Now have any of you started making plans to come visit China yet? You might feel more comfortable to do so after today’s show. And that’s because our topic is asking for directions. Indeed, Mike, 小明 and 兰兰 are out and about today and in dire need of*2 some good directions.
So where are they going and what exactly are they up to? Let’s take a look at today’s dialogue and find out.
All right everyone. So we know 后海 is their destination although it’s apparent that it will take them out bit longer to get there than anticipated. So what were wrong? Let’s check out some specifics in the dialogue and see if you can’t find out.
今天天气真不错. 我早就想去后海玩儿. 今天终于有机会啦. The weather today is great, I wanted to go to 后海 for a while, and today the opportunity has finally arrived. 我早就想去. 早 we know means early when it’s on its own. If you use it the way 兰兰 does, it implies that something has been going on for a while or you’ve had a thought for a while. In this case, she is wanted to go to 后海 for a long time and finally, 终于, she has the chance or opportunity 机会 to go.
海 or 大海 means ocean. So that’s why Mike asks 后海是大海吗? And the answer lies in 兰兰’s reply, 后海不是海. 蒙古语管湖叫海子. In Mongolian, they call lakes 湖 oceans 海.
我们一直往前走, 到第一个路口往左拐. We continue to walk straight and once we get to the first crossroads, we turn left. 一直往前走. 往 is a directional word. It means go or in the direction of. 前 is in front or in front of, and 走 we know is to walk. 一直往前走. Continue to walk straight ahead. 十字路口 is crossroads. And this is a fun word just like in English, mean a crossroads literally as a cross, right? And how do you write the character for ten in Chinese? It’s a cross, right? So, 十字路口 literally means the mouth of a road that is the shape of the character ten: a crossroads. 拐 means to turn. 第一个十字路口左拐. Turn left at the first crossroads.
怎么还找不到啊? How come we still haven’t found it? 是不是走错了? Have we gone the wrong way? 走错了 to walk incorrectly or in other words, walk or go the wrong way.
OK that concludes our general overview of today’s content, and now it’s time to get into some specifics.
We’ve got a lot of very useful vocabulary to go over today, so let’s do that right now.
- 终于 finally, at last. zhōng yú
- 机会 opportunity. jī huì
- 知道 to know. zhī dào
- 着急 worry, feel anxious. zháo jí
- 迷路 be lost. mí lù
- 导游 tour guide. dǎo yóu
- 刚才 just then, just now. gāng cái
- 不及格 fail. bù jí gé
Today we are looking at the radical for foot 足. And we see it in the character for road 路.
All right, so. Let’s take a look at 足 the actual character is written like this… This is the actual character for foot 足. Now, the radical looks like that. That is our foot radical 足. Now, the character for a road is the foot radical plus that component.
Now, can you see the resemblance between 足 as a radical and 足, I’ll put this back up here, as a character. They’re quite similar aren’t they. Now I’m sure you can all imagine that many characters that have the foot radical like 路 or road have some kind of connection to feet. Here’s some more examples. 跑 to run, 跳 to jump, 跟 to follow.
Being able to get your bearings in a huge city is crucial for not getting lost. Now every city’s layout is different no matter where you are in the world. But I have to say, 北京 is very user friendly when it comes to navigation.
Now I remember mentioning before the cardinal directions north, south, east and west are commonly used in China for giving directions. And in particular, you hear them used a lot in 北京. This is because 北京’s layout, its roads, for the most part are aligned on a north-south east-west axis. Just like a grid. It’s great.
Now as the city developed, ring roads were constructed. They’re basically loop roads that circle of city. And currently, we have the second third fourth fifth and part of the sixth ring roads. It makes easy travel throughout the city, although, you have to watch out the traffic.
北京 can see quite a bit of heavy traffic as there are now almost four million registered cars on the road. If you think about it though, in this city of almost sixteen million people, that’s actually not too bad. But anyway getting back to 北京’s roads, when everything is aligned on a north-south east-west axis, finding places is really not that hard.
OK everybody, it’s time to look at some of the language points that came up in today’s dialogue. And to begin with we’ll look at 好像 to seem or appear.
小明, 我们好像迷路了. 小明, it seems like we’re lost. Now 好像 is an adverb. But what is kind of cool about 好像 is that its position in a sentence can be either before or after the subject. For example, 今天好像没有课. Our subject is classes and 好像 is placed before the subject 好像没有课. Now look at this example. 今天好像是星期三. Our subject is 今天 right? Here 好像 comes after the subject. Let’s look at some more examples.
一直 as in 一直走. Now just you all know, 直 on its own is an adjective and it means straight like a straight line or the tree is very straight. Now we learn earlier that 一直 functions as an adverb meaning continuously or straight. So 一直走 to walk straight on, keep walking in this direction. You can also say 一直说 to continuously speak or 一直想 to always have wanted or thought.
We’ve got a formula to go over with the preposition 往 go or in the direction of. And it looks like this: 往 + a directional word + an action. 往左拐. 左 is a direction word, right, left. 拐 is an action to turn. 往左拐.
Now, there is another preposition that can be used instead of 往 and it is 朝 which means towards. 朝前面走 walk forward or up ahead. 往前面走 would also work.
And on that note, it’s time to wrap up for the day. Hopefully the next time we’ll see each other 小明 Mike and 兰兰 will have made their way to 后海 and 荷花市场 or Lotus Lane. There will be lots to see and take in 后海 is magical. So make sure to join us next time.
For now, take a nice break from studying, don’t forget our website is always there if you need to review or check out anything and while you’re there, you can send us any questions or comments you might have. See you all next time everybody, 大家, 加油, 下次见, bye for now.