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Lesson Transcript

Taiwanese Mandarin Survival Phrases Lesson 23: Help!
In this lesson, we are talking about emergency situations.
In Chinese, the first one phrase we’ll practice in emergency situations is 救命啊(Jiùmìng a)! This means “Help me!”
Let’s break it down by tone:
救(jiù) is in fourth tone, falling tone
命(mìng) is in fourth tone again falling tone
啊(a) is in first tone, the flat tone
Let’s break it down by meaning:
救(jiù) means "to save."
命(mìng) means "life."
啊(a) emphasizes the urgency of this phrase.
Literally 救命啊(Jiùmìng a)! means "save life" to use in emergency situations. In English, it translates as “Help me!” or “Save me”
Altogether, we have 救命啊(Jiùmìng a)!
Listen again, one more time, slowly:
[Slow] 救命啊(Jiùmìng a)!
[Normal] 救命啊(Jiùmìng a)!
In Chinese, you can say 小偷(Xiǎo tōu)! which means “thief.”
Let’s break it down by tone:
小(xiǎo) is in third tone
偷(tōu) is in the first, flat tone.
Let’s break down the meaning:
Literally 小(xiǎo) means "small" and 偷(tōu) means "to steal."
Together, this means "a burglar" or "a small time thief"
Altogether, we have 小偷(Xiǎo tōu)!
Listen again, one more time, slowly:
[Slow] 小偷(Xiǎo tōu)!
[Normal] 小偷(Xiǎo tōu)!
In Chinese, the word for "police" is 警察(jǐng chá).
Let’s break it down by tone:
警(jǐng) is in third tone, falling-rising tone
察(chá) is in second tone, the rising tone
Altogether, we have 警察(jǐng chá).
Listen again, one more time, slowly:
[Slow] 警察(jǐng chá).
[Normal] 警察(jǐng chá).
In Chinese, if you want to call the police, you can say 請打110(Qǐng dǎ yī yī líng).
Let’s break it down by tone:
請(qǐng) is in second, rising tone
打(dǎ) is in third tone
110(yī yī líng) is said as first tone, first tone again, and then second tone.
Let’s break it down by meaning:
請(qǐng) means "please."
打(dǎ) means "to hit" but in this case, it also means "to dial."
110(yī yī líng) means "110.”
Literally, this means "please dial 110" since the telephone number for police in Taiwan is 110.
Altogether, we have 請打110(Qǐng dǎ yī yī líng).
Listen again, one more time, slowly.
[Slow] 請打110(Qǐng dǎ yī yī líng).
[Normal] 請打110(Qǐng dǎ yī yī líng).

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Let's hope you never have to use this phrase....