At The Airport – Real World Chinese

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Real World Chinese #1: At the Airport

Welcome to LearnHowToChinese’s Real World Chinese Series. Today, we’re at the airport, and we’re preparing to board our Air China flight to Beijing. Come aboard with us and spend the next several months traveling to and through China alongside the LearnHowToChinese team. We’ll walk you through many of the same steps you would take as a tourist or a business traveler to China. Along the way, we’ll teach you relevant Chinese to help make your future journey more familiar and more interesting. Grab your ticket, check your preconceptions at the check-in counter, and come back to see us every Monday at 5pm Eastern Time when we release each week’s video and find out what we’ll be doing next and what you can learn from it. All aboard!

Are you Planning on Traveling to China?

Every day, thousands of foreigners travel to China mainly for three purposes: business, school and pleasure. Are you in one of these groups? China has roughly a 5,000 year history, passing from one dynasty to another, changing from a central kingdom to an international trading center; thus, you will find this country very interesting to visit. It might be your first time going to China, or even Asia, so we encourage you to learn a little Chinese language and some cultural heritage to make your trip more fun and meaningful. Remember, China is a living museum.

Taking a Plane

We will begin our journey by taking an “Air China” flight at the airport. In Chinese, airport is called机场 [jī chǎng], and airplane is called飞机 [ fēi jī ]. Notice that these two words have the same character 机 [ jī ], meaning machine. The word “machine” in Chinese is used daily. And even a plane ticket is literally translated into a “machine ticket” 机票 [ jī piào ]. To learn more, what the video “Learn How To Expand Vocabulary with the Word “Machine” in Chinese”.

Ticket in the Chinese Language

Take a look at your plane ticket. It should have word-to-word translations, both Chinese and English. If you want to pronounce each word in Chinese, you need pinyin. And for those of you who do not know what pinyin is, check out this related video “Introduction To Chinese Language and Pinyin”. When you look at the word-to-word translations on a plane ticket, you find that the Chinese translations are written with a pair or more characters. What happens is that Chinese is an old and logical language (not that I mean English is not) and each vocabulary is presented in a complete meaning. For example, the word “destination” is translated into “arrival stop” in Chinese and the word “notice” is translated into “important reminding point” in Chinese. Watch the video to learn more about word-to-word translations.

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Airport Related Terms

English Meaning Pinyin Chinese Characters
airport jī chǎng 机场
airplane fēi jī 飞机
airplane ticket jī piào 机票
Air China zhōng guó guó jì hang kōng gong sī 中国国际航空公司
name xìng míng 姓名
name míng zi 名子
what is your name nǐ jiào shén me míng zi 你叫什么名子?
my name is Vienne wǒ jiào Vienne nǐ ne 我叫Vienne, 你呢?
seat number zuò wèi hào 座位号
twenty-five èr shí wǔ 二十五
boarding time dēng jī shí jiān 登机时间
seven o’clock and forty five minutes qī diǎn sìshíwǔ fēn 七点四十五分