A Traveler’s Guide to Chinese: 30 of the Most Useful Phrases for Your Journey
Are you currently, or perhaps planning on traveling in China?
Then you’ve come to the right place.
We have created this post to make sure that you have anything you need to get through your trip smoothly. Here are 30 of the most useful Chinese travel phrases you should know before you go!
- In the Airport
- Taking a Taxi
- Busses and Trains
- At the Hotel
- Asking for Directions
- Tips for Using Chinese Travel Phrases
In the Airport
Nǎlǐ lǐ chéngjī shǒuxù? — Where is the business class check-in counter?
公务舱 is business class, but if you’re flying economy then use 经济舱 (jīng jì cāng), and 头等舱 (tóu dĕng cāng) for first class.
shí èr hào dēng jī kŏu wăng nă biān zŏu? — Which way is boarding gate number __?
qǐng bāng wǒ ān pái kào chuāng hù de zuò wèi — Please arrange a window seat for me.
qǐng bāng wǒ ān pái kào zŏu láng de zuò wèi — Please arrange an aisle seat for me.
wǒ xiàn zài dào qǐ fēi de shí jiān hái yǒu duō jiǔ? — How long do I have until departure time?
Taking a Taxi
di shì zhàn zài nǎ ér? — Where is the taxi stand?
nǐ qù nǎ ér? — Where do you want to go?
7. 这儿, 知道吗?
zhè ér, zhī dào ma? — I want to go here. Do you know where that is?
zhī dào — I know where that is.
bù zhī dào — I don’t know where that is.
duō shǎo qián? — How much?
zhèr tíng chē — You can stop here
Busses and Trains
___ hào dào zhè ér ma? — Is this the stop for the ___ route/line?
xiè xiè nǐ bang wǒ — Thank you for helping me.
dì tiě zhàn zài nǎr? – Where is the subway station?
zài nǎ lǐ mǎi piào? — Where can I buy a ticket?
gōng jiāo chē zhàn zài nǎ ér? — Where is the bus stop?
jǐ zhàn? — How many stops?
xū yào zhuǎn chē ma? — Do I have to transfer?
At the Hotel
wǒ yù dìng le liǎng jiān biāo zhǔn fáng — I have made a reservation for 2 standard rooms.
标准房 is a standard room. If you prefer a suite, then you can say 套房 (tào fáng).
wǒ xiǎng yào dān rén fáng — I want a single room.
单人房 refers to single room and 双人房 (shuāng rén fáng) is a double room.
diàn tī zài nǎ ér? — Where is the elevator?
wǒ men xiàn zài yào tuì fáng le — We’re going to check out now.
Asking for Directions
qù ___ zěn me zǒu? — How do I get to ___?
xià chē de shí hou, ___ — When you get off, ___
chū qù de shí hou, ___ — When you exit, ___
zǔo — Left
yòu — Right
huí qù — Go back
yī zhī zǒu — Go straight
nǐ kàn ___ de shí hou — When you see ___
Tips for Using Chinese Travel Phrases
- Pronunciation is way more important than grammar. If you’re concerned about how to structure your “How do I get there?” question, forget it. Pronouncing the name of the place you’re going to is enough to get you there.
- Listen to how natives use these phrases. You can use the FluentU app on iOS or Android as it provides hundreds of authentic Mandarin clips that will show you how natives actually speak. There are also plenty of learning tools to help you retain information.
- Complete sentences are often not necessary in conversation.
- Learn the names of a few landmarks that are close to where you’re staying. Banks, parks, intersections, restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, shopping malls, hotels and schools can all serve as points of identification.
- Ask the bus driver if they pass your destination before you get on the bus.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Most people are happy to be of assistance.
- Download an app or e-Book for travel phrases. This way you have a reference to help you out when you forgot how to say something.
- Record the phrases as voice notes. Not only is this great for pronunciation practice, but it’s also extremely helpful as backup, in case the nerves get to you in the heat of the moment and cause you to say the phrases incorrectly.
Now you have all the Mandarin Chinese travel phrases you need to get around. Use them as much as you can and enjoy your trip!