Mandarin-English Dialogue #19 – Suspicious Fire


Mrs Liu, a Mandarin-speaking woman, has been called in to take an interview with Victoria Police regarding a fire that broke out at her workplace, Chaochao Grocery, in Richmond.


Listen to Dialogue

Mandarin-English Dialogue #19 – Suspicious Fire


Rice: G’day, how’s it goin’? I’m Detective Inspector Gary Rice from Victoria Police. Please take a seat. (你好。我是加里·赖斯探长,来自维多利亚警局。请坐。)

Liu: 谢谢您,探长先生。[Thank you Detective.]

Rice: OK, so we’ve read through the statement you made with us on 12 July and we have a couple of questions we’d like to go through. (我们已经读了你在7月12号所提供的证词。我们有一些问题想要问你。)


For the purposes of the recording, I’d like to confirm your name and address. On the statement you wrote Unit 14 but I don’t think that’s right, is it? (由于需要录音,我要确认一些你的名字和住址。在你的证词上,你写的是14单元。这不对吧,不是吗?)

Liu: 恩,好的。我的名字叫刘霞,我住在Box Hill, Davidson路, 16号, 是5单元,不是14单元。[Ah, OK. My name is Liu Xia. I live at 16 Davidson Street, Box Hill. At unit number 5, not 14.]

Rice: Cheers for that. Ah… let’s see. Here it says that your son Yudong attends a high school near your workplace. Which one is that, sorry? You didn’t mention the name in your original statement. (这就对了。这儿显示说你儿子于东的高中离你工作的地方很近。请问是哪所高中?你在最初的证词中没有提到。)

Liu: 让我想一下。。。Richmond高中。从超超杂货店步行三十分钟就到了。[Let me think… Richmond High School. It’s a thirty minute walk from Chaochao Grocery.]

Rice: OK. I see. And can you please confirm with me where Yudong was when the fire broke out at the grocery? (我知道了。你能告诉我杂货店发生火灾时,你儿子在哪吗?)

Liu: 他在他老外的朋友Sarah家呆着。我已经在陈述中说明了。[He was at his local friend Sarah’s. I already explained that in my statement.]

Rice: Yes, I know. However we spoke to Sarah’s parents early this morning and they informed us that she had been in Geelong since Monday this week… something about a gymnastics tournament… (是的,我知道。但是我们和萨拉的父母谈过了,她们告诉我们从这周周一开始,萨拉就一直在吉朗。为了体操锦标赛什么的。)


Sarah’s mother who was home the afternoon of the fire said she didn’t see Yudong at all that day. Obviously, something is not quite right here. (发生火灾的那天下午,萨拉的母亲就在家里,她说她那一天都没看到于东。很显然,有不对劲的地方。)

Liu: 哎呀!您是说于东对我撒了谎 ?于东可是个好孩子啊,他是不会做那样的事的![Oh my God! Are you saying Yudong lied to me about this? He is such a good boy, he would never do such a thing!]

Rice: Mrs Liu, this is not the first time that a teenage boy has lied to his parents about his whereabouts. Don’t worry, we’re not saying that he’s up to no good, but we will need to speak to him directly to get to the bottom of this. (刘女士,青少年向父母谎报自己行踪的情况可不少见。别担心,我们不是说他一定做了坏事。但是我们还是需要直接和他谈谈,以弄清楚情况。)

Liu: 这个当然。一个小时后学校就放学了,到时候我会去接他,然后把他带到这儿来。探长先生,我能问一下,你们调查出来火灾的原因了吗? [Of course. School will be finished in the next hour, I will go get him and bring him back here. Detective Inspector, may I ask, have you found out what caused the fire yet?]

Rice: Yeah, I was about to get to that. We received the forensics report earlier. It appears the cause of the fire was not as straight-forward as we had originally thought. (我们就要查到了。早些时候我们收到了法医报告。看起来火灾的原因不像我们早先想的那样简单。)

Liu: 您的意思是说加热器不是造成事故的原因? [You mean the heater was not the cause?]

Rice: No. Although the heater was placed in a precarious position at the back of the store our tests confirm that it cannot have been the cause of the fire. (是的。尽管商店后面的加热器所在的位置比较危险,但是调查结果显示它不是火灾的原因。)


That being said, it’s obvious that the gas tank was a major contributor, and its explosion would have allowed the fire to continue on as badly as it did. (尽管如此,很显然煤气罐使火势更大了。它的爆炸加剧了火势。)

Liu: 那到底是什么引起了这场火灾? [Then what actually caused the fire?]

Rice: So far we have nothing concrete. Y’see, when it comes to fire investigations, even the basic question of whether a crime has been committed is difficult to answer. (目前我们还没有确凿的证据。在调查失火案时,就连是否是有人故意纵火这样最基本的问题都难以解决。)


This is because any evidence of arson is often destroyed during the fire itself. (因为纵火证据本身在大火中都被毁掉了。)

Liu: 那您真的认为可能是有人故意放火的吗? [Do you really think someone might have deliberately lit the fire?]

Rice: We can’t rule out anything at this stage. I recommend we take a break now, and resume later this arvo with your son in the interview room. We have many more questions to go through. (现阶段我们不能排除任何一种可能性。我建议现在先休息,等你的儿子下午来了之后,我们再继续。我们有很多问题要问。)

Liu: 那好吧。谢谢您,探长先生!我会尽全力协助您的调查的。再见![OK. Thank you Detective. I will do everything I can to help you with this investigation. See you soon.]

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