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Stuff You Might Be Hearing: On the Bus

Thu, 10/07/2010 - 10:36

If you’ve ever ridden on a gōngjiāo chē 公交车 in China, you’ve heard some variation on these announcements. Even though the audio quality of my cheapo, shānzhài 山寨 MP3 recorder is horrendous, the idea here is:

One way to improve listening is to understand every word being said.

In this case, that involves listening to the “recording” and reading the transcript.

I’d like to apologize for the terrible audio quality and promise that I’ll hopefully have a chance to get a better recording in the future (although this one is from Changsha when we were doing our ridiculous challenge 14 and I don’t know when I’ll be back there again). If anyone else has an audio recording of the local bus announcement, please tell me and we’ll add it here.

Recording 1: Bus Starting

Listen now:

[See original post to listen to audio]

Download

Note: There is a file embedded within this post, please visit this post to download the file.

Full Transcript for Both Audio Files:

Note: There is a file embedded within this post, please visit this post to download the file.

chēliàng qǐbù.

车辆起步。

The vehicle has started moving.

qǐng nín zuò hǎo, zhàn wěn, zhuā hǎo fúshǒu.

请您坐好,站稳, 抓好扶手。

Please sit properly, stand stably, (or) grab the handrail firmly

qǐng nín zhǔdòng wèi shēnbiān de lǎo, ruò, bìng, cán, yùn, jí dài xiǎoháir de chéngkè ràng gè zuò

请您主动为身边的老,弱,病,残,孕,及带小孩儿的乘客让个座。

Please take the initiative to give your seat to the old, weak, sick, disabled, pregnant, and passengers with children

xià yí zhàn: Yáolǐng Běi

下一站:窑岭北。

Next stop: Yaoling North

Recording 2: Bus Stopping

Listen now:

[See original post to listen to audio]

Download

Note: There is a file embedded within this post, please visit this post to download the file.

Full Transcript for Both Audio Files:

Note: There is a file embedded within this post, please visit this post to download the file.

? ? ? ? ? ? tíxǐng nín: Yáolǐng Běi dào le

??????提醒您:窑岭北,到了。

(? the name of the bus company ?) would like to remind you: We’re arriving at Yaoling Bei.

qǐng dài hǎo suíshēn xiédài de wùpǐn zhǔnbèi xià chē

请带好随身携带的物品准备下车。

Please take all your carry-on things and get ready to get off the bus.

chéngkèmen, shàng chē hòu, qǐng wǎng chēxiāng nèi zǒu yǐ zhàogù hòumian de chéngkè shàng chē.

()客们,上车后,请往车厢内走以照顾后面的乘客上车

Passengers, after you get on the bus, please move to the middle of the compartment to help the passengers behind you get on the bus.

xièxiè

谢谢。

Thank you.

Things to Point Out
  • I’m also not happy that they used “chēliàng” 车辆 and ”chēxiāng” 车厢 instead of just “chē” . But that’s kind of the point of this exercise: to see the formal words used so we can understand them next time we hear them.
  • That list of “lǎo, ruò, bìng, cán, yùn, jí dài xiǎoháir” 老,弱,病,残,孕,及带小孩儿 passengers is pretty common on most buses in most cities I’ve been in (the order might even be the same)
  • That “jí” is just a formal word for “hé” .
  • “suíshēn xiédài de wùpǐn” 随身携带的物品 seems to me to be a very wordy way to say “your things.” Can anyone explain why the “suíshēn” 随身 and “xiédài” 携带 are both necessary or is it just a frozen form?
  • I translated “yǐ zhàogù” 以照顾 as “to help” because “yǐ” here means “in order to” and “zhàogù” 照顾 means “to take care of / show consideration for”. Better translations welcome.
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Northern vs. Southern Vocab

Sat, 08/07/2010 - 07:45

Since I’ve always lived in southern China (Nanchang, Kunming, Guangzhou), it’s been fun to travel up North these past few weeks and hear the locals speaking Mandarin with slightly different vocabulary choices than I’m used to hearing in the South.

This list is based on my incidental observations and isn’t meant to be comprehensive (or scientific) at all. It’s simply meant to inform lǎowài learning Chinese in either the North or the South what variations we can expect to encounter in the other half of the country. My impression is that these vocabulary differences are best grouped into vague “how people in the North/South like to talk” categories but I have no idea where that dividing “line” would be. Also, I’d like to point out that all of these words (in both the North and South columns) are accepted as Mandarin (although my feeling is that Southerners would be more surprised to hear words in the North list than vice versa). Regardless, people haven’t seemed to have any trouble understanding me regardless of where I am or which of these variations I use.

Enough disclaimers, on to the list!

North South English shá shénme 什么 what? wèishá 为啥 wèishénme 为什么 why? zǎ zěnme 怎么 how? búkèqi 不客气 / bú xiè 不谢 bú yòng xiè 不用谢 you’re welcome yíkuàir 一块儿 yìqǐ 一起 together hǎo de hěn 好得很 hěn hǎo 很好 very good

One of the big surprises has been how prevalent the “(ADJ) de hěn __ 得很” construction has been instead of “hěn (ADJ)” __. I’d seen it in books but I rarely hear it in the South. Up North here, on the other hand, it’s absolutely the default construction for such utterances as “it’s really sour” or “it’s very far” (“suān de hěn” 酸得很 and “yuǎn de hěn” 远得很, respectively).

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