Dialogue

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Lesson Transcript

Taiwanese Mandarin Survival Phrases Lesson 6: Where is the Bathroom?
In this lesson, you will learn how to ask where the bathroom is.
In Chinese, “Where is the bathroom?” is 洗手間在哪裡(Xíshǒujiān zài nálǐ)?
Let’s break it down by tone:
First we have 洗(Xǐ).
Next we have 手(shǒu). This is in third tone.
After that we have 間(jiān). This is a flat tone.
Then we have 在(zài). This is in fourth tone.
Next we have 哪(nǎ). This is in third tone.
Last we have 裡(lǐ). This is in the third tone. Sometimes, it may not have a tone, or it has a soft tone.
Usually, 洗 (Xǐ) is in third tone. But because it is followed by another third tone, it becomes second tone.
Next, let’s break it down by meaning:
在(zài), means "at."
哪裡(nǎlǐ) means "where."
洗手間(xí shǒu jiān) literally means “wash hand room.” Together this means “washroom” or “bathroom.”
Literally, the phrase means “Bathroom at where?” In English, this translates to “Where is the bathroom?”
Altogether, we have 洗手間在哪裡(Xǐshǒujiān zài nǎ lǐ)?
Listen again, one more time, slowly:
[Slow] 洗手間在哪裡(Xǐshǒujiān zài nǎ lǐ)?
[Normal] 洗手間在哪裡(Xǐshǒujiān zài nǎ lǐ)?

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This question is one of the most important when traveling. In how many languages can you say it?