Lost in Translation: The Tale of ‘Fried Husband’ in Beijing Hutong

Fluent Fiction – Mandarin Chinese
www.FluentFiction.org/Mandarin Chinese
Story Transcript:
Zh: 在老北京的一处古老的胡同里,挤满了古老的记忆和现代的气息,张伟、李娜和王杰三位朋友正在寻找一家餐馆。他们是为了体验一把穿越胡同与小巷的魅力。沿着砖红色的小路,走过石狮子守护的庭院,他们来到了”果香居”,一家传统的北京菜馆。
En: In an old hutong in Beijing, filled with ancient memories and modern vibes, three friends Zhang Wei, Li Na, and Wang Jie are looking for a restaurant. They are there to experience the charm of crossing through the alleyways and lanes. Along the brick-red small road, passing through the courtyard guarded by stone lions, they arrived at “Fruit Fragrance House,” a traditional Beijing restaurant.

Zh: 王杰,虽然在北京生活了几年,但由于来自的广东,普通话并不十分熟练,尤其在四个声调上。今天他鼓起勇气,决定在他的朋友面前,尝试点菜。
En: Wang Jie, although having lived in Beijing for a few years, is from Guangdong and is not very proficient in Mandarin, especially in the four tones. Today, he mustered up the courage and decided to try ordering in front of his friends.

Zh: 他仰起头,目光扫过菜单上密密麻麻的字,然后清了清嗓子:”服务员,来份‘炸老公’。”
En: He looked up, scanned the dense characters on the menu, and then cleared his throat, “Waiter, bring us an order of ‘Fried Husband’.”

Zh: 张伟和李娜目瞪口呆。而走过来的服务员也是惊呆了,瞬间全场寂静,只听见胡同尽头传来的蝉鸣声。
En: Zhang Wei and Li Na were dumbfounded. The approaching waiter was also shocked, the entire room fell silent in an instant, only hearing the cicadas chirping from the end of the hutong.

Zh: 张伟先是咳嗽了一声,然后努力抑制住笑。“王杰,你,你要再试一次吗?”他问。
En: Zhang Wei coughed first, then tried hard to suppress his laughter. “Wang Jie, do you, do you want to try again?” he asked.

Zh: 王杰皱眉,不解地看着他。他再次尝试:”来份‘炸老公’,很好吃的那种。”
En: Wang Jie frowned, looking at him puzzled. He tried again, “An order of ‘Fried Husband’, the very delicious kind.”

Zh: 李娜已经忍不住大笑起来,差点将手中的茶水喷出来。然后,她帮王杰点了正确的菜,”炸虾”。
En: Li Na couldn’t help but burst into laughter, almost spraying out the tea in her hand. Then, she helped Wang Jie order the correct dish, “Fried Shrimp.”

Zh: 全场的气氛这才恢复正常,仿佛那个尴尬的事件从来没有发生过一样。
En: The atmosphere in the room returned to normal, as if the embarrassing incident had never happened.

Zh: 即使他们的午餐结束了仍然不时传出笑声。饭店的其他顾客并不知道发生了什么事情,只是以为这个小团队非常快乐,他们也笑得更欢了。
En: Even after their lunch ended, laughter could still be heard from time to time. The other customers in the restaurant did not know what had happened, just assuming that this small group was very happy, which made them even happier.

Zh: 那天,他们打趣了王杰很久,然后还帮他练习了普通话的声调。那是一个充满欢笑的一天,也成了他们友情中不能忘记的一个小插曲。
En: That day, they teased Wang Jie for a long time, and then helped him practice Mandarin tones. It was a day filled with laughter and became a memorable moment in their friendship.

Zh: 即使后来他们各奔东西,这个“炸老公”的故事也一直沿袭下来,每次聚会的时候,就能唤醒他们关于老北京的回忆。那个在胡同里的日子,他们的青春、他们的友情,还有那个“炸老公”。
En: Even as they went their separate ways later on, the story of “Fried Husband” continued to be passed down. Every time they gathered, it would evoke memories of old Beijing. Those days in the hutong, their youth, their friendship, and that “Fried Husband.”

Vocabulary Words:
朋友 : friends
餐馆 : restaurant
北京 : Beijing
记忆 : memories
现代 : modern
小巷 : alleyways
庭院 : courtyard
石狮子 : Stone lions
炸老公 : Fried Husband
四个声调 : Four tones
勇气 : courage
菜单 : menu
笑声 : laughter
茶水 : tea
气氛 : atmosphere
尴尬 : embarrassing
快乐 : happy
不能忘记的 : memorable
练习 : practice
沿袭 : pass down
聚会 : gathered
唤醒 : evokes
青春 : youth
广东 : Guangdong
传统 : traditional
事件 : incident
抑制 : suppress
扫过 : scanned
走过来 : approaching