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Christa

Turn left / Turn right - 向左轉/向右轉 or 向左拐/向右拐?

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Christa

Hi guys,

 

I've heard more than one way over the years for saying turn left or turn right when giving directions in Chinese.

 

The main two constructions are these: 向左轉/向右轉 (xiàng zuǒ zhuǎn / xiàng yòu zhuǎn) and 向左拐/向右拐 (xiàng zuǒ guǎi / xiàng yòu guǎi).

 

I'm wondering, are both ways of saying this, using 轉 (zhuǎn) and 拐 (guǎi) equally familiar and comprehensible to you?

 

Thanks,

 

 

Christina

 

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Publius

Where is my vegetable...:roll:

 

And yes to your question.

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abcdefg

I routinely hear and use both (Kunming.)

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Christa
5 minutes ago, Publius said:

Where is my vegetable...:roll:

 

 

Indeed.

 

"Where is my white vegetable?"

 

"Your what?

 

"My Shanghai white vegetable?"

 

"Ugghh?"

 

"My oily vegetable... erm green river vegetable... my erm...?"

 

Self-immolates in despair.

 

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Christa

And is using 向 (xiàng) as acceptable to you as using 往(wǎng) to begin this type of sentence?

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Publius
18 minutes ago, Christa said:

And is using 向 (xiàng) as acceptable to you as using 往(wǎng) to begin this type of sentence?

No difference.

 

If you'd like some regional flavor with your directions... Beijing natives like to use absolute or compass directions (north, east, south, west) instead of relative directions (left, right, forward, backward). That works only in old Beijing though. The city is square. The streets are straight. You can always tell which way you are facing, like an emperor.

Sometimes it leads to hilarious conversations such as

——您哪條腿傷了?

——南邊那條。

(True experience)

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Christa
6 hours ago, Publius said:

——您哪條腿傷了?

——南邊那條。

 

 

Okay, that's weird.

 

No wonder so many Chinese courses I've listened to have the speakers telling one another to go north, south, east, west etc. I've often thought, when listening, that I normally have no clue which direction the points of the compass are on.

 

I suppose they must be written by Beijingers.

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roddy

It's also extremely common to have points of compass in street names. 西直门北大街 runs north of Xizhimen, etc.

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Lu
47 minutes ago, Christa said:

I've often thought, when listening, that I normally have to clue which direction the points of the compass are on.

In Beijing, I almost always knew exactly where south was, and if I didn't it was indicated on the street signs. It's a very convenient city in that respect.

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Shelley

I have found that this North, South, East and West form of giving directions happens in other cities, New York I remember uses it and the streets are named things like green st. west and you are told to take the southbound subway to this or that station. New yorkers give directions in the same way go north till you get to 43st turn west for 3 blocks and there you are. (all names are fictitious)

 

I have noticed in many other places too, it does tend to be large cities built on a grid like New York or Beijing.

 

I find this difficult to use, I am a left right person, but I do have an unerring sense of direction, if I have seen my destination on a map I can tell that I am going in the wrong direction and so when the roads don't follow a straight line to my destination I often get this sense of foreboding as we appear to veer away from it.

 

I know where east is from my seat as I type but I find it hard on a large scale to preserve my orientation. As we wiggle and turn through the streets of the city I lose the direction of east.

 

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Bao

Yeah, I'm originally from New York and we have no problem with NSEW thanks to the grids.

 

3 hours ago, Lu said:

In Beijing, I almost always knew exactly where south was, and if I didn't it was indicated on the street signs. It's a very convenient city in that respect.

 

Am I remembering wrong or don't all Chinese cities have this? Even most little towns.

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imron
5 hours ago, Publius said:

Beijing natives like to use absolute or compass directions (north, east, south, west) instead of relative directions (left, right, forward, backward). That works only in old Beijing though. The city is square. The streets are straight. You can always tell which way you are facing, like an emperor.

This is one of the things I loved about Beijing.  I've never had that anywhere else I've lived.

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abcdefg
11 hours ago, Bao said:

Am I remembering wrong or don't all Chinese cities have this? Even most little towns.

 

Cities that grew gradually larger and larger without a master plan have lots of streets that curved around original terrain features or forked left and right in an irregular manner. Kunming is that way. Street names may still have a "compass direction part" such as Renmin East Road 人民东路 and East Wind West Road 东风西路,but that doesn't mean those roads are straight. Often far from it.

 

When Kunming built a new development to the south, five or six years ago at least partly from scratch, to house city government and most of its universities, they laid out the streets in a more orderly manner. That is Chenggong 呈贡区, aka "the new city."

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sywi

向左轉/向右轉and 向左拐/向右拐  They mean the same thing. Just 拐 tend to be used during the oral conversation and people from the North China. But even if you use 轉 is still totally fine.

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