Get 3 Months FREE with any 3-Month Subscription
Get 3 Months FREE with any 3-Month Subscription
ChineseClass101.com Blog
Learn Chinese with Free Daily
Audio and Video Lessons!
Start Your Free Trial 6 FREE Features

How to Introduce Yourself in Chinese and Give a Decent First Impression

We live in a world where we constantly need to be building connections with new people, whether it’s for a business occasion, an interview, a new working place, or a new school…and we certainly like to leave a positive mark on the very first impression.

An appropriate self-introduction is one of the first steps for people to get to know you and it represents the gist of you. As a beginner in Chinese, the first thing you’ll probably want to master is the right way to introduce yourself, in order to make a decent impression.

China is a country that has been cultivated for thousands of years with a strong cultural background of its own. Undoubtedly, there are sets of rules for how to phrase things during a self-introduction in the Chinese language. “Introduction” in Chinese is 介绍 (jiè shào), and this article has incorporated the most quintessent and useful Chinese phrases for a decent 介绍. Now is the opportune time for you to study them!

Without further ado, let’s take a look at various greetings in Chinese along with situational Chinese phrases that are sure to help you as you navigate this interesting culture! Here are our suggestions and tips on introducing yourself in Chinese.

Table of Contents

  1. Introducing Basic Information and Identifying Yourself
  2. Placing Yourself in Society
  3. Personal Details
  4. Formal Phrases for Certain Occasions when You First Meet People
  5. Additional Tips for Introducing Yourself in China
  6. Bonus Questions
  7. Conclusion

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Chinese


1. Introducing Basic Information and Identifying Yourself

1- Name

Formal:

  • In Chinese: 我姓……
    • Pinyin: Wǒ xìng…
    • In English: “My last name is…”

In Chinese culture, when people first get to know you, they may not directly ask your name; instead, inquiring for your last name is more common. Interestingly, in order to pay you some respect, they may ask you: 您贵姓?(nín guì xìng?), which literally means: “What is your noble last name?”. In this situation, you reply: 免贵姓王 (miǎn guì xìng wáng), which means: “To drop the noble, it is Wang.” In this example, we used 王 which is one of the most common Chinese last names. You can simply replace it with your own last name to reply. Please remember, it’s very important in Chinese culture to stay humble and use the phrase “to drop the noble.” Otherwise, they may form a negative impression of you.

Less formal:

  • In Chinese: 我叫……
    • Pinyin: Wǒ jiào …
    • In English: “I am called…”
  • In Chinese: 我是……
    • Pinyin: Wǒ shì…
    • In English: “I am…”
  • In Chinese: 我的(中文)名字是……
    • Pinyin: Wǒ de (zhōng wén) míng zi shì…
    • In English: “My (Chinese) name is…”

To introduce yourself in Chinese is really straightforward. Simply say “hello” in Chinese, use any sentence pattern above, and add your name where the ellipsis is.

If you also have a name in Chinese, don’t forget to use these expressions to let your Chinese friends know! Talking about your name in Chinese is a vital and interesting part of the culture.

Don’t know how to write your name in Chinese? Ask our teachers on this page. You can also learn more about Chinese names and surnames there!

Informal:

  • In Chinese: 叫我丽丽吧。
    • Pinyin: Jiào wǒ lì lì ba.
    • In English: “Just call me Lili.”

2- Nationality and Hometown

  • In Chinese: 我来自美国。
    • Pinyin: Wǒ lái zì měi guó.
    • In English: “I come from the United States.”
  • In Chinese: 我是一名日本人。
    • Pinyin: Wǒ shì yī míng rì běn rén.
    • In English: “I am a Japanese.”

名 is a classifier in Chinese for a certain identity. There are many other classifiers in Chinese and you’ll be able to learn more as you study the Chinese language in more depth. You can try to make another sentence for your own identity, as it’s not limited to nationality. 我是一名学生 (wǒ shì yī míng xué shēng) is another example, meaning “I am a student.”

  • In Chinese: 我的家乡在四川。
    • Pinyin: Wǒ de jiā xiāng zài sì chuān.
    • In English: “My hometown is in Sichuan.”

Since Chinese people have a strong sense of belonging for identification for their hometowns, when you introduce yourself, 家乡 meaning hometown, may be a common question to be asked.

3- Age

Here’s some information on talking about your age in Chinese.

  • In Chinese: 我今年二十岁。
    • Pinyin: Wǒ jīn nián èr shí suì.
    • In English: “I am twenty years old this year.”

This is a formal expression for adults, plain and simple. You can also omit 岁 meaning “years old” for short, just like how we say in English “I am twenty”.

  • In Chinese: 我今年有五岁啦!
    • Pinyin: Wǒ jīn nián yǒu wǔ suì la!
    • In English: “I am five years old this year!”

This is often said by a kid in a very childlike tone. If you’re a child, you may tell people your age in this manner innocently and with confidence. People will probably be amazed by how adorable and natural the way you say it is, especially if you’re a foreign child!

4- Where you Live

  • In Chinese: 我住在北京。
    • Pinyin: Wǒ zhù zài běi jīng.
    • In English: “I live in Beijing.”
  • In Chinese: 我家在北京。
    • Pinyin: Wǒ jiā zài běi jīng.
    • In English: “My house is in Beijing.”

在 means to be located in Chinese, while introducing locations, you can just simply put the subject before it and the location you wish introduce right after 在.


2. Placing Yourself in Society

1- Major and Profession

  • In Chinese: 我的专业是会计。
    • Pinyin: Wǒ de zhuān yè shì kuài ji.
    • In English: “My major is accounting.”
  • In Chinese: 我是一名律师。
    • Pinyin: Wǒ shì yī míng lǜ shī.
    • In English: “I am a lawyer.”

This is the same expression as we mentioned before. 一名 can also be utilized for introducing your identity in terms of your career. Keep this in mind when talking about your job or profession in Chinese.

2- Where you Work or Study

  • In Chinese: 我在北京工作。
    • Pinyin: Wǒ zài běi jīng gōng zuò.
    • In English: “I work in Beijing.”
  • In Chinese: 我在美国上学。
    • Pinyin: Wǒ zài měi guó shàng xué.
    • In English: “I study in the United States.”

3- Information about Family

  • In Chinese: 我家里有四口人。
    • Pinyin: Wǒ jiā lǐ yǒu sì kǒu rén.
    • In English: “There are four people in my family.”
  • In Chinese: 我家里有个妹妹/姐姐。
    • Pinyin: Wǒ jiā lǐ yǒu gè mèi mèi /jiě jiě.
    • In English: “I have a younger/older sister.”

In Chinese, a younger sister and an older sister are defined in specifically different forms. Definitely keep this in mind when talking about your family in Chinese—it’s important!


3. Personal Details

1- Describe Your Personality with a Few Words

  • In Chinese: 我的性格……
    • Pinyin: Wǒ de xìng gé…
    • In English: “My personality is…”

There are many different words you can use when talking about your personality in Chinese, but for now we’re going to introduce only the most common ones:

  • 活泼 (huó pō) meaning “bright”
  • 开朗 (kāi lǎng) meaning “outgoing”
  • 内向 (nèi xiàng) meaning “introvert”
  • 外向 (wài xiàng) meaning “extrovert”
  • 乐观 (lè guān) meaning “optimistic”

2- Hobbies

Here’s some information on talking about your hobbies in Chinese—this has the potential to be one of the best parts of your introductory conversation!

Formal

  • In Chinese: 我的爱好是听音乐。
    • Pinyin: Wǒ de ài hào shì tīng yīn yuè.
    • In English: “My hobby is listening to music.”

Informal

  • In Chinese: 我喜欢跳舞。
    • Pinyin: Wǒ xǐ huān tiào wǔ.
    • In English: “I like dancing.”

3- Pets

During more casual greetings in Chinese, you may find that pets come into the conversation (who doesn’t love to boast about their furry companion to friends?). Here’s a sample sentence you may find helpful to get you started.

  • In Chinese: 我家有一只小狗/小猫。
    • Pinyin: Wǒ jiā yǒu yī zhī xiǎo gǒu/xiǎo māo.
    • In English: “I have a dog / cat at home.”

4- Future Plan

  • In Chinese: 我打算以后……
    • Pinyin: Wǒ dǎ suàn yǐ hòu…
    • In English: “Later I am planning to…”

You can use this sentence to introduce many different things for your future, such as what job you want to have, where you plan on living, when you want to marry, etc.

5- How Long You’ve been Studying Chinese

While introducing yourself in Chinese, it may come as no surprise that someone will want to know how long you’ve been at this whole studying thing. Here’s an example of how you can answer.

  • In Chinese: 我学习中文有两年了。
    • Pinyin: Wǒ xué xí zhōng wén yǒu liǎng nián le.
    • In English: “It has been two years since I started to study Chinese.”


4. Formal Phrases for Certain Occasions when You First Meet People

1- Business Occasions

  • In Chinese: 跟高兴认识您/你。
    • Pinyin: Hěn gāo xìng rèn shí nín /nǐ.
    • In English: “I am glad to meet you.”
  • In Chinese: 希望我们合作愉快。
    • Pinyin: Xī wàng wǒ men hé zuò yú kuài.
    • In English: “Hopefully we will pleasantly work together.”

It’s a good courtesy to offer to shake hands, or nod and bow a little at the same time, while saying both of the formal Chinese phrases above as a show of respect.

2- Introduce Yourself to Everyone in a New Working Place

  • In Chinese: 大家好,我是一名新人,以后请大家多多指教。
    • Pinyin: Dà jiā hǎo, wǒ shì yī míng xīn rén, yǐ hòu qǐng dà jiā duō duō zhǐ jiào.
    • In English: “Hello everyone, I am new here, please guide and teach me in the future.”

“Please guide and teach me in the future” is a very common saying in Chinese for people who are new to a place and still need to learn and gain more experience. This phrase is often said to people who have more experience than they do in a certain field (though it can also be said as a show of humility). Instead of 大家, you can also use a special Chinese term 前辈 (qián bèi) meaning “people who have more experience than you,” to show how respectful you are.


5. Additional Tips for Introducing Yourself in China

1- Stay Humble

If you ever talk to a native Chinese person, you’ll find out something interesting about them: They won’t directly take a compliment from people the way that western people do. In western culture, people will probably say “thank you” and naturally take the compliment as though they deserve it. Formal greetings in Chinese, especially, require a level of humility. So if you’re receiving a compliment from Chinese people during an introduction, there are two common ways you may reply to be seen as humble:

  • In Chinese: 不敢当。
    • Pinyin: Bú gǎn dāng.
    • In English: “I can’t take that.”

It’ll sound even more humble in Chinese if you say this two times in a row, for example: 不敢当不敢当。

  • In Chinese: 您过奖了。
    • Pinyin: Nín guò jiǎng le.
    • In English: “You are flattering me.”

您 means “you” in a respectful form. If the other person is almost the same age as you, you may remove it from the sentence or replace it with 你, meaning “you” without the respectful form.

2- Private Inquiries that should be Avoided (Income; Age for Mid-aged People)

There are some questions that should be avoided during a Chinese introduction, mainly subjects like income and age. Especially people who appear to be mid-aged, asking about age may be viewed as disrespectful towards them, which may cause some discomfort; Chinese people see getting old in a negative light.


6. Bonus Questions

Here are a couple of questions you may want to discuss while introducing yourself in Chinese with local Chinese people, These Chinese introductory phrases/questions may help you to get better acquainted during your meeting.

  • In Chinese: 我的名字用中文怎么说呢?
    • Pinyin: Wǒ de míng zì yòng zhōng wén zěn me shuō ne?
    • In English: “How do you say my name in Chinese?”
  • In Chinese: 你能用中文把我的名字写下来吗?
    • In Pinyin: Nǐ néng yòng zhōng wén bǎ wǒ de míng zi xiě xià lái ma?
    • In English: “Can you write my name in Chinese?”


7. Conclusion

Now you must have absorbed a great deal of knowledge regarding how to introduce yourself in Chinese. The Chinese introductory phrases that were incorporated in this article are just a basic guide for beginners, and if you wish to explore more Chinese culture and learn Chinese in more depth, be sure to check out our website at ChineseClass101.com. You’ll certainly harvest much more fruit in studying Chinese from our Wonderland!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Chinese