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In this lesson we will learn how to ask where something or someone is.
25.01 Here, there, where?
Notes: The question word 哪儿 nǎr and 哪里 nǎlǐ have the exact same meaning, it is just that 哪儿 nǎr is used (extensively) in the north of China. The meaning and use of the two words is the same. It corresponds to the location words 那儿 nàr ( 哪里 nǎlǐ) and 这儿 zhèr ( 这里 zhèlǐ ). In the case of all six words, the 里 lǐ sound has morphed into the 儿 sound. To put it another way, people in Beijing all sound like pirates.
You might be wondering why we have used what could be considered a deviant pronunciation so extensively in our text. The first is that the 儿 sound has official recognition within the PRC and is actually used in most beginner's textbooks for students studying in the North of China. Secondly, the 儿 sound, due to its connection with Beijing and the centers of Mandarin speaking, could well be considered a "prestige" dialect. Finally, and most importantly, we think it sounds cool.
25.02 A toilet by any other name...?
Vocabulary point: Although 在 zài can be translated as be, in Mandarin Chinese its usage and meaning is distinct from the other word for be, 是 shì. 在 zài is used to indicate location in space and time, whereas 是 shì is used to indicate identity.
厕所 cèsuǒ is definitely the cruder of the terms available for the, um, well facilities as it were. 洗手间 xíshǒujiān is the prettiest of the terms available, it literally means "place where you may wash your hands".
25.03 Where's the john?
25.04 Pardon me, where's the washroom?
Notes: 就 jiù is an adverb, generally speaking it specifies the exactness of something. When used when talking about directions, it conveys the feeling of "right here" or "right there".
25.05 Is Teacher Liu at school?
25.06 You're really cute!
25.07 I don't know anyone here.
A Transcribe the characters below into pinyin
B Match the words with the translation