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A great way to start building your vocabulary and practice talking about places and directions is to introduce your neighborhood (邻里 – lín lǐ) or community (社区 – shè qū; 小区 – xiǎo qū). If you live in a Chinese city, your neighborhood is most likely a very busy place, with all sorts of shops, businesses, and offices a short walking distance from your door. To help you talk about your ‘hood in Chinese, here are 25 words for common places:
It should be noted that when it comes to hotels and restaurants, many words are used and are often interchangeable. I gave two examples above for “hotel” (饭店 and 酒店), but you might also see 宾馆 (bīn guǎn) and 旅馆 (lǚ guǎn) used. “Restaurant” can also be 饭店 in addition to the word given above (餐馆), as well as 餐厅 (cān tīng). Thankfully, most of the other words are pretty straight-forward and are the same all the time! Another interesting thing to point out is the full word for supermarket (超级市场 – chāo jí shì chǎng). You’ll almost always see it written as I did above (超市) – a great example of China’s love for shortening 4-character words down to two.
For some more practice and to see what a Beijing ‘hood looks like, check out this video I made a few years ago:
Now it’s your turn! Use that new vocabulary and introduce your community in Chinese: