HSK 1 – Sample Recording – Lesson 6

The Tong family

The Tong family (同) live in Shanghai. They are typical of a modern urban family in China, but as you’ll see they have their own quirks of personality. 

The Tong family are: grandma, mum, dad, Lele (乐乐) and his older sister, Tong Xin (同心). Grandma Tong is a retired university professor. She is open-minded, wise and extremely hip. She loves her grandchildren, and loves yoga ALMOST as much. She lives with her son most of the time, but occasionally travels and visits friends living far away.

Dad is a doctor. He likes reading, cooking, traveling, jogging and even singing. Perhaps the only thing he doesn’t like is … working! He dreads going to work everyday, and always complains about his job. In fact, he’s been talking about changing career since he started in medicine 20 years ago! 

In contrast, mum is a workaholic. She works for an international company and often needs to travel abroad. She is fluent in English and French. On rare days off she enjoys spending time with the children. Unlike many tiger mothers, the mum in our story gives her children a lot of freedom, and encourages them to pursue their own passions. 

Our main character is Lele, a five year-old boy in pre-school at Shanghai No.1 nursery. Lele is inquisitive. He likes animals, singing and making friends, and has a pet frog which dad brought back from a nature expedition. His favourite toy is the walkie snail which grandma bought for his third birthday; it goes everywhere with him. 

Lele’s sister Tong Xin studies in Shanghai Girls’ School, but isn’t too committed to her studies. Like many 15 year olds, Tong Xin likes hanging out with friends. Her boyfriend is 18. Her dad isn’t too fond of the guy; mum thinks the relationship will go cold in two weeks. 

Oh, I nearly forgot. The family also has a dog called 好关系. 好 means good and 关系 means relationship or connections. In China, 关系 is very important. Good relationships or connections can get you to places. 好关系 is a very loyal dog and a nice addition to the Tong family.