Join Cathy and Cindy on today’s episode as we unravel the mysteries behind “riding on someone’s coattail” and its Mandarin buddy. We’ll toss around similar words and share our thoughts on this behavior. So, are you coattail cruising, or…?


LarryGood morning, good afternoon, and good evening. You’re listening to HsinYeh Taiwanese Mandarin. If you’re into learning Mandarin and want to practice listening, you’re in the right place!

In each episode of this podcast, your hosts Cathy and Cindy, both Mandarin teachers, will delve into language, culture, and the latest news and events in Taiwan. Discover the art of speaking Chinese with a Taiwanese touch as you uncover unique insights known only to locals.

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Enough of the English; let’s dive into Mandarin – our language adventure starts now!
Hello, everybody! 
Cindy大家好! 我們回來了!
Hello, everybody! We’re back! 
Do you remember who we are?
I don’t know. We’ve been gone so long, that people might have forgotten us.
Let’s reintroduce ourselves again. I’m Cathy.
I’m Cindy, and you’re listening to HsinYeh Taiwanese Chinese, a channel designed for intermediate and above Chinese language learners.
First of all, we’d like to explain why we stopped updating for two months,
because Cindy and I got super busy with our work and thesis writing in September,
and we didn’t have time to record properly.
The other reason was that we wanted to have more time to plan our podcasts.
Cathy沒錯,這是什麼意思呢? 就是我們從以前就經常收到聽眾來信告訴我們,
Yeah, what does that mean? We’ve been getting letters from listeners telling us that we talk too fast,
that the content is too difficult, and that they find it tiring.
So we took advantage of the three-month break to think about how to improve these problems.
We hope that when this program starts again, it will help more listeners who are interested in learning Chinese, especially Taiwanese Chinese.
So Cindy, what are we going to talk about today? 
Cindy我們要來聊的是一個很有趣的idiom, 英文是 to ride on someone’s coattail,
We’re going to talk about a very interesting idiom, which is to ride on someone’s coattail,
do you know how to express this idiom in Chinese?
Cathy恩… 讓我想想,我不知道欸,妳有想法嗎? 
Uh… Let me think. I don’t know. Do you have any ideas?
Cindy我們先來跟各位聽眾解釋一下 to ride on someone’s coattail 的意思好了。
to ride on someone’s coattail 的意思是因為父母或親戚的關係得到很多好處。
Let’s explain to our listeners the meaning of riding on someone’s coattail.
To ride on someone’s coattail means to get a lot of benefits because of your parents or relatives.
For example, you’ve just graduated, and you’re looking for a job, it just so happens that your dad is the company’s boss, so you get the job quickly.
Cathy喔,那我懂了,我知道在中文裡面有很多類似的表達喔! 像是靠爸族、沾光等等。
Oh, I see. I know there are many similar expressions in Chinese.
I know there are a lot of similar expressions in Chinese.
Let’s first look at the first expression, the dependents.
This means that people who rely on their fathers, who do not make any special efforts,
and who rely on their fathers to obtain good resources, we will say that they are the “Dad Relyers”.
I think the special thing about this term is that it specifically refers to those who rely on their dads,
not their moms, can’t they rely on their moms?
This is probably due to the traditional belief that men are more capable than women.
Of course, times have changed, and if a person’s mom is very powerful, rich, and influential,
then it’s okay for us to say that we can rely on our moms! 
Cathy讓我們談談第二個詞彙,沾光。”沾光” 是指因為與某人成功或有名的人有聯繫,而獲得好處。
這意味著他們可能因為這種聯繫,這種connection 而受益,而不是完全依靠自己的努力。
Let’s talk about the second term, “favored”. A “favor” is a benefit that comes from being associated with someone who is successful or famous.
This word is often used to describe someone who has received certain benefits because of their association with a successful or famous person.
It means that they may have benefited from that connection, that connection, rather than relying entirely on their own efforts.
Cindy還有一個有趣的詞彙,叫做”空降”。 “空降”意思就像從天上降下來一樣,

There is also an interesting term called “parachuting”. The word “parachute” means to fall from the sky, but here it refers to those who rely on relationships or special backgrounds to quickly get into positions that would normally take a long time to achieve.
In short, “parachuting” means relying on connections or special backgrounds to get into a high position quickly and successfully.
Cathy那在這個roleplay裡面, Cathy跟Cindy,我們兩個都是辦公室的職員: So in this roleplay, Cathy and Cindy, we’re both office workers.
Cindy那在這個roleplay裡面, Cathy跟Cindy,我們兩個都是辦公室的職員。
 So in this roleplay, Cathy and Cindy, we’re both office workers.
Hey, did you know that Lee was recently promoted?
Cindy當然知道阿! 但大家都知道他是沾了他爸的光啦! 
Of course! But everyone knows he got it thanks to his dad! 
Cathy真的嗎? 我以為他是靠自己的努力升上去的。
Really? I thought he got promoted on his own.
Cindy才不是咧! 他爸可是公司的副總,最近公司的一項合約成功了,
No, he didn’t! His dad is the vice president of the company,
and he recently got promoted because of a successful contract.
Cathy哦,原來是這樣。 那你覺得他能勝任那個職位嗎?
Oh, I see. Do you think he’s qualified for the position?
Cindy這很難說欸。 他之前並沒有相關經驗,
It’s hard to say. He doesn’t have any prior experience,
so he’s kind of a parachuted-in supervisor, so I hope he’ll be able to adapt.
I hear they call him the “Dad Clan” in the office.
Well, I hope he can succeed.
Cindy好的,希望這部分的roleplay可以幫助大家理解”靠爸”、”沾光”和”空降” 這三個字的使用方法,

Okay, I hope this part of the roleplay can help you understand how to use the words “rely on dad”, “dabble” and “parachute”. Since we’re talking about these three words, I’d like to ask Cathy,
what do you think about relying on their Dad?
Cathy你是說”靠爸” 這件事還是靠爸的人?
Are you talking about “relying on your dad” or relying on your dad’s people?
Cindy先說一下對於”靠爸” 這件事的看法好了,你對這件事怎麼想呢?
Let’s talk about what you think about “relying on your dad” first. What do you think about that?
Hahahahaha yes! If you have a father to rely on, of course, you’ll be comfortable,
you won’t have to work so hard, and you’ll be able to get everything you want comfortably.
It’s true! Although some people may feel that they have worked hard to get what they want,
I personally prefer to live a life where I have to work hard to get what I want.
What’s the point of making your life so hard?
Hahahahahahahahahahahaha, that’s a great life! Some people may want to start from scratch because they have never experienced the feeling of starting from nothing.
Maybe! But I don’t think I’m on the same wavelength as these people, so I can’t understand them.
Cindy好的,那今天的podcast內容就到這邊,今天我們跟大家分享的是”靠爸”、”沾光”和”空降” 這三個字,
Okay, that’s it for today’s podcast, today we’re sharing with you about Today, we shared with you the words “靠爸”, “沾光” and “空降”, which we hope will help you in your daily Chinese conversation! 
Yes, I hope you enjoyed this episode, so we’ll see you next time! Thank you for listening!
I’m your host, Cindy.
I’m Cathy
See you next time, bye-bye!
LarryThanks for joining us on this episode of HsinYeh Taiwanese Mandarin! We hope you enjoyed our language adventure today. Remember, for those curious minds or anyone who wants to catch up on the details, we provide transcriptions of each episode on our website. Head over to for a written version of today’s content.

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And if you found our podcast helpful, a five-star rating would mean the world to us. Your feedback fuels our passion for creating content that resonates with you. That wraps up another exciting episode. Until next time, bye!

Expression of this episode

靠爸 (kào bà)

   – Explanation: “靠爸” is a colloquial term in Chinese, often used to describe someone who relies on their father’s support or influence. The literal translation is “relying on dad.” It can be used humorously or sarcastically to imply that someone depends on their father for various aspects of life.

2. 沾光 (zhān guāng)

   – Explanation: “沾光” is a term that can be translated as “basking in the reflected glory” or “benefiting from someone else’s success or reputation.” It is often used to describe a person who gains advantages or prestige through association with someone who is successful or influential.

3. 空降 (kōng jiàng)

   – Explanation: “空降” literally means “airdrop” or “parachute drop.” In a figurative sense, it is often used to describe someone appointed or transferred to a new position or role without prior experience or preparation in that field. It can imply a sudden and unexpected change in responsibilities or duties.

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