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Personal Pronouns and More: A List of Chinese Pronouns

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Quiz: Can you list all the pronouns you know? They don’t have to be Chinese pronouns; they can be in English or your native language. 

Now, what would be the first five pronouns on your list? 

Naturally, most of us first think of pronouns like “I,” “me,” “you,” “he,” and “they,” which are all personal pronouns. We sometimes forget that the list of pronouns goes on. 

There are possessive pronouns like “his” or “her,” demonstrative pronouns like “this” or “that,” interrogative pronouns like “what” or “where,” and so on.

Before we move on to this big, extensive, and complete list of all pronouns in Chinese, get a sneak peek at the essential list of the most useful pronouns on ChineseClass101.com to see how many you already know! 

Ready? Let’s learn Chinese pronouns!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Chinese Table of Contents
  1. Chinese Personal Pronouns
  2. Chinese Demonstrative Pronouns
  3. Chinese Interrogative Pronouns
  4. Conclusion

1. Chinese Personal Pronouns

Introducing Yourself

Personal pronouns are the most frequently used type of pronouns. Imagine how you would invite your friend to your party without using personal pronouns: “Adam wants to invite Nick to Adam’s party this weekend. Would Nick like to come?” That’s amusingly wordy.

Personal pronouns can be further broken down into smaller categories. 

1- Singular Personal Pronouns 

Let’s first sum up all the singular forms of Chinese personal pronouns. 

Keep in mind that all Chinese pronouns can be used as a subject or an object in a sentence. There’s no different forms for different parts of the sentence, like the difference between “he” and “him” in English. 

1. First Person Singular

In Chinese:
Pinyin:
In English: “I” or “me”

Example sentences:
  • In Chinese: 我是玛丽。
    Pinyin: Wǒ shì Mǎlì.
    In English: “I’m Mary.” 
    (我 as a subject)

  • In Chinese: 你是在笑我吗?
    Pinyin: Nǐ shì zài xiào wǒ ma?
    In English: “Are you laughing at me?”
    (你 as an object)

2. Second Person Singular

In Chinese:
Pinyin:
In English: “you”

Example sentences:
  • In Chinese: 你是谁?
    Pinyin: Nǐ shì shéi?
    In English: “Who are you?” 
    (你 as a subject)

  • In Chinese: 我爱你。
    Pinyin: Wǒ ài nǐ.
    In English: “I love you.”
    (你 as an object)

When speaking with people who are senior in age or social status, such as teachers, supervisors, customers, or even strangers, it’s more polite and respectful to use the other form of 你, which is:

In Chinese:
Pinyin: nín
In English: (honorific/formal) “you”

Example sentence:
  • In Chinese: 谢谢您的建议。
    Pinyin: Xièxie nín de jiànyì.
    In English: “Thank you for your advice.”

3. Third Person Singular

In Chinese:
Pinyin:
In English: “he” or “him”

Example sentences:
  • In Chinese: 他在找你。
    Pinyin: Tā zài zhǎo nǐ.
    In English: “He is looking for you.”

  • In Chinese: 你认识他吗?
    Pinyin: Nǐ rènshi tā ma?
    In English: “Do you know him?”

In Chinese:
Pinyin:
In English: “she” or “her”

Example sentences:
  • In Chinese: 她不会来。
    Pinyin: Tā búhuì lái.
    In English: “She won’t be here.”

  • In Chinese: 我记得她,但是她不记得我。
    Pinyin: Wǒ jìde tā , dànshì tā bú jìde wǒ.
    In English: “I remember her, but she doesn’t remember me.”

In Chinese:
Pinyin:
In English: “it” (animal or object) 

它 () is often used to refer to an animal or an object that’s been mentioned, regardless of gender.

Example sentences:
  • In Chinese: 这是大白。它是一个机器人。
    Pinyin: Zhè shì Dàbái. Tā shì yí ge jīqìrén.
    In English: “This is Baymax. It is a robot.”

  • In Chinese: 大家都很喜欢它。
    Pinyin: Dàjiā dōu hěn xǐhuan tā.
    In English: “Everybody likes it very much.”

You may have noticed that Chinese has three different words for the third personal pronoun. 他 () is for men, 她 () is for women, and 它 () is for non-humans. However, they’re all pronounced the same way, which could make listening a little tricky. Make sure you check the context in case of confusion. 

Also be careful with the 他 () for “he” and the 她 () for “her” in Chinese characters. The right side of these two characters is the same. What you need to pay attention to is the radicals on the left side. 他 has the radical 亻which is often used to indicate “person” or “man,” whereas 她 has the radical 女 () which means “woman.”

If you’re interested in learning more about Chinese characters, check out this video lesson on ChineseClass101.com that shows you the common way to decipher Chinese characters.

As for the non-human “it,” 它 () can’t be used as an impersonal pronoun to serve as a subject in a sentence. For example, in English, we can say “It’s raining,” or “It’s difficult.” In Chinese, the “it” doesn’t translate to 它. In fact, the “it” in these two sentences is often omitted in Chinese translation.

2- Plural Personal Pronouns 

Making plural personal pronouns in Chinese is simple and convenient. You only need to stick the word 们 (men) after each singular pronoun. 

1. First Person Plural

In Chinese: 我们
Pinyin: wǒmen
In English: “we” or “us”

Reminder: The pinyin for “we” (wǒmen) may look the same as “women” in English, but they’re not the same! Don’t forget that Pinyin is not English.

Example sentence:
  • In Chinese: 你看见我们了吗?
    Pinyin: Nǐ kànjiàn wǒmen le ma?
    In English: “Do you see us now?”

2. Second Person Plural

In Chinese: 你们
Pinyin: nǐmen 
In English: “you” (plural)

Example sentence:
  • In Chinese: 你们去哪?
    Pinyin: Nǐmen qù nǎ?
    In English: “Where are you going?”

The plural form of the honorific 您 (nín) is still 你们 (nǐmen), not 您们 (nínmen). You might have seen the word 您们, but it’s an incorrect word! Yep, even native speakers make mistakes when speaking Chinese. 

In order to be more polite when addressing a group of people, use phrases like 您二位 (nín èr wèi) and 您几位 (nín jǐ wèi), which are the more courteous ways to say “you two” and “you guys.”

Example sentence:
  • In Chinese: 抱歉让您几位久等了。
    Pinyin: Bàoqiàn ràng nín jǐ wèi jiǔ děng le.
    In English: “Sorry to have kept you guys waiting.”

3. Third Person Plural

In Chinese: 他们
Pinyin: tāmen
In English: “they” or “them”

This word is often used to refer to more than one male, or a mixed group of males and females.

Example sentence:
  • In Chinese: 他们终于到了。
    Pinyin: Tāmen zhōngyú dàole .
    In English: “They are finally here.”

In Chinese: 她们
Pinyin: tāmen
In English: “they” or “them” (female)

Example sentence:
  • In Chinese: 我低估了她们。
    Pinyin: Wǒ dīgū le tāmen.
    In English: “I underestimated them.”

In Chinese: 它们
Pinyin: tāmen
In English: “they” or “them”  (animals or objects)

Example sentence:
  • In Chinese: 你给它们洗澡了吗?
    Pinyin: Nǐ gěi tāmen xǐzǎo le ma?
    In English: “Did you give them a bath yet?”

3- Possessive Personal Pronouns

Making Chinese possessive pronouns from the personal pronouns is also quite easy. In this case, you need the possessive particle 的 (de) after all of the personal pronouns. 

“Personal pronoun + 的 (de)” can be used the same way as an adjective before a noun, or they can be used as a noun by themselves. 

Here’s an example of the possessive form of the second singular pronoun:

In Chinese: 你的
Pinyin: nǐde
In English: “your” or “yours”

Example sentences:
  • In Chinese: 你的新衬衫很好看。
    Pinyin: Nǐ de xīn chènshān hěn hǎokàn.
    In English: “Your new shirt looks great.”

  • In Chinese: 这个新衬衫是你的。
    Pinyin: Zhège xīn chènshān shì nǐ de.
    In English: “This new shirt is yours.”

An example of first plural possessive:

In Chinese: 我们的
Pinyin: wǒmen de
In English: “our” or “ours”

Example sentences:
  • In Chinese: 她是我们的老师。
    Pinyin: Tā shì wǒmen de lǎoshī.
    In English: “She is our teacher.”

  • In Chinese: 这排位子都是我们的。
    Pinyin: Zhè pái wèizi dōu shì wǒmen de.
    In English: “This row of seats is all ours.”

In some circumstances, the particle 的 can be omitted. A very common situation for 的 to be dropped is in colloquial speech, when possessive pronouns are used before close relationships, such as one’s family members, friends, home, or office. For example, it’s grammatically correct to say:

  • In Chinese: 我的妈妈回来了。
    Pinyin: Wǒde māma huílai le.
    In English: “My mom is back.”

But it sounds a bit formal. In everyday conversations, people are more likely to say:

  • In Chinese: 我妈回来了。
    Pinyin: Wǒ mā huílai le.
    In English: “My mom is back.”

In this sentence, not only is the word 妈妈 (māma), or “mom,” shortened and casualized to 妈 (), or “ma,” but the possessive pronoun 我的 (wǒde), meaning “my,” is also shortened to 我 (). 

Here’s another example of when 的 is dropped in a possessive pronoun in everyday language:

  • In Chinese: 他公司离这里不远。
    Pinyin: Tā gōngsī lí zhèli bù yuǎn. 
    In English: “His company is not far from here.”

Instead of using 他的公司 for “his company,” 他公司 is more often used in casual situations. 

4- Reflexive Personal Pronouns

Woman Pointing at Herself

Somehow in conversations, we always end up talking about ourselves. The pronouns that end with “-self” or “-selves” in English are called reflexive personal pronouns. 

In Chinese, we can also use a suffix after personal pronouns to make them reflexive and intensified. In this case, we add the word 自己 (zìjǐ), meaning “self.”

For example:

In Chinese: 我自己
Pinyin: wǒ zìjǐ
In English: “myself”

Example sentence:
  • In Chinese: 我自己看到的。
    Pinyin: Wǒ zìjǐ kàn dào de.
    In English: “I saw it myself.”

In Chinese: 你们自己
Pinyin: nǐmen zìjǐ
In English: “yourselves”

Example sentence: 
  • In Chinese: 照顾好你们自己。
    Pinyin: Zhàogu hǎo nǐmen zìjǐ.
    In English: “Take care of yourselves.”

Here’s a Chinese pronoun chart that sums up all the Chinese personal pronouns in different forms:

1st person2nd person3rd person (men)3rd person (women)3rd person (non-human)
singular我 

“I,” “we”
你 

“you”
他 

“he,” “him”
她 

“she,” “her”
它 

“it”
plural我们 
wǒmen
“we,” “us”
你们 
nǐmen
“you”
他们 
tāmen
“they,” “them”
她们 
tāmen
“they,” “them”
它们 
tāmen
“they,” “them”
singular possessive我的
wǒde 
“my,” “mine”
你的
nǐde
“your,” “yours”
他的
tāde
“his”
她的
tāde
“her,” “hers”
它的
tāde
“its”
plural possessive我们的
wǒmen de
“our,” “ours”
你们的
nǐmen de
“your,” “yours”
他们的
tāmen de
“their,” “theirs”
她们的
tāmen de
“their,” “theirs”
它们的
tāmen de
“their,” “theirs”
singular reflexive我自己
wǒ zìjǐ
“myself”
你自己
nǐ zìjǐ
“yourself”
他自己
tā zìjǐ
“himself”
她自己
tā zìjǐ
“herself”
它自己 
tā zìjǐ
“itself”
plural
reflexive
我们自己
wǒmen zìjǐ
“ourselves”
你们自己
nǐmen zìjǐ
“yourselves”
他们自己
tāmen zìjǐ
“themselves”
她们自己
tāmen zìjǐ
“themselves”
它们自己
tāmen zìjǐ
“themselves”

2. Chinese Demonstrative Pronouns

Basic Questions

The next most commonly used type of pronoun in Chinese is the demonstrative pronoun. This includes words such as “this,” “that,” “these,” and “those.” The usage of Chinese demonstrative pronouns is very similar to that in English. 

1- This & That 

In Chinese:
Pinyin: z
In English: “this”

Example sentence: 
  • In Chinese: 这是你们的房间。
    Pinyin: Zhè shì nǐmen de fángjiān.
    In English: “This is your room.”

In Chinese:
Pinyin:
In English: “that”

Example sentence: 
  • In Chinese: 那是不可能的。
    Pinyin: Nà shì bù kěnéng de.
    In English: “That is impossible.”

2- This & That + Measure Word + Noun

这 (z), meaning “this,” and 那 (), meaning “that,” can also be used before nouns to demonstrate the subject that one is talking about. However, in Chinese, 这 and 那 can’t be put directly before nouns. Instead, we need the help of 量词 (liàngcí), meaning “measure words,” or otherwise known as counters or classifiers. 

The most universal measure word is 个 (). It’s a safe word to go to for beginners. Here are some examples:

  • In Chinese: 这个女孩很漂亮。
    Pinyin: Zhègè nǚhái hěn piàoliang.
    In English: “This girl is very pretty.”

  • In Chinese: 这个网站很有用。
    Pinyin: Zhègè wǎngzhàn hěn yǒuyòng.
    In English: “This website is very useful.”

  • In Chinese: 我爸去过那个国家。
    Pinyin: Wǒ bà qù guo nàgè guójiā.
    In English: “My dad has been to that country.”

  • In Chinese: 请给我看一下那个钱包。
    Pinyin: Qǐng gěi wǒ kàn yíxià nàgè qiánbāo.
    In English: “Please let me take a look at that wallet.”

这 (z) and 那 () are sometimes pronounced as zhèi and nèi in colloquial speech. Both pronunciations are correct. It’s only a matter of personal preference. 

Also, in everyday language, 这个 (zhèige) and 那个 (nèige) are used as filler sounds, or so-called vocalized pauses, like “uh” and “um” in English. You’ll be surprised how often you hear Chinese people stutter with 这个 (zhèige) and 那个 (nèige) in conversations! 

Once you’re more confident with your Chinese, use 这 or 那 with specific measure words that go with specific nouns. For example:

  • In Chinese: 这辆车超酷。
    Pinyin: Zhè liàng chē chāokù.
    In English: “This car is super-cool.”

The measure word in this sentence, 辆 (liàng), is used for vehicles, such as 车 (chē), meaning “car.”

  • In Chinese: 我看过那本书。
    Pinyin: Wǒ kàn guo nà běn shū.
    In English: “I’ve read that book.”

The measure word here, 本 (běn) is used for books, or 书 (shū) in Chinese. 

3- These & Those

When demonstrating something with a quantity of more than one, we use 这 (zhè) and 那 () plus the word 些 (xiē).

In Chinese: 这些
Pinyin: zhèxiē
In English: “these”

Example sentence:
  • In Chinese: 这些孩子玩得很开心。
    Pinyin: Zhèxiē háizi wán de hěn kāixīn.
    In English: “These kids are having a great time.”

In Chinese: 那些
Pinyin: nàxiē
In English: “those”

Example sentence:
  • In Chinese: 不用担心那些事。
    Pinyin: Bú yòng dānxīn nàxiē shì.
    In English: “Don’t worry about those things.”

4- Here & There 

The Chinese words for “here” and “there” also use 这 (zhè) and 那 (), plus the suffix 里 () or 儿 (ér). 

In Chinese: 这里 / 这儿
Pinyin: zhèlǐ / zhèr
In English: “here”

Example sentence:
  • In Chinese: 我来过这里 / 这儿。
    Pinyin: Wǒ lái guo zhèlǐ / zhèr.
    In English: “I’ve been here.”

In Chinese: 那里 / 那儿
Pinyin: nàlǐ / nàr 
In English: “there”

Example sentence:
  • In Chinese: 那里 / 那儿有一个医院。
    Pinyin: Nàli / Nàr yǒu yí ge yīyuàn.
    In English: “There is a hospital over there.”

In general, 这里 (zhèlǐ), meaning “here,” and 那里 (nàlǐ), meaning “there,” are used more often in the southern part of China. In the northern part of China, people tend to use a lot of 儿化音 (ér huà yīn), which in this case are 这儿 (zhèr) and 那儿 (nàr). 

5- This Way & That Way

To say “this way” or “that way,” we need to put the word 边 (biān) after 这 (zhè) and 那 (). 

In Chinese: 这边
Pinyin: zhèbiān
In English: “this way”

Example sentence:
  • In Chinese: 这边请。
    Pinyin: Zhèbiān qǐng.
    In English: “This way, please.”

In Chinese: 那边
Pinyin: nàbiān
In English: “that way”

Example sentence:
  • In Chinese: 厕所在那边。
    Pinyin: Cèsuǒ zài nàbiān.
    In English: “The restroom is over there.”

3. Chinese Interrogative Pronouns

Question Words in English

Humans are curious creatures. We like to ask questions. The words that we use to ask questions are called interrogative pronouns. 

In English, they often appear at the beginning of a question, with a reconstructed word order from a declarative sentence (or any other sentence that makes a statement). 

In Chinese, the word order in a question remains the same as in a declarative sentence. Therefore, asking questions in Chinese is easy. 

First, think about how you would answer the question in a declarative sentence, then replace the word or phrase that answers the question with an interrogative pronoun. 

The table below summarizes the most commonly used Chinese interrogative pronouns. 
Example sentences are given with both a literal translation and a natural English translation, so you can get a better idea of where interrogative pronouns go and what the word order is like in Chinese questions.

In ChinesePinyinIn EnglishExample SentenceLiteral TranslationNatural English Translation
什么shénme “what”你叫什么名字?
Nǐ jiào shénme míngzi?
“You’re called what name?”“What is your name?”
什么时候shénme shíhòu “when”我们什么时候见面?
Wǒmen shénme shíhòu jiànmiàn?
“We when meet?”“When shall we meet?”
哪里/哪儿nǎlǐ / nǎr?“where”电梯在哪里/哪儿?
Diàntī zài nǎlǐ / nǎr?
“Elevator/escalator at where?”“Where is the elevator/escalator?”
哪个/哪些nǎge / nǎxiē“which” (s) / “which” (p)哪个是你的手机?
Nǎge shì nǐ de shǒujī?

你喜欢哪些运动?
Nǐ xǐhuān nǎxiē yùndòng?
“Which is your cell phone?”



“You like which sports?”
“Which one is your phone?”



“Which sports do you like?”
shéi“who”她是谁?
Tā shì shéi?
“She is who?”“Who is she?”
多少duōshǎo“how many” / “how much”这个多少钱?
Zhège duōshǎo qián?
“This how much money?”“How much money is this?”
为什么wèishénme“why”他们为什么这么生气?
Tāmen wèishénme zhème shēngqì?
“They why so angry?” “Why are they so mad?”
怎么zěnme“how”请问,人民广场怎么走?
Qǐngwèn, rénmín guǎngchǎng zěnme zǒu?
“May I please ask, People’s Square how to walk?”
“Excuse me, how do I get to People’s Square?”

4. Conclusion

Improve Listening

Now if you were asked to take the quiz at the beginning of this article again, how many Chinese pronouns would you be able to put down?

You should have at least forty-six words on your list! 
Learning new words in groups like we did in this Chinese pronouns list has proven to be a great language-learning method to increase vocabulary. ChineseClass101.com has hundreds of vocabulary lists for you to add to your word bank. Sign up for a free lifetime account today so you can enjoy more Chinese learning fun with us!

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National Single’s Day in China

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Holidays are one of the most essential embodiments of a region’s culture. Some traditional holidays have brewed throughout history, while some modern holidays are indicating the new emerging facets of culture. If you’re a Chinese language learner, you must have heard of some traditional Chinese holidays such as the Chinese New Year. However, today we’re going to introduce an off-the-beaten-path holiday called Singles’ Day.

What? You’ve only heard of Valentine’s Day? Well, now you’re going to open your eyes. China’s Singles’ Day became a fad in recent years, originally in an attempt to celebrate single people. Now, it has evolved into a big shopping holiday

Want to know more about it? No problem. We’ve got everything you need here about China’s Singles’ Day!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Chinese Table of Contents
  1. How Did Singles’ Day Start?
  2. How Did it Become a Shopping Festival?
  3. Singles’ Day Vocabulary
  4. Conclusion

1. How Did Singles’ Day Start?

Man lying on a sofa

Tired of being jealous of people who can celebrate Valentine’s Day? Now it’s single people’s turn!

Singles’ Day in Chinese is 光棍节 (guāng gùn jié), which literally means “single stick day.” It’s a single-awareness day among young Chinese people. This non-official national Singles’ Day originated from college students at Nanjing University in 1993 in an attempt to celebrate their pride in singledom as opposed to being part of a couple on Valentine’s Day. 

So when is Chinese Singles’ Day? Because the date 11/11 resembles four single sticks that indicate being solitary, November 11th was agreed to be the proper Singles’ Day. 

Interestingly, it has become trendy for many young people to confess their feelings for people they like on Singles’ Day! Guess why? Because if it ever works out, then they can finally end their journey of being single exactly on Singles’ Day and start a romantic date right after!

Binge-shopping on Singles' Day

2. How Did it Become a Shopping Festival?

Singles’ Day has now been transformed from an “anti-Valentine’s Day” into the biggest online shopping day worldwide. This idea was triggered by Alibaba back in 2009 and people have embraced it ever since. The Chinese Singles’ Day Alibaba paved the way for also encourages single people’s inner pride by providing them with such perks.

A version of Alibaba’s Singles’ Day, also known as the Double Eleven Shopping Day, was created by offering prodigious discounts for twenty-four hours mainly through Alibaba-operated platforms such as Taobao, as well as some other big competitors that integrated Alibaba’s idea. It’s much like American’s Black Friday, but the Singles’ Day shopping festival is more E-commerce-focused and has a larger scale due to the huge Chinese population. 

Now you know why many people can’t wait for the exciting Double Eleven Shopping Day to clean their cart and buy all of their favorite products they’ve been waiting a long time for! If you ever want to get these good deals on China’s Singles’ Day, remember to have some good Wi-Fi service and try to get your desired items exactly at the time the sale starts. Otherwise, your website may crash due to the large demand and you’ll end up getting nothing!

3. Singles’ Day Vocabulary

Love phrases

1- Words about Relationships

Single dog – 单身狗 (dān shēn gǒu)

Meaning: Someone who is single and sad

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 我今年还是一只单身狗。

Pinyin: Wǒ jīn nián hái shì yī zhī dān shēn gǒu.

In English: I am still a single dog this year.

A single noble – 单身贵族 (dān shēn guì zú)

Meaning: Someone who is single and proud

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 我想一直做个单身贵族,无拘无束。

Pinyin: Wǒ xiǎng yī zhí zuò gè dān shēn guì zú, wú jū wú shù. 

In English: I just wanted to be a single noble all the time and keep myself free.

Single stick – 光棍 (guāng gùn)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 我已经做了快二十年的光棍,真希望可以快点找到自己的另一半。

Pinyin: Wǒ yǐ jīng zuò le kuài èr shí nián de guāng gùn, zhēn xī wàng kě yǐ kuài diǎn zhǎo dào zì jǐ de lìng yī bàn. 

In English: I have been a single stick for almost twenty years; I really hope to find my other half as soon as possible.

Not single anymore – 脱单 (tuō dān)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 今年的我终于不用再过光棍节了,因为我已经脱单啦!

Pinyin: Jīn nián de wǒ zhōng yú bú yòng zài guò guāng gùn jié le, yīn wèi wǒ yǐ jīng tuō dān la! 

In English: Finally, I won’t have to go through Singles’ Day this year, because I am not single anymore!

Couple at a restaurant

Public display of affection (PDA) – 秀恩爱 (xiù ēn ài)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 我朋友总是在公共场合秀恩爱。 

Pinyin: Wǒ péng yǒu zǒng shì zài gōng gòng chǎng hé xiù ēn ài.

In English: My friend always likes to show public displays of affection.

Eat dog food – 吃狗粮 (chī gǒu liáng)

Meaning: A single person who suffers from other people’s public displays of affection.

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 看来我今年情人节又要吃狗粮了。

Pinyin: Kàn lái wǒ jīn nián qíng rén jié yòu yào chī gǒu liáng le. 

In English: It seems like I will have to eat dog food again on this year’s Valentine’s Day.

2- Chinese Singles’ Day Shopping Vocabulary

Sign up – 注册 (zhù cè)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 我刚刚注册了一个淘宝的账号。

Pinyin: Wǒ gāng gāng zhù cè le yī gè táo bǎo de zhàng hào. 

In English: I just signed up for an account on Taobao.

Coupon – 优惠券 (yōu huì quàn)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 我终于领到了优惠券,可以用来买我购物车里的东西。

Pinyin: Wǒ zhōng yú lǐng dào le yōu huì quàn, kě yǐ yòng lái mǎi wǒ gòu wù chē lǐ de dōng xi. 

In English: I finally got coupons, which I can use to buy the products in my shopping cart.

Sales sign

Aren’t sales the best things ever?

Sale – 促销 (cù xiāo)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 每次我都会等到商场大促销再去购物。 

Pinyin: Měi cì wǒ dōu huì děng dào shāng chǎng dà cù xiāo zài qù gòu wù. 

In English: I always wait to shop until there is a big sale in the mall.

Online shopping – 网上购物 (wǎng shàng gòu wù)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 网上购物真方便。

Pinyin: Wǎng shàng gòu wù zhēn fāng biàn. 

In English: Online shopping is so convenient.

Double Eleven Shopping Day (11/11 Shopping Day) – 双十一购物节 (shuāng shí yī gòu wù jié)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 我打算等到了双十一购物节再买购物车里的这些东西。

Pinyin: Wǒ dǎ suàn děng dào le shuāng shí yī gòu wù jiē zài mǎi gòu wù chē lǐ de zhè xiē dōng xi. 

In English: I am going to wait to clear my cart until Double Eleven Shopping Day.

The same style as internet celebrities’ – 网红同款 (wǎng hóng tóng kuǎn)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 我们店有很多网红同款的宝贝。

Pinyin: Wǒ men diàn yǒu hěn duō wǎng hóng tóng kuǎn de bǎo bèi. 

In English: Lots of products in our store are in the same style as internet celebrities’.

Shipping fees included – 包邮 (bāo yóu)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 每个人都很享受买东西包邮这项服务。 

Pinyin: Měi gè rén dōu hěn xiǎng shòu mǎi dōng xi bāo yóu zhè xiàng fú wù. 

In English: Everyone enjoys free shipping when they buy something.

People with smiling boxes on their heads

Remember to give your seller a thumbs-up if you are happy with your purchase.

Positive feedback – 好评 (hǎo píng)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 如果您对我们的服务满意的话,请给我们一个好评吧。

Pinyin: Rú guǒ nín duì wǒ men de fú wù mǎn yì de huà, qǐng gěi wǒ men yī gè hǎo píng ba. 

In English: If you are happy with our service, please give us positive feedback.

Negative feedback – 差评 (chà píng)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 我刚从这家店买的东西,几天就坏了,于是我毫不犹豫地给了他们一个差评。 

Pinyin: Wǒ gāng cóng zhè jiā diàn mǎi de dōng xi, jǐ tiān jiù huài le, yú shì wǒ háo bù yóu yù de gěi le tā men yī gè chà píng. 

In English: I just bought a product from this store, and it broke within just a couple of days. Thus I gave them negative feedback without any hesitance.

Store – 店铺 (diàn pù)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 这家护肤品店铺的宝贝又便宜又好用。

Pinyin: Zhè jiā hù fū pǐn diàn pù de bǎo bèi yòu pián yí yòu hǎo yòng. 

In English: The skincare products from this store are inexpensive and of good quality.

Limited to one store only – 独家 (dú jiā)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 这件衣服是我们店独家设计的。 

Pinyin: Zhè jiàn yī fú shì wǒ men diàn dú jiā shè jì de. 

In English: The design of this piece of clothing is limited to our store only.

New arrival – 新品 (xīn pǐn)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 听说这家店会在今年双十一上很多新品呢。 

Pinyin: Tīng shuō zhè jiā diàn huì zài jīn nián shuāng shí yī shàng hěn duō xīn pǐn ne. 

In English: I heard that this store will have many new arrivals on 11/11 this year.

Products – 宝贝 (bǎo bèi)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 我们家的宝贝质量都很好。 

Pinyin: Wǒ men jiā de bǎo bèi zhì liàng dōu hěn hǎo. 

In English: All the products in our store have great quality.

4. Conclusion

Now that you have a good understanding of China’s Singles’ Day, whether you’re single or not, remember to take advantage of it to get a good deal on this special shopping day! Are there any products or items you’ve been wanting to buy? Now’s the time! 

We also have free Chinese lessons released every week so that you can have a free try! What are you waiting for? Study now on ChineseClass101.com with the most updated and culturally relevant lessons, and the most knowledgeable and energetic hosts, to have the experience of a lifetime!

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Learn the 20+ Most Useful Compliments in Chinese

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Most people like hearing compliments, and they allow you to express your liking for someone and provide an opportunity for people to open up to each other. When they’re heard in a sincere manner, people feel appreciated. With that being said, when you have the opportunity to compliment someone, do it. It’s the key to their heart!

There are many kinds of compliments in Chinese, and they need to be used in different situations. In addition, there’s a wide spectrum of tones and ways to say them. Don’t worry, though; they’re not difficult at all. As long as you follow our guide, you can become a master of giving Chinese compliments!

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Table of Contents

  1. Complimenting Someone’s Look
  2. Complimenting Someone’s Work
  3. Complimenting Someone’s Skills
  4. Other Compliments
  5. How to Make Your Compliments Sound More Sincere
  6. What to Expect After Giving Compliments
  7. Conclusion

1. Complimenting Someone’s Look

Compliments

1-

Example situation: Suppose your friend is dressing up today for a party, and you think they look very nice.
In Chinese: 你今天穿得怎么这么好看。
Pinyin: Nǐ jīn tiān chuān de zěn me zhè me hǎo kàn.
In English: “Your outfit looks great today.”

2-

Example situation: Suppose your friend did her makeup perfectly today.
In Chinese: 你今天的妆容好精致啊。
Pinyin: Nǐ jīn tiān de zhuāng róng hǎo jīng zhì a.
In English: “Your makeup looks great today.”

3-

Example situation: Suppose a guy is admiring the girl he likes and thinks she looks pretty while smiling.
In Chinese: 你笑起来可真美。
Pinyin: Nǐ xiào qǐ lái kě zhēn měi.
In English: “You are so pretty when you are smiling.”

4-

Example situation: Suppose your friend is wearing a suit today for a presentation, and he looks very nice in the suit.
In Chinese: 你这身西装穿起来非常绅士。
Pinyin: Nǐ zhè shēn xī zhuāng chuān qǐ lái fēi cháng shēn shì.
In English: “Your suit makes you look like such a gentleman.”

A Woman Dressed Up and Taking a Selfie

Compliment your dream girl with the best you’ve got!

5-

Example situation: Suppose your relative just had her baby, and you want to say something nice about the baby. You happen to notice that her eyes are pretty.
In Chinese: 瞧这双大眼睛,多么炯炯有神啊。
Pinyin: Qiáo zhè shuāng dà yǎn jīng, duō me jiǒng jiǒng yǒu shén a.
In English: “Look at these big eyes, how bright and full of life.”

6-

Example situation: Suppose your friend is going to have a football game, and you see that he looks very confident and ready for it.
In Chinese: 你今天可真是神采飞扬。
Pinyin: Nǐ jīn tiān kě zhēn shì shén cǎi fēi yáng.
In English: “Today you seem so full of spirit.”

2. Complimenting Someone’s Work

7-

Example situation: Suppose your teammate in a basketball match just scored for your team.
In Chinese: 干得漂亮。
Pinyin: Gàn de piào liang.
In English: “Good job.”

8-

Example situation: Suppose you did something good for your company and your boss wants to compliment you in front of other people so that they will learn from you.
In Chinese: 你是大家的楷模。
Pinyin: Nǐ shì dà jiā de kǎi mó.
In English: “You are everyone’s role model.”

A Slightly Blurred Photo of a Smiling Woman Giving a thumbs-up

When we have done something with genuine effort, we deserve to be appreciated.

9-

Example situation: Suppose your classmate offered a very creative and smart idea for a group project.
In Chinese: 你可真是个有想法的人。
Pinyin: Nǐ kě zhēn shì gè yǒu xiǎng fǎ de rén.
In English: “You have some good ideas.”

10-

Example situation: Suppose your friends were confused about what to do, and you offered a great idea that everyone liked.
In Chinese: 你简直就是我们的智多星。
Pinyin: Nǐ jiǎn zhí jiù shì wǒ men de zhì duō xīng.
In English: “You deserve to be called the most resourceful person among us.”

11-

Example situation: Suppose your friend taught you how to make a dish that seemed pretty hard for you.
In Chinese: 你这也太厉害了吧。
Pinyin: Nǐ zhè yě tài lì hai le ba.
In English: “I can’t believe you are so great at this.”

3. Complimenting Someone’s Skills

12-

Example situation: Suppose you’re asking your friend what to wear for a date and she gives you a good idea of what to wear.
In Chinese: 你的品味也太好了。
Pinyin: Nǐ de pǐn wèi yě tài hǎo le.
In English: “Your taste is so good.”

13-

Example situation: Suppose your friend invited you over to his house and cooked something delicious for you.
In Chinese: 你做饭好棒啊。
Pinyin: Nǐ zuò fàn hǎo bàng a.
In English: “You are a fantastic cook.”

14-

Example situation: Suppose you’re unsure about your future, and your friend showed great wisdom and helped you understand what you should pursue.
In Chinese: 你太有智慧了。
Pinyin: Nǐ tài yǒu zhì huì le.
In English: “You are such a wise person.”

15-

Example situation: Suppose you just saw your friend’s new photo shots on social media; you think they look great and want to say something nice.
In Chinese: 你照相技术好牛啊。
Pinyin: Nǐ zhào xiàng jì shù hǎo niú a.
In English: “Your photography skill is amazing.”

A Woman Taking a Picture with a Camera

How are your photography skills?

16-

Example situation: Suppose you just asked your friend for life advice, and what he told you was very helpful.
In Chinese: 你有着成熟的思想。
Pinyin: Nǐ yǒu zhe chéng shú de sī xiǎng.
In English: “You have an extremely mature mind.”

17-

Example situation: Suppose you asked your friend about philosophy, and he discussed something deep.
In Chinese: 你的见解很有深度。
Pinyin: Nǐ de jiàn jiě hěn yǒu shēn dù.
In English: “Your ideas are very insightful.”

18-

Example situation: Suppose your friend just told a very funny joke.
In Chinese: 你可真是富有幽默感啊。
Pinyin: Nǐ kě zhēn shì fù yǒu yōu mò gǎn a.
In English: “You are so full of a sense of humor.”

4. Other Compliments

19-

Example situation: Suppose your friend showed great talent for singing and you enjoy people who sing well.
In Chinese: 你简直就是我的偶像。
Pinyin: Nǐ jiǎn zhí jiù shì wǒ de ǒu xiàng.
In English: “You are like an idol to me.”

20-

Example situation: Suppose your friend received a high test score without even studying, but you received a lower score after studying so much.
In Chinese: 我可真是羡慕死你了。
Pinyin: Wǒ kě zhēn shì xiàn mù sǐ nǐ le.
In English: “I envy you so much that I could die for it.”

Someone Giving a Big Thumbs-up Sign

We should all strive to become a better person.

21-

Example situation: Suppose your friend is a very hardworking person, which motivates you to work hard.
In Chinese: 是你让我想成为一个更好的人。
Pinyin: Shì nǐ ràng wǒ xiǎng chéng wéi yī gè gèng hǎo de rén.
In English: “You make me a better person.”

22-

Example situation: Suppose your friend just helped you with a difficult math problem that you couldn’t solve, so you want to show your admiration.
In Chinese: 你可真让我自叹不如啊。
Pinyin: Nǐ kě zhēn ràng wǒ zì tàn bù rú a.
In English: “You are so good that it makes me feel like I am so far from your excellence.”

5. How to Make Your Compliments Sound More Sincere

Positive Feelings

Sometimes, compliments can sound pretentious if they’re not given properly, which can make the effect backfire. We want to express our compliments in a sincere manner to make the other person feel comfortable accepting the compliment. This is a great way to enhance a relationship.

The compliments in Chinese that we listed here are all in a sincere tone. If you notice, we sometimes add particles such as 啊 (a) and 呀 (ya) to emphasize the tone and make it sound more friendly. Moreover, you can add more personal details to specify why you want to offer the compliment while avoiding vague Chinese compliments such as 挺好 (tǐng hǎo) or 不错 (bú cuò), meaning “It’s good” or “Not bad.” Phrases like these don’t provide enough depth to the compliment.

6. What to Expect After Giving Compliments

Unlike in Western culture, where you’ll probably prefer to directly accept the compliment and say “Thank you,” the Chinese response to compliments is different. Chinese people like to shy away from compliments and appear to be modest. Traditionally, accepting a compliment without being self-deprecating would be impolite. But now, more and more people are learning to reply to compliments with a “Thank you.”

If you ever receive a compliment in Chinese, don’t panic! Here, we’ve prepared a list of phrases you can use to respond to compliments in an appropriate manner.

1-

Example situation: Suppose you’re receiving a compliment from your friend, and your friend’s skill on the matter is not bad, so you compliment your friend back by saying that the two of you are on the same level.
In Chinese: 彼此彼此。
Pinyin: Bǐ cǐ bǐ cǐ.
In English: “You are just the same as I am.”

2-

Example situation: Suppose you just showed that you have good skills in something, and you want to seem modest. You can say that your skill is poor.
In Chinese: 献丑了。
Pinyin: Xiàn chǒu le.
In English: “Sorry to show my poor skills.”

3-

Example situation: Suppose you’re receiving compliments from your friend, but you want to seem modest.
In Chinese: 哪有。
Pinyin: Nǎ yǒu
In English: “Not at all.”

4-

Example situation: Suppose you’re receiving compliments from your friend, but you want to seem modest.
In Chinese: 我还差得远呢。
Pinyin: Wǒ hái chà dé yuǎn ne
In English: “I’m still far from that.”

7. Conclusion

Want to win a girl’s heart with a good compliment? Do you feel awkward when you receive a compliment in Chinese? Now you’ve found all the answers in this article. As long as you keep practicing, you’ll definitely be able to produce a healthy social life, knowing when and how to say the right compliments.

Of course, a diligent Chinese language learner like you probably won’t feel content with only this article. We have more for you at ChineseClass101.com, where we deliver free, high-quality Chinese lessons to you every week, allowing you to enjoy an immersive and interesting learning experience with professional teachers! Why not give it a try right now?

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儿童节: Celebrating International Children’s Day in China

Do you remember being a kid? Growing up, I always looked forward to a day off from school (and dreaded most days not off school…).

Well, Children’s Day in China is a day off from school that children can look forward to all year long; it’s a holiday filled with fun and excitement for the little ones! In this article, you’ll explore how children and parents celebrate International Children’s Day, pick up some vocab, and learn the Chinese phrase for someone who’s still a child at heart.

Let’s get started.

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1. What is Children’s Day?

International Children’s Day, celebrated in many countries around the world, is a holiday dedicated to honoring and protecting children; it’s also a day for the little ones to have fun and 逃学 (táoxué), or “be off school.”

Let’s briefly look at some Children’s Day history. The holiday is thought to have started as early as 1857, when a pastor living in Massachusetts gave a special sermon for and about children. It wasn’t until 1920, however, that Children’s Day was officially declared a holiday; Turkey was the first country to make this declaration, and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk made it official in 1929. In 1950, the holiday spread rapidly to a number of other countries.

Children’s Day, as we know it today, started as a means of promoting children’s rights and protesting the killing and harming of children. The United Nations declared this holiday a way to mourn the loss of all the children who died as a result of poisoning from the Nazis during WWII.

Chinese Children’s Day started in 1932, initiated by the Shanghai China Salesian Society.

    → Learn the most important facts about Chinese Society with us, and be prepared for your visit or further studies!

2. When is Children’s Day in China?

A Group of Children Raising Up Their Hands

Each year, International Children’s Day is celebrated on June 1. This is when the majority of countries celebrate this holiday, though many countries have their own Children’s Day celebrations on other dates. For example, the United Nations celebrates World Children Day on November 20.

3. Chinese Children’s Day Celebrations

A Bunch of Different-Colored Balloons

Today, Children’s Day in China is a time for children to feel 欢乐 (huānlè), or “happy,” and loved. Most children get the day off school, though schools do put on fun performances or take children on field trips, where they can see a movie or engage in other exciting activities. Only children under the age of fourteen partake in Children’s Day activities.

Some of the most popular Children’s Day traditions in China include taking one’s child to the 公园 (gōngyuán), or “park,” making their favorite snack or dinner, and giving them a 礼物 (lǐwù), or “gift.” Some common gifts include candy, balloons, and toys.

The most important thing, though, is the opportunity for parents to show their children how much they love and care about them. Being loved really is the best feeling, isn’t it?

4. The Children at Heart

Did you know there’s a Chinese phrase for adults who are really children at heart? It’s 童心未泯 (tóngxīn wèi mǐn), which means “to be a child at heart.”

It’s no question that life in today’s world is hectic, crazy, and even full of sorrow at times. Children and adults alike are experiencing lots of stress and anxiety on a day-to-day basis. This makes the significance of being able to maintain a childlike outlook really shine through!

So next time you want to indulge in a favorite childhood dessert, run around outside in the grass, or act silly with your bestie, why not go for it? 😉

Do you consider yourself a child at heart? Or maybe an old soul? Both?

5. Essential Vocabulary for Children’s Day

Pretzels, Popcorn, and Potato Chips

Ready to review some of the vocabulary words from this article? Here are the essential words and phrases to remember for Children’s Day in China!

  • 零食 (língshí) — “snack”
  • 公园 (gōngyuán) — “park”
  • 糖果 (tángguǒ) — “candy”
  • 礼物 (lǐwù) — “gift”
  • 儿童 (értóng) — “children”
  • 气球 (qìqiú) — “balloon”
  • 家长 (jiāzhǎng) — “parent”
  • 天真 (tiānzhēn) — “innocent”
  • 逃学 (táoxué) — “be off school”
  • 欢乐 (huānlè) — “happy”

If you want to hear the pronunciation of each word and phrase listed above, visit our Chinese vocabulary list for Children’s Day.

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed learning about Children’s Day in China with us, and that you took away some valuable information on Chinese culture.

Do you celebrate Children’s Day in your country? If you have kids, what activities do you do together on this holiday? Let us know in the comments!

If you’re itching to continue learning about Chinese culture and the language, check out the following articles on ChineseClass101.com:

This only scratches the surface of all that ChineseClass101.com can offer the aspiring Chinese-learner. To make the most of your study time, create your free lifetime account today; for access to exclusive content and lessons, upgrade to our Premium or Premium PLUS plans!

Good luck, stay safe, and Happy Children’s Day!

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The Anger Game: Phrases for Getting Angry in Chinese

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Question: If ordering food, asking for directions, and exchanging contact information are only beginner-level language skills, what makes an advanced-level Chinese learner?

Here’s my answer: Using the perfect Chinese phrases to express your anger. If you’ve experienced the frustration of not being able to defend yourself in a heated conversation because of your limited vocabulary, you know what I’m talking about.

In this article, you’ll find over thirty phrases and expressions to use in intense situations. These will help you understand what that angry Chinese man might be yelling about, as well as expand your vocabulary to help you express your own feelings and emotions more freely.

Before we proceed, I’d like to assure you that there are no overly vulgar or profane angry Chinese phrases below. That said, you should still be cautious when using any of these phrases—while they’re not too strong, they can still be offensive or rude, especially if used in the wrong context. If you’re curious about curse words in Chinese, you can read all about them in a separate lesson.

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Table of Contents

  1. Angry Imperatives
  2. Angry Warnings
  3. Angry Blames
  4. Describe Your Feelings
  5. Ways to Calm Down When You’re Angry
  6. Final Round: Apologizing
  7. Conclusion

1: Angry Imperatives

Complaints

When annoyed, we tend to give impatient and harsh imperatives. For example, in English, we say things like “Shut up,” “Cut it out,” or “Get out of here.”

In Chinese, some of these phrases have translations with the exact same meanings, while others vary a bit.

走开! (Zǒukāi!)

This phrase literally means “Walk away,” but it’s really a stronger phrase to tell someone: “Get out of the way!”

滚蛋! (Gǔndàn!)

The literal translation of this phrase sounds a little too cute (or yummy): “to roll an egg.”

滚 (gǔn), meaning “to roll,” here is asking someone to “get lost.” The word 蛋 (dàn), or “egg,” in Chinese slang is often associated with something indecent, such as 王八蛋 (wángbādàn), the equivalent of “bastard,” and 妈蛋 (mā dàn), the equivalent of “crap.”

滚 and 蛋 together is a common phrase that translates as “Get the heck out of here!”

闭嘴! (Bìzuǐ!)

Just like its literal translation, this phrase means “Shut your mouth!”

To make this command, or any of the others, stronger and angrier, stick the phrase 你给我 (nǐ gěi wǒ) before the verb.

你给我 (nǐ gěi wǒ) literally means “you give me,” but in imperatives, it’s short for “I’m ordering you to do …” This is a tone intensifier that presumably makes the speaker feel more powerful.

你给我闭嘴!(Nǐ gěi wǒ bìzuǐ!)

闭嘴 (bìzuǐ), as we mentioned earlier, means “Shut your mouth.” Adding 你给我 (nǐ gěi wǒ) doesn’t change the meaning. Instead, it only makes the tone stronger.

你给我滚蛋!(Nǐ gěi wǒ gǔndàn!)

As explained earlier, 滚蛋 (gǔndàn) means “Get the heck out of here!” 你给我 (nǐ gěi wǒ) only makes 滚蛋 more potent, similar to the English “Get the hell outta here!”

The subject 你 (), meaning “you,” can be omitted.

给我滚蛋! (Gěi wǒ gǔndàn!) has the same meaning and effect.

你给我听好!(Nǐ gěi wǒ tīng hǎo!)

This literally translates to “You give me listen well!” But it means something more like: “You better listen to me carefully!”

To sternly order someone not to do something, like a parent would tell a child not to interrupt, we can use the 不许 (bùxǔ) + verb pattern.

A Girl Getting Scolded by a Parent

不许 (bùxǔ) means “not allowed.” Here are some examples using the 不许 before verbs:

不许插嘴。(Bùxǔ chāzuǐ.)

This literally means “Interrupting is not allowed.” It translates as “No interrupting.”

不许胡说。(Bùxǔ húshuō.)

胡说 (húshuō) means “to talk nonsense.” 不许胡说 is telling someone to stop making stuff up.

不许说脏话。(Bùxǔ shuō zānghuà.)

This phrase is typically used by a parent telling his or her child not to say bad words.

脏话 (zānghuà) means “dirty words” or “bad words.”

2: Angry Warnings

When the angry imperatives don’t work, it might be time to upgrade to some intimidating warnings. These warning phrases are a great way to show someone you’re about to get very angry in Chinese.

Woman Pointing Finger at a Man with a Mug

别惹我。(Bié rě wǒ.)

The verb 惹 () means “to provoke,” but here it means “to mess with” or “to irritate.”

别惹我 is used to warn someone: “Don’t mess with me.”

你给我小心点。(Nǐ gěi wǒ xiǎoxīn diǎn.)

You just learned that 你给我 (nǐ gěi wǒ) intensifies an imperative. It also intensifies a warning.

小心点 (xiǎoxīn diǎn) literally means “to be a little careful.” Together, the phrase 你给我小心点 translates to “You better watch out.”

我警告你,这是最后一次。 (Wǒ jǐnggào nǐ, zhè shì zuìhòu yí cì.)

This is a firm warning that says: “I’m warning you, this is the last time.”

我的忍耐已经达到极限了。(Wǒ de rěnnài yǐjīng dádào jíxiàn le.)

This one means: “My tolerance has reached its limit.”

别怪我不客气。(Bié guài wǒ bú kèqi.)

The phrase 不客气 (bú kèqi) here has a different meaning than the 不客气 that’s used to say “You’re welcome.”

客气 (kèqi) is a unique and almost untranslatable word in Chinese. It has the positive meaning of being courteous, nice, and formal. Its negative form, 不客气 (bú kèqi), means “not nice” or “without any courtesy or etiquette.”

别怪我 means “Don’t blame me.” Together, the phrase 别怪我不客气 means something like “Don’t blame me for being mean.”

This is a common phrase used in trash talk.

3: Angry Blames

Two Girls Fighting

When it’s time to really get angry in Chinese, angry blames take the stage. During the exchange of angry words and phrases, putting blame on the other person and name-calling always bring tension to the next level. We’ll introduce these phrases, but hope you never have to use them.

The common blaming and name-calling phrases in Chinese we’ve listed below are in order from least harsh to most harsh.

你太过分了。(Nǐ tài guòfèn le.)

This phrase means: “You crossed the line.”

你这个人真是莫名其妙。(Nǐ zhège rén zhēnshì mòmíngqímiào.)

莫名其妙 (mòmíngqímiào) is a Chinese idiom, or 成语 (chéngyǔ), that means “confusing” or “can’t be explained.”

你这个人真是莫名其妙 translates as “You are such an oddball,” implying that you don’t understand why the person is doing what they’re doing.

你活该。(Nǐ huógāi.)

This phrase is just like the English “You deserve it.”

你算老几?(Nǐ suàn lǎojǐ?)

A little cultural background before we break down this phrase:

When a family has more than one child, the children are referred to not only by name, but also by their birth order. The firstborn is 老大 (lǎodà), the second is 老二 (lǎoèr), the third is 老三 (lǎosān), and so on. The oldest child, 老大 (lǎodà), is usually put in charge when the parents aren’t around. Therefore, 老大 also means “boss” in slang.

The phrase 你算老几? literally means “You are what number down the line?” implying “You’re not the one in charge.” Oftentimes, it’s translated as: “Who do you think you are?”

你脑子有病吧?(Nǐ nǎozi yǒubìng ba?)

The literal translation is “Is your brain sick?” It could also be translated as: “What the heck is going on with you?” but with a slightly stronger tone.

Calling someone 有病 (yǒubìng), or “sick,” is one of the most common ways in Chinese colloquial language to vent anger. This is by no means vulgar, but still serves the purpose of expressing your despise and disgust.

Another way of calling someone sick in the head is 神经病 (shénjīngbìng), meaning “psycho.”

After “sicko” and “psycho,” the list of name-calling slang words goes on. Below are some commonly used name-calling words, also in order from least to most harsh:

大嘴巴 (dà zuǐbā)

This is literally “big mouth,” but it refers to someone who can’t keep a secret.

铁公鸡 (tiě gōngjī)

This literally translates to “iron rooster,” referring to someone who is cheap and stingy.

This term comes from the 歇后语 (xiēhòuyǔ), or “two-part saying”:

  • 铁公鸡 — 一毛不拔
    Tiě gōngjī — yīmáobùbá.
    “An iron rooster — never pulls out a feather.”

It’s used to describe the same type of people.

自恋狂 (zìliàn kuáng)

This word literally means “self-love maniac.” This is someone who thinks the world of themselves, always posts their selfies on social media, and can’t stop staring at themselves in the mirror.

It could translate to “egocentric” in English.

戏精 (xìjīng)

This word is similar to “drama queen.” It refers to the type of person who likes to over-exaggerate and make a scene.

妈宝男 (mā bǎo nán)

The literal translation of this phrase is “mom’s baby man,” which is similar to “mama’s boy” in English. But it only applies to adult men who are spoiled by their mothers, and who still rely on their mothers whenever something comes up.

白痴 (báichī)

This refers to someone who knows nothing. An idiot.

二百五 (èrbǎiwu)

“Two hundred fifty” is not an ordinary number in Chinese. It’s a symbol for stupid people.

绿茶婊 (lǜchá biǎo)

This literally means “green tea b*tch.” It’s used to call the type of girl who appears innocent and harmless like a cup of refreshing green tea, but deep down they’re calculating or could even be evil.

脑残 (nǎocán)

This word literally means “brain handicapped” or “mentally disabled.” They’re the kind of people, usually young folks, who make stupid decisions.

To use the above name-calling words in sentences, you can use the 你就是个… (nǐ jiùshì ge…) pattern.

  • 你就是个妈宝男。
    Nǐ jiùshì ge mā bǎo nán.
    “You’re such a mom’s boy.”
  • 你就是个戏精。
    Nǐ jiùshì ge xìjīng.
    “You’re such a drama queen.”
  • 你就是个二百五。
    Nǐ jiùshì ge érbǎiwu.
    “You’re such an idiot.”

4: Describe Your Feelings

Negative Verbs

Arguing and fighting is exhausting, especially with all the yelling and name-calling. It may be hard to do, but always try to tell the other person how you feel instead of saying something you’ll regret later—or for the rest of your life.

Here are some examples of phrases you can use to express that you’re feeling angry in Chinese, or to tell someone about your other negative feelings:

  • 我实在是受够了。
    Wǒ shízài shì shòu gòu le.
    “I’m so fed up.”
  • 我对你太失望了。
    Wǒ duì nǐ tài shīwàng le.
    “I’m so disappointed in you.”
  • 我不想跟你吵架。
    Wǒ bùxiǎng gēnnǐ chǎojià.
    “I don’t want to fight with you.”
  • 我只想一个人静一静。
    Wǒ zhǐ xiǎng yīgerén jìngyījìng.
    “I just want to be alone and have some quiet time by myself.”
  • 你为什么要这样对我?
    Nǐ wèishénme yào zhèyàng duì wǒ?
    “Why are you treating me like this?”

5: Ways to Calm Down When You’re Angry

Yoga Namaste Pose

When none of the above actions can resolve the issue and you’re only finding yourself getting more angry, try to walk away and do something to distract yourself.

To calm yourself down, you can try:

1. 深呼吸。 (Shēn hūxī.)

“Take a deep breath.” Getting some cleansing air into your body usually helps to slow down your heart rate and lower your blood pressure.

2. 走一走。 (Zǒuyizǒu.)

“Take a walk.” Go for a walk outside to get your mind off the things that upset you. It gives you a chance to slow your mind down and think about what made you so mad and if it’s really worth being upset over.

3. 听音乐。(Tīng yīnyuè.)

“Listen to music.” Music has the power to heal. Either cry it out with some sad music, or crank up the dance music to let the negative energy out.

4. 写下来。 (Xiě xiàlai.)

“Write it down.” Write down in your journal, or on a piece of paper, about what happened, why it happened, and what you could have done better. When you read it back to yourself, you’ll be surprised to find how silly and trivial these things are.

You can also try to write a letter or message to the person you had a fight with. When people communicate through written words, it often turns out to be more calm and logical than the face-to-face confrontations.

5. 记住:生气就是用别人的错误惩罚自己。(Jìzhu: Shēngqì jiùshì yòng biérén de cuòwù chéngfá zìjǐ.)

“Remember: Getting angry is punishing yourself for the mistakes of others.”

6: Final Round: Apologizing

A sincere apology is magical. It ends fights, mends relationships, and heals wounds. After you manage to calm down, chances are you’ll feel sorry for being angry and using hurtful words that were totally unnecessary.

Couple Hugging

Here are some soothing apologies you can use:

  • 对不起。
    Duìbuqǐ.
    “I’m sorry.”
  • 我错了。
    Wǒ cuò le.
    “I was wrong.” Or “It was my fault.”
  • 我向你道歉。
    Wǒ xiàng nǐ dàoqiàn.
    “I apologize to you.”
  • 我也有不对的地方。
    Wǒ yěyǒu búduì de dìfang.
    Literally: “I also had improper places,” meaning “I also did something improper.”
  • 我们和好吧。
    Wǒmen hé hǎo ba.
    “Let’s make up.”
  • 我们以后都要有话好好说。
    Wǒmen yǐhòu dōu yàoyǒu huà hǎohǎo shuō.
    Literally: “We should always talk to each other peacefully,” meaning “Let’s communicate without yelling in the future.”

7: Conclusion

As much as we don’t want you to use the angry and strong Chinese words and phrases introduced in this article, they’re still something you need to understand and know how to use, just in case. Seeking peace and co-existence is one of the essential philosophies in Chinese culture. So try to avoid disputes and fights when you’re in China.

To learn more about the language, the people, and the culture of China, explore ChineseClass101.com for more hidden treasures!

Before you go, let us know in the comments how you calm yourself down when angry. We’d love to hear from you!

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International Labor Day: China’s Travel Holiday

On International Labor Day, China is known for its large number of travelers and tourists, massive sales, and other fun events. In this article, you’ll learn more about the Labor Day holiday, what to expect in China during this time, and some useful vocabulary!

Let’s get started.

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1. What is Labor Day?

You’re most likely familiar with International Labor Day. This is a special 假日 (jiàrì), or “holiday,” weekend during which workers and employees are allowed to take a 假期 (jiàqī), or “vacation,” from work. But how did it get started?

Labor Day History

Labor Day got its start in the United States in 1882. There’s some debate as to who came up with the idea, but in 1894, then-President of the U.S., Grover Cleveland, made it a national holiday.

It wasn’t until 1919 that people in China started celebrating Labor Day, and it didn’t become a national holiday here until 1949. When this holiday began in China, it was simply a day to honor and show appreciation for workers; over time, Labor Day has become more associated with time off work and fun activities.

5-1 Golden Week

For a while, the Labor Day celebration in China lasted for an entire week. The Chinese labeled it “5-1 Golden Week,” and this long holiday became a time of mass 旅游 (lǚyóu), or “travel.”

Unfortunately, in 2008, the Chinese government decided to transform this holiday into only a one-day celebration. This is because they added a few more holidays to the Chinese calendar:

Of course, depending on what day of the week Labor Day actually takes place, people may be able to take a full weekend off.

2. When is Labor Day in China?

A Man Riding His Bike in a Field with His Dog

Each year, Labor Day takes place on May 1. This is when most countries celebrate the holiday, with the exception of the United States, which celebrates on the first Monday of September for a full Labor Day weekend.

3. Labor Day Traditions & Celebrations

On Labor Day, Chinese workers and employees have the day off as the majority of businesses are closed. As mentioned earlier, during the Labor Day holiday, China is abuzz with travel as people enjoy a rest from their 劳动者 (láodòngzhě), or “labor.” This is one of the heaviest traveling times in the country, with hundreds of millions of tourists across the country!

Other Labor Day events include shopping and going out with family or friends. This is a great time to take advantage of a massive 打折 (dǎzhé), or “sale,” because many shops and restaurants see this as an opportunity to boost sales.

Those exploring the streets of China during Labor Day are likely to hear people playing music and see an array of lovely flower decorations. Also be prepared for crowds and the hustle-and-bustle that comes with them. Many people choose to stay at home (or close to home) in order to avoid the craziness of holiday travel!

4. Japanese Golden Week

Did you know that Japan was the only other Asian country with a 5-1 Golden Week?

Unlike China, the 5-1 Golden Week still exists in Japan. This is a period of time from late April to early March when a number of holidays take place, including Labor Day.

5. Must-Know Vocabulary for Labor Day in China

A Couple Going on Vacation Together

Ready to review some of the vocabulary words from this article? Here’s a list of the most important words and phrases for Labor Day!

  • 员工 (yuángōng) — “employee” [n.]
  • 打折 (dǎzhé) — “sale” [n.]
  • 周末 (zhōumò) — “weekend” [n.]
  • 假期 (jiàqī) — “vacation” [n.]
  • 旅游 (lǚyóu) — “travel” [n.]
  • 工人 (gōng rén) — “worker” [n.]
  • 工作 (gōngzuò) — “job” [n.]
  • 劳动节 (Láodòng jié) — “Labor Day” [n.]
  • 职业 (zhíyè) — “career” [n.]
  • 劳动者 (láodòngzhě) — “labor” [n.]
  • 工会 (gōnghuì) — “union” [n.]
  • 工作 (gōngzuò) — “work” [n.]
  • 权利 (quánlì) — “right” [n.]
  • 假日 (jiàrì) — “holiday” [n.]
  • 野餐 (yěcān) — “picnic” [n.]

To hear the pronunciation of each word, and to read them alongside relevant images, be sure to check out our Chinese Labor Day vocabulary list!

6. Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed learning about Labor Day in China with us, and that you took away some valuable information.

Do you celebrate Labor Day in your country? If so, how? We look forward to hearing from you!

If you’re curious about Chinese culture or the language, ChineseClass101.com has tons of fun and informative lessons on a variety of topics. Free vocabulary lists, grammar lessons, and insightful blog posts like this one are just the beginning of what we have to offer the aspiring (or returning) Chinese learner. Create your free lifetime account today, and start learning with us.

Happy Labor Day! 🙂

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China Life Event Messages: Happy New Year in Chinese & More

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Sometimes, a single sentence can allow humans to easily connect with each other, especially wishes phrases that everyone wants to hear. There are some unique life events, and different ways of celebrating them, in every single country even between the local people, and that’s where they share the same values and embrace each other’s traditions. So how do you wish someone well in Chinese? And what can you gain from learning how to say Happy New Year in Chinese, and other holiday greetings?

As a language learner, such events can establish a great communication channel with native speakers and provide a better look at the local culture so you can really be a part of it. In China, you can have a variety of opportunities to get involved, as long as you know the right thing to say. Now is the best time to learn those phrases of congratulations in Chinese that pave your way toward integrating into Chinese culture!

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Table of Contents

  1. Birthday
  2. Mid-Autumn Festival
  3. Chinese Congratulations: Graduation
  4. Lantern Festival
  5. Chinese New Year Congratulations
  6. Wedding
  7. Bad News
  8. Death/Funeral
  9. Injured/Sick
  10. Holidays
  11. Conclusion

1. Birthday

Happy Birthday

Undeniably, birthdays are one of the biggest events across all cultures! Traditionally, Chinese people like to eat longevity noodles, which is a type of noodle that’s all in one string. Nowadays, however, more and more people eat western birthday cakes. Now, imagine that you’re invited to a birthday party and don’t know how to say Happy Birthday in Chinese. How embarrassing is that? Don’t worry, though; the answer is here for you!

In Chinese: 生日快乐!
Pinyin: Shēng rì kuài lè!
In English: Happy birthday!
Usage: Natural for both speaking and writing; informal.

In Chinese: 恭喜你又长大了一岁。
Pinyin: Gōng xǐ nǐ yòu zhǎng dà le yī suì.
In English: Congratulations on growing a year older.
Usage: More natural for writing; formal.

In Chinese: 恭喜你又向成年迈出了一步!
Pinyin: Gōng xǐ nǐ yòu xiàng chéng nián mài chū le yī bù.
In English: Congratulations that you are one step closer to becoming an adult!
Usage: More natural for writing; formal.

2. Mid-Autumn Festival

Full Moon

Mid-Autumn Festival happens when there is a full moon.

Mid-Autumn Festival is another holiday where Chinese people like to unite together with their families. On the night of this holiday, the moon will be completely round. In ancient times, people appreciated the moon in an artistic way, which is why there’s so much Chinese old-style poetry about the moon during the Mid-Autumn Festival. The staple food for this holiday is called 月饼 (yuè bǐng), meaning “moon cake.” It looks round and golden like the moon, usually with a whole salted duck egg inside.

Eat mooncake and appreciate the moon with families!

In Chinese: 中秋节快乐。
Pinyin: Zhōng qiū jié kuài lè.
In English: Happy Mid-Autumn Festival.
Usage: Natural for both speaking and writing; formal.

In Chinese: 祝你们合家欢乐。
Pinyin: Zhù nǐ men hé jiā huān lè.
In English: Wish you a happy family.
Usage: More natural for writing; formal.

In Chinese: 你吃月饼了吗?
Pinyin:chī yuè bǐng le ma?
In English: Did you eat a mooncake?
Usage: More natural for speaking; informal.

3. Chinese Congratulations: Graduation

Graduation Cap on Stack of Books

Graduation means a whole new chapter in life!

Graduations in China are very similar to other graduation ceremonies. Students take pictures and wish each other a bright future. Despite celebrating academic achievements, people may shed some tears on their graduation, as it could be time to part with some of their close friends from school. One way to keep the beautiful memories alive is to sign each other’s uniforms.

In Chinese: 毕业快乐。
Pinyin: Bì yè kuài lè.
In English: Happy graduation!
Usage: More natural for writing; formal.

In Chinese: 祝你前程似锦。
Pinyin: Zhù nǐ qián chéng sì jǐn.
In English: Hope you will have a bright future.
Usage: Natural for both speaking and writing; formal.

In Chinese: 希望你毕业之后一切顺利。
Pinyin: Xī wàng nǐ bì yè zhī hòu yī qiē shùn lì.
In English: Hope everything goes well for you after graduation.
Usage: Natural for both speaking and writing; informal.

4. Lantern Festival

Red Lanterns

Let’s put on some lanterns for the Lantern Festival!

The fifteenth day of the lunar calendar is the Lantern Festival, a holiday that’s arranged very close to the Chinese New Year. On this special day, Chinese people eat 元宵 / 汤圆 (yuán xiāo / tāng yuán), a dessert made from glutinous rice flour, to celebrate. They also give each other riddles to solve with a theme associated with the holiday.

In Chinese: 元宵节快乐!
Pinyin: Yuán xiāo jié kuài lè!
In English: Happy Lantern Festival!
Usage: Natural for both speaking and writing; formal.

In Chinese: 我来给你出个灯谜吧。
Pinyin: Wǒ lái gěi nǐ chū gè dēng mí ba.
In English: Let me give you a riddle.
Usage: More natural for speaking; informal.

In Chinese: 祝您一家人团团圆圆。
Pinyin: Zhù nín yī jiā rén tuán tuán yuán yuán.
In English: Wish your family a great reunion.
Usage: More natural for writing; formal.

5. Chinese New Year Congratulations

Remains of Fireworks on the Ground

When you see these, you know Chinese New Year is running right now!

Wondering how to say “Happy New Year” in Chinese? Well, you better know that if you’re studying Chinese, because the Chinese New Year is like Christmas in western countries. On this important holiday, people celebrate it by eating dumplings, visiting family, and lighting fireworks. If you ever want to be a part of Chinese culture, learn how to wish congratulations on Chinese New Year with some must-know phrases for the Chinese New Year!

In Chinese: 新年快乐,恭喜发财!
Pinyin: Xīn nián kuài lè, gōng xǐ fā cái!
In English: Happy new year, (I) wish you prosperity.
Usage: More natural for writing; informal.

In Chinese: 祝您万事如意。
Pinyin: Zhù nín wàn shì rú yì.
In English: May all your wishes come true.
Usage: More natural for writing; formal.

In Chinese: 我在这给您拜年了!
Pinyin: Wǒ zài zhè gěi nín bài nián le!
In English: Allow me to give you my new year’s blessing!
Usage: More natural for speaking; informal.

6. Wedding

Marriage Proposal

Traditionally, Chinese couples wore red for their wedding. However, modern Chinese weddings are very similar to western wedding ceremonies. A special custom that Chinese people still like to do is to give 份子钱 (fèn zi qián), or “gift money,” to the newly married couple for a wedding. This Chinese congratulations gift is one of the defining aspects of a Chinese wedding.

What do you say at a Chinese wedding? Make sure to study the Chinese marriage congratulations below to have something to say when you’re invited to a wedding!

In Chinese: 新婚快乐!
Pinyin: Xīn hūn kuài lè!
In English: Happy new wedding!
Usage: Natural for both speaking and writing; formal.

In Chinese: 祝你们长长久久。
Pinyin: Zhù nǐ men cháng cháng jiǔ jiǔ.
In English: I wish you a long time together.
Usage: More natural for writing; formal.

In Chinese: 祝你们一生恩爱幸福。
Pinyin: Zhù nǐ men yī shēng ēn ài xìng fú.
In English: Wishing you a lifetime of love and happiness.
Usage: More natural for writing; formal.

7. Bad News

Of course, there are always dark sides of life as long as there are bright sides. Now that we’ve learned all the happy Chinese wishes phrases, it’s time to learn some comforting phrases to show your support when hearing bad news.

In Chinese: 一切都会好起来的。
Pinyin: Yī qiè dōu huì hǎo qǐ lái de.
In English: Everything will get better.
Usage: More natural for speaking; informal.

In Chinese: 节哀顺变。
Pinyin: Jié āi shùn biàn.
In English: Please save your sadness and let things slide (for someone’s loss).
Usage: More natural for speaking; formal.

In Chinese: 别难过了,有我在呢。
Pinyin: Bié nán guò le, yǒu wǒ zài ne.
In English: Don’t be sad, I’m here for you.
Usage: More natural for speaking; informal.

8. Death/Funeral

Death is an inevitable topic in every culture, China included. The Chinese have a holiday where people go to the graveyard of their dead families to clean the grave and awake the past family memories. If you ever accompany someone on this special holiday, or go to a Chinese funeral, here are some Chinese wishes phrases you can use for the dead.

In Chinese: 安息吧,你会永远在我们的心里。
Pinyin: Ān xī ba, nǐ huì yǒng yuǎn zài wǒ men de xīn lǐ.
In English: Rest in peace and know that you will always be in our hearts.
Usage: More natural for speaking; informal.

In Chinese: 一路走好。
Pinyin: Yī lù zǒu hǎo.
In English: Have a good trip.
Usage: Natural for both speaking and writing; formal.

In Chinese: 希望你在天堂一切都好。
Pinyin: Xī wàng nǐ zài tiān táng yī qiè dōu hǎo.
In English: Hope everything is good in heaven.
Usage: More natural for writing; informal.

9. Injured/Sick

We are all human, and we may get injured or sick once in a while. When we’re in such a vulnerable state, we need nothing more than a heartwarming wish from loved ones. Traditionally, staple foods for sick people are boiled chicken soup or some porridge; if you ever want to show your care beyond words, that’s the way to go. But for now, let’s first learn some basic Chinese phrases for condolences, such as “wishing you good health” in Chinese. Here are some phrases to show your friends and loved ones that you care!

In Chinese: 好好照顾自己。
Pinyin: Hǎo hǎo zhào gù zì jǐ.
In English: Take care of yourself.
Usage: Natural for both speaking and writing; informal.

In Chinese: 快点好起来啊。
Pinyin: Kuài diǎn hǎo qǐ lái a.
In English: Get well soon.
Usage: More natural for writing; informal.

In Chinese: 祝您身体健康。
Pinyin: Zhù nín shēn tǐ jiàn kāng.
In English: Wishing you good health.
Usage: More natural for writing; formal.

10. Holidays

More Chinese wish phrases? No problem! There are many more unique holidays in China that you may not know! For example, the Chinese traditional Valentine’s Day is on July 7, which originated from a romantic fairytale of the Weaver Girl. Now, modern Chinese couples like to celebrate Valentine’s Day on May 20 because the pronunciation of 520 in Chinese sounds very similar to “I love you” in Chinese. Holidays like April Fool’s Day are a huge thing in China as well. Many young people take advantage of this day to confess their romantic feelings for one another! Lastly, you’ll learn how to say Chinese Christmas greetings and happy holidays in Mandarin Chinese.

In Chinese: 情人节/七夕快乐。
Pinyin: Qíng rén jié /Qī xī kuài lè.
In English: Happy Valentine’s Day.
Usage: Natural for both speaking and writing; formal.

In Chinese: 愚人节快乐!
Pinyin: Yú rén jié kuài lè!
In English: Happy April Fool’s Day!
Usage: Natural for both speaking and writing; formal.

In Chinese: 圣诞节快乐!
Pinyin: Shèng dàn jié kuài lè!
In English: Merry Christmas!
Usage: Natural for both speaking and writing; formal.

In Chinese: 假期快乐!
Pinyin: Jiǎ qī kuài lè!
In English: Happy holidays!
Usage: Natural for both speaking and writing; formal.

11. Conclusion

Basic Questions

Now, do you remember how to say “happy holidays” in Mandarin Chinese? How about Happy New Year or Merry Christmas in Chinese? This article certainly is a life-saver when it comes to being involved in life events. Now you don’t ever have to worry about being awkward during such occasions.

We’re dedicated to fulfilling every language learner’s needs. If you have any more questions about Chinese in store for us, visit ChineseClass101 to start an adventure in finding those answers. You won’t regret it!

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Celebrating National Tree Planting Day in China

On 国际植树节 (guójì zhíshù jié), or International Arbor Day, China puts a special emphasis on the importance of caring for the environment. Volunteers from all over the country spend the day planting trees, and many people enjoy doing outdoor activities.

In this article, you’ll learn all about China’s National Tree Planting Day, from its origins to modern-day observations.

Are you ready? Let’s get started!

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1. What is Arbor Day?

Arbor Day is formally established as a national tree-planting campaign. As people become more aware of how important it is to protect the environment, they also realize the significance of National Tree Planting Day.

Since the 1980s, the Chinese people have voluntarily planted more than 35 billion trees. China is currently conducting six strategic forestry projects, including:

  • Windbreak construction in the “Three Norths” (northwest China, north China, and northeast China) and the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River
  • Restoration of farmland to forests
  • Construction of wildlife reserves
  • Protection of natural forests

The forest coverage rate in China rose from 8.6% in the early periods of the PRC to 16.5% at the end of 2000. For more recent estimates, check out this page on China’s forest coverage on Statista.com.

2. When is National Tree Planting Day?

Chinese Arbor Day Takes Place in March

The date of Arbor Day in modern China has changed three times over the years.

Because of the tradition of planting willows on Tomb Sweeping Day, during the early periods of the Republic of China, Tomb Sweeping Day served as Arbor Day. In order to commemorate Sun Yat-sen, who passed away on March 12, 1925, the Nationalist Government changed Arbor Day to March 12. After the People’s Republic of China was established, March 12 was recognized as Arbor Day at the suggestion of Deng Xiaoping.

Today, Arbor Day still takes place on this date in 三月 (sān yuè), or “March.”

3. Chinese Tree Planting Day Observations

A Group of People Working Together to Plant Trees

On Tree Planting Day, China hosts a range of widely organized tree-planting activities. Usually, universities, middle schools, elementary schools, and state-owned enterprises organize students or employees to plant trees in the suburbs. By planting seedlings, fertilizing, and watering, people learn to appreciate reforestation and further become aware of the environment in the process.

In China, Tree Planting Day has become such an important holiday that, in recent years, the “Internet Trees Planting” system has become popular. This system was initiated by the United Nations Environment Programme, China Population Welfare Foundation, and China Green Foundation. By simply logging onto the official website and clicking, people can donate one tree.

远足爬山 (yuǎnzú páshān), or “hiking and climbing,” is another popular way to observe International Arbor Day in China. Getting outside in the fresh air is a great way to internalize the importance of caring for the 环境 (huánjìng), or “environment.”

4. Sun Yat-sen

Do you know which politician in modern China first advocated reforestation and promoted the establishment of Arbor Day in China?

In China’s modern history, Sun Yat-sen was the first to realize the importance of forests and to advocate planting trees. The Nationalist Government set the day of his death to be Arbor Day.

5. Must-Know Vocabulary for Tree Planting Day in China

A Group of People Hiking in the Mountains

Ready to review some of the vocabulary words from this article? Here’s a list of the most important words and phrases for Arbor Day in China!

  • 志愿者 (zhìyuànzhě) — “volunteer”
  • 森林 (sēnlín) — “forest”
  • 树 (shù) — “tree”
  • 种植 (zhòng zhí) — “plant”
  • 三月 (sān yuè) — “March”
  • 环境 (huánjìng) — “environment”
  • 国际植树节 (guójì zhíshù jié) — “International Arbor Day”
  • 绿化 (lǜ huà) — “afforest”
  • 远足爬山 (yuǎnzú páshān) — “hiking and climbing”
  • 树苗 (shù miáo) — “sapling”

To hear the pronunciation of each word, and to read them alongside relevant images, be sure to check out our Chinese Arbor Day vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed learning about Arbor Day in China with us. Do you celebrate Arbor Day in your country? Have you ever planted trees with your community? We look forward to hearing from you!

If you would like to learn more about Chinese culture and holidays, you may find the following pages on ChineseClass101.com useful:

Whatever your reasons for developing an interest in Chinese culture or the language, know that ChineseClass101.com is the best way to expand your knowledge and improve your skills. With tons of fun lessons for learners at every level, there’s something for everyone!

Create your free lifetime account today, and start learning with us.

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Learn Chinese from Great Shows & Chinese Movies on Netflix

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This is probably one of the nicest ways to start your Friday night: Crawling into your soft bed with a comfortable blanket, watching some of the best Chinese movies on Netflix, and maybe indulge in some pizza or a scoop of ice cream? Right. Who doesn’t want this while still not falling behind on other priorities? After all, watching shows can be time-consuming.

Well, did you know that as a language-learner, you can have both? With a little more focus and effort, you can definitely turn your show-watching time into valuable learning time. If you really want to learn Chinese, Netflix can actually be a very valuable learning tool!

From the classic ancient battle scenes that flood your vision with vivid imagery to a bittersweet romantic love story that evokes your nostalgia for youth, here we have a list of the best Chinese shows on Netflix (and a couple of the best Chinese movies on Netflix) that will guide you straight to success in your Chinese learning. At least one of these best Chinese Netflix series or films will be your cup of tea.

Can’t wait to start another obsession and begin the binge-watching? Ready to learn Chinese on Netflix?

We’ve prepared a short guide to our favorite Netflix Chinese titles. Let’s jump right into our list of the best Chinese movies on Netflix and other great shows to help you enrich your Chinese skills!

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Table of Contents

  1. 致我们单纯的小美好 – A Love So Beautiful
  2. 画皮 2 – Painted Skin: The Resurrection
  3. 喜欢你 – This is Not What I Expected
  4. 西游记之孙悟空三打白骨精 – The Monkey King 2
  5. 香蜜沉沉烬如霜 – Ashes of Love
  6. 流星花园 – Meteor Garden
  7. 甄嬛传 – Empresses in the Palace
  8. 白夜追凶 – Day and Night
  9. 温暖的弦 – Here to Heart
  10. 天盛长歌 – The Rise of Phoenixes
  11. Conclusion

1. 致我们单纯的小美好 – A Love So Beautiful

A Love So Beautiful is a show based on Zhao Ganqian’s novel of the same name. This Netflix Chinese drama tells the story of Chen Jiang’s and Xiaoxi Chen’s journey of growing up together over the past nineteen years. Although it always seemed to be unrequited love, Xiaoxi never gives up on this love-pursuing journey with great perseverance and hope. Starting from an innocent childhood, the love story ends beautifully after all the ups and downs of life.

If you’re curious about how a school romance is in China, this Popular Chinese Netflix show is the perfect pick for you. Relive the golden years of youth along with the main characters in this lighthearted and relaxing show.

In this Chinese Netflix drama, you’ll learn some popular phrases that young Chinese people like to use; they’re casual and useful for daily life. Remember to take some notes!

  • In Chinese: 一辈子那么长,我才不会只喜欢你一个人;一辈子那么长,没想到我真的只喜欢你一个人。
    Pinyin: Yí bèi zi nà me cháng, wǒ cái bú huì zhǐ xǐ huān nǐ yí gè rén; yí bèi zi nà me cháng, méi xiǎng dào wǒ zhēn de zhǐ xǐ huān nǐ yí gè rén.
    In English: A lifetime is so long, I won’t only like you. A lifetime is so long, I can’t believe I really did only like you.
  • In Chinese: 感谢
    Pinyin: gǎn xiè
    In English: appreciate
  • In Chinese: 勇气
    Pinyin: yǒng qì
    In English: courage
  • In Chinese: 吵架
    Pinyin: chǎo jià
    In English: argue

2. 画皮 2 – Painted Skin: The Resurrection

Xiaowei is a yokai who is on a quest to receive a heart to become human, while Princess Jing is desperate to recover her ruined appearance to keep her lover, Huo Xin. When they’re all on the edge of death, the power of love awakens. Will a miracle happen to give the characters a happy ending?

This unique Chinese fantasy on Netflix depicts the concept of yokai in Asian culture. If you’re interested in such a mythical creature, be sure to check this one out!

  • In Chinese: 没有了心,我会怎样?
    Pinyin: Méi yǒu le xīn, wǒ huì zěn yàng?
    In English: What would I become without a heart?
  • In Chinese: 心
    Pinyin: xīn
    In English: heart
  • In Chinese: 相信
    Pinyin: xiàng xìn
    In English: believe
  • In Chinese: 换
    Pinyin: huàn
    In English: exchange

3. 喜欢你 – This is Not What I Expected

Gu Shengnan is an amazing chef who secretly has a relationship with the manager of the hotel. After being dumped, she becomes desperate and encounters a sophisticated and sharp guy named Lu Jin, who was on his way to buy the hotel. Although they have completely different personalities, the two of them eventually find their unique bond and happily hold hands together. If you want to enrich your expectation for relationships, this Netflix Chinese drama is a must-watch.

This show is also great if you’re a foodie. You can learn some food phrases in Chinese so that you’ll be a master while ordering food in a restaurant in China!

  • In Chinese: 爱情是不期而遇的,你不能计划这件事,碰到之后就自己说了算。
    Pinyin: Ài qíng shì bù qī ér yù de, nǐ bù néng jì huá zhè jiàn shì, pèng dào zhī hòu jiù zì jǐ shuō le suàn.
    In English: Love is always out of expectations, you cannot plan it, but you are your own boss once you encounter it.
  • In Chinese: 职位
    Pinyin: zhí wèi
    In English: position (for work)
  • In Chinese: 普通
    Pinyin: pǔ tōng
    In English: ordinary
  • In Chinese: 讨厌
    Pinyin: tǎo yàn
    In English: hate

4. 西游记之孙悟空三打白骨精 – The Monkey King 2

Have you ever heard of the classic literary work Journey to the West? The answer is probably yes, and this Chinese fantasy on Netflix is ready for you to watch now! In this movie, the original plot retains its character. The Monkey King’s priority is to protect the traveling monk from the evil White Bone Spirit, who seeks immortality through killing the monk and eating his flesh.

This is one of the best Chinese Netflix movies and is an interesting version of the classic. Watch this lovely piece to experience the gist of one of the most classic literary works in Chinese history. You won’t be disappointed!

  • In Chinese: 不要用你心中的对与错去衡量别人的对与错。
    Pinyin: Bú yào yòng nǐ xīn zhōng de duì yǔ cuò qù héng liàng bié rén de duì yǔ cuò.
    In English: Do not judge other people’s right or wrong based on your own standards.
  • In Chinese: 一世
    Pinyin: yī shì
    In English: a lifetime
  • In Chinese: 对
    Pinyin: duì
    In English: the right
  • In Chinese: 错
    Pinyin: cuò
    In English: fault

5. 香蜜沉沉烬如霜 – Ashes of Love

This is another great Chinese fantasy on Netflix that you definitely can’t miss! The Flower Goddess predicts that her daughter, Jin Mi will be tortured a great deal as she experiences love in the future, just like her own bitter experience. Determined to stop this tragedy, she gives Mi the Loveless Pill to prevent her from falling in love. And that’s how everything starts. This is a bittersweet love tale that depicts the struggles and love between Mi and Xufeng for three lifetimes in reincarnations.

The cultural aspect of this show is fascinating. You’ll be amazed by the concept of Xian (仙), which is an immortal being who lives above the sky in Chinese culture. This show reveals a glimpse of these interesting figures, as well as some poetic phrases about love to impress your other half with! Here’s some vocabulary for one of the best Chinese dramas on Netflix!

  • In Chinese: 遇我,在你懂爱之前。爱我,在你伤我之后。
    Pinyin: Yù wǒ, zài nǐ dǒng ài zhī qián. Ài wǒ, zài nǐ shāng wǒ zhī hòu.
    In English: You met me before you know love. You love me after you hurt me.
  • In Chinese: 爱
    Pinyin: ài
    In English: love
  • In Chinese: 伤害
    Pinyin: shāng hài
    In English: hurt
  • In Chinese: 曾经
    Pinyin: céng jīng
    In English: the past

6. 流星花园 – Meteor Garden

This is one of the most classic Netflix Chinese dramas of all time. Shancai is an ordinary girl, but with great perseverance to achieve something at her dream university. Unfortunately, it wasn’t easy at the very beginning. She was excluded by other rich students who looked down on her. Due to some misunderstandings, Shancai has made a terrible impression on four of the most popular guys at school. But later, as she shows her true character, one of the guys (Dao Mingsi), falls for her and starts to create an incredible bond with her.

Always fancying your own romantic relationship? Feeling nostalgic for your first love? Then you’re on the right track! This show will not only let you relive your youth, but also includes a variety of helpful daily phrases in Chinese for you to learn!

  • In Chinese: 如果道歉有用的话,还要警察干嘛啊?
    Pinyin: Rú guǒ dào qiàn yǒu yòng de huà, hái yào jǐng chá gàn ma ā?
    In English: If an apology is helpful, why would we need police officers?
  • In Chinese: 学校
    Pinyin: xué xiào
    In English: school
  • In Chinese: 上课
    Pinyin: shàng kè
    In English: go to class
  • In Chinese: 喜欢
    Pinyin: xǐ huān
    In English: like

7. 甄嬛传 – Empresses in the Palace

When it comes to Chinese history, Netflix has some great stuff, like this fascinating Netflix Chinese historical drama.

This is a story that highlights feminism. It successfully portrays the Royal Concubines in the Qing Dynasty, who have dedicated their entire youth and beauty inside the Forbidden City, and are in a constant struggle regarding battles of love, power, and wealth. One such woman is the main character Zhenhuan, who grows from an innocent young girl to a sophisticated woman in the pursuit of the queen of the kingdom.

If you’re obsessed with history, this will be a fabulous opportunity for you to understand how history played its role in feminism during the Qing dynasty, as well as the complexity of Chinese empires. You may hear some ancient phrases throughout the show, but most of the dialogue will be in modern language. Watch this show to learn how to speak with elegance and professionalism.

  • In Chinese: 人是活给自己看的,不是他人的一句话就能左右自己,让自己活出潇洒自我。
    Pinyin: Rén shì huó gěi zì jǐ kàn de, bú shì tā rén de yī jù huà jiù néng zuǒ yòu zì jǐ, ràng zì jǐ huó chū xiāo sǎ zì wǒ.
    In English: We live for ourselves, not for being manipulated by something that other people say, let yourself live like a free soul.
  • In Chinese: 少女
    Pinyin: shǎo nǚ
    In English: girl
  • In Chinese: 皇帝
    Pinyin: huáng dì
    In English: emperor
  • In Chinese: 结局
    Pinyin: jié jú
    In English: the end

8. 白夜追凶 – Day and Night

Guan Hongfeng, the head of the Criminal Investigation Department, solves a variety of complex cases to help his twin brother who has been accused of murder. If you’re a big fan of suspense and criminal shows, you’ll definitely fall in love with this show and always wonder what’s gonna happen next.

The intense and eye-catching scenes will give your eyes a feast! Don’t miss this show if you love Sherlock Holmes and other detective stories. Enjoy learning the most native Chinese while immersing yourself in the suspenseful atmosphere!

  • In Chinese: 人都是习惯的奴隶。
    Pinyin: Rén dōu shì xí guàn de nú lì.
    In English: Humans are the slave of habits.
  • In Chinese: 哥哥
    Pinyin: gē ge
    In English: older brother
  • In Chinese: 弟弟
    Pinyin: dì di
    In English: younger brother
  • In Chinese: 孪生
    Pinyin: luán shēng
    In English: twin

9. 温暖的弦 – Here to Heart

Best Ways to Learn

In the mood for a Netflix Chinese romance drama? Check this one out!

Wennuan, an accomplished professional woman, without hesitance quits her high-paying job in England to work as an assistant under CEO Zhan Nanxian Zhan, who was once her lover, in the determination to rekindle the love once shared. After going through all the struggles in the current dynamic market, they not only end up together with more connection and understanding in their relationship, but also improve the whole high-tech industry to thrive under a healthier environment.

The business background is a plus for this show if you’re interested in the field. Don’t hesitate to watch it and learn some professional phrases. Take advantage of this free lesson, and you’ll improve your career in both Chinese language and business fields!

  • In Chinese: 人遇到挫折,其实有的时候,是一件好事情,只有当你遇到挫折的时候,才会知道,谁对你不离不弃,一直陪在你身边。
    Pinyin: Rén yù dào cuò zhé, qí shí yǒu de shí hòu, shì yī jiàn hǎo shì qíng, zhǐ yǒu dāng nǐ yù dào cuò zhé de shí hòu, cái huì zhī dào, shuí duì nǐ bú lí bú qì, yī zhí péi zài nǐ shēn biān.
    In English: It’s actually a good thing to encounter setbacks because only when that happens, you will be able to know who will always stand by your side and never leave you alone.
  • In Chinese: 温暖
    Pinyin: wēn nuǎn
    In English: warm
  • In Chinese: 离开
    Pinyin: lí kāi
    In English: leave
  • In Chinese: 公司
    Pinyin: gōng sī
    In English: company

10. 天盛长歌 – The Rise of Phoenixes

Ning Yi, the ambitious sixth prince of the ruling kingdom, is used to putting his inner struggles and sadness behind a mask. Feng Zhiwei has tasted the bitterness of life and aspired to thrive in the empire. The two have battled against each other through love and hatred. Will Zhiwei eventually take revenge against her enemies—including her lover, Ning Yi—or will she decide to embrace the precious love she finally encounters?

This is an exciting and well-plotted Chinese action Netflix show based on the novel Huang Quan. Once you’ve started, you won’t stop wondering what twist the show will prepare for you. Of course, while enjoying the show, don’t forget to take notes on the well-crafted lines! It’ll boost your eloquence in speech to another level.

  • In Chinese: 向前看和放弃,是有区别的。
    Pinyin: Xiàng qián kàn hé fàng qì, shì yǒu qū bié de.
    In English: There is a difference between moving on and giving up.
  • In Chinese: 权利
    Pinyin: quán lì
    In English: power
  • In Chinese: 改变
    Pinyin: gǎi biàn
    In English: change
  • In Chinese: 国
    Pinyin: guó
    In English: country

11. Conclusion

Improve Pronunciation

By now, you must’ve found a show or movie you’re excited to watch! You should also have a better idea of what to expect from Netflix Chinese content, and how to use it for your benefit. Remember to take advantage of all these valuable Chinese shows on Netflix, and with some effort, you’ll find yourself absorbing the language at an incredibly fast pace. How better to master the language than to learn Chinese with Netflix?

What? You’ll finish them in an instant? Don’t worry. Stay hungry and visit us at ChineseClass101.com to acquire more fun resources and lessons for a thrilling journey of studying Chinese! This will be your paradise!

Until next time, let us know which of these Chinese language Netflix shows or movies do you want to see first, and why? We’re curious. 😉

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Celebrating the Magical Chinese Lantern Festival

The Chinese Lantern Festival celebration is one of China’s most exciting and traditional holidays, and it’s certainly an experience you don’t want to miss out on! Often labeled “Chinese Valentine’s Day,” the Lantern Festival is a time of getting together with family and loved ones and enjoying the beautiful lantern displays.

In this article, you’ll learn all about this almost magical Chinese Lantern Festival, from its traditional meaning to modern-day celebrations.

Are you ready? Let’s get started!

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1. What is the Lantern Festival?

It’s said that in ancient times, the Lantern Festival, or 元宵节 (Yuánxiāo Jié), played a similar role to Valentine’s Day. This is because, in ancient times, young girls in China were usually not allowed to go outdoors, but the Lantern Festival was an exception. It was a great opportunity for single young people to meet each other, and it wasn’t uncommon for lovers to reunite with each other.

While this romantic connotation has lessened over time, the Lantern Festival is still a major holiday in China and is lots of fun for everyone involved!

2. Chinese Lantern Festival Dates

Red Paper Lanterns for Chinese Lantern Festival

The Lantern Festival is celebrated each year on the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunar calendar, or 正月十五 (Zhēngyuè Shíwǔ) in Chinese. For your convenience, here’s a list of this holiday’s date on the Gregorian calendar for the next ten years.

  • 2020: February 8
  • 2021: February 26
  • 2022: February 15
  • 2023: February 5
  • 2024: February 24
  • 2025: February 12
  • 2026: March 3
  • 2027: February 20
  • 2028: February 9
  • 2029: February 27

3. Most Common Chinese Lantern Festival Traditions

There’s an old saying that “food is the paramount necessity of the people.” During the Chinese Lantern Festival, food is a huge deal. When we talk about the Lantern Festival, we can’t forget to mention the tradition of eating 汤圆 (tāngyuán), or Yuanxiao (which, as you may recall, is also eaten during the Winter Solstice).

Yuanxiao is a type of dessert made of glutinous rice with or without filling. Some common fillings include black sesame, bean paste, sugar, and hawthorn. There are various ways to make Yuanxiao, including boiling, sautéing, deep-frying, and steaming.

Glutinous rice balls are called Yuanxiao in the North, while in the South, they’re called Tangyuan. There are slight differences in making Yuanxiao and Tangyuan.

In Beijing, Yuanxiao is best characterized by its filling. People first prepare the dough with the filling and then put it in a machine. The machine gradually shapes the dough into a ball, and it’s a little bit like making a snowball. However, in the South, making Tangyuan is quite similar to making dumplings; they’re both molded and shaped by hand. Making good Tangyuan requires glutinous rice flour that is of high quality because it’s not easy to keep them fresh.

Besides eating, of course, there’s also playing. Popular traditional activities for the Lantern Festival include going to the fair, lighting lanterns, and guessing riddles. The fair is an open market held near a temple or in a park. You can taste traditional snacks from different areas of China and enjoy various folk performances.

As its name suggests, lighting lanterns involves lighting and hanging various types of beautiful lanterns. Guessing riddles also originated from lighting lanterns. People write riddles on the lanterns, and visitors can guess the answer when they pass by. At the fair, the first person who successfully solves the riddle may receive a prize.

During this holiday, you can not only eat delicious Yuanxiao, but you can also enjoy the traditional Chinese Lantern Festival lion dances, called 舞狮 (wǔshī). Dancers hide themselves in a lion costume, then roll up and down and move left and right to imitate a lion, which is very interesting to see. There are also Chinese Lantern Festival dragon dances, though the lion dances tend to be more popular.

4. Chinese Love Stories

Chinese Man Hanging Lantern with Grandson

How many people through the ages have looked toward the sky at night, hungering for love, and imagining their own future? And how many writers through the ages have wanted to express the genuine feelings of being human?

Some people say that Chinese people aren’t very romantic by nature. However, some of the most beautiful love stories come from Chinese culture and folklore.

Two of the most popular Chinese love stories are those of the Butterfly Lovers and of the Cowherd and the Weaver. Why not read up on these yourself?

5. Must-Know Vocabulary for the Chinese Lantern Festival

Chinese Dragon Dance Being Performed

Are you ready to review some of the Chinese vocabulary words and phrases we saw in this article? Here’s a list of the most essential vocabulary for this holiday!

  • 舞狮 (wǔshī) — lion dance
  • 灯笼 (dēnglong) — paper lantern
  • 舞龙 (wǔlóng) — dragon dance
  • 花灯 (huādēng) — colorful lantern
  • 月圆之夜 (yuèyuán zhī yè) — full moon night
  • 汤圆 (tāngyuán) — glutinous rice ball
  • 挂灯笼 (guà dēnglong) — hang lantern
  • 元宵灯会 (yuánxiāo dēnghuì) — Lunar New Year Lantern Carnival
  • 猜灯谜 (cāi dēngmí) — solve riddles that are written on lanterns
  • 正月十五 (Zhēngyuè Shíwǔ) — the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunar calendar
  • 元宵节 (Yuánxiāo Jié) — Lantern Festival

To hear the pronunciation of each vocabulary word, and to read them alongside relevant images, be sure to check out our Chinese Lantern Festival vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts

As you can see, the Lantern Festival is an essential component of Chinese culture, and it provides flavorful insight into the history of her people. We hope that you learned some new Chinese Lantern Festival facts with us, and gained valuable insight along the way.

Do you want to have a Chinese Lantern Festival experience for yourself? Is there a Valentine’s Day celebration in your own country? Let us know in the comments!

If you’re interested in learning more about Chinese holidays, you may find the following pages useful:

And for more information on Chinese culture in general, check out these pages:

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