放鸽子 (fànɡ ɡē zi)

Description
Dialogue

In this episode of Chinese video lesson, we are going to learn a new word:放鸽子。放,the forth tone, means to release or let go; 鸽子, the first tone and neutral tone, refers to a dove. Literally, 放鸽子 means “to let the dove go”.

However, 放鸽子 has another meaning: not showing up as promised. In ancient China, people used doves to send letters. One day, two people agreed to write letters to each other, but one of them sent a dove without a letter. Then the other one asked: “Why did you send me the dove but no letter? You didn’t keep your promise!” Gradually, people use “放鸽子” to describe someone not showing up to an appointment.

In Chinese, we use “放…鸽子” to express “stand sb up”. For example, “He stood me up”, we can say “他放我鸽子”。

Dialogue 1

mínɡ tiān qù dǎ lán qiú bɑ !

A: 明天去打篮球吧!

Let’s play basketball tomorrow!

hǎo ā, bié fànɡ wǒ ɡē zi ā !

B: 好啊,别放我鸽子啊!

Ok! Don’t stand me up!

Dialogue 2

zěn me le ? nǐ bù kāi xīn mɑ ?

A: 怎么了?你不开心吗?

What’s wrong with you? Are you unhappy?

wánɡ lěi shuō ɡēn wǒ yì qǐ kàn diàn yǐnɡ de , tā yòu fànɡ wǒ ɡē zi le !

B: 王磊说跟我一起看电影的,他又放我鸽子了!

Wang lei said he would watch movie with me, but he stood me up again!

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