Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

Victor: Today our traveller has decided to get himself a little culture.
Amber: Yes, Maike took the advice and is checking out the museum in Shanghai. Which is something, I am ashamed to say, I never did during my entire time living there.
Victor: What!
Amber: Yeah so I get to hear about it today for the first time too. Let’s listen.
Amber: In this lesson you will learn how to ask about opening times, and ask permission.
Victor: This conversation takes place in a museum.
Amber:
Victor: The speakers are speaking relatively informally.
Mike: 请问,博物馆几点开门?
Staff: 上午十点。
Mike: 现在几点了?
Staff: 九点五十。
Mike: 好吧,我在这儿等。
(十分钟后)
Staff: 先生,您要几张票?
Mike: 一张。
Staff: 20块钱。
Mike: 给你。
(在博物馆)
Mike: 不好意思,我可以在这里拍照吗?
Security: 对不起。这里不可以拍照。
English Host: Let’s hear the conversation one time slowly.
Mike: 请问,博物馆几点开门?
Staff: 上午十点。
Mike: 现在几点了?
Staff: 九点五十。
Mike: 好吧,我在这儿等。
(十分钟后)
Staff: 先生,您要几张票?
Mike: 一张。
Staff: 20块钱。
Mike: 给你。
(在博物馆)
Mike: 不好意思,我可以在这里拍照吗?
Security: 对不起。这里不可以拍照。
English Host: Now let’s hear it with the English translation.
Mike: 请问,博物馆几点开门?
Amber: Excuse me, what time does the museum open?
Staff: 上午十点。
Amber: 10 A.M.
Mike: 现在几点了?
Amber: What time is it now?
Staff: 九点五十。
Amber: nine fifty.
Mike: 好吧,我在这儿等。
Amber: Alright, I'll wait here.
(十分钟后)
Amber(10 minutes later)
Staff: 先生,您要几张票?
Amber: Sir, how many tickets do you want?
Mike: 一张。
Amber: One ticket.
Staff: 20块钱。
Amber: 20 RMB.
Mike: 给你。
Amber: Here you are.
(在博物馆)
Amber(In the museum)
Mike: 不好意思,我可以在这里拍照吗?
Amber: Excuse me, can I take a photo here?
Security: 对不起。这里不可以拍照。
Amber: Sorry, you can't take photos here.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Amber: Ok, well sounds like they run a tight ship at the Shanghai museum.
Victor: Yes, a little strict!
Amber: Well they do have all those jade bok choy cabbages to protect and stuff.
Vocabulary and Phrases
Amber: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
: The first word we shall see is:
Victor: 请问 [natural native speed]
Amber: may i ask
Victor: 请问 [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 请问 [natural native speed]
: Next:
Victor: 博物馆 [natural native speed]
Amber: museum
Victor: 博物馆 [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 博物馆 [natural native speed]
: Next:
Victor: 现在 [natural native speed]
Amber: now
Victor: 现在 [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 现在 [natural native speed]
: Next:
Victor: 几 [natural native speed]
Amber: how many (under ten), a few
Victor: 几 [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 几 [natural native speed]
: Next:
Victor: 几点 [natural native speed]
Amber: what time
Victor: 几点 [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 几点 [natural native speed]
: Next:
Victor: 好吧 [natural native speed]
Amber: all right
Victor: 好吧 [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 好吧 [natural native speed]
: Next:
Victor: 这儿 [natural native speed]
Amber: here
Victor: 这儿 [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 这儿 [natural native speed]
: Next:
Victor: 等 [natural native speed]
Amber: to wait
Victor: 等 [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 等 [natural native speed]
: Next:
Victor: 分 [natural native speed]
Amber: minute
Victor: 分 [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 分 [natural native speed]
: Next:
Victor: 后 [natural native speed]
Amber: after
Victor: 后 [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 后 [natural native speed]
: Next:
Victor: 张 [natural native speed]
Amber: measure word for flat objects
Victor: 张 [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 张 [natural native speed]
: Next:
Victor: 不好意思 [natural native speed]
Amber: sorry
Victor: 不好意思 [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 不好意思 [natural native speed]
: Next:
Victor: 可以 [natural native speed]
Amber: can
Victor: 可以 [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 可以 [natural native speed]
: Next:
Victor: 拍照 [natural native speed]
Amber: to take a photograph
Victor: 拍照 [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 拍照 [natural native speed]
: Next:
Victor: 对不起 [natural native speed]
Amber: I'm sorry
Victor: 对不起 [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 对不起 [natural native speed]
: Next:
Victor: 这里 [natural native speed]
Amber: here
Victor: 这里 [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 这里 [natural native speed]
KEY VOCABULARY AND PHRASES
Amber: Let's have a closer look at the usuage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Victor: The first word/phrase we’ll look at is....
Victor: We start out with Maike arriving at the museum bright and early.
Amber: Yes, so he finds the doors closed. Of course he wants to know if he has time to grab a youtiao for breakfast, so he asks
Victor: 几点开门?
Amber: Now today’s lesson will be all about time... we’re going to learn a lot of time words and phrases in a moment, but first, suffice it to say that ‘ji dian’ means what time.
Victor: Yes, and then we hear the word for ‘to open’ 开门
Amber: And this literally is ‘to open’ ‘kai’ and ‘door’ ‘men’
Victor: Yes, so 几点开门
Amber: What time open door?
Victor: Yes so you could use this to ask almost anywhere—a store, an office, etc.
Amber: And when the staff tells Maike, he realizes he has to wait, and he uses my favorite little particle
Victor: Ah yes, the ‘ba’
Amber: Now we learned before that ‘ba’ can be a suggestion particle, but this little word can be so much more too!
Victor: Yes, in this case it is a bit of a ‘reluctant’ particle.
Amber: Yes, like here Mike is a little disappointed... hao ba... kind of like ‘oh, i see’ ‘ok’.
Victor: And it seems like its a day of disappointments, because later we hear another disappointment for Maike.
Amber: Ah yes. Well, before we know what it was, we have to first learn what Maike wanted to do.
Victor: Ah yes, he wanted to 拍照
Amber: Which means, ‘take a picture’!
Victor: Such a useful vocab word for a tourist!
Amber: OK so some tourists apparently want to take photos in a museum, but maybe some of us might want to take photos of other things.
Victor: Yes so you could use this phrase, for example, to ask permission to take a photo anywhere.
Amber: Yep, you just say, 我可以拍照吗?
Victor: Simple as that.
Amber: Or you can just follow my policy that its better to beg for forgiveness rather than ask for permission.
Victor: Such a rebel Amber.

Lesson focus

Amber: OK well we promised you time, so we’re going to deliver
Victor: So we first heard about time when the plane was landing in Shanghai.
Amber: Yes, a nice, even 3
Victor: Then we heard a lot of times, and times of day, in Maike’s itinerary. If you are feeling rusty you can go back and review that lesson, it is lesson number 14 in the series.
Amber: So apparently Maike has been lucky so far that his life seems to land on the hour, every hour, but sooner or later, he was going to run into a ’10 to 10’. Or, heaven forbid, a ‘quarter past 2’
Victor: Yes, the more tricky times.
Amber: So let’s start with the basics Victor, first of all—how do you ask for the time, can you review?
Victor: Well we know the word for ‘o’clock’, which is ‘点’, so you can simply say ‘几点’, or, the long version is ‘几点钟’
Amber: So if we wanted to ask a passerby, what time is it, what would we say?
Victor: You could say, 请问,现在几点钟?
Amber: OK now if we want to know what time something is happening, then what?
Victor: Just like in the dialogue
Amber: So ‘museum what time open’
Victor: Yeah, or say I want to ask what time you will come, I will say ‘Amber, 你几点来?’
Amber: And this word ‘几’what does it mean?
Victor: It’s actually the word for ‘how many’
Amber: Yes, and did anyone notice that it appears a couple lines later in the dialogue, when the clerk asks how many tickets he wants.
Victor: That’s right, pretty quick Amber. 您要几张票?
Amber: You may recognize this from the ‘bus ticket buying’ episode at the airport. And the clerk there was just about as short. Actually in China, it’s kind of like this, like they don’t mess around. Everyone generally just is very direct and gets to the point.
Victor: OK now back to the times.
Amber: Yes, let’s take a few little ‘oddball’ times and see how we put them together in Chinese.
Victor: OK throw me some Amber. How about what time is it now.
Amber: Right now it is exactly 12.23. Let’s hear it.
Victor: OK you say shi er dian er shi san
Amber: OK so when you want to read out the times in plain old numbers, you basically just say the hourly time, then the minutes. The word for 'o'clock' here or the hour it is is 'dian'. Now what about minutes, do we have to say the word for minutes.
Victor: Actually you can. It's 'fen'. However it can be omitted.
Amber: So you can say shi er dian ershi san fen
Victor: Yes but it's just more common to say
Amber: Now if you want to get a little crazy and start saying stuff like ‘a quarter past 2’, what do you do, Victor
Victor: Ah there is a special phrase for that, and its just this. ‘Liang dian yi ke’
Amber: OK first off, this time you said ‘liang’ instead of ‘er’ for 2.
Victor: Yes, remember back to the bootcamp lesson on numbers. The ‘2’ is odd in that there are 2 ways you can say it.
Amber: Sometimes its ‘er’, sometimes its ‘liang’. Revisit that lesson if you want to get that straight in your head again. But meanwhile, the word for ‘quarter after’ is ‘yi ke’?
Victor: Yes. On quarter basically.
Amber: OK what about ‘half past 5’
Victor: We have a word for half past too. It’s the word for ‘half’ in Chinese. ‘ban4’
Amber: So let me guess, wu dian ban?
Victor: Yes, that’s correct.
Amber: OK what about if it was like 12
Victor: That’s a little different, but still easy. You just say 12 dian ling wu.
Amber: Ah so if there is a ‘0’ in there you need to say it.
Victor: So back to our dialogue, same thing. It was 9
Amber: Basically if you know your numbers, you can do time in Chinese. Ooo one more, i just thought of
Victor: zhongwu
Amber: midnight
Victor: banye
Amber: Oh that is like literally ‘half night’
Victor: See, logical!
Amber: And pragmatic!
Victor: OK one more very logical and pragmatic grammar point to bring out briefly.
Amber: Love logical and pragmatic.
Victor: It’s about asking permission
Amber: Yes, let’s look at the sentence in the dialogue.
Victor: Yes, he says我可以在这里拍照吗?
Amber: So the key verb here is 可以, which we’ve learned about before, it means ‘can’
Victor: Right, so you can use this structure to ask permission. This one has a location within it, ‘zai zheli’, but to simplify it even more, you could just say, ‘我可以拍照吗?as we mentioned earlier.
Amber: OK so if i wanted to ask permission for something else, can you tell us how we would say it in Chinese?
Victor: Of course.
Amber: Hmm ok... Can I smoke here?
Victor: Amber! You don’t smoke.
Amber: No but a lot of people in China do. And maybe you don’t even need to ask permission there, as it seems like you can smoke anywhere!
Victor: Well for that you would say ‘我可以抽烟吗?’ or if you want to add the ‘here’, 我可以在这里抽烟吗?
Amber: Good. So the term for ‘to smoke a cigarette’ is ‘抽烟’. Literally translated it’s ‘I can here smoke a cigarette?’
Victor: Yes, please note that the location word doesnt ever come at the end like it does in English.
Amber: Noted. Phew... all that grammar, I’m ready to go out for a smoke. Kidding! Haha
Victor: Well one thing for sure, cigarettes are a lot cheaper in China.
Amber: Yeah more like 2 bucks a pack rather than 10. Which, is not necessarily a good thing. Actually i did smoke a Chinese cigarette once. Well actually 3. But they are really terrible. Have you Victor?
Victor: ___________
Amber: Well im thinking it could be a new ‘quit smoking therapy’. Like make people smoke Chinese cigarettes, they taste so bad. Haha.
Victor: Yes, that could help maybe!
Amber: OK well we’ll leave our listeners to ponder that, or go have a smoke, or go to the next lesson and learn more Chinese!

13 Comments

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ChineseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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What time do you usually wake up?

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Friday at 02:48 AM
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你好 robert groulx!


谢谢 for taking the time to leave us a comment. 😇


We are very happy to have you here.


Let us know if you have any questions.


Kind regards,

雷文特 (Levente)

Team ChineseClass101.com

robert groulx
Wednesday at 12:40 AM
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thanks for the lesson transcript


favorite phrase is ‘我可以抽烟吗?’


usually i woke up around 8:00 am


robert

Team ChineseClass101.com
Saturday at 02:49 PM
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Hi Amber G.,


It's my pleasure.:smile:


Olivia

Team ChineseClass101.com

Amber G.
Sunday at 05:35 PM
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Thanks Olivia. :smile:

It makes sense to me now that China would tell time with an AM/PM system, especially with all the words that are specific to the time of day, like morning, late morning, noon, etc.

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Friday at 12:28 AM
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Hi Amber G.,


Thank you for your comment! When telling time in China, we normally go by the AM/PM system, like in the dialogue: 上午十点 (Shàngwǔ shí diǎn) "10 A.M."

The 24-hour system is quite foreign to us. :sweat_smile:


Olivia

Team ChineseClass101.com

Amber G.
Thursday at 05:20 PM
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When telling time in China, do people normally go by the AM/PM system, or the 24-hour system? I just want to get that confusion out of the way, since it's challenging enough to learn all the words for different times of the day, and on top of that, dealing with different time zones.

Being American, I'm used to the AM/PM system, but now I think that the 24-hour system might actually be easier, because you don't have to keep track of whether it's AM or PM, and I wonder if it makes programming clocks easier too.


Anyway, I like to keep things simple and not overcomplicate or overthink them, but I wanted to ask because the question just occured to me, and I thought it might help others who need to tell time while traveling or speaking to others in different languages. Thank you. :grin:

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 12:25 PM
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Hi Talon,


What an experience!

It is always a good idea to ask 我可以...吗?(Can I ...? ) before you do anything, especially at a police station! :grin:


Yinru

Team ChineseClass101.com

Talon
Saturday at 03:02 AM
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This reminds me of a time I was inside of a police station in 山东 and I went into a room that had the English translation "inquisition room" on it. They took me inside to fill out some paper work because they needed to do some things when I checked in at the police station upon arriving in china and anyway they had this chair in there with like full restraints for your hands and feet and I thought to myself "I wonder what kind of inquisitions go on in here, haha". So as I went out of the room and the police walked passed I tried to sneak a picture of it on my phone and they looked back and saw me and got super angry and took my phone and went through my pictures, so anyway just a good idea to ask if you can take pictures in some places I guess.

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 10:52 AM
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Hi 小熊,


“但是到早上我就没力气了”。


“太极球”是什么?:mrgreen:


Echo

Team ChineseClass101.com

小熊
Wednesday at 05:23 PM
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我感觉herman真牛比。我交了一千四百块学太极球,但是到早上我没力气。