly, 我想修剪一下。I want my hair trimmed slightly.

请别剪太短。请别 means please don't do sth., 剪 to cut, 太短 means too short, together 请别剪太短。Please don't cut too short.

(Barber starts to cut hair.)

Dominic: While I'm busy here, let's listen to some other experiences of foreigners who have had their hair cut in China.

Danny: Certainly it presents a little bit of a challenge to the average Chinese hairdresser, because I think they're maybe not as used to working with very curly hair. And of course, the number one question is always, “is your hair real?” And of course, you know, it is and I have to explain it's natural; I was born with this hair and as it grow, it gets curlier.
Rich: The thing is with my hair is it's kind of very fine. Despite the fact it looks like this now, it's fine. And at the front I have a cowlick, or core-flick. So my hair at the front grows around in a circle. This guy had never seen that. So for him, the most exciting thing was, one, he was cutting a foreigner's hair; and two, he was seeing this thing at the front of my head and he was just poking it and laughing his head off and stroking my hair because he's like “It's so soft, it's so soft, I've never seen hair like this before”. And he was giggling, which kind of made me feel a little uncomfortable.


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