Mandarin-English Dialogue #20 – Looking for an Apartment


A business man named Mr Brown has just moved to Beijing and is looking for a new house to rent. He is having a discussion with Mrs Lu, a Mandarin-speaking real estate agent.


Listen to Dialogue

Mandarin-English Dialogue #20 – Looking for an Apartment


Lu: 您好,有什么可以帮到您的吗? [Hello, how can I help you today?]

Brown: Hello. My name’s Gary Brown. Nice to meet you. I’ve just moved to the area and I’m looking for an apartment to rent. I’ve been trawling through online classifieds but haven’t had much luck, so I’ve come here to ask your help. (您好。我叫加里布朗。很高兴见到您。我刚搬到这一带,想要租个公寓。我已经在网上搜集过很多广告了,但是运气不好没找到满意的。所以我来这儿看您能不能帮上忙。)

Lu: 我也很高兴认识你,布朗先生。那么你想住在北京的哪一块儿呢? [It’s nice to meet you too, Mr Brown. So, what part of Beijing would you like to live in?]

Brown: Well, I’m starting my new job as a DJ for Tango Club in Chaoyang district, so I would like to get a place relatively close to my workplace and the subway. (我刚找了个新工作,在朝阳区的糖果俱乐部做 DJ,我想找离我工作的地方以及地铁站都比较近的公寓。)

Lu: 嗯,是啊,我知道这个俱乐部,很受外国人的欢迎。来,您看看这份传单,上面列出了目前朝阳区可以租的房子。您想住几间卧室的呢?有什么特殊需要吗?[Ah, yes, I know that club. Very popular with foreigners. Here, have a look at this leaflet, it lists all the properties currently available in Chaoyang. How many bedrooms would you like? Do you have any special requirements?]

Brown: I’ll be moving in with my partner. He’s a chef so I’ll be looking for a place with a decent-sized kitchen, as well as an extractor fan. A one-bedroom or studio apartment would be fine, but I’m open to two- or even three-bedroom apartments if they’re available. (我男朋友要和我一起住。他是个厨师,所以我想找间厨房比较大的公寓,还要有排气扇。一居室就行。但是如果有两居室或三居室的话也行。)

Lu: 我知道很多外国人都不喜欢蹲式廁所,对吧?嗯,您看第四页,上面是位于光华路目前可以租的房子。附带英文翻译。我认为这些都很适合您。光华路522号的14号公寓特宽敞。还有个大阳台呢。[I know a lot of foreigners don’t like squat toilets, right? Hmm. Have a look on page 4, it lists information about properties currently available on Guanghua Road. There is also an English translation. I think any one of them would suit you. Apartment 14 on 522 Guanghua Road is particularly spacious, and includes a large balcony.]

Brown: I see that’s a one-bedroom place. You guys are asking 3000 yuan a month. Well, that’s way out of my budget. I know it’s Spring Festival, and a lot of landlords are jacking up the prices, but 3000 yuan… just ridiculous! (那是个一居室。你们要3000块一个月。这个价格超出了我的预算。我知道现在是春节,很多房东都在涨房租,但是3000块……也太夸张了。)

Lu: 朝阳区的价格贵,这是肯定的。但是您看下755号这间,才2200元而且刚刚装修过,里面还有壁炉呢。 [Chaoyang is an expensive district, that’s for sure. But have a look at the one on 755. Only 2200 yuan and it’s recently renovated. It even has a fireplace.]

Brown: Hmm. Well, I noticed the kitchen’s pretty big too. Ah, does it have any amenities? (嗯。我注意到厨房倒是很大。有什么配套设施?)

Lu: 有空调,健身房和洗衣房。无线网络也包含在内的。[It has air-conditioning, a gym and a laundry. Wireless Internet is also included.]

Brown: When was the building built? I rented an apartment in Macau last year that was built somewhere in the 80s. I had to deal with bugs, a dodgy smell in the room and an elevator that only worked until midnight. You can imagine coming home after a night shift and having to walk 10 flights of stairs. That was really not fun! (那栋楼是什么时候建成的?我去年在澳门租了一间80年代建成的公寓。又有虫子,又有怪味,电梯一到半夜就不开了。想象一下,下了夜班,回到家还要爬10段楼梯。太糟糕了。)

Lu: 这没问题的。这楼是2001年建成的,电梯一周七天24小时运行。[That won’t be a problem. This building was built in 2001, and the elevator runs 24/7.]

Brown: Well that’s good. Well I’m guessing, then, that the utilities bills are extra? And how about the bond? How much is that? (那倒不错。我猜水电费是要另付的吧?押金是多少?)

Lu: 对,房客需要自己负担水电煤的费用。傍金的话,相当于三个月的租金,还有一个月的押金,签字的时候交。这在中国是约定俗成的。[That’s right, tenants pay for their own electricity, water and gas. As for bond, it’s 3 months rent plus one month security deposit when you sign. This is standard practice all over China.]


不管怎样,我认为这间公寓和它旁边的这间都很适合您。这两间公寓都有大厨房,里面有四眼灶台和烤箱。我跟您说,布朗先生,在北京这样的条件很难得的。[Anyway, I think both this one and the apartment next to it would suit you. Both of them have big kitchens with four gas burners and an oven. Let me tell you, Mr Brown, these kind of facilities in Beijing are a rare find.]

Brown: OK, that sounds fine. I’ll be happy to organise an inspection for whenever the landlord is free. (听上去不错。只要房东有空,我随时都愿意去看房子。)

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