Intermediate - License Plate Numbers: Poddie Transcript Collaboration Final Version
Here is another final version of the poddie transcript collaborative effort - with contributions by watyamacallit, bababardwan, toianw, and myself.
Again, look for the PDF version at the bottom of the page! You might need to tell your computer to use Adobe Reader or Acrobat to open the file.
ChinesePod Lesson Transcript
Intermediate – License Plate Numbers (#1619)
John: Hi ChinesePod users. This is an Intermediate lesson. My name is John.
Dilu: Hello everyone, I’m Dilu.
John: Alright, so today we’re talking about license plates in China.
John: Ok, so 车牌 - 1st tone, 2nd tone. That means a license plate. But what we’re talking about is not the plate itself but the characters you see on the plates in China.
John: Right, do you know what that one character on every Chinese license plate stands for?
John: Ok, but let’s set the context. We have a foreigner, he is a male Korean.
Dilu: 哈哈. Why Korean?
John: Because he’s Korean. His Chinese is very good. And then we have a Chinese woman.
John: I think they’re in a parking lot or something? And they’re looking at Chinese license plates.
Dilu: 嗯，好吧。 那我们赶紧来听对话。
John: Alright, here we go.
John: So at the beginning of the dialogue, the guy sees a cool car, right?
John: Ok, so the measure word for car is of course…
Dilu: 辆。 L-I-A-N-G. 第四声。
John: Ok, 4th tone, liàng. And he says it’s cool, right?
Dilu: 啊，对。这个”酷”跟英文的那个 “cool”很像。
John: Ok, “酷”, 4th tone.
John: And it is what kind of car?
John: Alright, 宝马, that’s two 3rd tones. It means “BMW”, right?
John: So do you guys ever say “BMW”?
John: But 宝马 is more common, right?
John: Ok, so here we have 宝马嘛。
John: Right, so this 嘛 you see it after a phrase that is obvious to the speaker. So she’s saying, “Well, yeah, it’s a BMW…of course it’s cool.”
John: Ok, but then the guy starts noticing the characters on the plates, right?
Dilu: 嗯. License plate is “车牌”. So he said, “车牌上那个字是什么?” 车牌上那个字是什么？
John: Ok, and which 字 is it?
John: Ok, 4th tone – 粤. And this is the same “yuè” as in another word, right?
John: And “粤语” is the word for “Cantonese”.
John: Okay, so she says the car is from Guangdong, but how does she say it? This is kind of interesting.
John: So that doesn’t mean it’s a car made in Guangdong.
John: It means a car from Guangdong, right?
John: Ok, so anyway, you see 粤, you know the car is from Guangdong.
John: Alright, got it. So then she explains about the abbreviation, right? What is that word?
John: Ok, 3rd tone, 4th tone.
John: 简称。 So first we see it as a verb. What does she say?
John: So Guangdong is abbreviated as 粤.
John: Alright, and then later we see it as a noun. What does he say?
Dilu: 他说：“每个省都有一个简称？” 每个省都有一个简称？
John: Ok, so every province has an abbreviation. So the word for province, of course is…
John: Ok, 省, 3rd tone. And then the girl launches into some more examples, right?
John: Okay, and those ones are pretty obvious, because the character comes right out of the name of the province, right?
John: Okay, yeah. In the dialogue we see this有些, and this is just, what?
John: Okay, there are some cities that have their own abbreviations.
John: Which four are they?
John: Oh, ok. So 上海 - what is the 简称?
John: Ok, 4th tone.
John: Alright, and then they start talking about other provinces, so don’t be confused that as soon as you hear 沪 they start talking about 湖.
John: Right, so 沪, 4th tone, and then he changes the topic and he talks about a different one - he talks about …
John: Ok, 2nd tone. And he asks about two provinces, right?
John: Ok, 湖南, two 2nd tones; 湖北, 2nd – 3rd. So the question is, if they both have 湖 as the first character, then which one gets it as the abbreviation, right? That’s a good question.
John: 湘 – 1st tone. It’s a completely different character.
John: Ok, 想不起来了。So this is a phrase which means, ’can’t remember’, ‘can’t recall’, right?
John: So I’m thinking, but it’s just not coming to me: “想不起来了.”
John: Alright, it’s definitely not “湖”. Alright.
John: And she gets a little impatient, right?
John: Ok, 别问我了 – so, stop asking me.
John: So if you see this 别 and then a verb and then 了, it’s like ‘stop doing that’.
John: Stop asking these license plate questions! It’s so annoying!
John: Alright, here we go.
John: Ok, so Dilu, before your questions, I have a few questions.
John: These provinces that are mentioned, and then we didn’t hear the abbreviation. Could we just hear them real quick? So, for example, for 湖北, what is the actual character?
John: So again, a completely different character.
John: You really have to look at these characters to appreciate how completely different they are.
John: 河南is 豫.
John: Alright, what about 河北?
John: Ok, so there are quite a few that have totally different characters.
John: Yeah, a bunch of Chinese people can’t remember then all either. So it’s a good thing we have Wikipedia for that for us English speakers.
Dilu: For lazy people, of course.
John: Ok, so I guess the question is that are these abbreviations for provinces and stuff, are they only for license plates, or do they have any other uses?
John: Ok, so on some official documents.
Dilu: 或者呢在新闻一些 ‘title’ 里面。
John: Ok. So sometimes on the news. And again, to fully appreciate these, I recommend that you look at the characters themselves. It’s a lot more interesting that way.
John: Right, a lot of the characters come from certain historical usages.
John: Ok, ask your question.
John: Well, because we’ve had Americans and Canadians and all kinds of different foreigners in our dialogues. But I thought it was time to, you know, to represent other nationalities and I know a lot of Koreans that speak really good Chinese, like this guy. So, you know.
Dilu: So you just assumed this guy’s Korean.
John: No, he is Korean.
Dilu: 我觉得我们的 Poddies 可能会有这样的问题，所以…thanks for your explanation, John.
John: No problem. Alright, so if you guys have questions, please come to ChinesePod.com and ask away.
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