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Victor: I’m Victor.
Amber: And I’m Amber. Welcome back to ChineseClass101.com. This is our absolute beginner series season one. Today is lesson 17, also again, about getting around.
Victor: Right. Today, we’re going above ground.
Amber: Yes.
Victor: Last time, we’re under ground in the subway. And this time we’re going to talk about the busses.
Amber: Right. And we’re going to find out how to ask…
Victor: Does this bus go to, wherever you’re trying to go.
Amber: So the star of the dialogue is the bus. So you’re going to hop on the bus with us today. And in this lesson today, you’re going to learn how to ask about bus destinations.
Victor: This conversation takes place at a bus stop.
Amber: And it’s between two strangers. So let’s have a listen to the conversation.
Amber: 到南京路吗?(Dào nánjīng lù ma?)
Victor: 不到。七路车到。(Bú dào. Qī lù chē dào.)
Amber: 车票多少钱?(Chēpiào duōshǎo qián?)
Victor: 两块钱。(Liǎng kuài qián.)
Amber: One more time, a little slower.
Amber: 到南京路吗?(Dào nánjīng lù ma?)
Victor: 不到。七路车到。(Bú dào. Qī lù chē dào.)
Amber: 车票多少钱?(Chēpiào duōshǎo qián?)
Victor: 两块钱。(Liǎng kuài qián.)
Amber: One more time with the English.
Amber: 到南京路吗?(Dào nánjīng lù ma?)
Victor: Does this go to Nanjing Road?
Victor: 不到。七路车到。(Bú dào. Qī lù chē dào.)
Amber: No, it doesn’t. Bus number seven goes there.
Amber: 车票多少钱?(Chēpiào duōshǎo qián?)
Amber: How much is the buss fair?
Victor: 两块钱。(Liǎng kuài qián.)
Amber: 2 Renminbi.
Amber: Okay. Now, it might seem daunting to take a Chinese bus, because there are so many routes and it’s kind of chaotic. But I think there’s some really good things to know about Chinese buses Victor. And one thing that’s really helpful is they announce the bus stops ahead of time. And sometimes the newer buses, there’s even a screen that will say it in Penian and English where the stop is.
Victor: Very fancy.
Amber: Yes. And the other thing I love is the ticket lady. You know, the ticket lady, Victor?
Victor: The lady that always have like a bag in front of their…
Amber: Yes. The ticket lady always gets the seat too. Best job in the world. But, yeah, it’s kind of personal touch to the bus ticketing because some of the older buses, you know, lady will come around and she remembers everyone who didn’t pay like I don't know how she can do it. It’s amazing.
Victor: Yeah. It’s a career, yeah.
Amber: Yeah. She takes it seriously. Okay. So that you can get on the bus, let’s take a look at the vocab for this lesson.
Victor: And now, the vocab section.
Victor: 到(dào)
Amber: To arrive.
Victor: 南京(Nánjīng)
Amber: Nanjing.
Victor: 路(lù)
Amber: Route.
Victor: 七(qī)
Amber: Seven.
Victor: 车(chē)
Amber: Vehicle.
Victor: 车票(chēpiào)
Amber: Bus ticket.
Victor: 多少(duōshǎo)
Amber: How much? How many?
Victor: 钱(qián)
Amber: Money.
Victor: 两(liǎng)
Amber: Two.
Victor: 块(kuài)
Amber: Measure word for “money.”
Amber: Let’s have a closer look at each of these words and phrases. So today, we’re going to start out with mini number lesson, although I don’t like numbers so much. But the numbers make a little cameo in our dialogue today. So I think it’s about time.
Victor: So we’ll start with numbers 1 through 10.
Amber: Right. So, Victor is going to do the honors and read out the numbers 1 to 10. So I’ll say it in English first, and then, Victor will tell you what it is in Chinese. One.
Victor: 一(Yī)
Amber: Two.
Victor: 二(Èr)
Amber: Three.
Victor: 三(Sān)
Amber: Four.
Victor: 四(Sì)
Amber: Five.
Victor: 五(Wǔ)
Amber: Six.
Victor: 六(Liù)
Amber: Seven.
Victor: 七(Qī)
Amber: Eight.
Victor: 八(Bā)
Amber: Nine.
Victor: 九(Jiǔ)
Amber: 10.
Victor: 十(Shí)
Amber: Yeah. And for the tones for all of those, you can check with the lesson notes. We’ll have it all there for you. Okay, enough about numbers, onto other things. Hopefully all of you have been acquainted with the numbers before. But today, we’re going to learn another thing in the dialogue that you’re going to get a lot of use of. And that is the very first word that we hear, which is 到(Dào).
Victor: Right. 到(Dào) and it’s fourth tone.
Amber: Yeah. And basically, it means “to arrive at” in the case here the way that it’s used. So the question we have in the dialogue is…
Victor: ‘到南京路吗?(Dào nánjīng lù ma?)’
Amber: Right. So the last part of that sentence that we hear after the 到(Dào) is the road or the area that our bus taker is looking for. So in this case, it’s a really famous street in Shanghai. What were they looking for, Victor?
Victor: 南京路(Nánjīng lù)
Amber: Right.
Victor: Nanjing Road.
Amber: Yeah. So Nanjing is the name of the, so Nanjing is the name of the road. And then the word for road is…
Victor: 路(Lù) and it’s fourth tone.
Amber: Right. So when you put it all together and basically this question literally is “does this arrive at Nanjing Lu?”
Victor: ‘到南京路吗?(Dào nánjīng lù ma?)
Amber: Right. So that is how you ask, “Does this bus go to Nanjing Lu?” in Chinese.
Victor: We’ll discuss a little more about the structure of the sentence in the grammar section. But for now, while we’re on the subject of ‘lu’s’ in Chinese, I think we can also visit some streets.
Amber: Yes. So the word for “road” is 路(Lù). Now, what’s the word for “street?”
Victor: It’s 街(Jiē) and it’s first tone.
Amber: Right. So Nanjing Lu is a pretty famous street in Shanghai. What’s the famous street that you can say in China, Victor?
Victor: Oh, very famous. Probably one of the most famous ones is 长安街(Cháng'ān jiē) in Beijing.
Amber: Right. 长安街(Cháng'ān jiē) that’s where Forbidden City is right?
Victor: Right. It’s right in front of Tiananmen Square.
Amber: Yeah. Okay. So remember couple streets if you want to go see them, Nanjing Lu in Shanghai.
Victor: And 长安街(Cháng'ān jiē) in Beijing.
Amber: Yeah. Okay. So now, we are waiting with beaded breath of course for the answer to the question ‘到南京路吗?(Dào nánjīng lù ma?)
Victor: And of course, as we know, you use the verb to answer in either the affirmative or the negative.
Amber: Yeah. The main verb of the sentence, which in this case is…
Victor: 不到(Bù dào).
Amber: Right. So the main verb was to arrive, 到。(Dào.) When we hear the 不(Bù) it means “no.”
Victor: No, it doesn’t go there. However, he did point the person to another bus.
Amber: What a great helpful person.
Victor: Yes.
Amber: So he gets another suggestion. And in this we will learn how to say bus route or bus number.
Victor: The person says, 七路车到。(Qī lù chē dào.)
Amber: Right. So as we just learned the numbers, we hear again the number seven.
Victor: 七。(Qī.)
Amber: Right, first tone. And then again, we hear the word for “route.”
Victor: ‘路(Lù)’
Amber: Right. And then the word for “bus.”
Victor: ‘车(Chē)’
Amber: Which really just means vehicle in this case.
Victor: Right.
Amber: It’s kind of a shortened form. But when you put it all together...
Victor: Say,七路车(Qī lù chē)
Amber: That means, “bus seven,” bus number seven basically.
Victor: Right.
Amber: And then to say “goes there,” you just use 到(Dào) again.
Victor: Yeah. So 七路车到。(Qī lù chē dào.)
Amber: Yeah. Basically the bus number seven arrives there.
Victor: Yes.
Amber: Makes sense. Okay. So to get there now, there might be another question you might have to ask, which was also in the dialogue. You’re going to need to know the bus fair. So sometimes in China, you know, different routes, depends on how far you go, you have to pay different amounts, right, Victor?
Victor: Yes.
Amber: So maybe you want to ask someone “how much is the bus?” How would you do that?
Victor: And to do that, you can use the term 多少。(Duōshǎo.) 多(Duō)is first tone, and 少(Shǎo) is fourth tone.
Amber: So we’ll talk about how to ask “how much something cost” in the grammar section. But for now, arm yourself with this word. The word for “bus ticket”or “bus fare” 车票(Chēpiào)
Victor: Right.
Amber: And also, the money side of things will come in our grammar section too, a very useful bit for us to know.
Victor: But just as a side notes, this word 票(Piào) can be use for many kinds of other tickets as well.
Amber: That’s right, like rock concert tickets Victor?
Victor: Like a train ticket.
Amber: Oh, yes.
Victor: It will be 火车票(Huǒchē piào), a plane ticket will be 飞机票(Fēijī piào).You can basically just put the type of the ticket in front of the word for that particular kind of ticket.
Amber: Yeah. 票(Piào) Okay. Now, onto a little bit of grammar.
Amber: Okay. First, a quick little mention about sentence structure in Chinese. Now, remember we had a simple little question in the first line of our dialogue which was…
Victor: 到南京路吗?(Dào nánjīng lù ma?)
Amber: Right.
Victor: Now, when the subject is known as we can tell in this scenario, the speakers are obviously at a bus top. So you can leave out the subject.
Amber: Yeah. So here’s the key. In that sentence, they didn’t say at the beginning “does this bus go” right?
Victor: Right.
Amber: it really isn’t necessary in Chinese. You can just say, because you’re there at the bus stop, obviously you’re asking about the bus. You just say 到南京路吗?(Dào nánjīng lù ma?) So in Chinese, you don’t have to be so long-winded basically, is what we’re trying to say.
Victor: Much more direct than English by the way.
Amber: Yeah. If the subject is known, you can drop it and you can just simply say go Nanjing Road, question mark. That’s it.
Victor: And this does not sound direct or rude in Chinese at all.
Amber: If you try and flower it up too much, sometimes it get people confused.
Victor: It sounds really weird.
Amber: Yeah, it’s too weird. Okay, good.
Victor: The other important thing we learned in this dialogue was about the money.
Amber: Of course, money is very important. And also in China, you better have your wits about your money. You have to try and learn this lesson well so you don’t get mixed up and pay too much or something, right?
Victor: So here’s a little lesson on money.
Amber: Okay. So first of all, a word for “money.”
Victor: Well, the official word for “money” is 钱(Qián) and it’s second tone.
Amber: Right. And we did learn about the many ways of expressing “money” in lesson 10. So we’re going to just do a little review of that, just to refresh everyone’s memory.
Victor: The formal word for the Chinese Renminbi, is sometimes “Yuan.”
Amber: Right. So the currency is called Renminbi, but it’s often referred to maybe in a more formal way as “Yuan” in Chinese.
Victor: Right. That’s kind of like the unit word for that.
Amber: Yeah. Renminbi is too long to say. Let’s face it. Okay. But there is another way that often hear people referring to money. And that is by completely dropping the word 钱(Qián) the word for “money” not using Yuan but instead just using kind of like the Chinese equivalent of a “buck,” which is the measure word for money 块(Kuài)
Victor: 块(Kuài)
Amber: Now, remember measure words are used when we’re enumerating an amount of something. Lesson 10, we had an introduction to them. So you’ll often hear just people refer to an amount of money as the number and then 块(Kuài)
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: Just like in our dialogue. What did we hear today, Victor? How much is something?
Victor: In our dialogue, the ticket was worth 两块钱(Liǎng kuài qián)
Amber: Yeah. So you can either say, 两块钱(Liǎng kuài qián) or you can just say 两块(Liǎng kuài)
Victor: Yes.
Amber: It’s basically kind of like just saying two pieces of money.
Victor: Yeah. It’s very simple.
Amber: Yeah. And it’s kind of good that we brought up the number two, Victor, because there is kind of something weird about the number two in Chinese. When that is, well, there’s kind of two words for the number two.
Victor: Right. And it depends on the situation sometimes.
Amber: Yeah. So there’s two forms of the number two. Victor, what are they? The one we heard today was 两(Liǎng)
Victor: 两(Liǎng) the other one is 二
Amber: Right. So 两 is third tone, 二 is fourth tone. Now, what’s the difference between them when we use them? I can explain...
Victor: Yes, go right ahead.
Amber: Okay. So when you have a number two that is enumerating an amount of something, for example in our dialogue, an amount of money, we will use 两(Liǎng). So we heard 两块钱(Liǎng kuài qián). not 二块钱(Èr kuài qián). that sounds weird. So basically that’s it. But if you’re just counting or something, you just use 二(Èr)
Victor: Right. So all this money talk, we haven’t even told you how to ask, how much something costs. So that is the next thing. “How much money is it?” in Chinese?
Amber: Very important.
Victor: It’s 多少钱?(Duōshǎo qián?)
Amber: Broken down, first, we have the word for “how much?”
Victor: 多少(Duōshǎo). and 多(Duō) first tone, 少(Shǎo) is third tone.
Amber: Yeah. And interestingly 多(Duō) means “more” 少(Shǎo) means “less.”
Victor: Yes.
Amber: So when you say, 多少(Duōshǎo) it’s kind of like more or less which is it? That means “how much?” And then of course it’s followed by the word for money because you're asking “how much money?”
Victor: So all together, 多少钱(Duōshǎo qián)
Amber: Great. Everyone is totally prepared to do anything now. Hit the markets. Okay.
Amber: Well, that just about does it for today. We’ll have another listen to the dialogue. But first we want to remind any of our premium members to subscribe to the premium feed. If you don’t know, it’s one of our most powerful web point two features to date, Victor.
Victor: Right. The premium fee, gives you the power to easily and effortlessly get all of the content.
Amber: Yes. Audio files, the PDFs, the videos, everything we have can be downloaded through iTunes when you have the premium feed.
Victor: Yeah. It’s really good, huh?
Amber: Yeah. So if you want to test it out, even if you’re not a premium member, you can get a sample feed at ChineseClass101.com, go check it out. And we’ll listen one more time to the dialogue. And for now, Victor and I will say...




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