Vocabulary (Review)

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Lesson Transcript

Victor: 大家好,我是Victor。 (Dàjiā hǎo, wǒ shì Victor.)
Amber: And I’m Amber, and welcome back to Gengo Chinese. Today, we have Lesson 8. The title of which is…
Victor: Get What you Want Using Chinese
Amber: I know. I can get what I want!
Victor: Very useful.
Amber: So, our friend, Mike, he’s back for a great experience today.
Victor: Yep, he is!
Amber: And that experience is the experience of taking a Chinese bus.
Victor: Yeah, a Chinese bus! You have to do it because I feel like it’s something very Chiense to do.
Amber: Yes. I mean it’s very hardcore as well. However, before we get on the bus with Mike, we’ll do a little review of the last lesson, the easy win to it.
Victor: Yeah. So we learned the word for “how long” 多久 (duōjiǔ).
Amber: Right, which, also, this word could come in handy on a bus ride.
Victor: Right.
Amber: How much longer till we get there? Also, we learned the Chinese word, the preposition “at.”
Victor: Yes, the preposition 在 (zài), as in, 您住在哪儿? (Nín zhù zài nǎr?)
Amber: Yes, remember, the immigration officer asked him, “Where are you staying?” 您住在哪儿? (Nín zhù zài nǎr?)
Victor: Yeah. Well, that’s where he's trying to get to now, his hotel.
Amber: So, in this lesson, you’re going to learn how to buy a bus ticket at the airport, and you’ll also learn some money words and time words.
Victor: This conversation takes place at the airport and it’s between Mike and the ticket seller.
Amber: So let's listen to the dialogue.
Mike: 我要去人民广场,请问有几点的车? (Wǒ yào qù Rénmín Guǎngchǎng, qǐng wèn yǒu jǐ diǎn de chē?)
Ticket Seller: 下午4点。 (Xiàwǔ sì diǎn.)
Mike: 我要一张票。 (Wǒ yào yì zhāng piào.)
Ticket Seller: 16块钱。 (Shí liù kuài qián.)
Mike: 给你。 (Gěi nǐ.)
Ticket Seller: 这是你的票。 (Zhè shì nǐ de piào.)
Mike: 谢谢,再见。 (Xièxie, zàijiàn.)
Ticket Seller: 再见。 (Zàijiàn.)
Victor: 重复一次, 慢速. (Chóngfù yīcì, màn sù.)
Amber: One more time, a little slower.
Mike: 我要去人民广场,请问有几点的车? (Wǒ yào qù Rénmín Guǎngchǎng, qǐng wèn yǒu jǐ diǎn de chē?)
Ticket Seller: 下午4点。 (Xiàwǔ sì diǎn.)
Mike: 我要一张票。 (Wǒ yào yì zhāng piào.)
Ticket Seller: 16块钱。 (Shí liù kuài qián.)
Mike: 给你。 (Gěi nǐ.)
Ticket Seller: 这是你的票。 (Zhè shì nǐ de piào.)
Mike: 谢谢,再见。 (Xièxie, zàijiàn.)
Ticket Seller: 再见。 (Zàijiàn.)
Victor: 重复一次, 加英文翻译. (Chóngfù yīcì, jiā yīngwén fānyì.)
Amber: One more time, with the English.
Mike: 我要去人民广场,请问有几点的车? (Wǒ yào qù Rénmín Guǎngchǎng, qǐng wèn yǒu jǐ diǎn de chē?)
Amber: I want to go to Renmin Square. Can you please tell me what time the bus leaves?
Ticket Seller: 下午4点。 (Xiàwǔ sì diǎn.)
Amber: 4 p.m.
Mike: 我要一张票。 (Wǒ yào yì zhāng piào.)
Amber: I want one ticket.
Ticket Seller: 16块钱。 (Shí liù kuài qián.)
Amber: 16 RMB.
Mike: 给你。 (Gěi nǐ.)
Amber: Here you go.
Ticket Seller: 这是你的票。 (Zhè shì nǐ de piào.)
Amber: This is your ticket.
Mike: 谢谢,再见。 (Xièxie, zàijiàn.)
Amber: Thank you, goodbye.
Ticket Seller: 再见。 (Zàijiàn.)
Amber: Goodbye.
Amber: So Victor, I have to give it to Mike, he’s pretty brave, braving the bus right away.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: Actually, I think the first time I came to China, I also took the bus because, you know, I’m not used to the taxis being as cheap as they are in China.
Victor: Really?
Amber: So I thought I had to take the bus. But I would have to say, my general mode of operation after that was always a taxi.
Victor: Yeah. It’s probably the easiest.
Amber: I think it’s the easiest.
Victor: Yeah, yes.
Amber: And of course, I always had two gigantic bags with me.
Victor: Right.
Amber: Which were not pleasant on a bus.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: So, but there’s other options, like I know in Shanghai, you can take the maglev train. Some people like to do that.
Victor: Oh, okay.
Amber: It’s the bullet kind of train.
Victor: Yeah. I think in Beijing now, they have a subway line into the airport.
Amber: Yeah, the subway is cool.
Victor: Yeah, from the airport to the city or you can take the bus also.
Amber: Yeah! There’s different options. Okay, so, let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Victor: 要 (yào) [natural native speed]
Amber: to want
Victor: 要 (yào) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 要 (yào) [natural native speed]
Victor: 去 (qù) [natural native speed]
Amber: to go
Victor: 去 (qù) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 去 (qù) [natural native speed]
Victor: 人民 (rénmín) [natural native speed]
Amber: people
Victor: 人民 (rénmín) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 人民 (rénmín) [natural native speed]
Victor: 广场 (guǎngchǎng) [natural native speed]
Amber: square
Victor: 广场 (guǎngchǎng) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 广场 (guǎngchǎng) [natural native speed]
Victor: 请问 (qǐng wèn) [natural native speed]
Amber: may I ask
Victor: 请问 (qǐng wèn) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 请问 (qǐng wèn) [natural native speed]
Victor: 有 (yǒu) [natural native speed]
Amber: to have
Victor: 有 (yǒu) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 有 (yǒu) [natural native speed]
Victor: 几点 (jǐ diǎn) [natural native speed]
Amber: what time
Victor: 几点 (jǐ diǎn) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 几点 (jǐ diǎn) [natural native speed]
Victor: 张 (zhāng) [natural native speed]
Amber: (measure word for flat objects)
Victor: 张 (zhāng) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 张 (zhāng) [natural native speed]
Victor: 票 (piào) [natural native speed]
Amber: ticket
Victor: 票 (piào) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 票 (piào) [natural native speed]
Victor: 块 (kuài) [natural native speed]
Amber: (measure word for money)
Victor: 块 (kuài) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 块 (kuài) [natural native speed]
Victor: 给 (gěi) [natural native speed]
Amber: to give
Victor: 给 (gěi) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 给 (gěi) [natural native speed]
Victor: 这 (zhè) [natural native speed]
Amber: this
Victor: 这 (zhè) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 这 (zhè) [natural native speed]
Victor: 是 (shì) [natural native speed]
Amber: to be
Victor: 是 (shì) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Victor: 是 (shì) [natural native speed]
Amber: Okay, so let's take a look at some of the usage for some of the words and phrases in this lesson.
Victor: Yeah, we learned a great phrase for being polite.
Amber: Yes, that’s right! In the dialogue, we hear...
Victor: 请问 (qǐng wèn); 请 (qǐng) is a 3rd tone, 问 (wèn) is 4th tone.
Amber: Right! And we would be remiss if we didn’t teach you the word for “please.”
Victor: Right.
Amber: That is the word for “please,” 请 (qǐng).
Victor: 请 (qǐng), very polite.
Amber: Yeah, and then the second word, 问 (wèn), means “to ask.”
Victor: Right.
Amber: So literally, it just means “please ask,” “May I ask?”
Victor: Right.
Amber: It’s the feeling.
Victor: And you hear this a lot in China. People always say this when they try to get your attention to ask you a question.
Amber: Yeah, to preface a question or request, anything like that.
Victor: Yes, and then we have the verb for “to give” 给 (gěi), which is 3rd tone, 给 (gěi).
Amber: Yeah and in this dialogue, we hear them use this verb to basically say the equivalent of what we would say in English for “here you are.” When I’m giving you something, I’ll say, “Here it is.” In this case, it was Mike when he gave the ticket seller the money, he said...
Victor: 给你 (gěi nǐ)
Amber: Which is literally, “give you.”
Victor: Right or "here you go."
Amber: Or “here you go.”
Victor: Right, 给你 (gěi nǐ).
Amber: Right. So now, where is Mike going? Here’s a first Shanghai vocabulary, Victor. Where is he gonna take the bus to?
Victor: It’s called 人民广场 (Rénmín Guǎngchǎng).
Amber: Right, and this is a landmark in Shanghai. We’re in Central Shanghai.
Victor: Yeah. I think a lot of cities in China will probably have a square like that.
Amber: Yeah! Most cities have some kind of a square, like where people collect together…
Victor: RIght.
Amber: And walk around, do exercises, generally concrete, I found. But Renmin Square has a park beside it, which is nice.
Victor: Oh, that’s good.
Amber: Yeah! So let’s break it down. That’s a bit long. The first word was 人民 (rénmín).
Victor: 人民 (rénmín) means “people.” 人 (rén) is 2nd tone, 民 (mín) is also 2nd tone.
Amber: Yeah, and then the square part is…
Victor: 广场 (Guǎngchǎng). 广 (Guǎng) is a 3rd tone and 场 (chǎng) is also a third tone.
Amber: Right! So when you put them together, there’s a tone-change rule.
Victor: Correct.
Amber: To pronounce 2nd tone and 3rd tone.
Victor: So, it’s 广场 (Guǎngchǎng), instead of 广场 (Guǎngchǎng). [In writing, it’s the same as in 3rd tone + 3rd tone; but when pronounced, it’s 2nd tone + 3rd tone.]
Amber: Right! Now, to get to the People’s Square, we learned another good vocabulary word which is the word that a lot of people use to refer to any sort of vehicle, really.
Victor: Right!
Amber: Which is…
Victor: 车 (chē). It’s the 1st tone.
Amber: Right! So, depending on context, you can use this word for a car, or in this case, a bus. It’s just sort of a short way of referring to a vehicle.
Victor: And one more important thing you’ll need for the bus is the word for ticket.
Amber: Mm.
Victor: 票 (piào) which is a 4th tone, 票 (piào).
Amber: Right and this 票 (piào) is the same word for ticket you would use for a movie or for sports event.
Victor: Correct. Any sort of ticket.
Amber: All other tickets.
Victor: Yes.
Amber: Anything like that.

Lesson focus

Amber: Okay, so now, you’ve learned some words that will help you to buy a bus ticket, but now, we’re going to give you some grammar that will help you to buy a bus ticket, and also, learn some stuff about how to inquire about the time and to learn about money in Chinese.
Victor: So, to express something you want or need to do, you can do as Mike did in the dialogue.
Amber: Right. So, we remember, first of all, he wants to go to People Square, 人民广场 (Rénmín Guǎngchǎng).
Victor: And he said, 我要去人民广场 (Wǒ yào qù Rénmín Guǎngchǎng).
Amber: Right. So here, the magic word is 要 (yào). 要 (yào) is 4th tone and it’s the verb that means “to want.” So, we use this verb to express the desire to do something, when we want to do something, of course, just like English.
Victor: Right! So what we do is put the verb or object that we want, after the word, 要 (yào).
Amber: So here in our sentence, what does he want to do?
Victor: 他要去人民广场 (Tā yào qù rénmín guǎngchǎng).
Amber: So Victor just said, “He wants…” and then he used the verb “to go” 去 (qù), “to go” and then the place.
Victor: Correct. So simply, 他要去人民广场 (Tā yào qù rénmín guǎngchǎng).
Amber: Right. So, the action word that he wants to perform here is 去 (qù) “to go.” So, here’s another thing, 要 (yào), just like in English, we can use 要 (yào) with another verb something we want to do, but we can also use it if we want an object or a thing.
Victor: Right.
Amber: So, in Chinese also, we can use 要 (yào) with objects when you want something. So, to get on the bus, what does he want?
Victor: Well, of course, to get on the bus, you need a ticket.
Amber: Right. So, this time, similar to our sentence just now, about where he wanted to go, this time, it’s 要 (yào) plus an object which is the ticket.
Victor: Right.
Amber: So, the sentence was…
Victor: 我要一张票。 (Wǒ yào yì zhāng piào.)
Amber: Right! “He wants one ticket.”
Victor: Right.
Amber: Okay. So now, we got the important part down, getting the ticket.
Victor: Yep and now, we’ll take a step back to another very crucial part!
Amber: Which is figuring out the bus times.
Victor: Yeah. Okay, so let’s start with asking the time. The key word for asking the time in the sentence, 请问有几点的车? (Qǐng wèn yǒu jǐ diǎn de chē?)
Amber: The keyword is 几点 (jǐ diǎn).
Victor: 几点 (jǐ diǎn)
Amber: So, if I want to ask what time it is , what do I say?
Victor: 几点 (jǐ diǎn) or you can add 几点钟 (Jǐ diǎn zhōng)?
Amber: Okay, so what are the tones on that?
Victor: 几 (jǐ) is 3rd tone, 点 (diǎn) is also 3rd tone.
Amber: And when you put them together, two turns, third turns in a row, it’s read, 2nd-3rd as we mentioned.
Victor: Right.
Amber: Now, the key here, 几 (jǐ), actually means like “how many,” right, Victor?
Victor: How many, yeah.
Amber: And then 点 (diǎn) is like o’clock, so it’s kind of like “How many o’clocks is it?”
Victor: Right.
Amber: Now, what was that you said, you could also say a longer version?
Victor: 几点钟 (Jǐ diǎn zhōng)
Amber: So, 钟 (zhōng) is the word for “hour.”
Victor: Right.
Amber: So it’s just a little bit more formal or…
Victor: Yeah, 几点钟 (jǐ diǎn zhōng), you just kind of…
Amber: Longer way of saying the same thing?
Victor: Correct. It’s just a slightly longer version.
Amber: So, you can say either 几点 (jǐ diǎn) or 几点钟 (jǐ diǎn zhōng).
Victor: Yes.
Amber: And 钟 (zhōng) is 1st tone.
Victor: Right.
Amber: Okay. So now, we know how to ask the time . That’s simple. And then we hear something interesting.
Victor: And it is how to say “there is” in Chinese, to express existence.
Amber: Right! Now, this is a little different than English. In English, we use “there is” to express existence, but in Chinese, you actually don’t have an equivalent, necessarily, in this case. In Chinese, you actually use the verb for “to have” to express existence, which is…
Victor: 有 (yǒu), which is a 3rd tone.
Amber: Right! So, for example, here, the question was, “What time are there buses?”
Victor: 请问有几点的车? (Qǐng wèn yǒu jǐ diǎn de chē?)
Amber: Right! So literally, it’s, “May I ask, have what time bus (or vehicle)?”
Victor: Correct.
Amber: Good. So, again, we have a little review review of our question opener, which we learned in the vocab section, 请问 (qǐngwèn) means, “may I ask” and then we have the rest of the sentence.
Victor: Mm-hmm. Okay, so now, we’re going to have a little introduction to a little Chinese phenomenon.
Amber: Yes! Very exciting! There’s not many phenomena, not as many phenomena in China.
Victor: Yeah. Yeah.
Amber: But this one is “measure word.”
Victor: Measure word.
Amber: Also sometimes referred to as “classifiers.”
Victor: Right.
Amber: What are they, Victor?
Victor: Well, measure words appear in Chinese between a number and a noun.
Amber: Right! They’re usually just like a little one-syllable word, and to help you wrap your mind around them, you can think of them kind of in these terms, like how in English we sort of have measure words a little bit too. If we say like a loaf of bread, a pair of shoes.
Victor: Right.
Amber: It’s similar to that concept, except in Chinese, all nouns will need a measure word when you’re speaking about a certain number of them.
Victor: Right. Yeah, so there are a lot of measure words, each object has its particular one it goes with. So the pattern goes like this, it’s, you say the “number” and then “measure word” and then the “noun.”
Amber: So in the dialogue, we heard Mike ask for one ticket, so he needs a measure word here because he’s enumerating how many tickets he wants, right?
Victor: Right.
Amber: And how did he say that?
Victor: 一张票 (yī zhāng piào)
Amber: Right. So the word for one is 一 (yi) and then, in the middle, next came the measure word, and this measure word is the one that goes with paper.
Victor: Right.
Amber: Which is also used for other sort of flat objects and it is…
Victor: 张 (zhāng)
Amber: Right, and then last came the noun, the word for the ticket…
Victor: 票 (piào)
Amber: Right. So put it together…
Victor: 一张票 (yī zhāng piào)
Amber: So, number, measure word, then the object. So, we’re gonna hear more about these measure words later. It’s very exciting for everyone we know.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: Don’t worry, there’s gonna be more on this.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: We’ll elaborate more, but just keep the concept in mind for now. So when you see them, you won’t be surprised.
Victor: And it’s actually not as intimidating as it sounds because once you start speaking, you’ll start to pick up these things and then it really slowly comes to you.
Amber: Yes, Victor promises.
Victor: Right.
Amber: Money-back guarantee. Okay, so speaking of money…
Victor: Speaking of money, yes.
Amber: Actually, money also uses measure words because, of course, you’re talking about an amount and an object, the dollars or renminbi, as the case may be. So what is the word for money, in Chinese?
Victor: 钱 (qián), it’s 2nd tone.
Amber: Right. And of course, since with money, we’re always, almost always talking about an amount of money, what’s the measure word that we’re going to use for money, Victor?
Victor: It is 块 (kuài).
Amber: Right. So, as we remember, it goes, the number, measure word, and then the object. So, in our dialogue, how did this sound, when we talked about the price of the ticket?
Victor: 16块钱。 (Shíliù kuài qián.)
Amber: Right. So, first, 16 (shíliù) is the number “16.”
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: Then we heard 块 (kuài), 4th tone, measure word for “money,” then 钱 (qián) which is the actual word for “money.”
Victor: Money, right.
Amber: Good. So, if it helps to think about it, you can think of it this way, basically like “16 pieces of money.”
Victor: Right.
Amber: 16块钱。 (Shíliù kuài qián.)
Victor: 16块钱。 (Shíliù kuài qián.)
Amber: And sometimes, maybe as a side point, we should tell you that not everyone will say, 16块钱。 (Shíliù kuài qián.) Chinese people love to abbreviate, as we know.
Victor: Right. Yeah, sometimes, people just say 16块。 (Shíliù kuài.)
Amber: I think it’s more common, actually, 16块。 (Shíliù kuài.)
Victor: Yeah. It’s kind of like saying 5 bucks here, you know.
Amber: Exactly. But on the side note, Victor, what is the currency actually called in China?
Victor: Well, officially, it is the renminbi.
Amber: So do people every say, 16人民币 (shíliù rénmínbì), 16块人民币 (Shíliù kuài rénmínbì)?
Victor: I don’t think people really say it.
Amber: I never heard this.
Victor: But you’ll probably see the writings and signs in official places.
Amber: Maybe writing, yeah, or like if you go exchange money.
Victor: Right.
Amber: And then sometimes, you also hear people refer to it as something else though too.
Victor: As 元 (yuán).
Amber: Right.
Victor: Yeah, that’s actually the more formal, the official measure word. It’s 元 (yuán).
Amber: Oh, for money.
Victor: That’s why, yeah, in the West, you’re gonna say Y-U-A-N, yuan. That’s how you pronounce it.


Amber: Okay. So that’s it for today’s lesson. Let’s have another listen to the dialogue and also don’t forget to stay tuned till next time to find out which Chinese adventures come next for Mike after post-bus adventures.
Victor: Yeah. See you next time!
Amber: 再见。(Zàijiàn.)
Victor: 再见。(Zàijiàn.)