Intermediate - License Plate Numbers: Poddie Transcript Collaboration Final Version

March 07, 2011, 12:43 AM posted in Transcripts with Tal

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.

Dilu: 嗯,中国的车牌。车牌。

John: Ok, so 车牌 - 1st tone, 2nd tone. That means a license plate. But what were talking about is not the plate itself but the characters you see on the plates in China.

Dilu: 是的。每一块车牌上面都有一个汉字,你知道那个代表的是什么吗?

John: Right, do you know what that one character on every Chinese license plate stands for?

Dilu: 那我们还是先来听一下对话。

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.

Dilu: 那他们在哪里呢?

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.

Dilu: 对。

John: And it is what kind of car?

Dilu: 这是一辆宝马。宝马。

John: Alright, 宝马, thats two 3rd tones. It means BMW, right?

Dilu: 那它的中文名就叫“宝马”。

John: So do you guys ever say “BMW”?

Dilu: 有的时候也会说BMW

John: But 宝马 is more common, right?

Dilu: 嗯,对,就是中文名。

John: Ok, so here we have 宝马嘛。

Dilu: 啊,就是比较明显。”噢,是一辆好车,当然好了。”

John: Right, so this you see it after a phrase that is obvious to the speaker. So shes saying, Well, yeah, its a BMWof course its cool.

Dilu: 嗯,是的。宝马嘛…当然好。

John: Ok, but then the guy starts noticing the characters on the plates, right?

Dilu: . 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 is it?

Dilu: 是“粤”。第四声。

John: Ok, 4th tone . And this is the same yuè” as in another word, right?

Dilu: 啊,就是粤语的粤。

John: And “粤语” is the word for Cantonese.

Dilu: 对,粤呢就是广东。

John: Okay, so she says the car is from Guangdong, but how does she say it? This is kind of interesting.

Dilu: 广东的车。

John: So that doesn’t mean it’s a car made in Guangdong.

Dilu: 不是。不是。

John: It means a car from Guangdong, right?

Dilu: 对。她指的其实是这个车牌上写着是广东的车。

John: Ok, so anyway, you see , you know the car is from Guangdong.

Dilu: 嗯,那么粤语就是广东话。

John: Alright, got it. So then she explains about the abbreviation, right? What is that word?

Dilu: 简称。简称。

John: Ok, 3rd tone, 4th tone.

Dilu: 没错。

John: 简称。 So first we see it as a verb. What does she say?

Dilu: 广东简称粤。广东简称粤。

John: So Guangdong is abbreviated as .

Dilu: 啊,是的。

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…

Dilu: 省,第三声。

John: Ok, , 3rd tone. And then the girl launches into some more examples, right?

Dilu: 比如浙是浙江,黑是黑龙江。

John: Okay, and those ones are pretty obvious, because the character comes right out of the name of the province, right?

Dilu: 是的。是的。那,还有一些城市也是有简称的。

John: Okay, yeah. In the dialogue we see this有些, and this is just, what?

Dilu: 有一些城市。

John: Okay, there are some cities that have their own abbreviations.

Dilu: 对。其实也就只有四个。

John: Which four are they?

Dilu: 北京,上海,重庆,和天津。

John: Oh, ok. So 上海 - what is the 简称?

Dilu: 上海简称沪。

John: Ok, 4th tone.

Dilu: 对。

John: Alright, and then they start talking about other provinces, so dont be confused that as soon as you hear they start talking about .

Dilu: 对。这是其实是两个词。发音是不一样的。

John: Right, so , 4th tone, and then he changes the topic and he talks about a different one - he talks about

Dilu: 湖。第二声。

John: Ok, 2nd tone. And he asks about two provinces, right?

Dilu: 嗯,一个是湖南,还有一个是湖北。

John: Ok, 湖南, two 2nd tones; 湖北, 2nd 3rd. So the question is, if they both have as the first character, then which one gets it as the abbreviation, right? Thats a good question.

Dilu: 对。但是呢没有湖,因为湖南是“湘”。

John: 1st tone. Its a completely different character.

Dilu: 嗯,是的。然后“湖北是…我也想不起来了。”

John: Ok, 想不起来了。So this is a phrase which means, cant remember, cant recall, right?

Dilu: 是的。是的。想不起来了。

John: So Im thinking, but its just not coming to me: “想不起来了.

Dilu: 嗯。但是肯定不是“湖”。

John: Alright, its definitely not “湖”. Alright.

Dilu: 然后那个男的又问:“那河南河北呢?”

John: And she gets a little impatient, right?

Dilu: 对。女孩子说:“哎呀,你别问我了,我也不知道。”

John: Ok, 别问我了 so, stop asking me.

Dilu: 别问我了。

John: So if you see this and then a verb and then , its like stop doing that.

Dilu: 对。

John: Stop asking these license plate questions! It’s so annoying!

Dilu: 好,我们再来听一遍对话。然后我有一些问题。

John: Alright, here we go.


John: Ok, so Dilu, before your questions, I have a few questions.

Dilu: 好。

John: These provinces that are mentioned, and then we didnt hear the abbreviation. Could we just hear them real quick? So, for example, for 湖北, what is the actual character?

Dilu: 湖北的简称是鄂。

John: 鄂。

Dilu: 对。

John: So again, a completely different character.

Dilu: 完全不一样。

John: You really have to look at these characters to appreciate how completely different they are.

Dilu: 是的。那么河南的简称呢是“豫”。

John: 河南is .

Dilu: 对。

John: Alright, what about 河北?

Dilu: 河北是“冀”。

John: Ok, so there are quite a few that have totally different characters.

Dilu: 对。其实很多的中国人也记不住这么多的简称。

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?

Dilu: 我们有的时候会在证件上面会看到一些简称。

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.

Dilu: 对,但是很多的简称都跟这个城市的名字没有太多关系。还是因为历史上的原因,所以才找这个名字。

John: Right, a lot of the characters come from certain historical usages.

Dilu: 嗯,那我可以问那个问题了吗?

John: Ok, ask your question.

Dilu: 在我们今天这个podcast刚开始的时候,你说这个难的是一个韩国人。为什么呢?

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 and ask away.

Dilu: 嗯。那今天的课就到这里。再见。

John: 再见。

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