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Taking a Chinese Taxi Posted by on Jan 29, 2015 in Uncategorized

In the last post, I introduced some useful vocabulary for taking a taxi in China. As I mentioned, cab drivers are one of your best resources for practicing Chinese, and they can also give you great insights into Chinese culture and daily life. I’ve had many a conversation with Chinese cabbies over the year, and they tend to go in the same direction. We like to joke around that cab drivers always ask foreigners the same ten questions, which makes it pretty easy for you. Here’s a sample conversation between a lao wai and a Chinese driver, in which you’ll see a lot of the vocab mentioned in the last post. Try to read it in Chinese, refer to the pinyin below if necessary, and then read the English translation.

You'll have plenty of time to chat while you're stuck in traffic.

You’ll have plenty of time to chat while you’re stuck in traffic.

Chinese

你好,师傅。
去哪儿?
我想去一个饭店,但是我忘了中文名字。
你有地址吗?
有啊,等一下。看我的手机,这是他们的地址。
我看一下。。。好的,知道了。
离这儿远吗?
不太远。二十分钟就到了。
好的。

你是哪个国家的?
我是美国的。
美国人啊。美国是好地方。USA!奥巴马!
中国也是!
你到中国多长时间了?
四年多了。
四年了!怪不得你的中文那么好。
不太好。马马虎虎。
你也知道马马虎虎!太好了。
我喜欢中国的成语。
你喜欢中国菜吗?
很喜欢。中国菜非常好吃!
我们可以听音乐吗?
可以,没问题!

我觉得我们快到了。你知道这个饭店在哪儿吗?
知道。下个红绿灯右拐。
好的。然后呢?
一直走。前边就是。
在这儿吗?
不是。往前走五十米。这个饭店在医院对面。
好。看到了。
在这里停车吧。多少钱?
二十块。
有零钱吗?我只有一百。
有啊。找你八十。
可以给我发票吗?
可以,稍等一下。。。给。
谢谢。
不用。慢走!
再见!

Pinyin

nǐ hǎo, shī fù
qù nǎ’er?
Wǒ xiǎng qù yī gè fàn diàn, dàn shì wǒ wàng le zhōng wén míng zì.
Nǐ yǒu dì zhǐ ma?
Yǒu a, děng yī xià. Kàn wǒ de shǒu jī, zhè shì tā men dì dì zhǐ.
Wǒ kàn yī xià… Hǎo de, zhī dào le.
Lí zhè’er yuǎn ma?
Bù tài yuǎn. Èr shí fēn zhōng jiù dào le.
Hǎo de.

Nǐ shì nǎ ge guó jiā de?
Wǒ shì měi guó de.
Měi guó rén a. Měi guó shì hǎo dì fāng. USA! Ào bā mǎ!.
Zhōng guó yě shì!
Nǐ dào zhōng guó duō cháng shí jiān le?
Sì nián duō le.
Sì nián le! Guài bù dé nǐ de zhōng wén nà me hǎo.
Bù tài hǎo. Mǎ mǎ hǔ hǔ.
Nǐ yě zhī dào mǎ mǎ hǔ hǔ! Tài hǎo le.
Wǒ xǐ huān zhōng guó de chéng yǔ.
Nǐ xǐ huān zhōng guó cài ma?
Hěn xǐ huān. Zhōng guó cài fēi cháng hào chī!
Wǒ men kě yǐ tīng yīn yuè ma?
Kě yǐ, méi wèn tí!

Wǒ jué dé wǒ men kuài dào le. Nǐ zhī dào zhè ge fàn diàn zài nǎ’er ma?
Zhī dào. Xià gè hóng lǜ dēng yòu guǎi.
Hǎo de. Rán hòu ne?
Yī zhí zǒu. Qián bian jiù shì.
Zài zhè’er ma?
Bù shì. Wǎng qián zǒu wǔ shí mǐ. Zhè ge fàn diàn zài yī yuàn duì miàn.
Hǎo. Kàn dào le.
Zài zhè lǐ tíng chē ba. Duō shǎo qián?
Èr shí kuài.
Yǒu líng qián ma? Wǒ zhǐ yǒu yī bǎi.
Yǒu a. Zhǎo nǐ bā shí.
Kě yǐ gěi wǒ fā piào ma?
Kě yǐ, shāo děng yī xià… Gěi.
Xiè xiè.
Bù yòng. Màn zǒu!
Zài jiàn!

English

Hello, expert (a word used for drivers and other skilled people).

Where are you going?

I want to go to a restaurant, but I forgot the Chinese name.

Do you have the address?

Yeah, wait a second. Look at my phone, this is their address.

I’ll take a look… OK, I know it.

Is it far from here?

Not too far. We’ll get there in just 20 minutes.

Great.

What country are you from?

I’m American.

Ah, American. America is a good place. USA! Obama!

So is China!

How long have you been in China?

Over four years.

Four years! No wonder your Chinese is so good.

It’s not that great, just “horse-horse tiger-tiger” (an idiom meaning “so-so.”)

You also know “horse-horse tiger-tiger”! Great!

I like Chinese idioms.

Do you like Chinese food?

Yes, very much. Chinese food is very delicious!

Can we listen to some music?

Sure, no problem!

I think we’ll be there soon. Do you know where this restaurant is?

Yes, I know. Take a right at the next traffic light.

Ok, then what?

Go straight. It’s just straight ahead.

Here?

No. Go straight 50 meters. The restaurant is opposite the hospital.

Ok. I see it.

Stop the car here. How much is it?

20 RMB.

Do you have small change? I only have 100.

Yeah. I’ll give you back 80.

Can you give me a receipt?

Sure, wait a moment. Here you go.

Thanks.

Don’t mention it. Take it easy!

Goodbye!

Hello, expert (a word used for drivers and other skilled people).

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About the Author: sasha

Sasha is an English teacher, writer, photographer, and videographer from the great state of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he moved to China and spent 5+ years living, working, studying, and traveling there. He also studied Indonesian Language & Culture in Bali for a year. He and his wife run the travel blog Grateful Gypsies, and they're currently trying the digital nomad lifestyle across Latin America.


Comments:

  1. Jociara:

    List super useful for those who are newly arrived in China, thanks.

    • http://taxi-borispol.com/:

      @Jociara Yes, this is a list of taxi liked me too!


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