This dialogue takes place between Jeremy, an English-speaking man in China on a business trip, and a Receptionist at Garden Hotel in Dalian.
Listen to Dialogue
Receptionist (接待员): 先生您好，欢迎来到花园酒店。我能为您做点什么吗？[Hello and welcome to Garden Hotel. What can I do for you?]
Jeremy: Hello. I was just wondering if you had any vacancies? [您好，我想问一下您这儿还有没有空房？]
Receptionist (接待员): 请问，您预订了吗？ [May I ask, have you made a reservation?]
Jeremy: I didn’t have time. My employer arranged a hotel for me in Shenyang, but they scheduled an emergency meeting in Dalian for tonight, so here I am. So, do you have any rooms or not? [我没来得及预定。我老板在沈阳给我订了房，但是他们安排今晚在大连召开紧急会议，所以我就过来了。那，您这儿还有房吗?
Receptionist (接待员): 有的，有的，不过，因为这几天有个大型国际会议，房紧得要命。[We do, we do, but the hotel’s quite tight at the moment. There has been a big, international conference going on over the past few days.)
Jeremy: Oh. No wonder I couldn’t find any rooms before. I went looking around the CBD today but had no luck. Well, I’m by myself, and I’m not terribly picky, so I can just make do with whatever you have on offer. [这样噢。难怪我之前找不到任何空房，我今天去市中心转了一圈，但是运气不好，没找到房。我是一个人住，而且也不是很挑剔，所以你们能提供的任何房我都可以凑合着住。]
Receptionist (接待员): 别凑合吧，出门在外，怎么也得住舒服了。三楼套间怎么样？里边睡觉，外面会客办公。[Don’t just make do – when you travel, travel in comfort. How about a suite on the third floor? You can sleep inside, and meet people and do business outside.]
Jeremy: That sounds good, but what about the price? How much for a night? [听起来还不错，但是价格怎样呢？住一晚多少钱？]
Receptionist (接待员): 不贵，才800。您先上楼看看去就知道有多值了。猛一看简直就和总统套房一模一样。[It’s not expensive, only 800. If you go take a look at it now you can see how good it is. It looks just like a presidential suite.]
Jeremy: My God! 800? Even in yuan… that’s not exactly a bargain! This is not my first rodeo you know. I’ve been travelling around China for the past six months on business trips. Excuse my bluntness, but I know when I’m being ripped off. [天哪！800？虽然按人民币来算，这也绝不是优惠价啊！这并不是我第一次在中国住酒店。我过去六个月都在中国各地出差。请原谅我说话说的直，但是我知道我肯定被你宰了。]
Receptionist (接待员): 这房您要是不要，可就真得凑合了。一楼楼梯拐角那儿有一间标准间，便宜，240一天。您还真幸运，会议把一楼都包了，就剩下这一间。[If you don’t want the quality room, then you’ll really just have to make do. By the corner of the first floor staircase there’s a standard room. It’s cheap – just 240 a day. You’re really lucky – the conference rented the entire first floor and left only this room.]
Jeremy: Ah, and why didn’t they take this room? [那他们为什么不要这间房呢？]
Receptionist (接待员): 其实也没什么，他们是鸡蛋里桃骨头，非嫌对面有个厕所不可，说是味儿太冲。要我说，门关严了，哪儿闻得着什么味儿呀？[No reason. They were just nitpicking and didn’t like the bathroom across the hallway. They said it’s too smelly. If you ask me, if you shut the door, how can you possibly smell anything?]
Jeremy: Well I’m hardly gonna take a room that someone else has rejected. Anyway I’m a pretty light sleeper – if there’s some stench in the room it’s gonna be hard for me to get to get a good night’s sleep. I got an early start tomorrow, and a massive list of errands to run. What other rooms are available? [好吧，我不太想要一间别人嫌弃过的房间。不管怎样，我睡得很浅，如果房间有臭味，那我肯定是很难睡个好觉的。明天我还要早起，还有很多任务要完成。你们这儿还有其他空房吗？]
Receptionist (接待员): 您看看，房这么紧，您还这么挑，好的不要，便宜的您又嫌不好。得，顾客是上帝，我再给您找找。嘿，您的福气真不错，楼顶上还有一间255的。[See here, with so few rooms left you’re still being picky. You didn’t want the good room, and you didn’t want the cheap one. Well, customers are always right; I’ll look again for you. Eh, you really are lucky – there’s another room for 255 on the top floor.]
Jeremy: What was wrong with this room that it wasn’t rented out before? [这间房没有人订是因为有什么毛病吗？]
Receptionist (接待员): 瞧您这话说的！我们这儿是星级旅馆，哪能靠有毛病的房赚钱呢！这房朝西，稍微有点儿西晒。关上窗帘儿，空调一开，一觉睡到天亮，保您什么都觉不出来。[Now look what you said! We are a star-class hotel here, how can we make money on sub-par rooms? This room faces west; it gets a little more sun. Close the drapes, turn on the air conditioning, and you’ll sleep the whole night through. I guarantee it.]
Jeremy: OK. That one will do. Thank you. [好的。就要这间了。谢谢。]
Dialogue adapted for educational purposes from the excellent textbook Streetwise Mandarin Chinese by Rongrong Liao, David Y. Dai and Jack Franke.