Come and claim your bike – Beginner Chinese

The following photo is of an actual police notice in Taiwan regarding a stolen bicylce that was found in the area. The notice requests that the owner of the bicycle should come forth and claim it. Within the notice are a lot of words relating to criminal investigations and theft, making it very useful for learning some new vocabulary.

Stolen Bicylce Recovered

Vocabulary

Some words of note that aren’t specific to criminal investigation and that are very common for describing place and purpose are 於(于),在此處(在此处)and 為(为), so these have been listed first. You’ll find these words used all over the place so it’s worth remembering how to use them.

於(于)

Pinyin:
English: on; at; in

在此處(在此处)

Pinyin: zài cǐ chù
English: here; at 在 this 此 place 处. 此 literally means ‘this’ and is used just as the English would be, though is usually only seen in written form or formal speech.

為(为)

Pinyin: wèi
English: for the purpose of

警方(警方)

Pinyin: jǐng fāng
English: the police

查獲(查获)

Pinyin: chá huò
English: to track down; to investigate and recover

失竊(失窃)

Pinyin: shī qiè
English: stolen; to lose by theft

刑案(刑案)

Pinyin: xíng àn
English: criminal case

偵辦(侦办)

Pinyin: zhēn bàn
English: investigation

車主(车主)

Pinyin: chē zhŭ
English: vehicle owner 主人 (zhŭ rén)

本所(本所)

Pinyin: běn suǒ
English: Though not a specific phrase this warrants explaining. 本 refers to ‘this’ or something belonging to the writer, while 所 is short for 派出所 (police station). So the literal translation of this is something like ‘this station’ or ‘our station’ referring to the station of the officer who wrote the notice.

認領(认领)

Pinyin: rèn lǐng
English: to claim ownership; to claim and identify

Traditional

警方於99年12月17日上午09時25分,在此處所查獲失竊腳踏車乙輛,為刑案之偵辦,請車主前來本所認領。

Simplified

警方于99年12月17日上午09时25分,在此处所查获失窃乙脚踏车乙辆,为刑案之侦办,请车主前来本所认领。

Pinyin

jǐng fāng yú 99 nián 12 yuè 17 rì shàng wŭ 09 shí 25 fēn, zài cǐ chŭ suǒ chá huò shī qiè yǐ jiǎo tà chē yǐ liàng, wèi xíng àn zhī zhēn bàn, qǐng chē zhŭ qián lái běn suǒ rèn lǐng.

English

A police investigation in this area on the 12th of December, 99 at 9.25am recovered a stolen bicycle, for the purposes of the criminal case investigation can the owner of the bicycle please come to the station to claim it.

Can you help?

Something which I’m not sure is a typographical error, is the usage of 乙 in the above notice. My thinking is that this should be 一輛 and not 乙輛, but if you know different please post below!

3 responses to “Come and claim your bike – Beginner Chinese

  1. Nice post Dave. I thought the 乙 was unexpected too, so did some digging and found this explanation:

    在中国历来公文中,“乙”被用作“一”的替代字,原因是“一”字很容易遭到篡改。例如,乙事、乙册、乙类和乙种,意思就是一事、一册、一类和一种。现在在中国大陆并不这么用。

    So 乙 is used to prevent people fraudulently altering 一 in official notices, but this is no longer done in the mainland.

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