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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.)
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