Mar 1, 2010

McDonald's Mandarin lesson

Here's some handy Chinese to help you while you're ordering at McDonald's in Beijing.

(Don't pretend you're too authentic and local to eat at McDonald's. We all go there. I'm usually there once or twice a week myself.)

Here's the McDonald's phrase of the day:
  • In the US you say: "Supersized Double Cheeseburger value meal for here"
  • In Beijing, you would say this as: "双吉套餐。大号。在这儿吃。" (shuāng jí tàocān. dàhào. zài zhèr chī.)
Memorize that one so you can say it with speed and accuracy. Make sure you pause for half a second where I put periods, otherwise the cashier might not parse your sentence properly.

Don't be the laowai pointing at the picture menu and spitting out zhe ge zhe ge ("this one, this one") and nei ge nei ge ("that one, that one"). Be the smooth connoisseur of fast food who knows exactly what he wants, and order it with no hesitation.

Remember that in Beijing McDonald's and KFC, the bulk of the cashiers are real, local Beijingers, that usually speak proper Mandarin and Beijing-hua, so you've got a real chance to improve your pronunciation and accuracy every time you're in there.

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