Use this tool to add tone marks to pinyin or to convert tone number (e.g. hao3) to tone marks.

Although you can use the red buttons to add tone marks, we highly recommend you use the number method (e.g. hao3) for speed and placement of the accent above the correct vowel. [Hint: Type "v" for "ü"]
Note: You do not need to use this tool to enter pinyin in this dictionary.

TWCC57 – The Plight of the Vegetarian in China, Episode57

We’re back for another episode of Two White Chicks in China!

This week our question comes from Mandi, who asks us “What’s it like to be a vegetarian in China?”

If you want to ask us a question just go to our voicemail page and leave us your question!

In This Episode We Talk About…

  • A review from David
  • Some comments..
  • “Man shocked to learn his kidney has gone ‘missing’ following chest surgery”.
  • Mandi’s question.
  • Hollie’s 30 Days as a pescatarian.
  • “I don’t eat meat!”
  • What China thinks of vegetarianism
  • Being vegan and “ethical” in China
  • Animal cruelty (sorry!)
  • Our Chinese words of the week are ‘vegetarian’: 吃素 (chī sù) and ‘vegetarian food’: 素食 (sù shí). You can learn more Chinese words on our Online Dictionary.
  • DON’T FORGET TO CLAIM YOUR FREE WRITTEN CHINESE DICTIONARY FLASHCARDS! Use the promocode ‘twowhitechicks’ for your free set of dating flashcards. Read these instructions to claim your Chinese flashcards!
  • If you have a question for us, please send us a voicemail or leave us a message below!
  • People and Companies We Mentioned in the Show

    Episode Length 45:44

    Thanks so much for tuning in. Join us again next week for our next topic and another question from one of our listeners!
    If you want to ask us a question you can Send us a Voicemail!

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    Thanks for listening guys!
    – Hollie & Nora

    twcc57 square - vegetarian

    Facebook Comments

    • Chinabob

      I think what is a more difficult situation is the plight of allergy sufferers in China. With so many Chinese restaurants always putting the boiled peanuts on everyone’s tables and so many of them fry everything with peanut oil the person who comes here with a nut allergy had better be prepared!

      • Hollie Sowden

        Yeah, that’s a really good point that we didn’t pick up on at all. I think allergies or an intolerance to food seems alien here. The only thing people seem ‘allergic’ to in China is alcohol.

    • Chinabob

      I have been to many dinners out in China with people I both knew well and not. Many a dinner with colleagues and even clients of my wife’s. Many times there would be one or two people who didn’t eat meat. They just remarked when the ordering was taking place that they don’t eat meat, 我不吃肉 wo bu chi rou。 I do not recall anyone batting an eye at this. Didn’t seem to phase anyone, they just ordered extra veggie dishes (whether or not they arrived as veggie dishes I don’t recall). Then, whilst I prefer to just take my chances my wife would still pipe up and let them know wǒ bù chī yú 我不吃鱼 I don’t eat fish, wǒ bù chī hǎi xiān 我不吃海鲜 I don’t eat seafood. This then causes more of a stir then the person not wanting to eat meat. They find it a tad more strange. Then they will ask, any fish? No Shrimp? To which I just say no thanks. I then often joke that if the cow stayed out in the rain too often I’d be put off that too 😉 They’ll go ahead and order. I just tell them “as you like” suí biàn 随便,They really feel this is stranger than not eating meat but it quickly passes and we all have a nice dinner.

      • Nora Joy Wilson

        Definitely, and there may be a bit lost in translation there. 我不吃肉 (wo3 bu4 chi1 rou4) can be translated as “I don’t eat pork.” When you see 肉 (rou4) by itself, the default meaning is pork. Not eating pork is more a common phenomenon than vegetarianism in China, since there are quite a few Muslims here. So the staff is likely to have come across this before and knows which dishes don’t have pork in them. Then when you start saying you don’t eat fish or seafood, they might wonder what’s going on. If you want to be clear, you have to say “我吃素” (wo3 chi1su4), but they’ll still likely think it’s strange, meat being still such a sign of prosperity.

        • Chinabob

          Funny that, I heard you mention it on the podcast but I really never remember anyone using just the word 肉 ròu by itself for pork,I’ve only ever heard it referred to as 猪 肉 zhū ròu. I for one am a born carnivore so I won’t be needing 我吃素 anytime soon. Have heard it used at the table though before. Though from my experience they seem to find not eating seafood stranger than not eating meat. I’ve never seen anyone question someone or seem phased over someones reluctance to eat meat whereas not eating seafood seems to cause more confusion. The whole relation to prosperity is a much more southern notion as well.

          Hey, just to stray off topic a bit, I notice you use the Wade-Giles tone numbers when you write pinyin instead of using Hanyu Pinyin tone marks. Any particular reason? I find the numbers more awkward and brain consuming while the tone marks more intuitive. Just curious.

          • Nora Joy Wilson

            If you see just 肉 by itself in the name of a dish, it’s pretty safe to assume that it’s going to be pork- at least that’s what I’ve experienced. For the pinyin marks, I’m just lazy 😛 For me, numbers and tone marks use the same amount of brain cells since I’m used to both. But for the sake of other’s out there, you’re right, I should probably use tone marks.

            • Chinabob

              Nah, just use whatever’s more comfortable. Others can adapt. I’m just more accustomed to the tone marks myself and I was curious because I don’t see the numbers much.

              What I find irritating is that the government and Chinese public (businesses) don’t bother with either one. You see characters with so called pinyin accompanying them but no tone indications whatsoever. 🙁

            • Nora Joy Wilson

              Yeah, that’s bad- renders the pinyin pretty much useless.