2016-04-21elementary

Taking Photos

If you travel in China and find a beautiful spot, you might want to take a photo there together with your friends. Sometimes you want to ask someone nearby to help you take a picture. In this lesson we will learn how to do this as well as how to use a popular Chinese camera app called 美颜相机 [měi yán xiàng jī](BeautyCam).

“Photograph” in Chinese is 照片 [zhào piàn], and to say “take a photo” you can use 照相 [zhào xiàng] or 拍照 [pāi zhào]. If you want to ask someone to take a photo for you, you can say:

Hover over any word to show translation
nǐ hǎo
你好
你好
Hello!
 
qǐng wèn
请问
請問
Excuse me, may I ask...?
you (informal)
néng
to be able to, to be capable of
bāng
to help, to assist
wǒ men
我们
我們
we, us
pāi
to take (a photo), to shoot (a film)
zhāng
classifier for flat objects, sheet
zhào
to take (a photo), a photograph
ma
(question particle for "yes-no" questions)
 

Hello, could you help us take a picture?

Character set
Pinyin

To help us bring out that beautiful smile, we often say a phrase when we take the photo. Americans like to say “cheese”, but what about the Chinese? The Chinese equivalent is 茄子 [qié zi] (lit. eggplant). Just like with “cheese”, you put on a huge smile when you say 茄子.

Hover over any word to show translation
zhǔn bèi
准备
準備
preparation, to prepare
hǎo
good, well, very
le
(completed action marker)
ma
(question particle for "yes-no" questions)
 
1
1
 
èr
2
2
 
sān
3
3
 
 
qié zi
茄子
茄子
eggplant, aubergine
 

Are you ready? 1, 2, 3 ... Cheese!

Character set
Pinyin

Most mobile phones have built-in cameras you can use for taking selfies. Taking a selfie is called 自拍 [zì pāi]. A lot of Chinese enjoy 自拍, and they upload their pictures to their WeChat community (朋友圈 [péng you quān]). To make the picture even more beautiful, you can enhance the photo before uploading it. Perhaps the most popular app for enhancing photos right now is an app called 美颜相机 [měi yán xiàng jī] (BeautyCam). 美 [měi] means beauty, 颜 [yán] means face, and 相机 [xiàng jī] means camera.

Hover over any word to show translation
I, me
xǐ huan
喜欢
喜歡
to like, to be fond of
yòng
to use
měi yán
美颜
美顏
beautiful face
xiàng jī
相机
相機
camera
zì pāi
自拍
自拍
to take a picture or video of oneself
 
yīn wèi
因为
因為
because, owing to
zhè yàng
这样
這樣
this kind of, this way
kě yǐ
可以
可以
can, may
particle marking the following noun as a direct object
zì jǐ
自己
自己
oneself, one's own
pāi
to take (a photo), to shoot (a film)
de
structural particle: used after a verb (or adjective as main verb), linking it to following phrase indicating effect, degree, possibility etc
měi měi
美美
美美
beautiful
de
(used to form a nominal expression)
 
I, me
yòng
to use
měi yán
美颜
美顏
beautiful face
xiàng jī
相机
相機
camera
particle marking the following noun as a direct object
zì pāi
自拍
自拍
to take a picture or video of oneself
de
(used after an attribute)
xiàng piàn
相片
相片
image, photograph
shàng chuán
上传
上傳
to upload
dào
to (a place)
péng you
朋友
朋友
friend
quān
circle, timeline in the WeChat chat application
hòu
afterwards
 
péng you
朋友
朋友
friend
dōu
all
shuō
to say
I, me
piào liang
漂亮
漂亮
pretty, beautiful
 
I, me
hěn
very
gāo xìng
高兴
高興
happy, glad
 

I like to use BeautyCam to take selfies, because then I can take beautiful pictures of myself. After I use BeautyCam and upload my selfies to WeChat, all my friends say that I'm beautiful and it makes me very happy.

Character set
Pinyin

So how do you use 美颜相机? Let’s learn some camera related words while we take a look at the app. Some of the words below are a little difficult for beginners, so don't feel like you need to memorize all of them. You can just take a look at the English translations to learn how to use the different features of 美颜相机. For more advanced learners, you can learn all the Chinese words and challenge yourself to use the Chinese version of the app.

美颜相机 can be downloaded from outside China where it is called “BeautyCam”.

BeautyCam Top Screen

  • 自拍 [zì pāi] – Selfie
  • 高级美颜 [gāo jí měi yán] - Beautify
  • 视频自拍 [shì pín zì pāi] – Video Selfie

The biggest reason for the app's popularity is the 自拍 (selfie) function. By a tap of this button you can easily take a photo of yourself. The app has lots of color filters, and more advanced filters such as automatically applying makeup or making your skin look more beautiful.

BeautyCam Photo Screen

  • 夜拍 [yè pāi] – Night photography
  • 触屏拍照 [chù píng pāi zhào] – Tap to Snap
  • 延时关闭 [yán shí guān bì] – Timer Off
  • 比例 [bǐ lì] – Ratio
  • 智能美型 [zhì néng měi xíng] – Auto Face-Lift
  • 电影柔焦 [diàn yíng róu jiāo] – Lens blur
  • 特效 [tè xiào] – Filters – There are a lot of different lenses to choose from, such as peach, blues and rococo.
  • 美颜 [měi yán] – Beauty – The beauty feature lets just adjust the brightness and make your skin look more smooth.
  • 美妆 [měi zhuāng] – Makeup – With this feature you can digitally add makeup to your face. The app features many different makeup styles.
  • 梦幻 [mèng huàn] – Dreamy – This feature makes your photos look more dreamy. For example, if you choose “stars”, you get a photo with beautiful stars floating around you.

Now you know how to take a photo! You can also adjust your photo afterwards by using the Beautify feature - 高级美颜 [gāo jí měi yán]. Here can adjust your photo to make you look taller or slimmer etc.

BeautyCam Selfie Screen

  • 一键美颜 [yí jiàn měi yán] – One-Tap
  • 编辑 [biān jí] – Edit
  • 美颜特效 [měi yán tè xiào] – Filters
  • 磨皮 [mó pí] – Smooth
  • 肤色 [fū sè] – Tones
  • 祛斑祛痘 [qù bān qù dòu] – Details
  • 瘦脸瘦身 [shòu liǎn shòu shēn] – Slim
  • 五官立体 [wǔ guān lì tǐ] – Contouring
  • 增高 [zēng gāo] – Taller
  • 眼睛放大 [yǎn jing fàng dà] – Enlarge
  • 亮眼 [liàng yǎn] – Brighten
  • 淡化黑眼圈 [dàn huà hēi yǎn quān] – Dark Circles

Now you can take a beautiful photo and upload to your 朋友圈 [péng you quān] (community)! I'm sure you will receive a lot of compliments!