Dialogue

Vocabulary

Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

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 of free Chinese lessons, go to chineseclass101.com
All right guys, most people use the rail system to travel long distances in China. Not everybody owns a car and planes can be very expensive. So the rails are very convenient if not always comfortable way to travel. This means that knowing how to buy a rail ticket is essential information for traveling through China. There are many different places you can buy a train ticket. The train station always has a ticket office but in addition to this, there are often lots of little ticket sellers that for a small service charge can get you the exact same ticket as you are going to get to the train station without you ever having to go to the train station. This saves you a trip to the train station. Remember, there are lots of people in China and not enough trains always. So it’s very important to buy your ticket in advance. You always need to make sure you have your ticket ahead of time. You do not want to get to the train station and find out that there are no more tickets. If you are traveling in the middle of a week on a line that has many different trains running on it in one day, then maybe it’s not so important for you to buy your ticket ahead of time but if you are planning on traveling during any kind of holiday especially the national holidays, get your ticket in advance and be prepared to wait hours in line with other Chinese people for a ticket. Now, I would tell you that probably your safest bet for getting a ticket is to go to the station. You can go to little vendors outside of the station but they probably will not speak English and it may be kind of hard to find these little vendors. The station is always easy to find and you are going to need to go there later anyway. The ticket selling both at the station is often separate from where the gates are. You go to a separate area usually outside of the station to buy your ticket. There you get in line and once you get up to the head of the line, you need to ask for a ticket. When you get up to the front, the ticket seller will ask you where are you going 到哪(Dào nǎ?) We talked about this in past lessons but let’s review it. 到哪(Dào nǎ?) Fourth tone and then third tone 到哪(Dào nǎ?) 到(dào) means to arrive but it is often translated as to go and 哪(nǎ) means where. So where will you be arriving at, where do you want to go 到哪(Dào nǎ?) To this, you respond 到(dào) and then your destination. So 到北京(Dào Běijīng.), I am going to Beijing, 到北京(Dào Běijīng.) All right, now let’s try Shanghai, 到上海(Dào Shànghǎi.) I am going to Shanghai. After this, they will ask you how many tickets you want 几张(Jǐ zhāng?) 几(jǐ) means how many and 张(zhāng) is the measure word for ticket. They will say 几张(Jǐ zhāng?) how many tickets, 几(jǐ) is third tone, the falling rising tone and 张(zhāng) is first tone, the flat tone. You answer to this, the number of tickets you want, 一张(Yì zhāng.), one ticket, 两张(Liǎng zhāng.), two tickets. Now you can kill two birds with one stone. When they say 到哪(Dào nǎ?) You can say 一张到北京的票(Yìzhāng dào Běijīng de piào.) This means one ticket going to Beijing, 一张到北京的票(Yìzhāng dào Běijīng de piào.) So 一张(yì zhāng) means one and the measure word for ticket, 到北京(dào Běijīng) means to Beijing, 的(de) is the possessive that attaches this to Beijing to, 票(piào) which means ticket. So the tones are 一张(yì zhāng) first tone, first tone [Note: "一" is changed to the fourth tone "yì" when it is in front of a non-fourth tone word. So "一张" pronounces "yì zhāng"], 到北京(dào Běijīng) fourth tone, third tone, first tone, 的(de) has no tone, 票(piào) fourth tone, 一张到北京的票(Yìzhāng dào Běijīng de piào.) Now when you buy your ticket, they will often ask you, what kind of seat you want except on very short rides, there are three different kinds of cars in the train. There is hard seat, hard sleeper and soft sleeper. The difference between these is huge. Hard seat is very self explanatory. It’s a hard seat. You do not want to get stuck in a hard seat from Shanghai to Beijing. That’s 12 or 14 hours sitting in a plastic seat, a hard seat. Now I don’t personally mind the hard sleeper and usually it’s much cheaper than the soft sleeper. The hard sleeper is a hard bed. These come in little compartments with six beds, three beds on each side set up as bunk beds. These compartments have no doors. So you don’t really have any privacy but these tickets are much cheaper than the soft sleepers. The soft sleepers are much nicer bed and there is only two beds in the bunk. They come in little four bed compartments that each have a door so that you can have a little room to yourself. Personally I’ve never ridden in the soft sleeper but I’ve touched it a couple of times and it seems nice. So how do you say these different things? The first one is 硬座(yìng zuò), hard seat, 硬座(yìng zuò). 硬(yìng) means hard, 座(zuò) means to sit, 硬座(yìng zuò). So fourth tone, fourth tone, 硬座(yìng zuò), hard seat, 硬座(yìng zuò). 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!) I am going to Beijing, 到北京(Dào Běijīng.) How many tickets you want, 几张(Jǐ zhāng?) One ticket, 一张(Yì zhāng.) One ticket going to Beijing, 一张到北京的票(Yìzhāng dào Běijīng de piào.)
Remember to go to chineseclass101.com and sign up for your free lifetime account. Signing up takes less than 1 minute and you will find more great lessons just like this one. Chinese survival phrases will have you speaking with proper pronunciation and arm you with cultural insights and other information to utterly shock and amaze your friends, teachers, colleagues and the people you meet along the way.

8 Comments

Hide
Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Do you have any stories about the trains in China?

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 03:21 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

你好 kimiik, david, Frank, Anthony, 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
Monday at 11:36 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

thank you for the lesson transcript


票(piào) which means ticket.

the long distance travel it would be by train


robert

podboy
Tuesday at 04:59 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

ha , Anthony, thats so funny.:mrgreen:

Anthony
Monday at 08:54 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Still, the longest I've ever heard of is a 28 hour excruciating Zhengzhou to Shenzhen hardseat odyssey. I don't think that should be topped.


On a personal note, one time on an overnight soft sleeper from Beijing to Shanghai, an associate and I where killing some time in the Dining Car late into the evening.


We didn't know at the moment but it was fast approaching closing time. Our cue to leave came when one of the middle aged waiters started to take his clothes off right in the dining car. All the way down to his satin red underwear. i guess he was getting ready for bed. "We get the message" we both thought to oursleves as we scuttled back to our cabin giggling.

Frank
Monday at 08:51 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Don't listen to a word Dave says about the train system here!!!! Not a word! The soft sleeper from Beijing to Shanghai (an overnight trip) is *exactly* the same price as the airfare for a two-hour flight! AND you're not sleeping with three other people in a shoebox with no ventilation.


Fly. It's the only way to travel.

david
Monday at 07:18 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

ha ha Amber. You *know* I have stories about the train system in China. Suffice it to say that taking the hard seater from Beijing to Inner Mongolia is not a good idea. Spend the extra 10 bucks and get a sleeping berth.

kimiik
Monday at 07:14 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

I'm surprised you didn't say a word about the toilets. Having to use toilets in a chinese train is a memorable experience. :wink: