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Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by wishonatrish, May 7, 2014.

  1. wishonatrish Junior Member


    what is the meaning of the phrase "打听个道儿"?

    Context: "哎, 哥们,打听个道儿,赌场怎么走啊?"

    Is the translation: Hey, bros/my man, listen, how do I get to the casino?
  2. wynapos New Member

    "道" means way or road.
    so the translation can be regarded as : How can I get to the.. or Which way can I go to the..or Hey, my man, Can I ask you a road?
  3. SuperXW Senior Member

    打听个道儿 Literally: (I want to) "ask a way".
    The saying is clearly in Beijing (or its nearby regions) dialect.
    In formal Chinese "asking for direction" is 问路 "asking for road". The dialect speaker would use 打听 for "ask", 道儿 for "road".
    个 is short for 一个. It's often added when people ask for "one thing" for "one time".
    Last edited: May 7, 2014
  4. nl428 New Member

    Southampton, England
    Chinese - China
    You are asking the way in Beijing dialect. But there's no casino in Beijing...
  5. SuperXW Senior Member

    Damn right, bro! :cool:
  6. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Mandarin 國語
    Since 打听 means 问 (e.g., 打听个道儿 = 问个道儿) in the Beijing dialect, can I say "老师, 我可以打听个语法问题吗?"
  7. SuperXW Senior Member

    打听 is asking for some information, but not for other questions and problems, so no~
  8. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Mandarin 國語
    Thanks, SuperXW. How about "我可以打听你的姓名/年龄吗 (= 我可以问你的姓名/年龄吗)?"
  9. SuperXW Senior Member

    Your tone is very polite and formal (我可以……姓名/年龄), but 打听 is an informal dialectic word, so, no, your sentence is too strange to ask.
    But say, you fancy a girl, then you can ask her friend: 哎!我跟你打听下她叫什么?多大?
  10. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Mandarin 國語
    Thank you, SuperXW. I still haven't figured out where 打听 can be used in the Beijing dialect. In Taiwan Mandarin, "我跟你打听下叫什么" is idiomatic, whereas "打听个道儿" sounds somewhat strange. To me, 打听 is like 探听 (查探消息 "gather information or tidings", which agrees with what you said in #7: "打听 is asking for some information, but not for other questions and problems"). 你也不去打听(= 探听)一下我張三是什么人; 想跟你打听(= 探听)件事; 四處打听(= 探听)失散妻兒的蹤影 (an example that 打听 can be used in a formal sentence). 我可以打听你的姓名吗 sounds strange because 打听 often entails secrecy (私下打听) or efforts (四處打听, 查詢探訪, to solicit, collect, accumulate, and draw conclusion). We 打听 someone's information behind his/her back or when he/she is not present.

    打听个道儿 goes against the "secrecy/effort" connotation: Asking direction is straightforward and requires little effort; and it is not a question about someone who is not present. If this connotation is absent or dispensable in the Beijing dialect, can I say "哎!我跟你打听下叫什么? 多大?"
  11. YangMuye Senior Member

    Chinese - Mandarin
    打听路 sounds good to me because the listener may not know the answer, then you have to ask the next one.
  12. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Mandarin 國語
    Then "哎, 哥们,打听个道儿,赌场怎么走啊?" = "哎, 哥们,我在打听个道儿,赌场怎么走啊?" Rather than "哎, 哥们,打听个道儿,赌场怎么走啊?" Is my interpretation correct?

    Or perhaps the speaker had gone through some trouble finding a casino in Beijing, and that's why he used the word "打听" as if it was insider information??? Perhaps the casino he was referring to is an illegal gambling den and that's why he had to "打听"??
    Last edited: May 11, 2014
  13. SuperXW Senior Member

    @Skatinginbc: 我认为你对「打听」的理解和北京人基本一致。我从一开始就将此解释为 [I want to] ask for a road,强调自己的状态。自己找路的时候,确实是在make effort,四处探访;而且多少也算是「私人问题」,因为你去哪里和别人无关,别人未必知道,你也没有公开地征求意见,所以用「打听」。

  14. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Mandarin 國語
    Maybe, although I haven't heard anyone say that to me. I would usually say, 「我不知道怎么走了,你去找人问问.」 或許在塔克拉玛干沙漠尋找吐火罗遺蹟的路上, 我会说: 「我不知道怎么走了,咱們回鎮裡打听打听.」

    「打听他的來歷」 (intelligence), 「打听通過邊境的密道」 (secret), 「打听有沒有捷徑」 (special knowledge), 「他是怎么合法賣大麻的, 咱們从他那里打听个道儿(= 门路)如何」 (insider information).

    通往某个著名地标(landmark)的道路 is usually presumed to be "general, well-known information" and thus it does not go well with 打听. Then again, after reading your explanations as well as YangMuye's, I think 打听个道儿 makes sense to me. I feel less and less about its strangeness, and it seems to be growing on me.
    Last edited: May 12, 2014
  15. SuperXW Senior Member

    可能这个词在台湾 「私下、偷偷地」询问 意味更重吧……也不用growing on you啊……:eek:
  16. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Mandarin 國語
    You may be right, SuperXW. 打听 = 打探偷聽 (醒世恆言: 「且說李都管聽得劉家喧嚷,伏在壁上打聽。」).
    By "grow on me", I mean "it becomes progressively more acceptable and pleasant to my ears".
  17. retrogradedwithwind Senior Member

  18. retrogradedwithwind Senior Member

  19. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Mandarin 國語
    Exactly. That's the "secrecy" connotation I was talking about. The second connotation comes from this interpretation: 打聽 = 打探緝聽 (= 到各方面去蒐集消息). 由於"聽"這個字, "打聽"蒐集消息或情報 (information or intelligence)而討教问题 (questions or problems, e.g., 语法问题).
  20. lingyang New Member

    Chinese- China
    学生一般不这样和老师说话的 学生只会说 老师我能问你一个语法问题吗 打听一般用于方言

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