Back to Silas S. Brown's home page

English phrases for tourists

When an elderly Chinese friend showed me an Android "tourist phrasebook" application that someone in China had installed on his phone, and asked me if I'm able to install it on a tablet, I found that the application, which was called 旅行翻译官 (lǚxíng fānyìguān, “travel translation-officer”), was said to "need" access to the following: the list of other applications running on the device, the browsing history, bookmarks, accounts, profile data, contacts, the ability to make phone calls, the call log, all files, storage card, microphone, Wi-Fi information, the phone number, and the numbers of any phone calls that connect. Since I couldn't imagine any legitimate reason why that phrasebook would need any of those things, I'm forced to conclude that this is either very sloppy programming ("just require everything because I can't be bothered to work out what I actually need") or a blatant attempt to install "spyware" on the phone (don't people read these things before they press the "OK" button?) I therefore informed him of the application's requirement to access the phone calls, whereupon he requested I remove it from his phone, which I did. He then asked me to install an alternative.

While I have mixed feelings about lists of "phrases for tourists" (which are not meant for serious learning, and typically lack the phrases you really want and cannot be accessed quickly enough in an emergency), I nonetheless felt that, since I had (albeit with good intentions) persuaded this man to discard a piece of software, and not because he shouldn't be wanting that type of software in the first place, I therefore 'ought' to find him a replacement. As I was not able to find and download one that I could genuinely recommend, I said I'd go and knock one up myself.

To install this on Android, download EnglishPhrases.apk (you might need to enable "Unknown Sources" in Application Settings or Security). Below is a Web version (click for audio).


礼貌 / Politeness

礼貌Politeness
不好意思Sorry
对不起Excuse me
请问...May I ask...

路上方向 / Directions

路上方向Directions
能不能请给我路上方向到最附近的...Can you give me directions to the nearest...
药房pharmacy
厕所toilet
邮局post office
邮箱postbox
文具商店stationery shop
地图map
公共汽车站bus stop
长途汽车站coach stop
火车站railway station
地铁站Undergroud station
超级市场supermarket
银行bank
自动柜员机cash machine
咖啡馆coffee shop
旅游信息中心tourist information centre
图书馆library

买东西 / Shopping

买东西Shopping
多少钱How much is it?
我钱不够I don't have enough money.
你有没有...Do you have...
雨伞umbrellas
钢笔pens
铅笔pencils
纸张paper
明信片postcards
问候卡greeting cards
邮票postage stamps
外套coats
鞋子shoes
裤子trousers
地图maps

吃饭 / Eating

吃饭Eating
那适合吃素的人吗Is it vegetarian?
请给我自来水而已Just tap water please
你们有没有比较安静的地方?Do you have a quieter place?
可不可以调低那音乐的音量?Can you turn down the volume on that music?

运输 / Transport

运输Transport
哪里有时间表Where's the timetable?
哪里有路线地图Where's the route map?
我要去...I need to go to ...
我需要上几号车?Which bus should I take?
单程票是多少钱?How much is a single ticket?
来回票是多少钱?How much is a return ticket?
日票是多少钱?How much is an all-day ticket?
一星期的票是多少钱?How much is an all-week ticket?
非高峰票是多少钱?How much is an off-peak ticket?
非高峰时期是几点钟到几点钟?What are the off-peak hours?
这是最便宜的票吗?Is this the cheapest ticket?
回去的公共汽车站也是这一站吗?Is it this stop to go back as well?

因特网 / Internet

因特网Internet
这里有没有Wi-Fi?Is there Wi-Fi here?
能给我这里的Wi-Fi密码吗May I have the Wi-Fi password?
你的Wi-Fi有限度吗?Does your Wi-Fi have limits?
我能做个录像通话吗?May I make a video call?
我能做个语音通话吗?May I make a voice call?
最附近的Wi-Fi在哪里?Where's the nearest place I can get Wi-Fi?
我不用网吧I don't use Internet cafés.
网吧有太多恶意软件Internet cafés have too much malware.

电话 / Telephone

电话Telephone
最附近的公共电话在哪里?Where's the nearest public telephone?
我能给某人打电话吗?May I make a telephone call?
哪里能做便宜的国际电话?Where can I make cheap international phone calls?
便宜的时间是几点钟到几点钟?What time of day is cheapest?
哪里能买SIM卡?Where can I buy a SIM card?
哪个手机网罗在这个地区有最好的信号?Which mobile network has the best signal in this area?
那个手机网罗能不能在这个地区楼房里面连通?Does that mobile network provide indoor coverage here?
请帮我取消留言服务Please help me turn off voicemail. [for use when standard GSM code ##002# doesn't work]
我真的不要留言服务I really don't want voicemail.
我知道你的工作包括说服顾客接受留言服务而这样增加你公司的利润,但我真的不要I know your job involves persuading customers to accept voicemail to increase your revenue from termination rates, but I really don't want it.
我不要强迫朋友付钱而没有连通I don't want my friends to pay money without being connected.
如果我的朋友真的想留言他们可以发短信If my friends really want to leave a message, they can send me a text.
手机公司自动再次打开留言服务,请帮我再次取消The phone company has turned voicemail back on by itself, please help me turn it off again.
能帮我调整这个手机的时钟吗?Can you help me set the time on this phone?

数目 / Numbers

数目Numbers
1one
2two
3three
4four
5five
6six
7seven
8eight
9nine
10ten
11eleven
12twelve
13thirteen
14fourteen
15fifteen
16sixteen
17seventeen
18eighteen
19nineteen
20twenty
30thirty
40forty
50fifty
60sixty
70seventy
80eighty
90ninety
100a hundred
101a hundred and one
200two hundred
1000a thousand
10000ten thousand
100000a hundred thousand
1000000a million
圆周率3.14159...

星期和月 / Weeks and months

星期和月Weeks and months
星期一Monday
星期二Tuesday
星期三Wednesday
星期四Thursday
星期五Friday
星期六Saturday
星期日Sunday
1月January
2月February
3月March
4月April
5月May
6月June
7月July
8月August
9月September
10月October
11月November
12月December
去年last year
今年this year
明年next year

All material © Silas S. Brown unless otherwise stated.
Android is a trademark of Google LLC.
Wi-Fi is a trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance.
Any other trademarks I mentioned without realising are trademarks of their respective holders.