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Mandarin Go | Being lost in China: how to ask for directions?


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So first of all, the verb to say "to be lost" in Chinese is said: 
·(m l)
With (m) which means "to be confused" and ·(l) which means the roadand which comes from the word·(m l)

You see it is funny this word because if we break it down, we see that it is composed of the character (m) which means horse and the character ·(l) which means road.
So, in fact it's a reference to Chinese roads in the old days that were mostly used for horses, given that cars didn't exist yet.
Well then let's imagine that you are lost in China, one of the simplest options you have is simply to ask your way to a passerby
Ask for directions in Chinese
But hey you can't directly approach someone like that, you see it wouldn't be polite. So a polite formula that you can already note is: Ǹ,һ(bo qin,d ro y xi)
withǸ (bo qin) which means "excuse me, andһ ( d ro y xi) to disturb you for a few moments.
You see the word (d ro) it's a super useful word that is used in many situations.
So for example here instead of saying "Ǹ(bo qin)" I could have said,һ( qng wn,d ro y xi)
To translate this idea "Excuse me for bothering you for a moment, can you tell me if... »
So note this sentence in Mandarin, it is super useful and not only to ask for directions in Chinese, you can take it out whenever you want to ask for information in a polite and formal way, whether at your hotel, at the reception of an establishment or any public place for example.
Locate a place in Chinese
Then, if you want to ask where a place in Mandarin is, you can also say: [xx] Ķ ( zi n r)
It means "where is located [xx] and you replace the xxx with the place you are looking to locate.

By the way, you will find in the description of this video a list with lots of VOCABULARY related to directions and places in Chinese.
I strongly invite you to pick it up because you will find in particular the name in Chinese of all the common places in China such as metro station, park, hospital etc ... as well as verbs of directions and movement to be able to orient yourself in Chinese.
This is my personal list that I used when I had just arrived in China to quickly be able to ask for my way in Chinese so pause the video and retrieve it, it's very important because we will need it for the future.
It's okay, you got the list back? Well then now you see if for example you are looking to locate the metro station, you go in my list, you look for the word metro station and you replace in the sentence I just gave you the xxx by metro station so it gives: վĶ(d ti zhn zi n r )
With վ (d ti zhn)which means subway station in Mandarin.
You see the trick when you ask this question is not to be wrong in the pronunciation of the character Ķ (n r), this one.
If you pronounce it in the third tone, it means "or" in the sense that something is. Be careful not to pronounce it (n)which in this case means it: the bottom! »
You see the pronunciation is the same but the tones are different so we quickly made a mistake.
To remember it you can imagine a guy pointing with a look at him to tell you that it's the ba. Pointing the finger dryly like that is a way of referring to the 4th tone of the word Ƕ(n r)  . It will save you from confusing it with Ķ(n r)
Another thing to know is that depending on where you travel in China, you will be able to hear a variant that is (n l ) . That is to say, we replaced the which is a sound characteristic of northern China by a softer and easier to pronounce  (l ).I find that is characteristic of southern China.


Well the 2 mean exactly the same thing, so take the one you like the most, personally I have a preference for  (l )since I learned Taiwan Chinese, so the (r) it stings my ears a little.

Request direction in Chinese

So, it's cool to know where the metro station is but it doesn't tell you how to get there. So the most important question you absolutely need to know to ask for instructions is: վô(d ti zhn zn me zu) 


Who means "how to go to this place" with ô(zn me)which means how and (zu) which is a verb that means to walk to
So the verb (zu) it comes from the verb ·(zu l ) which means "to walk" in Chinese, so it is an object verb since literally in fact it means "to walk on the road"
So literally վô(d ti zhn zn me zu)means "how to get to the subway station".
You see the difference between ô(zn me zu) and the question blabla Ķ(zi n r), is that with ô(zn me zu) you ask the person for instructions to get to that place, whereas with Ķ(zi n r)you just asked "where this place is" which is not exactly the same thing!

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