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Lesson Transcript

Becky: Hi everyone. I’m Becky. Welcome back to VietnamesePod101.com This is the Absolute Beginner series, Season 1, Lesson 14 - Taking a Taxi in Vietnam.
Huyen: Xin chào! I’m Huyen.
Becky: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to make a polite request in Vietnamese. The conversation takes place on the street, and is between Minh and the taxi driver.
Huyen: They’re meeting for the first time, so they’ll be using formal Vietnamese.
Becky: Let’s listen to the conversation.
Minh: Tắc xi!
Taxi driver: Cô muốn đi đâu ạ?
Minh: Làm ơn đưa tôi tới phố cổ.
Taxi: Vâng, mời cô lên xe.
(Mười phút sau)
Minh: Làm ơn cho tôi xuống đây. Bao nhiêu tiền ạ?
Taxi driver: Hai mươi nghìn.
Minh: Gửi anh.
Taxi driver: Cảm ơn.
Minh: Taxi!
Taxi driver: Where do you want to go, Miss?
Minh: Please take me to the Old Quarter.
Taxi: Okay, please get in.
(10 minutes later)
Minh: Please let me get off here. How much is it?
Taxi driver: Twenty thousand.
Minh: Here you are.
Taxi driver: Thank you.
Becky: Huyen, could you tell our listeners something about the Old Quarter in Vietnam?
Huyen: Sure. The Old Quarter is a must-see tourist destination, that’s in the center of Ha Noi, the capital city.
Becky: What’s special about this place is that it has the unique architecture of the old Ha Noi. It’s also called the “36-street area”, isn’t it?
Huyen: Right. The quarter contains 36 small streets and is a very exciting shopping area. Each street specializes in selling particular kinds of goods.
Becky: And the street name describes the goods that are being sold. It sounds interesting, and I’m sure our listeners will find a lot of nice items there when they visit!
Huyen: Definitely. You’ll see a lot of traditional Vietnam when you walk around this area.
Becky: We hope you have a chance to go there one day, listeners. Okay, now let’s move on to the vocab.
Becky: Let’s take a closer look at some of the words and phrases from this lesson. The first word is...
Huyen: ...Tới.
Becky: In this lesson, this word is used as a preposition meaning “to” in the sentence...
Huyen: Làm ơn đưa tôi tới phố cổ.
Becky: “Please take me to the Old Quarter.” However, this word can also be used as a verb meaning “to arrive” or “to go to”. Let’s hear some examples.
Huyen: Sáng nay tôi tới trường muộn.
Becky: “I went to school late this morning.”
Huyen: Tắc xi tới rồi.
Becky: “The taxi has arrived.” Next is a pair of prepositions.
Huyen: Lên and Xuống
Becky: This is very commonly used. They respectively mean “up” and “down”. When used with a vehicle, they respectively mean “get on” and “get off”. To say to get on a bus, car, or bike, use...
Huyen: Lên xe.
Becky: To mean “get on a train”, you say...
Huyen: Lên tàu.
Becky: On the contrary, to get off a bus, car, or bike is...
Huyen: ...Xuống xe.
Becky: And “get off a train” is...
Huyen: ...Xuống tàu.
Becky: This pair of words is sometimes used alone without an object. It’s when you know exactly what vehicle you are talking about.
Becky: For example, when a taxi driver opens the door and tells the passenger...
Huyen: ...Mời anh lên (male version) or Mời chị lên…(female version)
Becky: ...it means “please get in”. When a passenger is in a vehicle and wants to get off, he or she can just say...
Huyen: Cho tôi xuống đây.
Becky: “Let me get off here.” Okay, now onto the grammar.
Becky: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to make a polite request in Vietnamese. In the dialogue, we had...
Huyen: ...Làm ơn đưa tôi tới phố cổ.
Becky: “Please take me to the Old Quarter.” The request starts with...
Huyen: ...Làm ơn, which means “please”, followed by the main verb.
Becky: In our sentence, the main verb is “to take me”, so the speaker says...
Huyen: ...Làm ơn đưa tôi....
Becky: Then the object, which is a location.
Huyen: ...tới phố cổ.
Becky: “to the Old Quarter”. The whole request again is...
Huyen: ...Làm ơn đưa tôi tới phố cổ.
Becky: So basically, to make a polite request in Vietnamese, start with…
Huyen: ...làm ơn…
Becky: ...meaning “please”, followed by the main verb. Then add…
Huyen: ...tôi or cho tôi…
Becky: ...meaning “me” or “for me”, and finally add an object if necessary. Huyen, could you give our listeners some more examples?
Huyen: Sure. In the dialogue we also have the request Làm ơn cho tôi xuống đây.
Becky: “Please let me get off here.” Let’s hear some examples in other situations.
Huyen: Làm ơn bán cho tôi 2 vé tàu đi Hà Nội.
Becky: This request literally means “Please sell me two train tickets to Ha Noi.”
Huyen: Làm ơn chỉ đường cho tôi tới phố cổ.
Becky: “Please show me the direction to the Old Quarters.”
Huyen: Làm ơn giúp tôi.
Becky: “Please help me.” Listeners, have you got the gist of the grammar point in this lesson? We hope you’ll be able to make simple requests in Vietnamese after this lesson!
Huyen: And you can always review what we have learned, by reading the lesson notes.


Becky: Ok, that’s all for this lesson. Thanks for listening, and see you next time.
Huyen: Tạm biệt.