37 Forms of Transportation in Chinese
Choo, choo… here comes another vocabulary blog. In today’s edition we focus on all forms of transport in Chinese.
We aren’t just talking buses, trains and cars, oh no. We are going one step further and some, as we discover some new words including:
- … and many more!
When we do vocabulary blogs, we do them properly! Speaking of which, if you haven’t seen our others yet, firstly, why not? Secondly, no problem, here are some of the most popular below:
By the way in those five blogs alone there’s 174 new words to learn! Plenty of Chinese to discover with us!and you’re about to learn another 37!
If you prefer watching to reading, then stop right there, grab a cuppa, sit back and learn everything in a matter of minutes with our video for all types of transport in Chinese.
If you want more in depth analysis, read on!
Transport in Chinese – On the Road
Transport in Chinese – In the Air
Transport in Chinese – In the Water
Transport in Chinese – Trains
Transport in Chinese – Others
Transport in Chinese – FAQ’s
BEFORE WE GET GOING – it makes sense that our first word is TRANSPORT right?
TRANSPORT IN CHINESE – 交通运输 Jiāotōng yùnshū
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Transportation in Chinese – On the Road
I think it’s a good idea we learn some of the more common methods of transport in Chinese first, don’t you?!
Transport revolves around our lives daily, so these words are super useful and imperative to learn in your quest to become fluent in Chinese.
As we’ve mentioned in a vocabulary blogs before, often learning one word unlocks the door to many more words and that is no exception here.
KEYWORD TO LEARN – Vehicle/Car = 车 chē
Trust us, you’ll see that word a lot in this blog and most places you go to in China!
- Ambulance – 救护车 jiùhù chē
- Bike/Bicycle – 自行车 zìxíng chē
- (Public) Bus – 公共汽车 gōnggòng qìchē
- Also, less commonly known as 公共巴士 Gōnggòng bāshì. The reason being bāshì is the loanword for bus as they sound very similar.
Funny side note 公共汽车 Gōnggòng qìchē actually has a rather crude alternate meaning. Care to take a guess?
If you want to find out (and trust us, you do) 👉check out this article.
Back to it…
- Car – 车 chē
- Electric Car – 电动车 diàndòng chē
- Fire Truck – 消防车 xiāofáng chē
- Forklift – 叉车 chāchē
By the way, notice so far how EVERY word includes the character 车… we weren’t lying!
- Moped – 机动自行车 jīdòng zìxíngchē
- Motorbike – 摩托车 mótuō chē
- Race Car – 赛车 Sàichē
- Taxi – 出租车 chūzū chē
- Tram – 电车 diànchē
- Truck – 卡车 kǎchē
- Van – 面包车 miànbāo chē (literally bread vehicle, very good translation!)
Transportation in Chinese – In the Air
Time to fly high into the sky.
We won’t be seeing the keyword 车 so much here but a good word/character to learn as we hit the sky, is fly.
To fly in Chinese is 飞 fēi (note how the character has two little wings on the right side. A good way to remember it perhaps?
Let’s touch the sky and learn some more transport in Chinese:
- Aeroplane – 飞机 fēi jī (literally fly machine)
- Whilst we are on 飞机, the word for airport is 飞机场 fēijī chǎng. Easy right
- DID YOU KNOW – Beijing will soon host the world’s busiest airport, the brand new, sparkling Daxing airport which we visited. Fancy a sneak peak?
- Helicopter – 直升机 zhíshēng jī
- Hot Air Balloon – 热气球 rè qìqiú
- Jet – 喷气机 pēnqì jī
- Magic Carpet – 魔法地毯 mófǎ dìtǎn
- …because why not!
- Rocket – 火箭 huǒjiàn
- Like all things space? Learn the Solar System, planets and more with our Space in Chinese article.
Transportation in Chinese – In the Water
From high in the sky, to way down below. Time to hit the water and discover some more forms of transportation in Chinese.
If you are reading this from the Maldives or the Philippines, chances are these might be more common to you than a reader from double-landlocked Uzbekistan or Liechtenstein!
- Boat – 船 chuán
- Container Ship – 集装箱船 jízhuāngxiāng chuán (bit of a mouthful that one)
- Cruise Ship – 游轮 yóulún
- Sailboat – 帆船 fānchuán
- Submarine – 潜艇 qiántǐng
Transportation in Chinese – Trains
Not quite on the road (or the air or water for that matter) so we’ve given trains their own category.
- Train – 火车 huǒchē
Train is a hugely useful word. If you are coming to China chances are you’ll be taking a train of sorts so you’ll need to find the train station.
Train Station in Chinese – 火车站 huǒchē zhàn
There’s of course different types of train as well. The fast train you take from Beijing to Shanghai is not the same as the Metro you take underground.
Likewise the sleeper/slow train also differs so we’ve got some more to learn, but don’t worry, it’s all nice and easy!
- Metro/Underground/Subway – 地铁 dìtiě
IMPORTANT NOTE – If you are in mainland China you’ll use 地铁 dìtiě but if you are in TAIWAN 地铁 dìtiě isn’t actually used but 捷运 jié yùn instead.
I made the mistake of asking for a 地铁 dìtiě ticket, upon landing in Taipei for the first ever time. I was corrected accordingly. I then shared my story with the teachers at LTL Taiwan upon arriving, needless to say I was the butt of the jokes for that day.
LESSON OF THE DAY – Learn from other people’s mistakes!
- Fast/Bullet Train – 高铁 gāotiě
- Hard Sleeper Train – 硬卧 yìng wò
- Soft Sleeper Train – 软卧 ruǎn wò
Transportation in Chinese – Others
Think we’ve nailed them all down yet? Not quite!
Hold fire for a few final methods of transportation we want to teach you! There’s a reason why we’re the best Mandarin teachers after all!
OK, ready for the final hurdle?
- Golf Cart – 高尔夫球车 gāo’ěrfū qiú chē
- Golf in Chinese is 高尔夫 so this is literally “Golf Ball Vehicle“.
- Tank – 坦克 tǎnkè
- Super simple to remember as the pronunciation is almost the same as the English.
- Tractor – 拖拉机 tuōlājī
- Literally “Drag Pull Machine“
- Notice how the characters for drag and pull use the hand radical. All makes sense the more you learn! To find out more about what a radical is, check out our Chinese radicals post.
There we have it a complete selection of 37 words to win at Transport in Chinese!
Remember these keywords and you are half way there:
- 车 – Vehicle/Car
- 飞 – Fly
- 站 – Station
- 船 – Boat
It’s really not as hard as it looks! Don’t forget to save our flashcards and use them to help you.
What’s your favourite type of transport? Can you tell us in the comments how you get to work/school each day?
Did we miss any out? Tell us and we’ll include them for you!
Transport in Chinese – FAQ’s
交通运输 jiāotōng yùnshū
Travel in Chinese is 旅游 lǚ yóu or 旅行 lǚ xíng – both mean the same.
地铁 dìtiě, or in Taiwan you should use 捷运 jié yùn
魔法地毯 mófǎ dìtǎn
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