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47 Booking tickets 订票


Hello everyone, 大家好. Thanks for joining us for today’s episode of Growing up with Chinese. 欢迎大家收看今天的成长汉语.

If you were able to join us last time, you know that 小明’s uncle 王叔叔 was able to find a plate he really liked at one of 北京’s antique markets. It certainly was quite the adventure.

Now in any case 王叔叔 is still in town visiting with 小明 and his family today, although it’s looking like his vacation is about to come to an end. So, what does he have lined up for today? Let’s check in with them and find out.

小明:啊? 叔叔,我只是开个玩笑。就我这水平,怎么开摄影展啊! 什么? 叔叔,您明天就要回上海啊?



Well at least 王叔叔 was able to get a ticket in the end even if it wasn’t the ticket he wanted initially. Well let’s take a few minutes and go over some other more important phrases in today’s dialogue.

我觉得现在我对摄影越来越着迷了, 拍得也越来越好. I feel like I’m getting more and more interested in photography, and I’m taking better and better photos. 越来越 remember this one from last time? It means more and more. 越来越着迷 more and more fascinated, or more and more interested. So 越来越好 means better and better.


在火车上睡一宿, 第二天一早就到啦. You can sleep for the night on the train and early in the morning in the next day, you will arrive. 一宿 means one night. So 睡一宿 is one night sleep. 一早 means early as in 一早就到 arrive early in the morning.

我想订一张明天去上海的软卧票. I would like to book a soft sleeper ticket to 上海 for tomorrow. 张 is the measure word for ticket or 票 in Chinese. 软卧 is how you say soft sleeper. 软 means soft and 卧 means lie or for sleeping in.

您看硬卧可以吗? Would hard sleeper be OK? 硬 means hard. So, 硬卧 is hard sleeper.



我们还算有运气. 如果没有硬卧票, 叔叔只能坐硬座回上海. We still count*2 as lucky. If they didn’t have hard sleeper tickets, I would have had to sit in a hard seat all the way back to 上海. Now 运气 means fortune or luck. 硬座 as you all might be able to guess, means hard seat. Now Chinese trains are typically divided into hard and soft sleepers and then hard and soft seats. Now considering that the train ride from 北京 to 上海 takes all night, 王叔叔 certainly is lucky. He managed to get his sleeper ticket.

OK, that just about covers the whole dialogue, let’s take another look at it before we move on.


OK so let’s first take a look at our vocabulary for today.

  • 油嘴滑舌 glib*3-tongued, slick*4. yóu zuǐ huá shé
  • 假期 vacation, holiday. jià qī
  • 订票 book a ticket. dìng piào
  • 方便 convenient, fāng biàn
  • 结束 end, complete, conclude. jié shù

Today we are going to be looking at a radical that only has one stroke 乙. So, let’s look at this radical shall we? Well it’s also character. This is what we’re looking at. One stroke. And we see this radical in one of the most simple characters in today’s vocabulary list, 飞机的飞. So the 飞 of 飞机 or airplane and it looks like that.

Now, this radical 乙 it’s kind of interesting because it can take a bunch of forms and all these forms fall under*5 the radical 乙, which represents the turning stroke. And just so you know, these are the other forms it can take.

So let me erase this here, so first form… OK, so this is one form of 乙 as a radical, and we also have this, this is another form of 乙 as a radical, and finally we have that. Pretty cool huh.

OK so here is some more examples of characters that use a 乙 radical. 买 to buy. 也 also. 书 book.


A boy cricket’s song doesn’t come from his mouth but comes from rubbing his wings together. The top of one wing is hard, and the bottom has more than one hundred teeth a bit like a comb. So when he rubs his wings together, it makes the sound just like you can make a sound by running your fingers over the tip of the comb. The notes are higher than the highest note on the piano.

So who would have thought that the crickets singing for his girl friend would have also found some people friends who love his song as well.

In Chinese culture, people have kept crickets as pets and enjoyed their songs since the six hundreds. Now the first book about singing crickets was written in the seven hundreds. And the first book on keeping crickets for fighting competitions was from the 宋 dynasty in the twelve hundreds. People still love crickets in China both for their song and also for their strong fighting spirit.

Now if they had a cricket Olympics, they could also complete in the long jump and the high jump competitions since they can jump twenty to thirty times their body long.

If you can catch one, it makes a good pet. Crickets eat almost anything including rice, squash, cucumber and sweet potato. But the best food for a little cricket is apples. If you find a big cricket, don’t forget to give them some water, too. And if you find a fighting cricket, you might want to see if you can get some Chinese crickets food. It’s made from many different foods including dried snake powder to help him become strong competitors.


All right there everyone it’s time to take a look at today’s language points.

受 something 的影响. This is the set expression meaning to be influenced by someone’s actions or thoughts. So we saw it used today in this context. 受您的影响, 我觉得现在我对摄影越来越着迷了. Because of your influence, I feel like I’m getting more and more interested in photography. Now 受 is to receive or accept and 影响 is influence. So you can also say 受了你的影响 or 受到你的影响. Let’s take a look at some more examples of this expression.

  • Mike,你为什么学中文?/可能是受我爸爸的影响吧。

瞧我这记性. Hmm, this is the tricky one to translate as we don’t have an expression quite like this in English. So let’s break it up first. 瞧 means to look or see. 记性 is memory. So 王叔叔 forgot to book his tickets, right? And he is using this expression to draw attention to the fact that his memory isn’t so good. So it’s like saying “look at my memory,” or “oh gosh, I have mush for brains*6.”

Now this is a very colloquial expression that usually comes at the beginning of a sentence. So let’s look at a few more examples so you all can get a better feel for this one.

  • 你怎么不接我的电话?/呦,我又把手机落家了。瞧我这记性

说不定. This means something along the lines of just might or perhaps. Now this saying only comes in a negative form in Chinese 说不定. We saw it used in today’s dialogue like this. 要是在火车上坐一宿, 等第二天开会的时候, 叔叔说不定就睡着啦. If I had to sit for a whole night on the train, and then come the next day to work, uncle just might fall asleep during his meeting. OK. 今天说不定要下雨. It just might rain today.

  • 我觉得不舒服。/说不定是发烧了。走,我陪你去医院。
  • 哎,小明,看见我的作业本了吗?/没有啊,说不定落教室了吧?

I’m very glad 王叔叔 managed to get his tickets today.

And on that note we’re just about out of time for today’s show. Thanks again for joining us on Growing up with Chinese and remember, if you have any questions about anything we’ve covered today, you can always visit our website. And if you don’t find what you’re looking for, please leave us a message, send us a comment. It’s always nice to hear from all of you. 好了, 今天就到这里. 大家, 加油, 我们下次再见, bye for now.

*1:cricket コオロギ

*2:count 見なす

*3:glib 口の達者な

*4:slick 口の達者な

*5:fall under 該当する

*6:have mush for brains 脳が味噌的な