Stuff You Might Be Hearing: On the Bus

If you’ve ever ridden on a gōngjiāo chē 公交车 in China, you’ve heard some variation on these announcements. Even though the audio quality of my cheapo, shānzhài 山寨 MP3 recorder is horrendous, the idea here is:

One way to improve listening is to understand every word being said.

In this case, that involves listening to the “recording” and reading the transcript.

I’d like to apologize for the terrible audio quality and promise that I’ll hopefully have a chance to get a better recording in the future (although this one is from Changsha when we were doing our ridiculous challenge 14 and I don’t know when I’ll be back there again). If anyone else has an audio recording of the local bus announcement, please tell me and we’ll add it here.

Recording 1: Bus Starting

Listen now:


[Download not found]

Full Transcript for Both Audio Files:

[Download not found]

chēliàng qǐbù.


The vehicle has started moving.

qǐng nín zuò hǎo, zhàn wěn, zhuā hǎo fúshǒu.

请您坐好,站稳, 抓好扶手。

Please sit properly, stand stably, (or) grab the handrail firmly

qǐng nín zhǔdòng wèi shēnbiān de lǎo, ruò, bìng, cán, yùn, jí dài xiǎoháir de chéngkè ràng gè zuò


Please take the initiative to give your seat to the old, weak, sick, disabled, pregnant, and passengers with children

xià yí zhàn: Yáolǐng Běi


Next stop: Yaoling North

Recording 2: Bus Stopping

Listen now:


[Download not found]

Full Transcript for Both Audio Files:

[Download not found]

? ? ? ? ? ? tíxǐng nín: Yáolǐng Běi dào le


(? the name of the bus company ?) would like to remind you: We’re arriving at Yaoling Bei.

qǐng dài hǎo suíshēn xiédài de wùpǐn zhǔnbèi xià chē


Please take all your carry-on things and get ready to get off the bus.

chéngkèmen, shàng chē hòu, qǐng wǎng chēxiāng nèi zǒu yǐ zhàogù hòumian de chéngkè shàng chē.


Passengers, after you get on the bus, please move to the middle of the compartment to help the passengers behind you get on the bus.



Thank you.

Things to Point Out

  • I’m also not happy that they used “chēliàng” 车辆 and “chēxiāng” 车厢 instead of just “chē” . But that’s kind of the point of this exercise: to see the formal words used so we can understand them next time we hear them.
  • That list of “lǎo, ruò, bìng, cán, yùn, jí dài xiǎoháir” 老,弱,病,残,孕,及带小孩儿 passengers is pretty common on most buses in most cities I’ve been in (the order might even be the same)
  • That “jí” is just a formal word for “hé” .
  • “suíshēn xiédài de wùpǐn” 随身携带的物品 seems to me to be a very wordy way to say “your things.” Can anyone explain why the “suíshēn” 随身 and “xiédài” 携带 are both necessary or is it just a frozen form?
  • I translated “yǐ zhàogù” 以照顾 as “to help” because “yǐ” here means “in order to” and “zhàogù” 照顾 means “to take care of / show consideration for”. Better translations welcome.

11 Replies to “Stuff You Might Be Hearing: On the Bus”

  1. You are very talented.

    By the way, in “? ? ? ? ? ? tíxǐng nín: Yáolǐng Běi dào le”, the ? should be a name of a advertiser. Some local company will pay for this kind advertising.

  2. Yes,”随身”and”携带” are usually written together,you’ll notice it on subway as well.But “随身物品”is OK,people will understand it.Perhaps “随身携带”has become a frozen word after being used for a long time.

    以照顾”could be translated as “convenient”.That would be easier and more convenient for passengers behind you get on the bus if former ones have got on and stand in or inside the compartment.

  3. When I was just starting to learn Chinese, I always misheard the 随身 as 学生 and couldn’t never figure out why the buses and subways in China were always addressing students in their announcements.

  4. Yes, I agree with you if we want to be great listener we should first properly understand what they are trying to say. Their way of talking is little bit different but few words are just adopted to attract passenger attention.

  5. 以照顾 “yǐ zhàogù” does not necessarily be translated literally.It is ok to say
    (Passengers,) after you board the bus, please move to the middle of the compartment to allow/let the passengers behind you board the bus (conveniently)

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