Traveling by taxi in China remains one of the cheapest and most convenient ways of getting from A to B. It’s also a great way to learn Chinese, as the hectic Chinese streets furnish an endless supply of conversation topics. Following my move to China in 2005, my Chinese came on in leaps and bounds within the first few months and I am convinced this was due to the time I spent conversing with taxi drivers – and my taxi Chinese. Whether traveling to China for business or pleasure, here’s my must-have vocabulary guide to taxi Chinese:
Please call a taxi 请叫一辆出租车qǐng jiào yī liàng chū zū chē
Driver 师傅 shī fù / 司机 sī jī
Turn left 左拐 zuǒ guǎi / 左转 zuǒ zhuǎn
Turn right 右拐 yòu guǎi /右转 yòu zhuǎn
Go straight on 一直走 yī zhí zǒu
Please take me to… 请带我去。。。qǐng dài wǒ qù。。。
How much altogether? 一共多少钱？yī gòng duō shǎo qián？
Receipt 发票 fā piào
Where to? 到哪儿? dào nǎr
Where are you from? 你是哪国人? nǐ shì nǎ;něi;na guó rén?
Turn around 掉头 diào tóu
Taxi 出租车chū zū chē
How long until we arrive? 多长时间到了？duō cháng shí jiān dào le？
Please wait a moment 请等一下qǐng děng yī xià
To the airport 到机场 dào jī chǎng
Stop here 停这儿 tíng zhè’r
If you’re ever in Shanghai, here’s a few words of taxi Shanghainese that are sure to raise a few eyebrows!
Hello nong hao
Sorry dui ve qi
Have you eaten? (common greeting) nong qi gu le va?
How much? ji di a?
Goodbye zei wei
If you have any more taxi Chinese phrases to add to our guide, please get in touch!