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Make Desserts and Learn the Chinese Zodiac (Episode 4): Horse and Dragon Madeleines

MILLIE | JULY 03, 2020
This is the fourth episode of our video series, “Make Desserts and Learn Chinese”! If you missed the first few episodes of the series, you can check them out below: 

Episode 4: Horse and Dragon Madeleines

In Episode 4 of the series, you’ll learn how to make Madeleines - 玛德琳 (mǎ dé lín), that look like the horse - 马 (mǎ) and the dragon - 龙 (lóng)! Check the video out below!

You’ll also learn about how to tell people what zodiac you are in Chinese!

If you’d like to see what your Chinese zodiac is, look for it by your birth year in this infographic:

The Horse - 马 (mǎ)

Zodiac Years: If you were born in 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, or 2014, your zodiac animal is the horse!

Zodiac Traits: It’s believed that people born in the year of the horse are generous, enthusiastic, easy-going, independent, and determined, and they also tend to have many friends. Their weaknesses include over-spending and letting out secrets easily. 

Suitable Careers: Due to the adaptive and determined nature of the horse, people with this zodiac tend to do well in fields like sales, journalism, translation, politics, and business. 

Compatibility: Their best matches are the tiger, the sheep, and the rabbit, and their worst matches include the rat, ox, rooster, and other horses. 

The word 属 (shǔ) means “to be born in the year of” a zodiac animal. If your zodiac is the horse, for instance, you can say 我属马 (wǒ shǔ mǎ), which means “I was born in the year of the horse.” 

The character 属 (shǔ) can also point to other meanings, like in the word 属性 (shǔ xìng) - “attribute”, and 属于 (shǔ yú) - “to belong to”

If you’d like to learn more about the word 属 (shǔ), check out this video with Yangyang explaining more about it:

The Dragon - 龙 (lóng)

The dragon is a HUGE part of Chinese culture. While the dragon is seen as a scary, evil creature in much of the West, in China it’s said to be the most ideal Chinese zodiac within the bunch, representative of power and success. 

Some people strategically plan to have a baby in the year of the dragon so their children will achieve success and have good fortune! 

People even name their children after the dragon if they’re born that year - like the famous actor Jackie Chan, whose Chinese name is actually 成龙 (chéng lóng), which can literally translate to “success dragon”. He sure lives up to his name! 

The dragon is preferred so much that some people who are born in the year of the snake like to say their zodiac is actually the “little dragon” - 小龙 (xiǎo lóng), since snakes look a bit similar to the dragon.

Zodiac Years: If you were born in 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, or 2012, your Chinese zodiac is the dragon.

Zodiac Traits: People born in the year of the dragon are thought to be authoritative, successful, ambitious, unique, and have good fortune. The main weaknesses of people born in the year of the dragon are they can be intolerant, unrealistic, aggressive, and can get irritated easily, so sometimes they’ll encounter issues in relationships with others.

Suitable Careers: Those with the dragon as their zodiac are quick thinkers and are good at many mentally tiring tasks, so they thrive in careers such as financiers, cashiers, pharmacists, electricians and politicians.

Compatibility: People born in the year of the dragon are most compatible with those born in the year of the rooster, rat and monkey, and tend to not get along well with zodiacs like the ox, the sheep, and the dog.

Key Vocabulary in Episode 4 

  • 黄油 (huáng yóu) - butter      
  • 蜂蜜 (fēng mì) - honey
  • 糖 (táng) - sugar
  • 盐 (yán) - salt
  • 鸡蛋 (jī dàn) - egg
  • 巧克力 (qiǎo kè lì) - chocolate
  • 砂糖 (shā táng) - granulated sugar
  • 无盐黄油 (wú yán huáng yóu) - unsalted butter
  • 泡打粉 (pào dǎ fěn) - baking powder
  • 低筋面粉 (dī jīn miàn fěn) - cake flour
  • 面糊 (miàn hú) - batter
  • 玛德琳 (mǎ dé lín) - Madeleine
  • 属 (shǔ) - to be born in the year of
  • 成龙 (chéng lóng) - Jackie Chan
  • 马 (mǎ) - horse 
  • 龙 (lóng) - dragon

The Madeleines look great - give the recipe a try at home and let us know how it comes out! 

Recipe Ingredients:

  • Butter: 70g
  • Honey: 11g
  • Granulated sugar: 67g
  • Salt: 2g
  • Eggs: 64g
  • Cake flour: 70g
  • Baking powder 2g
  • Melted chocolate for decoration: add as desired

Learn More

Look out for Episode 4 of this series to see what other delicious desserts Millie will teach us how to make, and which two animals will be next to be featured on the program!  

你吃过玛德琳吗?你喜欢吗?(nǐ chī guo mǎ dé lín ma? nǐ xǐ huan ma?) - Have you eaten Madeleines before? Do you like them? 

Let us know in the comments section below!

To learn more phrases using the word 马 (mǎ), like “to ride a horse”, check out this lesson from our Beginner Course

To see Yangyang and her mom trying out ribbon dancing, and learn vocab like “dragon dance” and “lion dance”, check out this lesson from our Upper Intermediate Course