Presidential Election Vocabulary in High School Chinese

Danny Stock

Brush up on your Mandarin Chinese alongside Min Wang’s High School Chinese classes. They learned vocabulary related to the 2020 presidential election and to COVID-19 prior to the election. 
 
Ilan Hamond ’21 explained, “The vocabulary practice started with reviewing basic presidential terms in Chinese, like president (总统), vice president (副总统), candidate (候选人), and Biden (拜登). We then learned how to integrate these terms into complex Chinese sentences about the election. By the end of the vocabulary practice, we learned how to say sentences like ‘The Electoral College has a total of 538 electoral votes, and the candidate with 270 electoral votes is the new president of the United States.’ Basic Chinese sentences usually have a general structure of SVO (subject ➔ verb ➔ object). These patterns become easier to follow and understand with a lot of structure practice.”

Students enjoyed discussing the topics in Chinese and learning the vocabulary. Maddie Feldman ’22 said, “At a time when I had been completely submerged [in] lingo about the presidential election (from hearing predictions on the news to discussions in school groups to external get-out-the-vote work), having a forum to return to the basics of American politics in Chinese class was incredibly refreshing. I especially loved learning about the logical progression from one vocabulary word to the next as seen with the radical elements of various characters in the Chinese language, which reminded me that elections, when stripped down to their basic functions, should not be difficult to administer or understand!”

Prior to the Thanksgiving Break, these students also presented, by video, a gratitude song with artistic hand motions for the High School Assembly recording.

Vocabulary list with example sentences

  1. 总统 [zǒng tǒng] president 
  2. 副总统 [fù zǒng tǒng] vice president
  3. 众议院
  4. 候选人 [hòu xuǎn rén] candidate
    e.g.,总统候选人presidential candidates
    川普 [chuān pǔ] Trump
    拜登 [bài dēng] Biden
  5. 竞选 [jìng xuǎn] election, campaign; to campaign for, to run for 
    e.g., 总统竞选or 总统大选 Presidential Election
    今年是大选年。presidential year
    我以后要竞选总统。
  6. 选举 [xuǎn jǔ] election, vote
    e.g., 总统竞选or 总统大选or总统选举 Presidential Election
    今天是选举日。
    大家都非常关心今年/这次的总统选举。
  7. 选举人团 [xuǎn jǔ rén tuán] Electoral College
    e.g., 选举人elector
    每一个州有不同的选举人票,我的州有XX张。
    选举人团一共有538张选举人票,得到270张选举人票的候选人就是新的美国总统。 
  8. 普选 [pǔ xuǎn] universal suffrage, general election,Popular Votes
    e.g. 美国选举是选举人团制度,不是一人一票的普选。
    2016年希拉里赢了普选,但是选举人票比川普少。
  9. 选票 [xuǎn piào] ticket, ballot
    e.g. 我刚刚把我的选票寄了出去。
    我是10天前把我的选票寄出去的。
  10. 邮寄选票 [yóu jì xuǎn piào] mail-in ballot
    e.g. 我比较担心新冠病毒,所以我选择了邮寄选票。
  11. 选民 [xuǎn mín] voter
    e.g. 今年选民的投票热情非常高。
    今年有很多第一次投票的选民。
  12. 投票 [tóu piào]  to vote, to vote for, to cast a vote
    e.g. 今年的大选很重要,我当然要去投票。你投票了吗?
    我刚刚给XX投了票。
    我2016年把票投给了XX。
  13. 投票站 [tóu piào zhàn] polling place; voting station
    e.g. 我更担心邮寄选票会有问题,所以我选择了去投票站投票。
    14.  投票率 [tóu piào lǜ] rate, turnout
    e.g. 今年的投票率是百分之N。
    15.  赢 [yíng] win
    e.g. 我们还不知道谁赢了。
    16.  输 [shū] lose
    e.g. 他们觉得他们还没有输。
    17.  民调 [mín diào] polls
    e.g. 根据(大选之前的/最新的)民调,在XX州,A(只)赢了B+N个百分点。
    18.  结果 [jiē guǒ] result
    e.g. 我们可能要到X月X号才会知道最后的结果。    
    19.  最高法院 [zuì gāo fǎ yuàn] Supreme Court
    e.g.最后可能是最高法院的大法官(Judge  fǎ guān)来决定谁赢了这次大选。 
    20.  民主党 [mín zhǔ dǎng] the Democratic Party
    21.  共和党 [gòng hé dǎng] the Republican Party
    22.  自由 [zì yóu] liberal, free, freedom
    23.  保守[bǎo shǒu] conservative
    e.g. 民主党比较自由,共和党比较保守。
          “保守”在中文里面不是一个好词,但是“conservative”在英文里面不是一个不好的词。
    24.  支持 [zhī chí] to support
    25.  红州 [hóng zhōu] red state
    e.g. 红州的选民大多支持共和党。
    26.  蓝州[lán zhōu] blue state
    e.g. 我的家在X州,一直是一个蓝州。
    27.  摇摆州 [yáo bǎi] swing state
    e.g. 摇摆州就是有的时候支持民主党,有的时候支持共和党的州。美国大选的结果常常是由摇摆州的选民来决定的。
    28.  十月惊奇 [jīng qí] October surprise
    e.g. 今年没有什么十月惊奇啊。
    29.  辩论 [biàn lùn] debate
    30.  话题 [huà tí] topic
     
     
    讨论题:
    1.     请谈一谈你自己的投票经历。
    2.     请谈一谈你的家乡/城市的投票情况。
    3.     你觉得这次大选对美国的影响是什么?
    4.     税(shuì, tax)、新冠病毒(xīn guān bìng dú, COVID-19)、国家安全、健康保险(jiàn kāng bǎo xiǎn, health insurance)、种族(zhǒng zú, race) 、气候变化(qì hòu biàn huà, climate change)和中国是2020年总统竞选的主要话题,你最关心哪个话题,为什么?
    5.     为什么在竞选的过程中,两党候选人都攻击对方是中国的朋友?
    6.     你觉得这次大选对以后的中美关系会有什么影响?
  • High School