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Difference between revisions of "Chinese phrasebook - Traditional"

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(+{{phrasebookguide}})
(Phrase list: verification and addition while I use traditional Chinese as native)
Line 70: Line 70:
  
 
==Phrase list==
 
==Phrase list==
All phrases shown in here use the traditional characters used in [[Taiwan]], [[Hong Kong]], and other places outside of [[Mainland China]].
+
All phrases shown in here use the traditional characters used in [[Taiwan]], [[Hong Kong]], [[Macau]], and other places outside of [[Mainland China]].
  
 
===Basics===
 
===Basics===
Line 89: Line 89:
 
; You're welcome. : 不客氣。 Bú kèqi.
 
; You're welcome. : 不客氣。 Bú kèqi.
 
; Excuse me. (''getting attention'') : 請問 qǐng wèn.
 
; Excuse me. (''getting attention'') : 請問 qǐng wèn.
; Excuse me. (''begging pardon'') : 打擾一下。 Dǎrǎo yixià ; 麻煩您一下, Máfan nǐ le.
+
; Excuse me. (''begging pardon'') : 打擾一下。 Dǎrǎo yixià ; 麻煩您一下, Máfan nǐ yíxià.
 
; I'm sorry. : 對不起。 Duìbùqǐ.
 
; I'm sorry. : 對不起。 Duìbùqǐ.
 
; Goodbye :  再見。 Zàijiàn.
 
; Goodbye :  再見。 Zàijiàn.
Line 128: Line 128:
 
; 4 四 (肆) : sì
 
; 4 四 (肆) : sì
 
; 5 五 (伍) : wǔ
 
; 5 五 (伍) : wǔ
; 6 六 (陸) : lìu
+
; 6 六 (陸) : liù
 
; 7 七 (柒) : qī
 
; 7 七 (柒) : qī
 
; 8 八 (捌) : bā
 
; 8 八 (捌) : bā
; 9 九 (玖) : jǐu
+
; 9 九 (玖) : jiǔ
 
; 10 十 (拾): shí
 
; 10 十 (拾): shí
 
; 11 十一 : shí-yī
 
; 11 十一 : shí-yī
Line 138: Line 138:
 
; 14 十四 : shí-sì
 
; 14 十四 : shí-sì
 
; 15 十五 : shí-wǔ
 
; 15 十五 : shí-wǔ
; 16 十六 : shí-lìu
+
; 16 十六 : shí-liù
 
; 17 十七 : shí-qī
 
; 17 十七 : shí-qī
 
; 18 十八 : shí-bā
 
; 18 十八 : shí-bā
; 19 十九 : shí-jǐu
+
; 19 十九 : shí-jiǔ
 
; 20 二十 : èr-shí
 
; 20 二十 : èr-shí
 
; 21 二十一 : èr-shí-yī
 
; 21 二十一 : èr-shí-yī
Line 149: Line 149:
 
; 40 四十 : sì-shí
 
; 40 四十 : sì-shí
 
; 50 五十 : wǔ-shí
 
; 50 五十 : wǔ-shí
; 60 六十 : lìu-shí
+
; 60 六十 : liù-shí
 
; 70 七十 : qī-shí
 
; 70 七十 : qī-shí
 
; 80 八十 : bā-shí
 
; 80 八十 : bā-shí
; 90 九十 : jǐu-shí
+
; 90 九十 : jiǔ-shí
  
 
For numbers above 100, any "gaps" must be filled in with 〇 ''líng'', as eg. 一百一 ''yībǎiyī'' would otherwise be taken as shorthand for "110".  A single unit of tens may be written and pronounced either 一十 ''yīshí'' or just 十 ''shí''.
 
For numbers above 100, any "gaps" must be filled in with 〇 ''líng'', as eg. 一百一 ''yībǎiyī'' would otherwise be taken as shorthand for "110".  A single unit of tens may be written and pronounced either 一十 ''yīshí'' or just 十 ''shí''.
Line 166: Line 166:
 
; 2000 二千 : èr-qiān
 
; 2000 二千 : èr-qiān
  
Numbers above 10,000 are grouped by in units of four digits, starting with 萬 ''wàn'' (ten thousand).  "One million" in Chinese is thus "hundred tenthousands" (一百萬).
+
Numbers above 10,000 are grouped by in units of four digits, starting with 萬 ''wàn'' (ten thousand).  "One million" in Chinese is thus "hundred ten thousands" (一百萬).
  
 
; 10,000 一萬 : yī-wàn
 
; 10,000 一萬 : yī-wàn
Line 179: Line 179:
 
; 100,000,000 一億 : yīyì
 
; 100,000,000 一億 : yīyì
 
; 1,000,000,000,000 一兆 : yīzhào
 
; 1,000,000,000,000 一兆 : yīzhào
; number _____ (''train, bus, etc.'') : number '''''measure word''''' (lu4 or hao4 etc.) _____ (huo3 che1, gong1 gong4 qi4 chi1, etc. ''Measure words are used in combination with a number to indicate the count of mass nouns. Check out [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/measure_word here] for more details.)
+
; number _____ (''train, bus, etc.'') : number '''''measure word''''' (路 lù or 號 hào etc.) _____ (火車 huǒchē, 公共汽車 gōnggòng qìchē, etc. ''Measure words are used in combination with a number to indicate the count of mass nouns. Check out [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/measure_word here] for more details.)
 
; half : 半 bàn (''...'')
 
; half : 半 bàn (''...'')
 
; less : 少於 shǎoyū (''...'')
 
; less : 少於 shǎoyū (''...'')
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; now : 現在 xiànzài
 
; now : 現在 xiànzài
; later : 以後, yǐhòu ''or'' shāohòu
+
; later : 以後 yǐhòu ''or'' 稍後 shāohòu
; before : 以前, yǐqián
+
; before : 以前 yǐqián
; morning : 早上, zǎoshàng
+
; morning : 早上 zǎoshàng
; afternoon : 下午, xiàwǔ
+
; afternoon : 下午 xiàwǔ
; evening :
+
; evening : 傍晚 bàngwǎn
 
; night : 晚上, wǎnshàng
 
; night : 晚上, wǎnshàng
  
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; What time is it? : 現在幾點? Xiànzài jǐ diǎn?
 
; What time is it? : 現在幾點? Xiànzài jǐ diǎn?
; It is nine in the morning. : 早上9點鐘。 Zǎoshàng jǐu diǎn zhōng.
+
; It is nine in the morning. : 早上9點鐘。 Zǎoshàng jiǔ diǎn zhōng.
 
; Three-thirty PM. : 下午3點半. Xiàwǔ sān diǎn bàn.
 
; Three-thirty PM. : 下午3點半. Xiàwǔ sān diǎn bàn.
  
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; _____ minute(s) : _____ 分鐘 fēnzhōng
 
; _____ minute(s) : _____ 分鐘 fēnzhōng
 
; _____ hour(s) : _____ 小時 xiǎoshí
 
; _____ hour(s) : _____ 小時 xiǎoshí
; _____ day(s) : _____ 天 tiān
+
; _____ day(s) : _____ 天 tiān ''or'' _____ 日 rì
 
; _____ week(s) : _____ 星期 xīngqī
 
; _____ week(s) : _____ 星期 xīngqī
 
; _____ month(s) : _____ 月 yùe
 
; _____ month(s) : _____ 月 yùe
Line 221: Line 221:
 
Weekdays in Chinese are easy: starting with 1 for Monday, just add the number after 星期 xīngqī.
 
Weekdays in Chinese are easy: starting with 1 for Monday, just add the number after 星期 xīngqī.
  
; Sunday : 星期天 xīngqītiān ''or'' xing1 qi1 ri4 ''or'' xing1 qi1 qi1
+
; Sunday : 星期天 xīngqītiān ''or'' 星期日 xīngqīrì<!-- ''or'' xing1 qi1 qi1-->
 
; Monday : 星期一 xīngqīyī
 
; Monday : 星期一 xīngqīyī
 
; Tuesday : 星期二 xīngqīèr
 
; Tuesday : 星期二 xīngqīèr
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; Thursday : 星期四 xīngqīsì
 
; Thursday : 星期四 xīngqīsì
 
; Friday : 星期五 xīngqīwǔ
 
; Friday : 星期五 xīngqīwǔ
; Saturday : 星期六 xīngqīlìu
+
; Saturday : 星期六 xīngqīliù
  
 
====Months====
 
====Months====
Line 248: Line 248:
  
 
====Writing Time and Date====
 
====Writing Time and Date====
 +
Telling the date in a month in Chinese is also easy. Just say _____ 月 yùe _____ 日 rì for a month and a day.
 +
 +
; January 1 : 一月一日, yī yuè yī rì
 +
; January 2 : 一月二日, yī yuè èr rì
 +
; January 3 : 一月三日, yī yuè sān rì
 +
; December 30 : 十二月三十日, shí èr yuè sān shí rì
 +
; December 31 : 十二月三十一日, shí èr yuè sān shí yī rì
  
 
===Colors===
 
===Colors===
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====Bus and Train====
 
====Bus and Train====
 
; How much is a ticket to _____? : 去______的票多少錢 qù _____ de piào duō shǎo qián?
 
; How much is a ticket to _____? : 去______的票多少錢 qù _____ de piào duō shǎo qián?
; Do you go to... (the central station)? : 去不去... (火車站) qù bù qù... (huǒ chē zhàn)
+
; Do you go to... (the train station)? : 去不去... (火車站) qù bù qù... (huǒ chē zhàn)
  
 
====Directions====
 
====Directions====
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; ...the airport? : ...飛機場? ...fēijī chǎng?
 
; ...the airport? : ...飛機場? ...fēijī chǎng?
  
; street : 街 jiē; 路 lù
+
; street : 街 jiē
 +
; road : 路 lù
 
; Turn left. : 左邊轉彎 zuǒbiān zhuǎnwān
 
; Turn left. : 左邊轉彎 zuǒbiān zhuǎnwān
 
; Turn right. : 右邊轉彎 yòubiān zhuǎnwān
 
; Turn right. : 右邊轉彎 yòubiān zhuǎnwān
Line 318: Line 326:
 
===Money===
 
===Money===
 
; pay: 付 fù
 
; pay: 付 fù
; cash: 現錢 xiàn qián
+
; cash: 現錢 xiàn qián ''or'' 現金 xiàn jīn
 
; credit card: 信用卡 xìn yòng kǎ
 
; credit card: 信用卡 xìn yòng kǎ
  
Line 325: Line 333:
 
; I'm a vegetarian : 我吃素的  wŏ chī sù de  
 
; I'm a vegetarian : 我吃素的  wŏ chī sù de  
 
; breakfast : 早飯 zǎofàn
 
; breakfast : 早飯 zǎofàn
; lunch : 午飯 wǔfàn  ''or'' zhōngfàn
+
; lunch : 午飯 wǔfàn  ''or'' 中飯 zhōngfàn
 
; supper : 晚飯 wǎnfàn
 
; supper : 晚飯 wǎnfàn
 
; beef : 牛肉  niúròu  
 
; beef : 牛肉  niúròu  

Revision as of 17:16, 28 January 2011

Chinese script in Chinatown, Singapore

Mandarin Chinese is the official language of China and Taiwan. It is also one of the three official languages of Hong Kong and Macau and one of four official languages of Singapore. In English, it is often just called "Mandarin" or "Chinese". In China, it is called Putonghua (普通話), meaning "common speech", while it Taiwan it is referred to as Guoyu (國語) - "the national language." It has been the only language of education in China since the 1950s. Standard Mandarin is close to, but not quite identical with, the dialect of the Beijing area. Note that while the spoken mandarin in the above places is the same, the written characters are different. In Taiwan and Hong Kong, traditional characters are used, whereas China and Singapore use a simplified derivative.

Contents

Understand

Map of Chinese dialects

The word "dialect" means something different when applied to Chinese than it does for other languages. Chinese "dialects" are mutually unintelligible, as different as, say, Italian and French, which we would call "related languages" rather than "dialects".

All Chinese dialects do, in general, use the same characters in reading and writing. A Cantonese speaker and a Mandarin speaker cannot talk to each other, but either can generally read what the other writes. Even a speaker of Japanese or Korean will recognise many characters. However, there is a complication. Mainland China and Singapore use simplified characters, developed to facilitate a literacy campaign among the peasants some years back. Hong Kong, Taiwan, and many overseas Chinese still use the traditional characters.

About one fifth of the people in the world speak some form of Chinese as their native language. It is a tonal language that is related to Burmese and Tibetan. Although Japanese and Korean use Chinese written characters the spoken languages are not related to Chinese. Also the unrelated Vietnamese language has borrowed many words from Chinese.

Travellers headed for Guangdong, Hong Kong or Macau may find Cantonese useful as well as or instead of Mandarin. Those heading for Taiwan or southern Fujian may find the Minnan dialect useful as well.

Pronunciation guide

The pronunciation guide below uses Hanyu pinyin, the official romanization of the People's Republic of China. Until recently, Taiwan used the Wade-Giles system, which is quite different, then switched to Tongyong pinyin, which is only slightly different, and now officially uses Hanyu pinyin like the other.

Vowels

as in father
as in the hen
as in ping or key; after sh, zh, or r, as in shirr; after s or z, hold the z and make a vowel of it
as in saw or sung
as in soon; but as ü in ju, qu, yu and xu
ü 
as in French lune or German grün

Consonants

Chinese stops distinguish aspirated and unaspirated, not voiceless and voiced as in English. So p, t, and k should be pronounced with a puff of air.

as in ball or spall
as in rats
ch 
as in chore
as in do or stew
as in fun
as in gang
as in her
as in jeer
as in king
as in lease
as in mow
as in none
ng 
as in sing
as in pit
as in cheap
as in genre or fair
as in sag
sh 
as in shoot
as in tongue
as in wing, but silent in wu
as in sheep
as in yet, but silent in yi, yu
as in red zebra
zh 
as in jungle

Exceptions

There are a fairly large number of niggling exceptions to the basic rules above, based on the position of the sound. Some of the more notable ones include:

-ian 
as -ien, so 天安門 Tian'anmen is pronounced "Tien'anmen"
wu- 
as u-, so 五百 wubai is pronounced "ubai"
yi- 
as i-, so 一個 yige is pronounced "ige"
yü- 
as ü-, so 豫園 Yuyuan is pronounced "ü-üan"

Tones

There are four tones in Mandarin that must be followed for proper pronunciation.

1. first tone ( ā ) 
flat, high pitch - more sung instead of spoken
2. second tone ( á ) 
low to middle, rising - pronounced like the end of a question phrase (Whát?)
3. third tone ( ǎ ) 
middle to low to high, dipping - if at the end of a sentence or before a pause, it is then followed by a rising pitch (Note: standard pedagogy teaches this tone as a falling, then slightly rising intonation. DO NOT PAY ANY ATTENTION TO THIS. Pronounce third tone as a very low, slightly falling intonation, because if you try to raise the pitch toward the end of it, not only will you sound funny when pronouncing a third tone in the middle of a series of other tones, you may also end up sounding like you're pronouncing the syllable as second tone.)
4. fourth tone ( à ) 
high to low, falling - Pronounced like a command (Stop!)

5. There is also a fifth tone, the neutral tone, which is used rarely, mostly for phrase particles.

Phrase list

All phrases shown in here use the traditional characters used in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and other places outside of Mainland China.

Basics

To be or not to be?
Chinese does not have words for "yes" and "no" as such; instead, questions are typically answered by repeating the verb. Common ones include:

To be or not to be
是 shì, 不是 bú shì
To have or not have / there is or is not
有 yǒu, 沒有 méi yǒu
To be right or wrong
對 duì, 不對 bú duì


Hello. 
你好。 Nǐ hǎo.
How are you? 
你好嗎? Nǐ hǎo ma?
Fine, thank you. 
很好, 謝謝。 Hěn hǎo, xièxie.
What is your (first) name? 
你叫什麼名字? Nǐ jiào shénme míngzi?
My name is ______ . 
我叫 _____ 。 Wǒ jiào ______ .
Nice to meet you. 
很高興認識你。 Hěn gāoxìng rènshì nǐ.
Please. 
請。 Qǐng.
Thank you. 
謝謝。 xièxie.
You're welcome. 
不客氣。 Bú kèqi.
Excuse me. (getting attention
請問 qǐng wèn.
Excuse me. (begging pardon
打擾一下。 Dǎrǎo yixià ; 麻煩您一下, Máfan nǐ yíxià.
I'm sorry. 
對不起。 Duìbùqǐ.
Goodbye 
再見。 Zàijiàn.
Goodbye (informal
拜拜。 Bai-bai. (Byebye)
I can't speak Chinese. 
我不會說漢語。 Wǒ bú huì shuō hànyǔ.
Do you speak English? 
你會說英語嗎? Nǐ huì shuō yīngyǔ ma?
Is there someone here who speaks English? 
這裏有人會說英語嗎? Zhèlǐ yǒu rén huì shuō Yīngyǔ ma?
Help! (in emergencies)
救命! Jiù mìng!
Good morning. 
早安。 Zǎo ān.
Good evening. 
晚上好。 Wǎnshàng hǎo.
Good night. 
晚安。 Wǎn ān.
I don't understand. 
我聽不懂。 Wǒ tīng bù dǒng.
Where is the toilet? 
廁所在哪里? Cèsuŏ zài nǎli?

Problems

Leave me alone. 
不要打擾我。 (búyào dǎrǎo wǒ)
Don't touch me! 
不要碰我! (búyào pèng wǒ!)
I'll call the police. 
我要叫警察了。 (wǒ yào jiào jǐngchá le)
Police! 
警察! (jǐngchá!)
Stop! Thief! 
住手!小偷! (zhùshǒu! xiǎotōu!)
I need your help. 
我需要你的幫助。 (wǒ xūyào nǐde bāngzhù)
It's an emergency. 
這是緊急情況。 (zhèshì jǐnjí qíngkuàng)
I'm lost. 
我迷路了。 (wǒ mílù le)
I lost my bag. 
我丟了手提包。 (wǒ diūle shǒutíbāo)
I lost my wallet. 
我丟了錢包。 (wǒ diūle qiánbāo)
I'm sick. 
我生病了。 (wǒ shēngbìng le)
I've been injured. 
我受傷了。 (wǒ shòushāng le)
I need a doctor. 
我需要醫生。 (wǒ xūyào yīshēng)
Can I use your phone? 
我可以打個電話嗎? (wǒ kěyǐ dǎ ge diànhuà ma?)

Numbers

Chinese numbers are very regular. While Arabic (Western) numerals have become more common, the Chinese numerals shown below are still used, particularly in informal contexts like markets. The character indicated in parentheses is largely used in financial contexts, such as writing cheques and in banknotes.

0 〇, 零 
líng
1 一 (壹) 
2 二 (貳) 
èr
3 三 (叄) 
sān
4 四 (肆) 
5 五 (伍) 
6 六 (陸) 
liù
7 七 (柒) 
8 八 (捌) 
9 九 (玖) 
jiǔ
10 十 (拾)
shí
11 十一 
shí-yī
12 十二 
shí-èr
13 十三 
shí-sān
14 十四 
shí-sì
15 十五 
shí-wǔ
16 十六 
shí-liù
17 十七 
shí-qī
18 十八 
shí-bā
19 十九 
shí-jiǔ
20 二十 
èr-shí
21 二十一 
èr-shí-yī
22 二十二 
èr-shí-èr
23 二十三 
èr-shí-sān
30 三十 
sān-shí
40 四十 
sì-shí
50 五十 
wǔ-shí
60 六十 
liù-shí
70 七十 
qī-shí
80 八十 
bā-shí
90 九十 
jiǔ-shí

For numbers above 100, any "gaps" must be filled in with 〇 líng, as eg. 一百一 yībǎiyī would otherwise be taken as shorthand for "110". A single unit of tens may be written and pronounced either 一十 yīshí or just 十 shí.

100 一百 (壹佰) 
yī-bǎi
101 一百〇一 
yī-bǎi-líng-yī
110 一百一十 
yī-bǎi-yī-shí
111 一百一十一 
yī-bǎi-yī-shí-yī
200 二百 
èr-bǎi
300 三百 
sān-bǎi
500 五百 
wǔ-bǎi
1000 一千 (壹仟)
yī-qiān
2000 二千 
èr-qiān

Numbers above 10,000 are grouped by in units of four digits, starting with 萬 wàn (ten thousand). "One million" in Chinese is thus "hundred ten thousands" (一百萬).

10,000 一萬 
yī-wàn
10,001 一萬〇一 
yī-wàn-líng-yī
10,002 一萬〇二 
yī-wàn-líng-èr
20,000 二萬 
èr-wàn
50,000 五萬 
wǔ-wàn
100,000 十萬 
shí-wàn
200,0000 二十萬 
èr-shí-wàn
1,000,000 一百萬 
yī-bǎi-wàn
10,000,000 一千萬 
yī-qiān-wàn
100,000,000 一億 
yīyì
1,000,000,000,000 一兆 
yīzhào
number _____ (train, bus, etc.
number measure word (路 lù or 號 hào etc.) _____ (火車 huǒchē, 公共汽車 gōnggòng qìchē, etc. Measure words are used in combination with a number to indicate the count of mass nouns. Check out here for more details.)
half 
半 bàn (...)
less 
少於 shǎoyū (...)
more 
多於 duōyū (...)

Time

now 
現在 xiànzài
later 
以後 yǐhòu or 稍後 shāohòu
before 
以前 yǐqián
morning 
早上 zǎoshàng
afternoon 
下午 xiàwǔ
evening 
傍晚 bàngwǎn
night 
晚上, wǎnshàng

Clock time

What time is it? 
現在幾點? Xiànzài jǐ diǎn?
It is nine in the morning. 
早上9點鐘。 Zǎoshàng jiǔ diǎn zhōng.
Three-thirty PM. 
下午3點半. Xiàwǔ sān diǎn bàn.

Duration

_____ minute(s) 
_____ 分鐘 fēnzhōng
_____ hour(s) 
_____ 小時 xiǎoshí
_____ day(s) 
_____ 天 tiān or _____ 日 rì
_____ week(s) 
_____ 星期 xīngqī
_____ month(s) 
_____ 月 yùe
_____ year(s) 
_____ 年 nián

Days

today 
今天 jīntiān
yesterday 
昨天 zuótiān
tomorrow 
明天 míngtiān
this week 
這個星期 zhège xīngqī
last week 
上個星期 shàngge xīngqī
next week 
下個星期 xiàge xīngqī

Weekdays in Chinese are easy: starting with 1 for Monday, just add the number after 星期 xīngqī.

Sunday 
星期天 xīngqītiān or 星期日 xīngqīrì
Monday 
星期一 xīngqīyī
Tuesday 
星期二 xīngqīèr
Wednesday 
星期三 xīngqīsān
Thursday 
星期四 xīngqīsì
Friday 
星期五 xīngqīwǔ
Saturday 
星期六 xīngqīliù

Months

Months in Chinese are also easy: starting with 1 for January, just add the number after 月 yuè.

January 
一月, yī yuè
February 
二月, èr yuè
March 
三月, sān yuè
April 
四月, sì yuè
May 
五月, wŭ yuè
June 
六月, liù yuè
July 
七月, qī yuè
August 
八月, bā yuè
September 
九月, jiŭ yuè
October 
十月, shí yuè
November 
十一月, shí yī yuè
December 
十二月, shí èr yuè

Tips: From January to December, you just need to use this pattern: number (1-12) + yuè

Writing Time and Date

Telling the date in a month in Chinese is also easy. Just say _____ 月 yùe _____ 日 rì for a month and a day.

January 1 
一月一日, yī yuè yī rì
January 2 
一月二日, yī yuè èr rì
January 3 
一月三日, yī yuè sān rì
December 30 
十二月三十日, shí èr yuè sān shí rì
December 31 
十二月三十一日, shí èr yuè sān shí yī rì

Colors

black 
黑色 hēi sè
white 
白色 bái sè
gray 
灰色 huī sè
red 
紅色 hóng sè
blue 
藍色 lán sè
yellow 
黃色 huáng sè
green 
綠色 lǜ sè
orange 
橙色 chéng sè
purple 
紫色 zǐ sè
brown 
褐色 he sè, 棕色 zōng sè,
Do you have it in another color?  
你們有沒有另外顏色? nǐmen yǒu méiyǒu lìngwài yánsè ?

Tips: sè means 'color', therefore, 'hóng sè' is 'red color'(literally). More common for brown and easier to remember is 'coffee color': 咖啡色 kā fēi sè

Transportation

Bus and Train

How much is a ticket to _____? 
去______的票多少錢 qù _____ de piào duō shǎo qián?
Do you go to... (the train station)? 
去不去... (火車站) qù bù qù... (huǒ chē zhàn)

Directions

How do I get to _____ ? 
怎麼去_____ zěnme qù _____?
...the train station? 
...火車站? ...huǒchē zhàn?
...the bus station? 
...汽車總站? ...qìchē zǒngzhàn?
...the airport? 
...飛機場? ...fēijī chǎng?
street 
街 jiē
road 
路 lù
Turn left. 
左邊轉彎 zuǒbiān zhuǎnwān
Turn right. 
右邊轉彎 yòubiān zhuǎnwān
left 
左邊 zuǒbiān
right 
右邊 yòubiān
straight ahead 
往前走 wǎngqián zǒu
north 
北 bĕi
south 
南 nán
east 
東 dōng
west 
西 xī

Taxi

Taxi 計程車 chū zū chē
Take me to _____, please. 
請開到_____。 qǐng kāidào _____。

Lodging

Common signs

入口 
Entrance
出口 
Exit
推 
Push
拉 
Pull
廁所 / 洗手間 
Toilet
男 
Men
女 
Women
禁止 
Forbidden
吸煙 
Smoking


Do you have any rooms available? 
你們有房間嗎? Nǐmen yǒu fángjiān ma?
Does the room come with... 
有沒有... Yǒu méiyǒu...
...bedsheets? 
...床單? ...chuángdān?
...a bathroom? 
...浴室? ...yùshì?
...a telephone? 
...電話? ...diànhuà?
...a TV? 
...電視? ...diànshì ?
I will stay for _____ night(s). 
我打算住_____夜。 Wǒ dǎsuàn zhù _____ yè.
Do you have a safe? 
你們有沒有保險箱? Nǐmen yǒu méiyǒu bǎoxiǎn xiāng?
Can you wake me at _____? 
請明天早上_____叫醒我。 Qǐng míngtiān zǎoshang _____ jiàoxǐng wǒ.
I want to check out. 
我現在要走。 Wǒ xiànzài yào zǒu.

Money

pay
付 fù
cash
現錢 xiàn qián or 現金 xiàn jīn
credit card
信用卡 xìn yòng kǎ

Eating

Can I look at the menu, please? 
請給我看看菜單 qĭng gĕi wŏ kànkan càidān?
I'm a vegetarian 
我吃素的 wŏ chī sù de
breakfast 
早飯 zǎofàn
lunch 
午飯 wǔfàn or 中飯 zhōngfàn
supper 
晚飯 wǎnfàn
beef 
牛肉 niúròu
pork
豬肉 zhūròu
mutton
羊肉 yángròu
chicken
雞 jī
fish
魚 yú
cheese 
乳酪 nǎilào
eggs 
雞蛋 jīdàn
bread 
麵包 miànbāo
noodles 
麵條 miàntiáo
fried rice
炒飯 chǎofàn
dumpling
餃子 jiǎozi
rice 
米飯 mĭfàn
coffee 
咖啡 kāfēi
black coffee: 黑咖啡 hēi kāfēi
milk
牛奶 niúnǎi
sugar
糖 táng
tea (drink
茶 cha
green tea
綠茶 lǜ chá
scented tea
花茶 huāchá
black tea
紅茶 hóngchá
juice 
水果 shuǐguǒ fruit; 汁 zhī juice
water 
水 shuĭ
natural mineral water
礦泉水 kuàngquán shuǐ
beer 
啤酒 píjiŭ
red/white wine 
紅/白 葡萄 酒 hóng/bái pŭtáo jiŭ
It was delicious. 
好吃極了。 (hǎochī jí le)
The check, please. 
請結帳。 (qǐng jiézhàng)

Bars

Do you serve alcohol? 
有沒有賣酒? (yǒu méiyǒu mài jiǔ?)
Is there table service? 
有沒有餐桌服務? (yǒu méiyǒu cānzhuō fúwù?)
A beer/two beers, please. 
請給我一杯/兩杯啤酒。 (qǐng gěi wǒ yìbēi/liǎngbēi píjiǔ)
A glass of red/white wine, please. 
請給我一杯紅/白葡萄酒。 (qǐng gěi wǒ yìbēi hóng/bái pútáojiǔ)
A pint, please. 
請給我一品脫。 (qǐng gěi wǒ yìpǐntuō)
A bottle, please. 
請給我一瓶。 (qǐng gěi wǒ yìpíng)
_____ (hard liquor) and _____ (mixer), please. 
請給我_____和_____。 (qǐng gěi wǒ _____ hé _____)
whiskey 
威士卡 (wēishìjì)
vodka 
伏特加 (fútèjiā)
rum 
蘭姆酒 (lánmǔjiǔ)
water 
水 (shuǐ)
club soda 
蘇打水 (sūdǎshuǐ)
tonic water 
通甯水 (tōngníngshuǐ)
orange juice 
柳橙汁 (liǔchéngzhī)
Coke (soda
可樂 (kělè)
Do you have any bar snacks? 
有沒有吧臺點心? (yǒu méiyǒu bātái diǎnxīn?)
One more, please. 
請再給我一個。 (qǐng zài gěi wǒ yígè)
Another round, please. 
請再來一輪。 (qǐng zàilái yìlún)
When is closing time? 
幾點打烊? (jǐdiǎn dǎyáng?)
Where is the toilet? 
廁所在那裏 (cèsuǒ zài nàli?)

Shopping

Do you have this in my size? 
有沒有我的尺寸? (yǒu méiyǒu wǒde chǐcùn?)
How much is this? 
這個多少錢? (zhège duōshǎo qián?)
That's too expensive. 
太貴了。 (tài gùi le)
Would you take _____? 
_____元可以嗎? (_____ yuán kěyǐ ma?)
expensive 
貴 (gùi)
cheap 
便宜 (piányí)
I can't afford it. 
我帶的錢不夠。 (wǒ dài de qián búgòu)
I don't want it. 
我不想要。 (wǒ bùxiǎng yào)
You're cheating me. 
你欺騙我。 (nǐ qīpiàn wǒ) Use with caution!
I'm not interested. 
我沒有興趣。 (wǒ méiyǒu xìngqù)
OK, I'll take it. 
我要買這個。 (wǒ yào mǎi zhège)
Can I have a bag? 
請給我袋子。 (qǐng gěi wǒ dàizǐ)
Do you ship (overseas)? 
可以郵寄到海外嗎? (kěyǐ yóujì dào hǎiwài ma?)
I need... 
我要_____ (wǒ yào _____)
...toothpaste. 
牙膏 (yágāo)
...a toothbrush. 
牙刷 (yáshuā)
...tampons. 
衛生棉條 (wèishēng miántiáo)
...soap. 
香皂 (xiāngzào)
...shampoo. 
洗髮精 (xǐfǎjīng)
...pain reliever. (e.g., aspirin or ibuprofen
鎮痛劑 (zhèntòngjì)
...cold medicine. 
感冒藥 (gǎnmòuyào)
...stomach medicine. 
胃腸藥 (wèichángyào)
...a razor. 
剃刀 (tìdāo)
...an umbrella. 
雨傘 (yu3sǎn)
...sunblock lotion. 
防曬油 (fángshàiyóu)
...a postcard. 
明信片 (míngxìnpiàn)
...postage stamps. 
郵票 (yóupiào)
...batteries. 
電池 (diànchí)
...writing paper. 
紙 (zhǐ)
...a pen. 
筆 ()
...English-language books. 
英文書 (yīngwén shū)
...English-language magazines. 
英文雜誌 (yīngwén zázhì)
...an English-language newspaper. 
英文報紙 (yīngwén bàozhǐ)
...a Chinese-English dictionary. 
漢英字典 (hànyīng zìdiǎn)
...an English-Chinese dictionary. 
英漢字典 (yīnghàn zìdiǎn)

Driving

I want to rent a car. 
我想要租車。 (wǒ xiǎngyào zūchē)
Can I get insurance? 
我可以買保險嗎? (wǒ kěyǐ mǎi bǎoxiǎn ma?)
stop (on a street sign
停 (tíng)
one way 
單行道 (dānxíngdào)
yield 
讓路 (rànglù)
no parking 
禁止停車 (jìnzhǐ tíngchē)
speed limit 
速度限制 (sùdù xiànzhì)
gas (petrol) station 
加油站 (jiāyóuzhàn)
petrol 
汽油 (qìyóu)
diesel 
柴油 (cháiyóu)

Authority

I haven't done anything wrong. 
我沒有作錯事。 (wǒ méiyǒu zuòcuò shì)
It was a misunderstanding. 
這是誤會。 (zhè shì wùhuì)
Where are you taking me? 
你帶我去哪里? (nǐ dài wǒ qù nǎlǐ?)
Am I under arrest? 
我被捕了嗎? (wǒ bèibǔle ma?)
I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen. 
我是 美國/澳洲/英國/加拿大 公民。 (wǒ shì měiguó/àozhōu/yīngguó/jiānádà gōngmín)
I want to talk to the American/Australian/British/Canadian embassy/consulate. 
我希望跟 美國/澳洲/英國/加拿大 的 大使館/領事館 聯繫。 (wǒ xīwàng gēn měiguó/àozhōu/yīngguó/jiānádà de dàshǐguǎn/lǐngshìguǎn liánxì)
I want to talk to a lawyer. 
我希望跟律師聯繫。 (wǒ xīwàng gēn lǜshī liánxì)
Can I just pay a fine now? 
我可以只付罰款嗎? (wǒ kěyǐ zhǐ fù fákuǎn ma?)

Telephone & Internet

Telephone & Internet

In most Chinese cities telephone booths don't exist. Instead, small street shops have telephones which can usually be used for national calls and cost around 0.6RMB for a city-call. Look for signs like

公用電話 Public Telephone

Don't go online in hotels since most common cafes are cheaper. Usually you pay 10RMB in advance for a card. Prices per hour from 1RMB to 4RMB. Those cafes are quite hidden sometimes and you should look for the following Chinese characters:

網咖 Internet Cafe


Can I make international calls here? 
可以打國際電話嗎? (kěyǐ dǎ guójì diànhuà ma?)
How much is it to America/Australia/Britain/Canada? 
到 美國/澳洲/英國/加拿大 是多少錢? (dào měiguó/àozhōu/yīngguó/jiānádà shì duōshǎo qián?)
Where can I find an Internet cafe? 
那裏有網吧? (nǎlǐ yǒu wǎng ba?)
How much is it per hour? 
一小時是多少錢? (yī xiǎoshí shì duōshǎo qián?)

Learning more

Chinese is the most spoken language of the world, with more speakers than the next two, Hindi and Spanish, combined. However, there are still few learners of Chinese in the Western world and you might get weird looks if you say you want to start learning it. So here is a nice quote from the Hindi Phrasebook (the 4th most spoken, yet seldom learnt language): "Instead of anger of frustration, the student should instead feel a smug superiority of being ahead of everyone else...!"

Advice: The first step is to learn to properly read the romanization with tones! There are still many sites with small Chinese phrase chapters which don't use tones for romanization (pinyin tones). Stay away from those, learning that is useless. A good idea for practicing is to make Chinese friends online since millions of young people in China also look for somebody to practice English with.



This is a guide phrasebook. It covers all the major topics for traveling without resorting to English. But please Plunge forward and help us make it a star!

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