As part of the Beijinger’s Mandarin Month series that runs daily ahead of our June 25 Mandarin Mixer, we present some useful phrases that make living as a laowai in Beijing all the more enjoyable. Today's post focuses on useful phrases for what has become a ubiquitous experience for many of us: a ride with an Uber driver.

Life is better (and cheaper) now that Uber (and its Chinese cousin Didi) have overtaken metered taxis as the preferred mode of transport in Beijing, but even these apps can't help us fully overcome the language barrier for those of us that speak no Mandarin.

For instance, despite cutting-edge GPS tech that tells drivers exactly where you are and where you're going, Uber is populated by courteous drivers who inevitably call you before pickup to ask you in lightning-speed Mandarin about your current location and destination.

So in the spirit of mutual understanding and to give you monolinguals an edge on making your next ride smoother, we have compiled 10 useful Mandarin phrases for your next Uber pickup:

1. I’m right here where the GPS signal says I am.

The next time your Uber driver annoyingly calls to ask you "Where are you?" before picking you up, feel free to reply:

"I’m right here where the GPS signal says I am!" (我就在地图定位的这个位置! Wǒ jiù zài dìtú dìngwèi de zhège wèizhi!)

2. Don’t follow the directions that the Uber map gives you, I know how to avoid the traffic.

Despite Uber's impressive innovations, the app still has a knack for directing the driver to take what you know to be the most congested route. To avoid this, tell the driver:

"Don’t follow the directions that the Uber map gives you, I know how to avoid the traffic." (不用跟着优步地图提示,我知道怎么走更方便! Bù yòng gēn zhe yōubù dìtú tíshì,wǒ zhīdào zěnme zǒu gēng fāngbiàn!)

3. Don't drive so fast, it's dangerous!

Beijing driving seems to careen between two extremes: gridlock and fiendish speeding. If you find your driver appears to be auditioning for a role in the next Fast and the Furious sequel, the best thing to tell him is:

"Don't drive so fast, it's dangerous!" (不要开得太快,太危险了! Bù yào kāi dé tài kuài,tài wēixiǎn le!)

4. Can we get some better tunes on the radio?

Plenty of drivers take one glace at the laowai they just picked up, and then frantically crank their radio dial to what they think we want to hear. After all, what foreigner passenger doesn't love Justin Bieber? Those of us with snootier tastes may prefer to tell our drivers:

"Can we get some better tunes on the radio?" (我们听点别的歌或者广播怎么样? Wǒmen tīng diǎn bié de gē huòzhě guǎng bō, zěnme yàng?)

5. The air pollution is terrible, do you think we could close the windows?

On smoggy days, this request will come in handy:

"The air pollution is terrible, do you think we could close the windows?" (空气污染太严重了,我们把窗户关上吧, Kōngqì wūrǎn tài yánzhòng le,wǒmen bǎ chuānghu guānshàng bā.)

6. Yes I’m American. And no, I don't plan to vote for Donald Trump.

Any Uber passenger hailing from the US of A should have the following retort at the ready:

"Yes I’m American. And no, I don't plan to vote for Donald Trump." (没错,我是美国人,但是我可不打算给 唐纳德·特朗普 投票, Méi cuò,wǒ shì Měiguó rén,dàn shì wǒ kě bù dǎ suàn gěi táng nà dé tè lǎng pǔ tóu piào.)

7. Is it true that all Uber drivers do this job to pick up chicks?

Have a well-groomed driver in flashy car that seems too good to be true for Uber? Ask him:

"Is it true that all Uber drivers do this job to pick up chicks?" (所有优步专车司机都是为了约炮才做这个工作的吗? Suǒyǒu yōubù zhuānchē sījī dōu shì wèile yuēpào cái zuò zhège gōngzuò de mā?)

8. I feel a two star rating coming on …

Passengers that are frustrated with their driver's performance might whisper this from the back seat:

"I feel a two-star rating coming on …" (我觉得这次行程也就值两星, Wǒ juéde zhè cì xíngchéng yě jiù zhí liǎng xīng)

9. You rock. I’m giving you five stars.

Conversely, passengers that are pleased with their driver should say:

"You rock. I’m giving you five stars." (哥们儿/姐们儿, 你太给力了/你太酷了! 我得给你五颗星, Gēmenr/jiěmenr, nǐ tài gěilì le/nǐ tài kù le! Wǒ déi gěi nǐ wǔ kēxīng.)

*Note: Saying 哥们儿, Gē menr or 姐们儿, Jiě menr indicates affection for and closeness to the driver, especially if the driver is a Beijinger.

10. Pull over! I’m going to vomit. I’m not drunk, I just ate some bad chuanr ...

After a long night of overindulgence, even the most upstanding laowai should probably be prepared to tell their driver: 

"Pull over! I’m going to vomit. I’m not drunk, I just ate some bad chuanr ... " (靠边停车! 我想吐, 但是我不是喝多了,我只是吃了一些不太好的串儿, Kàobiān tíngchē! Wǒ xiǎng tù. Dànshì wǒ búshi hē duō le, wǒ zhǐshì chī le yīxiē bù tài hǎo de chuànr.)

And there you have it! Be sure to pre-register for our June 25 Mandarin Month mixer (by clicking here or scanning the QR code below) to take advantage of free booze, schmoozing with Mandarin teachers and fellow students, and more.

Also, keep checking our Mandarin Month page for new articles about the wonderful world of Chinese language learning.

Mandarin Month is brought to you by Pleco, Project Pengyou, and Ninchanese.

Photos: Cnet.comEaglerising.com


Visit the original source and full text: the Beijinger Blog