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Conversation 12, Tiananmen Square


( Don’t forget the test at the bottom! )

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Conversation 12, Tiananmen Square

(written in pinyin)

dajia hao!

jintian women qi zixingche.

ni hui ma?

zhe shi wode zixingche.

ni kan, beijing shi gonggong zixingche.

tamen shi hongbai se de.

zou ba!

zhe shi honglv deng.

hong deng ting, lv deng xing.

xianzai wang you guai.

women xianzai dao le

tian an men guangchang.

xiao xin.

man dian er.

yizhi zou.

xianzai wang you guai.

daochu dou you che.

ni neng bu neng kuai yidian er?

aya, beijing jiaotong zhen shi ge wenti.

zheli wang zuo guai.

yizhi zou.

ta shi mao ze dong.

xiao xin! you che.

wo jintian qi le henduo gongli.

wo lei le. wo hui jia. zai jian!

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Conversation 12, Tiananmen Square

(written with Chinese characters)





你看, 北京市公共自行车。




















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Conversation 12, Tiananmen Square,

Write Chinese characters and meaning,


1. What is the most literal English translation of this sentence?


(A) Hello everybody!

(B) Big family good!

(C) Hello family!

(D) How are you all?

2. “qi zixingche” literally means “ride bicycle”. The Chinese character for “ride” is a combined character, made up of three characters. How do you write the character on the left with pinyin, and what is its meaning in English? 

(A) kou   /  mouth

(B) ma    /  mother

(C) ma    /  horse

(D) tou    /  head

3. What do these Chinese characters mean?

         自   /   行   /   车

(A) from /  OK    /  four

(B) eye  /   go    /  vehicle

(C) self  /   OK   /  horse

(D) self  /   go    /  vehicle

Until 1950, illiteracy was wide-spread in China, partly due to the complexity of the characters. That’s why the Chinese government decided to simplify the traditional characters. Thanks to these new, simplified characters, illiteracy decreased rapidly. But many characters lost their visual significance. For example, the traditional character for 车(che, vehicle)is 車 . It really looks like a cart seen from above.

4. What is the English translation of “骑马” ?

(A) Are you riding?

(B) Strange

(C) Ride horse

(D) Parents

5. Which of the following Chinese characters mean the verb “can” ?

(A) 错(cuo)

(B) 会(hui)

(C) 吃(chi)

(D) 可以(keyi)

6. What do these Chinese characters mean, and how do you write them in pinyin?

              北  /  京  /  市

(A) north / capital / city  - Bei Jing Shi  

(B) head / city / vehicle - Tou Shi Che 

(C) north / capital / vehicle  - Bei Jing Che

(D) compared / capital / city  - Bi Jing Shi

7. What is the English translation of 

公共 (gong gong)?

(A) public

(B) capital

(C) bicycle

(D) older brother

The Chinese characters 红(red)and 绿(green)are combined characters with a few stripes on the left that stand for the character 丝(si, silk). Just think of two beautiful silk shawls, one red and one green. 

8. Which colors are these? 

 绿色 / 白色 / 黑色 / 黄色 / 红色

(A) red / green / white / black / yellow

(B) green / white / black / red / yellow

(C) yellow / red / black / white / green

(D) green / white / black / yellow / red

9. How do you write “red wine” with characters?

(A) 工酒

(B) 荭酒

(C) 红酒

(D) 红西

10. What is the literal English translation of the Chinese word for “traffic light” ?

(A) green red light

(B) red stop light

(C) red green light

(D) stop vehicle light

The Chinese character for “light” or “lamp” is 灯(deng). When this character was invented, obviously electricity was not yet available, and places were illuminated with lanterns, with a burning candle inside. 


11. Which character is part of the combined character for “light” ?

(A) 人  (ren, person)

(B) 火  (huo, fire)

(C) 水  (shui, water)

(D) 大  (da, big)

12. What is the literal English translation of this sentence?


(A) green light go, red light stop

(B) look left right left go

(C) red light wait, green light go

(D) red light stop, green light go

13. What do these Chinese characters mean?

       拐    /   往   /  现在   /   右   

(A) turn  /  to     /  now    / right

(B) now /   to     /  right   /  turn

(C) to    / right   /  turn    /  now

(D) turn /   to     /  right   /  now

14. What is the Chinese character and pinyin for the verb “arrive” ?

(A) 到    tao
(B) 捯    dao

(C) 到    dao

(D) 倒    dao 

15. What do these Chinese characters mean?

     门       /   广场     /   安       /    天

(A) gate / square / peace / heaven

(B) square / heaven / gate / peace

(C) gate / square / heaven / peace

(D) peace / square / gate / heaven

16. The Chinese character for “peace” is a combined character. Of which two words does that character consist, translated into English?

(A) door + person

(B) horse + mouth

(C) woman + roof

(D) field + force

17. How do you write these Chinese characters in pinyin, and what is the best English translation?

               小 心

(A) shao shin / small heart

(B) xiao xin    / be careful

(C) shao xin   / a little bit careful

(D) xiao xin    / to the right

18. How do you write the following Chinese characters in pinyin?

       点    /   走    /   一直    /    慢

(A) man  /  zou   /  yizhi    /  dian

(B) dian  /  zou   /  man    /  yizhi

(C) yizhi /  dian  /  zou      /  man

(D) dian /   zou  /  yizhi     /  man

19. What is the English translation for these Chinese characters?

        左    /   右    /    慢    /   快

(A)  left    /  right  /  slow  / fast

(B)  right  /  left    /  fast    / slow

(C)  left    /  right  /    fast  / slow

(D)  fast   /  right  /   left    / slow

20. Which Chinese character means 

“there is / there are” ?

(A) 月

(B) 有

(C) 右

(D) 左

21. Which of the following Chinese words mean the verb “can” ?

(A) keyi

(B) neng 

(C) yizhi

(D) hui

22. How do you write the following Chinese characters with pinyin, and what is the English translation?

                问题     /    交通

A) wenti = traffic / jiaotong = problem 

B) jiaotong = traffic / wenti = problem 

C) wenti = problem / jiaotong = traffic

D) jiaotong = problem / wenti = traffic 

23. The first leader of the People’s Republic of China was Mao Ze Dong (毛泽东). The character in the middle is a combined character. What do the three stripes on the left mean?

(A) water

(B) fire

(C) mouth

(D) roof

24. The Chinese characters for “here”, “kilometer” and “tired” are combined characters. All three have one character in common. What does that character mean?

(A) force

(B) woman

(C) horse

(D) field

25. Adjectives in Chinese can often be used as verbs. Imagine that your Chinese friend has had a bit too much to drink, and his face has turned red. How do you say the following sentence in Chinese?

              You’ve become red !

(A) 你绿了!

(B) 你黑了!

(C) 你红了!

(D) 你讧了!

26. What does the Chinese character 回(hui)mean?

(A) mouth

(B) country

(C) return

(D) can

27. How do you write the following Chinese characters with pinyin, and what is their meaning ?

                 再     /   见 

(A) zai  = in       /  jian = see 

(B) jian = again /  zai  = see 

(C) zai  = see    /  jian = again

(D) zai  = again /  jian = see

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