Lesson 2: On the Field and in the Broadcast
In the previous lesson, we covered the key numbers you’ll need to know to fully enjoy a CPBL game. For Taiwan baseball vocabulary lesson 2, we’ll be learning some very high-frequency terms, meaning that you’ll hear them all the time when enjoying a CPBL broadcast. Memorize the following, and you should even be able to look away from the game and listen to it. Good luck!
Players / Positions
To learn the positions, we need to learn the word, “shǒu” / 手, which is used for players (it’s short for player, or “xuǎn shǒu” / 選手 ), and literally means “hand” or “arm”. You’ll hear it commonly in these two terms:
- Pitcher, “tóu shǒu” / 投手
- Batter / hitter, “dǎ jī shǒu” / 打擊手 (also sometimes “dǎ zhě” / 打者)
But of course, we can’t leave out the rest of the field, and this gives us the opportunity to meet two terms that we’ll hear over and over in different parts of the game, and in future lessons:
- In / inside, “nèi” / 內
- Out / outside “wài” / 外
Here, these are used as parts of the terms for infield, “nèi yě” / 內野 and outfield, “wài yě” 外野. When we add “shǒu / 手” (player) to the end of this to make “nèi yě shǒu / 內野手” and “wài yě shǒu / 外野手”, we get “infielder” and “outfielder” respectively.
- Infielder, “nèi yě shǒu” / 內野手
- Outfielder, “wài yě shǒu” / 外野手
In Lesson 1 (http://cpblstats.com/taiwanese-baseball-vocabulary-lesson-1/) we covered the terms for numbers, and more importantly, bases. As you now know the terms for the bases, and you know the word for “player”, quickly think of the terms for first baseman, second baseman, and third baseman. You can find the answers below.
Good luck! (jiā yóu! / 加油！)
- Catcher, “bǔshǒu” / 捕手
- First baseman, “yī lěi shǒu” / 一壘手
- Second baseman, “èr lěi shǒu” / 二壘手
- Third baseman, “sān lěi shǒu” / 三壘手
- Shortstop, “yóu jī shǒu” / 游擊手
- Left fielder, “zuǒ wài yě shǒu” / 左外野手
- Center fielder, “zhōng wài yě shǒu” / 中外野手
- Right fielder, “yòu wài yě shǒu” / 右外野手
Note in the above list the opportunity to learn some other key Mandarin terms: left (“zuǒ”/ 左) and right (“yòu”/ 右). These are also used to describe batter and pitcher handedness. See if you can work out the below:
- “zuǒ tóu shǒu”/ 左投手
- “yòu dǎ zhě” / 右打者
As you’ve probably figured out, these are 1) left-handed pitcher, and 2) right-handed batter.
There’s only one regular position remaining, and one we mustn’t miss out on－the DH: Designated hitter “zhǐ dìng dǎ jī” / 指定打擊.
Strikes, Balls, and Outs
These words probably come up more than any others, so take a breath, and get ready to memorize: we want them to stick in the memory.
First, strikes and balls.
- Strike, “hǎo qiú” / 好球 (a “good” ball)
- Ball, “huài qiú” / 壞球 (a “bad” ball)
These are often simply abbreviated to the number, plus hǎo and /or huài.
To count these, simply use the numbers we covered in lesson one. Using your knowledge, try to figure out the counts below. (Tip: in Mandarin, strikes are generally announced first, so three balls, two strikes in English would be two strikes, three balls in Mandarin.)
Mini Quiz 2A
- yī ge hǎo qiú, liǎng ge huài qiú / 一個好球, 兩個壞球
- yī hǎo, sān huài / 一好, 三壞
- liǎng hǎo，liǎng huài / 兩好，兩壞
(Answers: 1. two balls, one strike. 2. three balls, one strike. 3. two strikes, two balls)
But what about when there are none of either? Here, we get to learn another important phrase not only in baseball, but also in Mandarin in general:
méiyǒu / 沒有
This phrase roughly translates “There is / are no…” or “There isn’t / aren’t any”, but can be used in a number of other situations, and you will hear it all the time when listening to Mandarin. In baseball, however, you’ll most likely hear it here (again, answers below):
Mini Quiz 2B
- méiyǒu hǎo qiú, sān ge huài qiú / 沒有好球, 三個壞球
- liǎng ge hǎo qiú, méiyǒu huài qiú / 兩個好球, 沒有壞球
For bonus points, try “méiyǒu / 沒有” as used with hitting:
- méiyǒu āndǎ / 沒有安打
How did you do? Check below!
(Answers: 4. three balls, no strikes. 5. no balls, two strikes. 6. no hits )
Of course, depending on how well the pitcher does, you could end up with one of the following results: a walk, or a strike out.
Walks can be said a few ways. The first is “sì huài qiú” / 四壞球, and the keen students will have spotted that this means “four balls”. An alternative is “bǎo sòng / 保送”, and you’ll often hear the two together as one phrase, so it’s probably most effective to learn them together:
- “sì huài qiú bǎo sòng” / 四壞球保送
Of course, the opposite of this is when your pitcher is missing bats. In this case, you’re likely to see them strike out or “sān zhèn” / 三振 the batter. The three here is for the empty swings made.
Finally, though, let’s not forget one of the foundations of the game: outs. These are pretty straightforward, too: “chū jú” / 出局 means “out of (or leave) the inning”, so you simply count them:
- One out: “yī chū jú” / 一出局
- Two outs: “liǎng chū jú” / 兩出局
You’ll also hear “liǎng rén chū jú” / 兩人出局, where “rén”/ 人 just means “person”, so be sure to listen out for this variation.
Test: Watch the first few seconds of this CPBL clip. How many of the words from today’s lesson can you hear?
Now all you have to do is watch more games and listen out for these as you go. With just a little practice (the quizzes are, again, below), you’ll no longer “sān zhèn” / 三振, and instead hit a quán lěi dǎ / 全壘打 when it comes to understanding the game!
If you haven’t already, be sure to learn the team names as pronounced locally. Obviously, these come up constantly, but they’re also handy when talking with friends and buying tickets.
- Fubon Guardians, “fù bāng hàn jiāng” / 富邦悍將
- Chinatrust Brothers, “zhōngxìn xiōngdì” / 中信兄弟
- Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions, “tǒngyī 7-Eleven shī” 統一 7-Eleven 獅 or alternatively, you can call it Uni-Lions, “tǒngyī shī / 統一獅”.
- Lamigo Monkeys, “Lamigo táo yuán / Lamigo 桃猿 (literally “peach apes”). It is not the name of their home city, 桃園, which is pronounced the same way.
And, of course, don’t forget the returning Wei-Chuan Dragons: “Wèiquán Lóng / 味全龍”.
You can also review these words (and those from Lesson 1) with our quizzes on Quizlet. There are two versions: one with English and pinyin, and the other with English and hanzi. 加油!
English and Pinyin: https://quizlet.com/_6kyikj
English and Hanzi: https://quizlet.com/_6kyi8z
About the Author: Joe-Joe
Joe-Joe is our Japan-based contributor and the resident music expert. Apart from supporting the Tokyo Yakult Swallows, he is also a fan of the CPBL. You can follow Joe-Joe on Twitter @homerunbunt, and also check out his band Merry Christmas.