A smooth taxi ride

During my lessons, I’d always spend some time to teach the different choices of words and ascents in different Mandarin speaking regions: China(Beijing) vs. Singapore.

One simple example is the taxi ride.

Here’re the key sentences used in Singapore during a taxi ride:

Key Sentences Meaning
Uncle*, 去(qù) Orchard Road** Uncle, go to Orchard Road.
可(kě)以(yǐ)走(zǒu) ECP 吗(ma)? Can we go from ECP?
可(kě)以(yǐ)还(huán)card吗(ma)? Can I pay by card?
谢(xiè)谢(xiè)你(nǐ) Thank you!

* Uncle is a friendly way of calling the male driver.

** For a bilingual country like Singapore, all the location names are written in English and local people usually mix English with Chinese in their daily conversations.

Whereas in Beijing:

Key Sentences Meaning
您(nín)好(hǎo), 去(qù)王(wáng)府(fǔ)井(jǐng)。 Hello, go to Wangfujing.
可(kě)以(yǐ)走(zǒu)三(sān)环(huán)吗(ma)? Can we go from 3rd Ring Road?
可(kě)以(yǐ)刷(shuā)卡(kǎ)吗(ma)? Can I pay by card?
谢(xiè)谢(xiè)您(nín) Thank you!

And when comes to directions, there are also some differences.

The Singaporean way:

Key Sentences Meaning
直(zhí)走(zǒu)。 Go straight.
前(qián)面(mian)转(zhuǎn)左(zuǒ) Turn left ahead.
前(qián)面(mian)转(zhuǎn)右(yòu) Turn right ahead.
这(zhè)里(lǐ)停(tíng)。 Stop here.

The Beijing way:

Key Sentences Meaning
直(zhí)走(zǒu)。 Go straight.
前(qián)面(mian)左(zuǒ)拐(guǎi) Turn left ahead.
前(qián)面(mian)右(yòu)拐(guǎi) Turn right ahead.
就(jiù)这(zhè)儿(er)停(tíng)吧(ba)。 Stop here.

Despite all the differences, the “keep the change” line is universal though:


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