Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
DAVID:
Welcome to ChineseClass101.com. I'm David.
Amber: 大家好,我是安伯。(Dàjiā hǎo, wǒ shì ān bó.)
DAVID:
And we’re here today with Upper Beginner, Season 1, Lesson 10 - Getting nowhere fast in China.
Amber: 对,今天的课是和交通有关系。(Duì, jīntiān de kè shì hé jiāotōng yǒu guānxì.)
DAVID:
Right. So that’s about transportation. So we’ve got cabs, and we’ve got busses and subways. Our lesson today, our dialogue, it takes place on the street.
Amber: 在路上,对。(Zài lùshàng, duì.)
DAVID:
Yes, as two friends are going to a party. But they’re going to be late and you can guess why.
Amber: 没错。(Méi cuò.)
DAVID:
So we’re going to go to the dialogue now. This is casual Chinese, as always.
DIALOGUE
A: 我告诉过你坐地铁。(Wǒ gàosù guò nǐ zuò dìtiě.)
B: 出租车应该快来了。(Chūzūchē yīnggāi kuài lái le.)
A: 已经半个小时了。(Yǐjīng bàn gè xiǎoshí le.)
B: 再等五分钟。(Zài děng wǔ fēnzhōng.)
A: 根本没车,我们坐巴士吧!(Gēnběn méi chē, wǒmen zuò bāshì ba!)
B: 哎,那儿有一个......别人打了。(Ai, nàr yǒu yí gè......biérén dǎle.)
A: I told you to take the subway.
B: There should be a cab soon.
A: It's already been half an hour.
B: Just wait another five minutes.
A: There are no cabs at all, let's take the bus!
B: Ah, there's one... someone else took it.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
DAVID:
It used to be that Shanghai was like this.
Amber: Yeah.
DAVID:
Now Beijing is like this as well.
Amber: 北京现在也是这样。(Běijīng xiànzài yěshì zhèyàng.)
DAVID:
The worst is when you’re waiting for a cab and there’s someone who moves over ten feet beside you and waits.
Amber: 然后你再往前走十米。 (Ránhòu nǐ zài wǎng qián zǒu shí mǐ.)
DAVID:
Well, I don’t. Anyway, our vocab today, it’s about cabs, it’s about subways. Let’s get to it.
VOCAB LIST
Amber: 告诉。(gàosù.)
DAVID:
To tell.
Amber: 告 诉, 告诉, 交通。(gàosù, gàosù, jiāotōng.)
DAVID:
Transportation.
Amber: 交 通, 交通, 地铁。(jiāotōng, jiāotōng,dìtiě)
DAVID:
Subway.
Amber: 地 铁, 地铁, 出租车。(Dìtiě, dìtiě, chūzū chē.)
DAVID:
Cab.
Amber: 出 租 车, 出租车, 巴士。(Chūzū chē, chūzū chē, bāshì.)
DAVID:
Bus.
Amber: 巴 士, 巴士, 打。(Bāshì, bāshì, dǎ.)
DAVID:
To flag down.
Amber: 打, 打, 根本。(Dǎ, dǎ, gēnběn.)
DAVID:
At all.
Amber: 根 本, 根本, 别人。(Gēnběn, gēnběn, biérén.)
DAVID:
Somebody else.
Amber: 别 人, 别人。(Biérén, biérén.)
VOCAB AND PHRASE USAGE
DAVID:
Let’s have a closer look at some of today’s words. Our first word is…
Amber: 交通。(Jiāotōng.)
DAVID:
Transportation.
Amber: 交通。(Jiāotōng.)
DAVID:
And this can also be traffic. Right? You can say that the traffic is congested.
Amber: 交通很堵。(Jiāotōng hěn dǔ.)
DAVID:
Right. “The traffic is congested.”
Amber: 交通很堵。(Jiāotōng hěn dǔ.)
DAVID:
In Beijing, in the Central Business District, the traffic is always crowded.
Amber: 没错。(Méi cuò.)
DAVID:
The solution is to take the subway.
Amber: 地铁。(Dìtiě.)
DAVID:
Subway.
Amber: 地铁。(Dìtiě.)
DAVID:
And we ride the subway in English. In Chinese, we sit on it.
Amber: 坐地铁, 比如说 交通太堵了, 我们坐地铁吧!(Zuò dìtiě, bǐrú shuō jiāotōng tài dǔle, wǒmen zuò dìtiě ba!)
DAVID:
Yeah, “The traffic is too crowded, let’s take the subway.”
Amber: 没错, 交通太堵了, 我们坐地铁吧!(Méi cuò, jiāotōng tài dǔle, wǒmen zuò dìtiě ba!)
DAVID:
Which is a bit weird because 交通 (Jiāotōng) could also mean “the subway” in the other definition of all kinds of transportation.
Amber: Yeah, 对,但是一般情况下指在路上 ….很堵。(Duì, dànshì yībān qíngkuàng xià zhǐ zài lùshàng…. Hěn dǔ.)
DAVID:
Right. If it means traffic, people are just talking about cars.
Amber: 没错。(Méi cuò.)
DAVID:
If the traffic isn’t too heavy, another cheaper way to get around town is the bus.
Amber: 巴士。(Bāshì.)
DAVID:
Bus.
Amber: 巴士。(Bāshì.)
DAVID:
How much are the busses in Beijing these days?
Amber: 唔 …… 四毛钱。(Wú…… sì máo qián.)
DAVID:
Right. So very, very cheap. The ones with air conditioning are a bit more expensive but…
Amber: 没错。(Méi cuò.)
DAVID:
If you’ve got money though, you’re not going to be taking the bus. You’re going to be taking…
Amber: 出租车。(Chūzū chē.)
DAVID:
A taxi.
Amber: 出租车, 比如说已经很晚了,我们打出租车吧!(Chūzū chē, bǐrú shuō yǐjīng hěn wǎnle, wǒmen dǎ chūzū chē ba!)
DAVID:
It’s already very late, let’s take a cab.
Amber: 已经很晚了,我们打出租车吧!(Yǐjīng hěn wǎnle, wǒmen dǎ chūzū chē ba!)
DAVID:
Right. And that could mean two things. It could mean “It’s late in the evening” or it could mean “We don’t have time to take the subway”.
Amber: 对,没错。(Duì, méi cuò.)
DAVID:
Yeah. An interesting thing there too is that verb.
Amber: 打。(Dǎ.)
DAVID:
It’s “to hit”.
Amber: 对。(Duì.)
DAVID:
It’s too late, we have to go hit a cab.
Amber: 不是 ……. 不是打出租车,是叫一个出租车 (Bùshì……. Bùshì dǎ chūzū chē, shì jiào yīgè chūzū chē)
DAVID:
Yeah, it’s to flag one down with your hand.
Amber: Yeah, 对。(Duì.)
DAVID:
So it’s still the hitting motion in the air.
Amber: 对。(Duì.)
DAVID:
Right? So you “hit a cab”.
Amber: 打出租车。(Dǎ chūzū chē.)
DAVID:
It’s already really late, let’s flag down a cab.
Amber: 已经很晚了,我们打出租车吧!(Yǐjīng hěn wǎnle, wǒmen dǎ chūzū chē ba!)
DAVID:
Right. So, to review, when traffic is bad…
Amber: 交通很堵。(Jiāotōng hěn dǔ.)
DAVID:
You can take the subway.
Amber: 坐地铁。(Zuò dìtiě.)
DAVID:
Otherwise, you could take a bus.
Amber: 坐巴士。(Zuò bāshì.)
DAVID:
Or flag down a cab.
Amber: 打出租车。(Dǎ chūzū chē.)
DAVID:
And with that, let’s get to our grammar point.

Lesson focus

M2: It’s grammar time!
DAVID:
In our grammar point today, we want to introduce this adverb.
Amber: 根本。(Gēnběn.)
DAVID:
Let’s hear that slowed down.
Amber: 根本。(Gēnběn.)
DAVID:
This means “fundamentally”.
Amber: Yeah.
DAVID:
Right? “At root, at heart”. In our dialogue, we translated it as “at all” in the following sentence.
Amber: 根本没车,我们坐巴士吧!(Gēnběn méi chē, wǒmen zuò bāshì ba!)
DAVID:
Right. Look at that first bit.
Amber: 根本没车。(Gēnběn méi chē.)
DAVID:
There are no cabs at all.
Amber: 根本没车。(Gēnběn méi chē.)
DAVID:
Yeah, really it means something closer to “fundamentally”.
Amber: 对,因为 “根” 就是 root 的意思。(Duì, yīnwèi “gēn” jiùshì root de yìsi.)
DAVID:
Yes.
Amber: 对。(Duì.)
DAVID:
In essence, there are no cabs. Maybe there’s one, but we’re probably not going to get it because, really, there aren’t any out there. So, fundamentally, at the heart of it, we’re using this adverb.
Amber: 根本。(Gēnběn.)
DAVID:
And we can put this in front of any verb that we want. For instance…
Amber: 这儿根本没有人。(Zhè'er gēnběn méiyǒu rén.)
DAVID:
There’s no one around here.
Amber: 这儿根本没有人。(Zhè'er gēnběn méiyǒu rén.)
DAVID:
“There’s no one around here at all.” Or, “Fundamentally, there’s no one here.”
Amber: 唔,没错。(Wú, méi cuò.)
DAVID:
Let’s have another example.
Amber: 比如出租车根本不快。(Bǐrú chūzū chē gēnběn bùkuài.)
DAVID:
Cabs aren’t really fast.
Amber: 出租车根本不快。(Chūzū chē gēnběn bùkuài.)
DAVID:
Right, because transportation is very crowded.
Amber: 因为交通很堵。(Yīnwèi jiāotōng hěn dǔ.)
DAVID:
Right, so the cabs are about as fast as the busses. You can also use this to say something like, “I really don’t understand what you’re saying.”
Amber: 我根本不懂你在说什么!(Wǒ gēnběn bù dǒng nǐ zài shuō shénme!)
DAVID:
I really don’t know what you’re saying.
Amber: 我根本不懂你在说什么!(Wǒ gēnběn bù dǒng nǐ zài shuō shénme!)
DAVID:
Or “I really didn’t hear.”
Amber: 我根本没听见。(Wǒ gēnběn méi tīngjiàn.)
DAVID:
At root of it, “I didn’t hear,”
Amber: 我根本没听见。(Wǒ gēnběn méi tīngjiàn.)
DAVID:
Now, the tone that this has in the sentence it’s maybe you’re complaining a little bit.
Amber: 没错, 不满意。(Méi cuò, bù mǎnyì.)
DAVID:
Yeah, you’re a bit dissatisfied. So it’s not objective, you’re not saying, “Well, I didn’t hear what you said.” You’re saying, “I didn’t hear. It’s probably because it’s your fault.”
Amber: 没错, 是你的问题,所以我没听见。(Méi cuò, shì nǐ de wèntí, suǒyǐ wǒ méi tīngjiàn.)
DAVID:
Yeah, “You didn’t speak clearly so I fundamentally didn’t understand.”
Amber: 没错, 你没说清楚,我根本没听见。(Méi cuò, nǐ méi shuō qīngchǔ, wǒ gēnběn méi tīngjiàn.)
DAVID:
So this is a really useful adverb to know.
Amber: 根本。(Gēnběn.)
DAVID:
Stick it in front of verbs when you want to say “fundamentally”, “at heart”, or when you want to translate English sentences that say “at all”.
Amber: 没错, 根本, 根本没车。(Méi cuò, gēnběn, gēnběn méi chē.)

Outro

DAVID:
“There are no cars at all.” So that’s our lesson for today. From Beijing, I'm David.
Amber: 我是安伯。(Wǒ shì ān bó.)
DAVID:
Thanks for listening and we’ll see you on the site.
Amber: 下次见。(Xià cì jiàn.)

11 Comments

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ChineseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
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Do you have any funny stories about getting a taxi? Share with us in the comments!

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 03:54 PM
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Hello Paisley Tarboton,


Thank you for your comment. Yes, 公共汽车 means bus, in short it can be 公车,公交.

巴士 is a transliteration from the word "bus", which is also commonly used now in China. All are widely used.

Taxi is 出租车.


过 is used to indicate events that have happened before, "我告诉过你..." means "I have told you..". We can't substitute it with 了 here, because the speaker implies that "I've told you before" and now he's repeating it again.


Hope it helps, let us know if you have any questions.


Ngai Lam

Team ChineseClass101.com

Paisley Tarboton
Thursday at 08:52 AM
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It seems like there are many phrases for bus: 公共汽车(Gōng gòng qì chē), or just 汽车 (which is also used for taxi sometimes if I’m not misremembering?) or 公车, and here we have 巴士 (bā shì). Any usage tips?


Also, in the first sentence of the dialogue “我告诉过你坐地铁。(Wǒ gàosù guò nǐ zuò dìtie)” why do they use 过 guò? Could they replace it with 了 le instead to give the past tense “I told you”?

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Sunday at 11:48 PM
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Hi, Maria,

Characters shows meaning and Pinyin is important for pronunciation and typing.

It takes effect to learn pinyin well because some are really confusing such as n/ng...

If you have any question, please let us know.


Cho

Team ChineseClass101.com

Maria
Thursday at 04:00 AM
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In some ways I have more trouble with pinyin than I do with the characters. I often spell the pinyin wrong and come up with the wrong characters in the writing section of the quiz, even though I know the right characters. I begin to doubt myself because I don't see the character listed because the pinyin is wrong. Then, I choose some odd character that's all wrong. I guess I have to take some time to learn pinyin better.

Team ChineseClass101.com
Sunday at 07:37 PM
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Hi Paula,


It's 我根本没有经历:smile:


Chloe

Team ChineseClass101.com

Paula FQ
Monday at 02:13 AM
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我经历根本没有!!!

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 12:03 PM
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Hi Khiem,


Haha, taxi drivers in Beijing are way more talkative and interesting than those in Shanghai I think. I can always have a conversation with them no matter how short my trip is.


Echo

Team ChineseClass101.com

Khiem
Tuesday at 06:40 PM
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I was in Shanghai about 15 years ago and I had just been on a day tour of Suzhou. I was really tired, so I caught a cab to get back to my hotel, which was on Nanjing Donglu. I think the place I caught it from might even have been on Nanjing Donglu as well. But anyway, the taxi driver immediately took off in the wrong direction and I had to shout the address again to let him know I knew very well how to get to the hotel from there (I didn't know much Chinese back then, of course).


But since then, I've always had fun talking with taxi drivers. I even had one in Beijing who was able to guess I was from Australia.

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 12:46 PM
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Hi Herman,


你说的对!已经改好了,谢谢!:oops:


Echo

Team ChineseClass101.com

Herman
Monday at 10:12 AM
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"出租车根本不快" 是不是翻译错了, 应该 " Cabs are really slow".