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Lesson Transcript

Start speaking Chinese in minutes and grasp the language, culture and customs in just minutes more with Chinese survival phrases, a completely new way to master the basics of Chinese. To get more Chinese lessons and for free, go to chineseclass101.com and sign up for your free lifetime account. Signing up takes less than a minute and you will find more great lessons just like this one. To get more free Chinese lessons, go to chineseclass101.com
Hey guys, today’s lesson is for the adventuresome AK the cheap travelers, all right? In China, the bus is a really important means of transportation. It’s how most people get where they want to go. Unfortunately it’s really hard if you don’t speak Chinese. Most foreigners will just opt to take taxis all the time and in comparison to almost any other country, taxis are very cheap in China but if you want a real Chinese experience, the bus is a way to go and I lived in Beijing for a long, long time and I never once had a bus map. I’ve seen bus maps but they are indecipherable. There are just a lot of 1 mm wide lines traveling in just sort of random directions over a map that doesn’t look anything like any other map you’ve ever seen before. Don’t look for a bus map, don’t expect to find a bus map. They are just – as far as you are concerned, bus maps don’t exist. Don’t worry about it and the way most people do it is, when you get to a bus station, there is a sign and on the sign for the bus, every bus has a number. Maybe this is bus 711 or bus 45 or bus 328. On the sign for us 328 will be a list of the stops that bus 328 goes to and a little marker showing which stop you are at now, all right. So what you have to do is you have to go down the list of the stops, look for the stop you are looking for and then know you want to go there. The problem is, if you don’t know the name of the stop near your destination, well sorry, tough luck. A lot of times what I used to do is I would take a taxi to a destination I was going to and once I got there, I would see what the closest bus station was called and look and see what buses went there and try and get back by bus. That way I would know how to get there for next time, but I wouldn’t waste hours trying to figure it out on my own. One of the big problems with these bus signs though is that on these little bus signs, there is no English, absolutely none. This might be different in other bigger cities like Shanghai, but in Beijing, none. No English anywhere on the bus sign. For the actual bus stop, the stop you are at, there will be a bigger sign that says, this stop is bali bali bla~ Underneath the Chinese characters, there will be pinion, the Romanized Chinese but other than that, there is no way to know how to pronounce the Chinese unless you actually know how to pronounce it. So it becomes very important for you to have a little bit of basic Chinese for riding the bus, maybe you have a friend or a guide or somebody tell you which bus to take but you have to be sure where this bus is going to go. You want to make sure you don’t ride the bus in the wrong direction of course. So before you get on the bus, you can say, will this bus go to – just shout it in your loudest voice right at the bus driver and he will turn and shout back to you, yes or no. So the way you say, does this bus go to is 到(dào) whatever place you want to go to, ma, all right. So if I want to go to Beijing station, 北京站(Běijīng zhàn) third tone, first tone, fourth tone 北京站(Běijīng zhàn) I say 到北京站吗(Dào Běijīng zhàn ma?) Now usually because 吗(ma) makes it a question and because we are asking a question, we rise a little bit at the end of the question but ma signifies a question and so if you forget to change your intonation, it won’t matter very much. So let’s go over the tones really quickly. 到(dào) is fourth tone, the falling tone 到(dào) and 吗(ma) has no tone but maybe you make it rise a little bit because it’s the end of a question. So one more time, does this bus go to Beijing station? 到北京站吗(Dào Běijīng zhàn ma?) One more time 到北京站吗(Dào Běijīng zhàn ma?) One more time and the bus driver in response will say either 到(dào) which means yes it goes there or 不到(bú dào) which means, no it does not go there. Remember 到(dào) is fourth tone and it means to go somewhere 到(dào) or he says 不到(bú dào), 不(bù) means no and 到(dào) means go to. So 不到(bú dào). Now 不(bù) is normally fourth tone, the falling tone. However when 不(bù) comes before another fourth tone 到(dào) being fourth tone, then 不(bù) changes to 不(bú) second tone rising tone, 不到(bú dào). So you say 到北京站吗(Dào Běijīng zhàn ma?) and he says 不到(bú dào) and then you are totally confused because the bus you are told to take does not go to Beijing 站(zhàn). At that point, you wave down a taxi. Now literally 到(dào) means to arrive but in this situation, it’s used as to go. Literally I guess the question would be, does this bus arrive at Beijing 站(zhàn) Beijing station. So again 到(dào) means to arrive literally but it is often used in questions of, will this go to or are we going to but we often translate it as going to as in will this bus go to. Now you don’t need to ask the bus driver himself if you are worried about time, if you are worried there is going to be a big rush to get on and you are going to be caught, you might ask other people at the bus station, all right. Now with the bus driver, it’s quite obvious which bus you are asking about. With other people, there are probably going to be many buses at this one station and so you need to specify a certain bus. Just stand by the sign for that bus. So the sign for bus 328, point at the sign and say 这个车到北京站吗(Zhège chē dào Běijīng zhàn ma?) 这个车(zhè ge chē) means this bus. Literally it means this car but we understand in this case that it’s not a car we are talking about, it’s a bus. 这个车到北京站吗(Zhège chē dào Běijīng zhàn ma?) 这(zhè) is fourth tone, 个(ge) has no tone, it’s a measure word and 车(chē) is first tone, the flat tone. So one more time 这个车到北京站吗(Zhège chē dào Běijīng zhàn ma?)
All right, to close our today’s lesson, we’d like you to practice what we’ve just learned. I will provide you with the English equivalent of a phrase and you are responsible for shouting it out loud. You will have a few seconds before I give you the answer. So 加油(Jiā yóu!) Will this bus go to Beijing station 到北京站吗(Dào Běijīng zhàn ma?). Yes it will go there, 到(dào). No it won’t go there, 不到(bú dào). Is this bus going to Beijing station, remember, this is used when asking other people at the bus station. 这个车到北京站吗(Zhège chē dào Běijīng zhàn ma?)
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ChineseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
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Riding the bus in China is fun! No?

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 02:49 AM
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你好 Steven and robert groulx,


谢谢 for posting and studying with us. If you have any questions, please let us know.😄


Kind regards,

雷文特 (Levente)

Team ChineseClass101.com

robert groulx
Saturday at 01:15 AM
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thank you for the lesson transcript


actually i never got to take the bus in china , who knows maybe i will be able to do in shenzen


robert

Steven
Friday at 09:00 AM
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I hope you don't curse me out for cursing at my iPad

Echo
Monday at 10:30 PM
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@Peter,


Hi, sorry, it's our mistake. Should be "Bùhǎoyìsī". Fixed. Thanks!


--Echo

Peter
Thursday at 08:22 PM
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您好,


谢谢 for all the great lessons.


请问,on page 5 of the PDF that accompanies this lesson it says: You can get their attention by using the Bǎdàoyìsī. we learned way

back in lesson number 10. This seemed like a different way of saying excuse me, than what I had learned, so I went back to lesson 10 and checked. In lesson 10 we were taught the phrase Bùhǎo yìsī. Why the difference?


I wasn't sure what to put in the website field above, so I just left it blank.


再见

Peter

maxiewawa
Saturday at 09:24 AM
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Ahh... found it...


It's actually [顶]


http://www.chinasmack.com/glossary#%E9%A1%B6


:mrgreen: :mrgreen:

maxiewawa
Saturday at 09:22 AM
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Hahaha Podboy thanks!


In Chinese internet slang there is a really quick way to agree with someone... they just make a post that says 丁!(ding!)


Not sure if it's 订 or 盯 but it's meant to imitate a bell sound.


So if you agree with someone you would just put a 丁!below their post.


The Chinese... they think of everything don't they!

Podboy
Friday at 05:04 PM
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Max,


Agree !!

maxiewawa
Tuesday at 05:37 PM
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At most bus stops they have the name of that stop in bold, big characters. Take a photo of it so that you can refer to it when you're across town looking for a bus that takes you to your destination!

jeremy
Tuesday at 01:48 PM
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Agree with Claire. I have a lot of trouble with the bus in China because at least here in Beijing it's basically impossible to know where they're going. They put the schedule at all of the bus stops, but the routes are all written in Chinese characters. And even if you know the city generally that doesn't mean you'll recognize the name of the stop.


It's pretty frustrating actually. Usually I either bike or take the subway and then cab it. Only thing that makes it sort of tolerable is that a lot of Chinese people seem to have the same problem too. Easy to use when you know where you're going, but pretty near impossible otherwise.