Lesson 14: May I know how to get to the train station from here?

请问从这里去火车站怎么走? Qǐng wèn cóng zhè lǐ qù huǒ chē zhàn zěn me zǒu

We will be learning how to ask for direction in this lesson. When traveling to a Chinese speaking country, it is better to learn some simple Chinese phrases in times of trouble. Getting lost in a country side in China where English is useless can be a big problem. Prepare yourself with some Chinese knowledge before you head out to China.

Do you know the modes of transport in Chinese? We will go through some of them here before we begin our dialogue for today.

Simplified Chinese Pinyin English
汽车 Qì chē Car
火车 Huǒ chē Train
出租车 Chū zū chē Taxi
巴士 Bā shì Bus
Chuán Ship
地铁 Dì tiě Subway
缆车 Lǎn chē Cable car
飞机 Fēi jī Airplane

 

We would like to highlight to you that taxi in Chinese is called differently in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. In Taiwan, taxi is known as 计程车 Jì chéng chē, in Hong Kong it is 的士Dí shì, and in Singapore and Malaysia 德士 Dé shì.

The dialogue for today is between David, Susan and a passerby in Taiwan. David and Susan went to Taiwan for a holiday and they got themselves lost. Luckily David could speak a little Chinese and he asked a passerby for direction to the train station.

大卫和苏珊的对话

苏珊                你想到怎么从这里到火车站了吗?

大卫                还没有。我想我们迷路了。

苏珊                那该怎么办?

大为                别着急。我去问路。

大卫和路人的对话

大卫        对不起,我们迷路了。请问从这里去火车站怎么走?

路人              火车站吗?从这儿直走然后转左。接着,走大概一公里您就会看到一个雕像。火车站就在雕像的对面。

大卫          谢谢您的帮忙。

路人          不用谢。

Dà wèi hé sū shān de duìhuà

Sū shān            Nǐ xiǎng dào zěn me cóng zhè lǐ dào huǒ chē zhàn le ma?

Dà wèi                         Hái méi yǒu. Wǒ xiǎng wǒ men mí lù le.

Sū shān            Nà gāi zěn me bàn?

Dà wéi                         Bié zhāo jí. Wǒ qù wèn lù.

Dà wèi hé lùrén de duìhuà

Dà wèi                 Duìbùqǐ, wǒmen mí lù le. Qǐngwèn cóng zhè lǐ qù huǒ chē zhàn zěn me zǒu?

Lù rén                  Huǒ chē zhàn ma? Cóng zhè’r zhí zǒu rán hòu zhuǎn zuǒ. Jiē zhe, zǒu dà gài yī gōng lǐ nín jiù huì kàn dào yī gè diāo xiàng. Huǒ chē zhàn jiù zài diāo xiàng de duì miàn.

Dà wèi                 Xiè xiè nín de bāng máng.

Lù rén                  Bù yòng xiè.

Conversation between David and Susan

Susan:              Have you figured out how to get to the train station from here?

David:             Not really. I think we are lost.

Susan:              What are we going to do?

David:             No worries. I will ask for some help.

Conversation between David and the passerby

David:                 Excuse me, we are lost. Could you tell me how to get to the train station from here?

Passerby:             Train station? Go straight from here and turn left. After that, walk about 1km and you will see a statue. The train station is opposite the statue.

David:                 Thank you for your help.

Passerby:             You are welcome.

怎么 (Zěnme) is a very commonly used phrase in Chinese. It is an adverb and normally another verb is added behind怎么 to complete a sentence. For example, when asking someone how to write a certain Chinese character, you can say 这个中文字怎么写?(Zhège zhōngwén zì zěnme xiě?) When asking someone his/her opinion about a certain movie, you can say 这部戏怎么样?(Zhè bù xì zěnme yàng?) When asking someone how a certain dish should be prepared, you can say 这道菜怎么煮/怎么做?(Zhè dào cài zěnme zhǔ/zěnme zuò?).

…(Bié) When you add a verb after the word (Bié), it means do not in English. It has the same meaning as不要(Bùyào). How do you use this word to form sentences? We will show you some examples for easy understanding. When begging for someone not to leave you, you can say 我求求你别离开我 Wǒ qiú qiú nǐ bié líkāi wǒ (I beg you, please don’t leave me). When you are in a bad mood and you don’t want anyone to bother you, you can say 我心情不好,()烦我! Wǒ xīnqíng bù hǎo, bié (lái) fán wǒ! (I’m in a bad mood, don’t (come) and bother me!)

When you add a noun after the word别, it is another meaning. For example, if you add the word 人 after 别,it means other people别人Biérén. 墅 after别 becomes villa 别

墅Biéshù.

问路 is made up of two Chinese words 问 and 路. 问 means ask and路 is road. If you were to translate this literally, it means ask the road. This sounds weird right?? The actual meaning is to ask for direction. Ask someone the correct way/direction to a place and not to ask the road how to go to a certain place.

不用谢 (Bù yòng xiè) has the same meaning as 不客气 (Bù kè qì) or 不必谢 (Bù bì xiè)

. All these phrases has the meaning of you are welcome in English. The next time you wanted to say your are welcome in Chinese, you can try using these two other phrases rather than just 不客气. I am sure your friends will be impressed.

With this, we end our lesson on asking for direction for today. We hope you will practice what you have learned so far through our lessons so that your Chinese can be improved. See you again in our next lesson.

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