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The Ultimate Guide on How to Tell Time in Chinese

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As a Chinese language-learner, one of the things you likely wonder about often is how to tell time in Chinese. Everything we do is seamlessly associated with time. We consume time every day and are always in a running competition with it. We care about time, and time has become one of the most important topics in our everyday lives. It’s important to stay on track with what you do, no matter where you are; further, you should do your best to be on time for certain events. This is why time in Chinese culture plays a big role.

“Time” in Chinese is 时间 (shí jiān). The rules for telling the time in Mandarin Chinese are all straightforward and simple to follow, so let go of your fears and proceed with confidence.

With ChineseClass101.com, learning time in Chinese is fun and effective at the same time! 

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Time Phrases in Chinese Table of Contents
  1. How to Ask for the Time
  2. The Hours in Chinese
  3. The Minutes in Chinese
  4. Hours Divided into Minutes
  5. General Time References of the Day
  6. Chinese Time Adverbs
  7. Common Phrases Regarding Time
  8. Bonus: Proverbs and Sayings
  9. Conclusion

1. How to Ask for the Time

You need to always keep track of your own time.

Woman Pointing at Clock
  • In Chinese: 现在几点了?

Pinyin: Xiàn zài jǐ diǎn le. 

In English: What time is it?

  • In Chinese: 请问你知道现在的时间吗?

Pinyin: Qǐng wèn nǐ zhī dào xiàn zài de shí jiān ma? 

In English: Do you have the time, please?

  • In Chinese: 请问[会议]是什么时候?

Pinyin: Qǐng wèn [huì yì] shì shí me shén hou? 

In English: What time is the [meeting]?

Feel free to replace the event in the brackets with any other event.

2. The Hours in Chinese

Can you express the time in Chinese precisely?

A Wall Clock

In China, people are used to the twenty-four-hour clock. In order to master telling the time in Mandarin Chinese, let’s get to know these two important vocabulary words first: 

  • 小时 (xiǎo shí) — hour
  • 点钟 (diǎn zhōng) — o’clock

As we mentioned above, “hour” in Chinese is 小时 (xiǎo shí), and 钟头 (zhōng tóu) is another way to say “hours” in daily conversation; it’s less formal than 小时 (xiǎo shí). 

However, to make it more convenient for speech, we usually just say the simplified version of 点钟 (diǎn zhōng), which is 点 (diǎn). 

Now, how do you say the time in Chinese exactly? Easy.

To express any hour, all you need to do is say the number first and add 点 (diǎn) / 点钟 (diǎn zhōng) right after. For example, four o’clock would be 四点 (sì diǎn) / 四点钟 (sì diǎn zhōng). 

Here’s a list of time words in Chinese that will help you understand how the twenty-four-hour clock works:

  • 一点钟 (yī diǎn zhōng) — 1 o’clock
  • 两点钟 (liǎng diǎn zhōng) — 2 o’clock
  • 三点钟 (sān diǎn zhōng) — 3 o’clock
  • 四点钟 (sì diǎn zhōng) — 4 o’clock
  • 五点钟 (wǔ diǎn zhōng) — 5 o’clock
  • 六点钟 (liù diǎn zhōng) — 6 o’clock
  • 七点钟 (qī diǎn zhōng) — 7 o’clock
  • 八点钟 (bā diǎn zhōng) — 8 o’clock
  • 九点钟 (jiǔ diǎn zhōng) — 9 o’clock
  • 十点钟 (shí diǎn zhōng) — 10 o’clock
  • 十一点钟 (shí yī diǎn zhōng) — 11 o’clock
  • 十二点钟 (shí èr diǎn zhōng) — 12 o’clock
  • 十三点钟 (shí sān diǎn zhōng) — 13 o’clock
  • 十四点钟 (shí sì diǎn zhōng) — 14 o’clock
  • 十五点钟 (shí wǔ diǎn zhōng) — 15 o’clock
  • 十六点钟 (shí liù diǎn zhōng) — 16 o’clock
  • 十七点钟 (shí qī diǎn zhōng) — 17 o’clock
  • 十八点钟 (shí bā diǎn zhōng) — 18 o’clock
  • 十九点钟 (shí jiǔ diǎn zhōng) — 19 o’clock
  • 二十点钟 (èr shí diǎn zhōng) — 20 o’clock
  • 二十一点钟 (èr shí yī diǎn zhōng) — 21 o’clock
  • 二十二点钟 (èr shí èr diǎn zhōng) — 22 o’clock
  • 二十三点钟 (èr shí sān diǎn zhōng) — 23 o’clock
  • 二十四点钟 (èr shí sì diǎn zhōng) — 24 o’clock
  • 零点 (líng diǎn) — 0 o’clock

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 现在是16点钟。

Pinyin: Xiàn zài shì shí liù diǎn zhōng.

In English: It’s 4 PM.

Additional Notes: 

Remember that when referring to time and currency, 两 (liǎng) is used for “two” instead of 二 (èr), which is used more commonly for counting.

3. The Minutes in Chinese

Time

分钟 (fēn zhōng) is one of the most important time words in Chinese, meaning “minute.” Usually, people simplify it and just say 分 (fēn), which means the same thing. To express any specific minute at any hour, you just need to follow this formula: [number] “点 (diǎn) / 点钟 (diǎn zhōng)” + [number] “分 (fēn).”

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 现在是三点十八分。

Pinyin: Xiàn zài shì sān diǎn shí bā fēn. 

In English: It’s 3:18 right now.

4. Hours Divided into Minutes

点半 (diǎn bàn) – half

Structure: 

In Chinese: 现在的时间是[点钟数字] 点 + 分钟

In English: It’s [number of the clock] o’clock + minutes

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 现在的时间是三点半。

Pinyin: Xiàn zài de shí jiān shì sān diǎn bàn. 

In English: It’s half past three now.

一刻 (yī kè) – quarter

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 现在的时间是五点一刻。

Pinyin: Xiàn zài de shí jiān shì wǔ diǎn yī kè. 

In English: It’s a quarter past five right now.

5. General Time References of the Day

Improve Listening

What if you just want to give an approximate time in Chinese? Here are some words you can use to tell someone a general time of day.

  • 早晨 (zǎo chén) — early morning
  • 日出 (rì chū) — sunrise
  • 下午 (xià wǔ) — afternoon
  • 晚上 (wǎn shàng) — evening
  • 中午 (zhōng wǔ) — noon
  • 日落 (rì luò) — sunset
  • 夜里 (yè lǐ) — at night 
  • 半夜 (bàn yè) — midnight
  • 凌晨 (líng chén) — before dawn

Usage in a sentence: 

In Chinese: 我喜欢在[下午]的时候吃水果。

Pinyin: Wǒ xǐ huan zài [xià wǔ] de shí hou chī shuǐ guǒ. 

In English: I like to eat fruit in the afternoon.

Additional Notes:

Feel free to replace the example time reference in the brackets with any of the other time words in Chinese above. You can also check out our article regarding dates in Chinese here.

6. Chinese Time Adverbs

Remember to arrange your time wisely.

Man Looking at His Watch

Time adverbs in Chinese can help you communicate with more-detailed and complete sentences. Here are the most common ones.

现在 (xiàn zài) – right now

Usage in a sentence: 

In Chinese: 抱歉,我现在很忙,待会给你回电话。

Pinyin: Bào qiàn, wǒ xiàn zài hěn máng, dāi huì gěi nǐ huí diàn huà. 

In English: Sorry, I am very busy right now. I will call you back in a bit.

目前 (mù qián) – currently

Usage in a sentence: 

In Chinese: 我目前正在专心复习考试。

Pinyin: Wǒ mù qián zhèng zài zhuān xīn fù xí kǎo shì. 

In English: Currently, I am focusing on reviewing the exam.

同时 (tóng shí) – meanwhile / at the same time

Usage in a sentence: 

In Chinese: 我可以同时出色地完成很多件事。

Pinyin: Wǒ kě yǐ tóng shí chū sè de wán chéng hěn duō jiàn shì. 

In English: I can multitask very well.

之前 (zhī qián) – before

Usage in a sentence: 

In Chinese: 每次睡觉之前,我都喜欢阅读一会。 

Pinyin: Měi cì shuì jiào zhī qián, wǒ dōu xǐ huan yuè dú yī huì. 

In English: Every time before I go to sleep, I like to read for a little while.

之后 (zhī hòu) – after

Usage in a sentence: 

In Chinese: 我习惯在吃饭之后喝一杯果汁。

Pinyin: Wǒ xí guàn zài chī fàn zhī hòu hē yī bēi guǒ zhī. 

In English: I am used to drinking a cup of juice after a meal.

很快 (hěn kuài) – soon

Usage in a sentence: 

In Chinese: 我很快就可以帮你辅导作业了。

Pinyin: Wǒ hěn kuài jiù kě yǐ bāng nǐ fǔ dǎo zuò yè le. 

In English: I will be helping you with your homework soon.

立刻 (lì kè) – immediately

Usage in a sentence: 

In Chinese: 每次收到短信,我都会立刻回复。

Pinyin: Měi cì shōu dào duǎn xìn, wǒ dōu huì lì kè huí fù. 

In English: Every time I receive a message, I reply immediately.

差不多 (chà bu duō) – almost

Usage in a sentence: 

In Chinese: 我差不多快到了。 

Pinyin: Wǒ chà bu duō kuài dào le. 

In English: I am almost there.

过一会儿 (guò yī huìr) – in a little while

Usage in a sentence: 

In Chinese: 他过一会儿就会回来了。

Pinyin: Tā guò yī huìr jiù huì huí lái le. 

In English: He will be back in a little while.

很久 (hěn jiǔ) – for a long time

Usage in a sentence: 

In Chinese: 我们曾经做了很久的好朋友。

Pinyin: Wǒ men céng jīng zuò le hěn jiǔ de hǎo péng you. 

In English: We were good friends for a long time.

任何时候 (rèn hé shí hou) – any time

Usage in a sentence: 

In Chinese: 在任何时候,只要你需要我,我就会陪在你身边。 

Pinyin: Zài rèn hé shí hou, zhī yào nǐ xū yào wǒ, wǒ jiù huì péi zài nǐ shēn biān. 

In English: I will be with you at any time as long as you need me.

尽快 (jìn kuài) – as soon as possible

Usage in a sentence: 

In Chinese: 我尽快把邮件发给你。

Pinyin: Wǒ jìn kuài bǎ yóu jiàn fā gěi nǐ. 

In English: I will send you the email as soon as possible.

Additional Notes: 

Usually, adverbs are added to the beginning of a sentence, after the subject.

7. Common Phrases Regarding Time

It can be tough to catch up with time sometimes!

Woman Looking at Watch

时间 (shí jiān), which is “time” in Chinese, can be tight and precious, or hard to manage. Time in Chinese culture is always an important topic to discuss as our everyday arrangements depend on it. Sometimes we have to apologize for being late, and sometimes we just want to ask other people to be on time. Here are some of the most common phrases for talking about time in Chinese that will certainly help you communicate with others.

  • In Chinese: 赶紧的!  

Pinyin: Gǎn jǐn de! 

In English: Hurry up!

  • In Chinese: 抱歉,我迟到了。

Pinyin: Bào qiàn, wǒ chí dào le.

In English: Sorry that I’m late.

  • In Chinese: 我现在就出发。

Pinyin: Wǒ xiàn zài jiù chū fā. 

In English: I will be going right now.

  • In Chinese: 以防堵车,我打算提前半小时出发。

Pinyin: Yǐ fáng dǔ chē, wǒ dǎ suàn tí qián bàn xiǎo shí chū fā. 

In English: Just in case there’s traffic, I plan to leave thirty minutes early.

  • In Chinese: 请提前到达集合地点。

Pinyin: Qǐng tí qián dào dá jí hé dì diǎn. 

In English: Please arrive early at the meeting place.

  • In Chinese: 请准时到。

Pinyin: Qǐng zhǔn shí dào.

In English: Please be on time.

8. Bonus: Proverbs and Sayings

We should always cherish the time no matter what.

Sign with Time Words on Them

Here are some proverbs and idioms about time in Chinese that will help you sound like a native speaker.

  • In Chinese: 时间就是金钱。

Pinyin: Shí jiān jiù shì jīn qián. 

In English: Time is money.

  • In Chinese: 一寸光阴一寸金,寸金难买寸光阴。

Pinyin: Yī cùn guāng yīn yī cùn jīn, cùn jīn nán mǎi cùn guāng yīn. 

In English: An inch of gold will not buy an inch of time, and you can’t buy an inch of time with an inch of gold.

  • In Chinese: 时间会治愈一切。

Pinyin: Shí jiān huì zhì yù yī qiē. 

In English: Time heals all wounds. 

  • In Chinese: 时光飞逝。

Pinyin: Shí guāng fēi shì. 

In English: Time flies.

9. Conclusion

Basic Questions

Now, I hope you’ve mastered the art of how to tell time in Chinese. If you’re a Chinese language-learner who’s full of curiosity and a desire to learn more, then our online lessons will be just perfect for a diligent individual like you. Visit ChineseClass101.com today to acquire a once-in-your-lifetime Chinese learning experience!

Before you go, let us know in the comments how you feel about telling the time in Chinese now. To practice, tell us what time it is where you are, in Chinese! 🙂 We look forward to hearing from you. 

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Everything to Know About Chinese Business Etiquette and More

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We’re all social animals, and we all interact with each other in a certain way in order to achieve the most harmony possible, depending on our cultural background and generational differences. Every country has a set of rules about etiquette for its own unique culture. China, a country that evolved over thousands of years of history, of course has its secrets for developing the great civilization it hosts today.

But what is Chinese etiquette?

Chinese etiquette (especially Chinese business etiquette!) can differ greatly from that of western countries. Some Chinese etiquette rules may be exactly the opposite, so don’t be surprised when you hear them. These unspoken Chinese etiquette customs help Chinese people build their respect, bonds, and understanding between each other. Some of the modern Chinese etiquette we’re going to introduce here is the heart of Chinese society, so be careful and keep them in mind so that you don’t embarrass yourself!

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Table of Contents

  1. How to Discuss Etiquette
  2. Chinese Table Manners and Etiquette: Do’s and Don’ts for Dining
  3. Do’s and Don’ts for Sightseeing
  4. Do’s and Don’ts for Greetings
  5. Do’s and Don’ts for Visiting a House
  6. Do’s and Don’ts When Riding Public Means of Transportation
  7. Do’s and Don’ts for Business Occasions
  8. Do’s and Don’ts for Celebrations
  9. Let ChineseClass101 Help You Master the Language & Culture!

1. How to Discuss Etiquette

If you’re wondering how to learn Chinese etiquette, first things first. Let’s have a little warm-up and start with the most useful phrases for discussing basic Chinese etiquette. Mastering these phrases is a wonderful place to start your learning journey in Chinese etiquette.

  • When talking about DON’Ts, use this sentence pattern:

    In Chinese: 你不应该[动词] -> 你不应该擤鼻涕。
    Pinyin: Nǐ bù yīng gāi [dòng cí] -> Nǐ bù yīng gāi xǐng bí tì.
    In English: Don’t [verb] -> Don’t blow your nose.

  • When talking about DO’s:

    In Chinese: 你应该[动词] -> 你应该带个礼物过来。
    Pinyin: Nǐ yīng gāi [dòng cí] -> Nǐ yīng gāi dài gè lǐ wù guò lái.
    In English: You should [verb] -> You should bring a present.

2. Chinese Table Manners and Etiquette: Do’s and Don’ts for Dining

Hygiene

Do’s:

  • Do join the toasts or initiate one at the table.

    In Chinese etiquette, dining usually requires toasts at the table, especially when it’s a formal occasion where you’re eating with elders or people you need to show respect to. If you’re new to the Chinese dining table, you’ll probably feel overwhelmed by the number of toasts Chinese people do. However, toasts in Chinese table etiquette is a tradition, and a way to show your respect and kindness to the people you’re eating with. While initiating a toast, you can simply say (the wishing words may be altered):

    In Chinese: 我来敬您一杯酒,祝您万事如意。
    Pinyin: Wǒ lái jìng nín yī bēi jiǔ, zhù nín wàn shì rú yì.
    In English: Let me raise a glass of wine to you and wish that all your wishes will come true.

  • Do show that you’re willing to try all the food.

    If a Chinese person is passionately inviting you to try the dishes, do feel free to try them to show that you’re embracing his hospitality.

Don’ts:

  • Do not stick your chopsticks perpendicularly on rice.

    In Chinese etiquette, chopsticks shouldn’t be put in the rice this way. This is considered bad etiquette in China, and is thought to bring bad fortune. Although it sounds superstitious, many traditional Chinese people do pay attention to details like this.

  • Do not mind sharing food on the same plate.

    Unlike in western restaurants, most of the Chinese dishes in Chinese restaurants are shared among everyone, which is the family style. Thus, be prepared for this when you’re eating with Chinese people. You’ll have to pick dishes that will please both you and your dining partners. Also, remember to always leave the last piece of a dish for other people to show your kindness.

  • Do not mind when others (especially elders) get food for your plate.

    Most Chinese elders are likely to have the habit of getting food for you with their chopsticks, sometimes even despite your own preferences. When this happens, remember not to refuse their kindness and just pretend that you’re glad to have the dishes.

3. Do’s and Don’ts for Sightseeing

Bad Phrases

Sightseeing is an area where Chinese culture social etiquette is important to keep in consideration. Here are a few Chinese etiquette tips to help you go sightseeing in a polite and respectful manner.

Do’s:

  • Do walk on your right side.

    As most countries do, Chinese people prefer to walk on the right side of the road to provide convenience for other people who walk in the opposite direction.

  • Do always stay in lines when it’s necessary.

    As you all know, China is a crowded country. As a tourist, it may be time-consuming to wait in line for things. However, it’s a basic Chinese social etiquette rule to do so. People who cut in line are considered extremely rude in China.

Don’ts:

  • Do not throw trash as you want.

    Considering that China is having a severe environmental problem right now, throwing trash on the road is especially prohibited. Choosing to litter anyway is totally against Chinese culture customs and etiquette today.

  • Do not touch property if it’s not allowed.

    China is a country full of ancient properties and a long history. Many properties are protected stringently to preserve their historical beauty. Remember to be careful when you touch a property, and treat them gently.

4. Do’s and Don’ts for Greetings

Shaking Hands is a Very Basic Manner When You Greet Someone In China.

When it comes to Chinese etiquette, greetings are an important aspect of the culture to keep in mind. Here are some Chinese introduction etiquette rules that you should follow when greeting.

Do’s:

  • Do shake hands, especially when you meet someone for the first time.

    In Chinese body language etiquette, shaking hands is a basic way of greeting someone you’re not very familiar with.

  • Do bow when it’s needed.

    Bowing is viewed as a formal way of greeting people who you show special respect to. For example, in China, students sometimes bow to their teachers.

Don’ts:

  • Do not ask people about age or income.

    In Chinese etiquette, money (income) and age are considered extremely personal topics. If these happen to be a taboo for the person you’re greeting, you may cause embarrassment for them and yourself.

  • Do not hug someone you’re not close with as a way of greeting.

    Hugging someone is very common in western culture, even when meeting people for the first time. Nevertheless, there is a huge difference here between China and western countries. In China, hugging is not a common way of greeting. If you hug someone who’s not close to you, your enthusiasm may overwhelm the person who’s not used to this method of greeting.

5. Do’s and Don’ts for Visiting a House

Thanks

Next up in our guide on Chinese etiquette: visiting friends. Here are some tips for how to act when visiting someone’s home in China.

Do’s:

  • Do bring a gift if you’re visiting someone important.

    It’s a great way to show your kindness by bringing a little gift when invited to visit a house.

  • Do arrive on time.

    Being on time is a way to show your level of respect for the person you’re visiting. This is also considered Chinese professional etiquette, so do keep punctuality in mind.

Don’ts:

  • Do not feel frightened if the family is hosting you with too much hospitality.

    Chinese people are very hospitable. You may never know how much preparation they’ve done for your arrival. They may buy lots of additional food and clean the house thoroughly just to welcome you warmly.

  • Do not go into bedrooms without an invitation.

    In China, it’s considered rude to visit the bedrooms in a house without the homeowner’s permission or invitation.

Remember that a Bedroom is the Most Private Place in a House.

6. Do’s and Don’ts When Riding Public Means of Transportation

Do’s:

  • Do care for elders, pregnant women, disabled people, and kids, by giving your seat to them if necessary.

    It’s a custom in China to give your seat to people who need more care when on a bus or subway. Elders, pregnant women, disabled people, and young children are all considered as such.

  • Do stay in line while waiting for a bus.

    There are usually bus numbers written on the ground for people who are waiting for different buses. Be careful to wait by the right numbers and stay politely within the line.

Don’ts:

  • Do not push other people when the place is crowded.

    Sometimes the public transportation in China can get incredibly crowded due to China’s huge population. When this happens, remain calm and try not to push people around by stabilizing yourself.

  • Do not lean against the doors on a bus.

    You’ll see this reminder on most of the buses in China because it’s extremely dangerous when the door opens. If you don’t follow this rule, it will not only put you in danger, but may also cause inconvenience for people who need to get on the bus.

7. Do’s and Don’ts for Business Occasions

Business

Now it’s time for Chinese business etiquette tips. If you plan on working in China, or are visiting for work-related purposes, knowing basic Chinese etiquette for business is essential.

Do’s:

  • Do prepare a business card.

    Although this is a digital era, in China, a business card is still of high value during a business occasion. Be sure to bring a professional business card that represents your personal expert profile.

  • Do dress professionally.

    If you notice, Chinese people have a focus on appearance in many things. A professional look will definitely serve as a crutch to help you succeed during a business occasion.

Don’ts:

  • Do not cross your legs while sitting down.

    When it comes to Chinese etiquette, businesses are often uncomfortable with you crossing your legs (even if most people in casual situations are totally comfortable with this). During a business occasion, it’s considered bad-looking and rude.

  • Do not overly use Internet slang.

    Many people in modern society may be used to speaking with Internet slang in daily life. However, it’s extremely unprofessional to do so during a business occasion and may damage your professional profile.

8. Do’s and Don’ts for Celebrations

Don’t Forget to Remain Good-Mannered While Enjoying a Fabulous Celebration!

Even when celebrating, there’s some Chinese traditional etiquette that you need to be mindful of. Here are the do’s and don’ts for celebrations in China.

Do’s:

  • Do pay great attention to how you present the package for a gift.

    Chinese people place heavy importance on the presentation of a gift. When you prepare a gift, be sure to wrap it carefully enough.

  • Do give out some money to the newly married couple when you’re invited to a wedding.

    Giving out money is a traditional gift for weddings in China. Even though you’ve prepared a gift already, the money as a gift for the newly married couple is still essential!

Don’ts:

  • Do not open your gifts in front of the giver.

    This is another huge cultural difference between western countries and China. In western countries, it’s considered good manners to show people how much you’re pleased with the gift by opening it in front of the giver. However, in China, it’s not appropriate to open a gift immediately in front of the giver (unless the person asks you to do so).

  • Do not accept a red packet without refusing it first.

    You may have the opportunity to visit people during the Chinese New Year. As a tradition, elders may give red packets that include money inside to youngsters as a way to celebrate the new year. In western cultures, it’s rude to refuse a gift, so this may surprise you. But it’s actually rude to accept a red packet immediately from the elders. To show respect, you’ll have to ask them to take it back, which is very unlikely for them to do so. But refusing the gift is still a necessary process before finally accepting it.

9. Let ChineseClass101 Help You Master the Language & Culture!

It’s great that you’ve made it through the whole article! I’m certain you’re now well-informed and almost an expert on basic Chinese etiquette. As long as you follow the guidelines in this article, you’ll most likely excel in performing your best of manners.

If you still don’t feel confident enough, why not try our lessons at ChineseClass101.com to gain more interesting knowledge related to Chinese culture and obtain professional teaching? You’re only one click away from the real adventure!

But before you go, let us know in the comments if you learned any new Chinese etiquette facts! What are they? Are there any situations we missed? We look forward to hearing from you. 🙂

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Anyone Can Master Chinese Dates and the Chinese Calendar

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Each day is filled with events, big and small, that are worth being remembered; every day of our lives can be unique and special. If you’ve just gotten started learning Chinese, there might be times when you wish to express dates in Chinese to specify important events. Indeed, being able to express a date accurately is essential to everyday life. This is why learning the Chinese calendar, as well as how to say dates in Chinese, is so important as you learn the language.

In this article, we’ll go over how to write dates in Chinese characters, as well as dates in Chinese pinyin, so that you’re never at a loss!

In Chinese, the use of dates is incredibly simple and convenient. As long as you put your brain to work, you’ll master it in no time. Talking about dates in Chinese, knowing the Chinese numbers will greatly complement your understanding—feel free to check out our article about Chinese numbers. Now, get ready to hunt some treasure with us in this vital step of your Chinese learning journey!

Table of Contents

  1. How are Dates Written in Chinese?
  2. How to Read Dates in Chinese: Years
  3. How to Say the Months in Chinese
  4. Talking About the Day in Chinese
  5. How to Say the Days of the Week
  6. Must-Know Phrases for Months and Dates in Chinese
  7. Bonus: Learn How to Find Your Animal of the Year in Chinese
  8. Conclusion: How ChineseClass101 Can Help You Master Chinese

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1. How are Dates Written in Chinese?

Numbers

Dates written in Chinese are organized based on cardinal numbers, and when a date is expressed, the order is as follows: 年 – 月- 日 (nián – yuè – rì) or year – month – day.

In Chinese: 我是1998年出生的。
Pinyin: Wǒ shì yī jiǔ jiǔ bā nián chū shēng de.
In English: I was born in 1996.

In Chinese: 我的生日是八月三十号。
Pinyin: Wǒ de shēng rì shì bā yuè sān shí hào.
In English: My birthday is on August 30.

Dates are essential for everyone to learn.

2. How to Read Dates in Chinese: Years

It’s very simple to read a date in Chinese. While reading the year, all you need to do is read every single number out loud in order from left to right. And lastly, add 年 (meaning “year” in English) to the end. Here are a few examples for you to practice:

  • 1990[年]: 一九九零[年] (yī jiǔ jiǔ líng [nián])
  • 2008[年]: 二零零八[年] (èr líng líng bā [nián])
  • 2019[年]: 二零一九[年] (èr líng yī jiǔ [nián])
  • 1976[年]: 一九七六[年] (yī jiǔ qī liù [nián])
  • 2020[年]: 二零二零[年] (èr líng èr líng [nián])

3. How to Say the Months in Chinese

  • January: 一月 (yī yuè)
  • February: 二月 (èr yuè)
  • March: 三月 (sān yuè)
  • April: 四月 (sì yuè)
  • May: 五月 (wǔ yuè)
  • June: 六月 (liù yuè)
  • July: 七月 (qī yuè)
  • August: 八月 (bā yuè)
  • September: 九月 (jiǔ yuè)
  • October: 十月 (shí yuè)
  • November: 十一月 (shí yī yuè)
  • December: 十二月 (shí èr yuè)

Examine your schedule carefully and remember the important dates!

4. Talking About the Day in Chinese

All thirty-one days:

  • 1st: 一号 / 一日 (yī hào / yī rì)
  • 2nd: 二号 / 二日 (èr hào / èr rì)
  • 3rd: 三号 / 三日 (sān hào / sān rì)
  • 4th: 四号 / 四日 (sì hào / sì rì)
  • 5th: 五号 / 五日 (wǔ hào / wǔ rì)
  • 6th: 六号 / 六日 (liù hào / liù rì)
  • 7th: 七号 / 七日 (qī hào / qī rì)
  • 8th: 八号 / 八日 (bā hào / bā rì)
  • 9th: 九号 / 九日 (jiǔ hào / jiǔ rì)
  • 10th: 十号 / 十日 (shí hào / shí rì)
  • 11th: 十一号 / 十一日 (shí yī hào / shí yī rì)
  • 12th: 十二号 / 十二日 (shí èr hào / shí èr rì)
  • 13th: 十三号 / 十三日 (shí sān hào / shí sān rì)
  • 14th: 十四号 / 十四日 (shí sì hào / shí sì rì)
  • 15th: 十五号 / 十五日 (shí wǔ hào / shí wǔ rì)
  • 16th: 十六号 / 十六日 (shí liù hào / shí liù rì)
  • 17th: 十七号 / 十七日 (shí qī hào / shí qī rì)
  • 18th: 十八号 / 十八日 (shí bā hào / shí bā rì)
  • 19th: 十九号 / 十九日 (shí jiǔ hào / shí jiǔ rì)
  • 20th: 二十号 / 二十日 (èr shí hào / èr shí rì)
  • 21st: 二十一号 / 二十一日 (èr shí yī hào / èr shí yī rì)
  • 22nd: 二十二号 / 二十二日 (èr shí èr hào / èr shí èr rì)
  • 23rd: 二十三号 / 二十三日 (èr shí sān hào / èr shí sān rì)
  • 24th: 二十四号 / 二十四日 (èr shí sì hào / èr shí sì rì)
  • 25th: 二十五号 / 二十五日 (èr shí wǔ hào / èr shí wǔ rì)
  • 26th: 二十六号 / 二十六日 (èr shí liù hào / èr shí liù rì)
  • 27th: 二十七号 / 二十七日 (èr shí qī hào / èr shí qī rì)
  • 28th: 二十八号 / 二十八日 (èr shí bā hào / èr shí bā rì)
  • 29th: 二十九号 / 二十九日 (èr shí jiǔ hào / èr shí jiǔ rì)
  • 30th: 三十号 / 三十日 (sān shí hào / sān shí rì)
  • 31st: 三十一号 / 三十一日 (sān shí yī hào / sān shí yī rì)

In Chinese: 周末
Pinyin: zhōu mò
In English: weekend

In Chinese: 工作日
Pinyin: gōng zuò rì
In English: weekdays

Additional notes: As you can see, all days can be expressed through Chinese numbers, with the word 号 or 日 following behind. 号 is usually used informally when saying dates in Chinese in daily life, and 日 is used formally for dates in Chinese writing and sometimes in daily life as well.

5. How to Say the Days of the Week

Weekdays

In Chinese: 周一 / 礼拜一 / 星期一
Pinyin: zhōu yī / lǐ bài yī / xīng qī yī
In English: Monday

In Chinese: 周二 / 礼拜二 / 星期二
Pinyin: zhōu èr / lǐ bài èr / xīng qī èr
In English: Tuesday

In Chinese: 周三 / 礼拜三 / 星期三
Pinyin: zhōu sān / lǐ bài sān / xīng qī sān
In English: Wednesday

In Chinese: 周四 / 礼拜四 / 星期四
Pinyin: zhōu sì / lǐ bài sì / xīng qī sì
In English: Thursday

In Chinese: 周五 / 礼拜五 / 星期五
Pinyin: zhōu wǔ / lǐ bài wǔ / xīng qī wǔ
In English: Friday

In Chinese: 周六 / 礼拜六 / 星期六
Pinyin: zhōu liù / lǐ bài liù / xīng qī liù
In English: Saturday

In Chinese: 周日 /礼拜天 / 礼拜日 / 星期日 /星期天
Pinyin: zhōu rì / lǐ bài tiān / lǐ bài rì / xīng qī rì / xīng qī tiān
In English: Sunday

Additional note: As you can see, there are three different forms when “week” is expressed when talking about Chinese weekdays. The difference is that both 礼拜 and 星期 are used more informally in daily life, especially 礼拜 which means “chapel” and originated from the influence of western religion. The most formal is 周; a little less formal is 星期; the least formal is 礼拜.

6. Must-Know Phrases for Months and Dates in Chinese

You need to know when your school starts!

In Chinese: 你什么时候开学?
Pinyin: Nǐ shén me shí hòu kāi xué?
In English: When does your school start?

In Chinese: 你在二月十四号有什么安排吗?
Pinyin: Nǐ zài èr yuè shí sì hào yǒu shén me ān pái ma?
In English: Do you have any plans for February 14th?

Why not ask the person out on a romantic Valentine’s Day date?

In Chinese: 你什么时候有空?
Pinyin: Nǐ shén me shí hòu yǒu kòng?
In English: When will you be free?

In Chinese: 我只有周五晚上有空。
Pinyin: Wǒ zhī yǒu zhōu wǔ wǎn shàng yǒu kòng.
In English: I am only free on Friday night.

In Chinese: 那我们约七月五号晚上见吧。
Pinyin: Nà wǒ men yuē qī yuè wǔ hào wǎn shàng jiàn ba.
In English: Let’s meet on July 5 at night.

In Chinese: 我想在五月八号安排预约。
Pinyin: Wǒ xiǎng zài wǔ yuè bā hào ān pái yù yuē.
In English: I want to schedule an appointment on August 5.

In Chinese: 今天是几号?
Pinyin: Jīn tiān shì jǐ hào?
In English: What day is it?

It’s always important to keep your loved ones’ birthday in mind and give them a sweet birthday cake!

In Chinese: 你的生日是什么时候?
Pinyin: Nǐ de shēng rì shì shén me shí hòu?
In English: When is your birthday?

7. Bonus: Learn How to Find Your Animal of the Year in Chinese

Do you know that Chinese years are based on twelve animals?

Zodiac Animals

One fun fact about dates in Chinese calendars is that Chinese years have a unique traditional expression, which is based on the Chinese Zodiac as a twelve-year cycle, and each year represents an animal.

To find out which animal is associated with a certain year, be ready to do a bit of math. Here’s what you need to do:
          – Divide the number of the year by 12.
          – Find the remainder of the division. (Considering the number of the year may not be perfectly divided by 12, you’ll get a remainder between 0 and 11.)
          – Check the list below to see which animal corresponds to the remainder.

Remainder and Chinese zodiac in accordance:

  • 0: Monkey 猴 (hóu)
  • 1: Rooster 鸡 ()
  • 2: Dog 狗 (gǒu)
  • 3: Pig 猪 (zhū)
  • 4: Rat 鼠 (shǔ)
  • 5: Ox 牛 (niú)
  • 6: Tiger 虎 ()
  • 7: Rabbit 兔 ()
  • 8: Dragon 龙 (lóng)
  • 9: Snake 蛇 (shé)
  • 10: Horse 马 ()
  • 11: Goat 羊 (yáng)

For example, let’s find out what animal 1990 represents. Follow our step-by-step guide.

Step 1: Divide 1990 by 12.
          1990/12 = 165.8333…

Step 2: Ignore the decimals and take the quotient 165.

Step 3: Find the remainder of the division with this formula: Year – (12 x quotient without decimals) = remainder.
          1990 – (12 x 165) = 10

Step 4: Look at the list above. The remainder 10 corresponds to Horse. Now we know that 1990 is the Year of the Horse.

Let’s try another example and find out what animal 2016 represents.

Step 1: Divide 2016 by 12.
          2016/12 = 168

Step 2: Take the quotient 168.

Step 3: Find the remainder.
          2016 – ( 12 x 168 ) = 0.

Step 4: Look up at the list. The remainder 0 corresponds to Monkey. Now we know that 2016 is the Year of the Monkey.

Here are the most recent twelve years in Chinese Zodiac. You can try to practice using the steps above to see if you can get the answers right.

2019 – Year of Pig 猪年 (zhū nián)
2018 – Year of Dog 狗年 (gǒu nián)
2017 – Year of Rooster 鸡年 (jī nián)
2016 – Year of Monkey 猴年 (hóu nián)
2015 – Year of Goat 羊年 (yáng nián)
2014 – Year of Horse 马年 (mǎ nián)
2013 – Year of Snake 蛇年 (shé nián)
2012 – Year of Dragon 龙年 (lóng nián)
2011 – Year of Rabbit 兔年 (tù nián)
2010 – Year of Tiger 虎年 (hǔ nián)
2009 – Year of Ox 牛年 (niú nián)
2008 – Year of Rat 鼠年 (shǔ nián)

Now, are you able to find your own animal according to the year you were born? As you can see, birth dates in Chinese hold a lot of meaning.

8. Conclusion: How ChineseClass101 Can Help You Master Chinese

If you’ve followed along with this article, you must have grasped the essence of expressing dates in Chinese and leveraged your Chinese skills another rung up the ladder. Do you feel more comfortable writing dates in Chinese characters now? Let us know in the comments; we always look forward to hearing from you!

As you might imagine, there’s much more in the Chinese language to explore and learn. If you wish to acquire more fortune in this learning journey, why not give ChineseClass101.com a try? Here, we offer you a wide spectrum of resources and a spectacular learning experience; you’re just one click away from starting your magical journey right away!

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Chinese Phrases for Tourists and Chinese Travel Phrases

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China, a country with a great expanse of ancient history (up to nearly five-thousand years’ worth) is filled with both abundant beautiful landscapes where you can embrace nature and urban cities where you can enjoy a unique Asian culture experience.

When you first visit an unfamiliar country, there will be uncertainties and difficulties regarding the culture and language barriers, but this will all be a piece of cake once you learn Chinese travel phrases with us! Now let ChineseClass101.com set your mind on mastering these Chinese phrases for tourists, for your future trip to China! And keep in mind that for more basic Chinese words and pronunciation for tourists, you can check out our vocabulary lists on our website!

Table of Contents

  1. Basic Expressions
  2. Transports
  3. Shopping
  4. Restaurants
  5. Asking for and Giving Directions
  6. Emergencies
  7. Flattery Phrases
  8. Useful Phrases to Go Through Language Problems
  9. Conclusion

Log

1. Basic Expressions

Preparing to Travel

While in China, it’s important to uphold good manners and to know how to greet others. Thus, you should learn Mandarin Chinese travel phrases regarding this. Take a look at this list of useful Chinese travel phrases to help you make a good impression!

1- Manners

  • In Chinese: 谢谢你。
    Pinyin: Xiè xiè nǐ.
    In English: Thank you.
  • In Chinese: 打扰一下。
    Pinyin: Dǎ rǎo yī xià.
    In English: Excuse me.
  • In Chinese: 抱歉/对不起。
    Pinyin: Bào qiàn /duì bù qǐ.
    In English: Sorry.

2- Greetings

  • In Chinese: 你好。
    Pinyin: Nǐ hǎo.
    In English: Hello.
  • In Chinese: 再见。
    Pinyin: Zài jiàn.
    In English: Goodbye.
  • In Chinese: 你最近怎么样?
    Pinyin: Nǐ zuì jìn zěn me yàng?
    In English: How are you?

3- Others

  • In Chinese: 是的。
    Pinyin: Shì de.
    In English: Yes.
  • In Chinese: 不是。
    Pinyin: Bú shì.
    In English: No.
  • In Chinese: 我喜欢这个。
    Pinyin: Wǒ xǐ huān zhè gè.
    In English: I like it.
  • In Chinese: 我不喜欢这个。
    Pinyin: Wǒ bù xǐ huān zhè gè.
    In English: I don’t like it.
  • In Chinese: 太好了。
    Pinyin: Tài hǎole.
    In English: Great.
  • In Chinese: 能麻烦您帮我照个相吗?
    Pinyin: Néng má fán nín bāng wǒ zhào gè xiàng ma?
    In English: Could you please take my picture?

2. Transports

Plane Phrases

Of course, you’ll need to have some mode of transportation to get around the country. That’s why we’ve prepared this list of useful Chinese travel phrases for transportation!

1- Phrases for Taking a Taxi:

  • In Chinese: 请问您可以载我去[地点]吗?
    Pinyin: Qǐng wèn nín kě yǐ zài wǒ qù [dì diǎn] ma?
    In English: Can you take me to [location] please?
  • In Chinese: 请问去[地点]要多少钱?
    Pinyin: Qǐng wèn qù [dì diǎn] yào duō shǎo qián?
    In English: How much is it to go to [location]?

2- Phrases for Taking a Bus:

  • In Chinese: 我应该在哪站下车?
    Pinyin: Wǒ yīng gāi zài nǎ zhàn xià chē?
    In English: Where should I get off?
  • In Chinese: 我想去[地点]。
    Pinyin: Wǒ xiǎng qù [dì diǎn].
    In English: I want to go to [location].
  • In Chinese: 请在到站的时候告诉我一声。
    Pinyin: Qǐng zài dào zhàn de shí hòu gào sù wǒ yī shēng.
    In English: Please tell me when we arrive.
  • In Chinese: 请问这趟车去往[地点]吗?
    Pinyin: Qǐng wèn zhè tàng chē qù wǎng [dì diǎn] ma?
    In English: Does this bus go to [location]?

3- Phrases for Taking a Train:

  • In Chinese: 我想买一张去[地点]的票。
    Pinyin: Wǒ xiǎng mǎi yī zhāng qù [dì diǎn] de piào.
    In English: Can I get one ticket to [location]?
  • In Chinese: 火车终点站到了。
    Pinyin: Huǒ chē zhōng diǎn zhàn dào le.
    In English: It is the final stop for the train.

3. Shopping

Man Handing Credit Card to Clerk
You can use your cards to pay in many stores in China.

Our list of travel phrases in the Chinese language extends out to shopping phrases, because we know you’ll want to grab a souvenir or two! With these Mandarin Chinese travel words and phrases, you’ll be able to shop, barter, and bring home your bounty of Chinese goods!

  • In Chinese: 这个要多少钱?
    Pinyin: Zhè gè yào duō shǎo qián?
    In English: How much does it cost?
  • In Chinese: 能给我个优惠吗?
    Pinyin: Néng gěi wǒ gè yōu huì ma?
    In English: Can I get a discount?
  • In Chinese: 便宜一点吧。
    Pinyin: Pián yí yī diǎn ba.
    In English: Make it cheaper.

    Additional notes: There are many small shops in China that allow you to bargain. Many products are usually offered initially at 200% of the original price; if this happens, don’t hesitate to use this phrase to bargain.

  • In Chinese: 这里的实时汇率是多少呢?
    Pinyin: Zhè lǐ de shí shí huì lǜ shì duō shǎo ne?
    In English: What is the currency here?
  • In Chinese: 我可以用信用卡吗?
    Pinyin: Wǒ kě yǐ yòng xìn yòng kǎ ma?
    In English: Can I use a credit card?

4. Restaurants

From ordering your food to letting your server know how many people are in your group, Chinese travel phrases for restaurants will come in handy time and time again! Here are travel phrases in Chinese characters (with English translations, of course) to help you enjoy your meal to the fullest!

Man and Woman Eating Dinner Out
Go to a nice restaurant and enjoy some local food!

  • In Chinese: 我想要这个。
    Pinyin: Wǒ xiǎng yào zhège.
    In English: Can I get this, please?
  • In Chinese: 我是一名素食者/我是一名纯素食者。
    Pinyin: Wǒ shì yī míng sù shí zhě/wǒ shì yī míng chúnsù shí zhě.
    In English: I am a vegetarian/vegan.
  • In Chinese: 请问可以结一下帐吗?
    Pinyin: Qǐng wèn kě yǐ jié yī xià zhàng ma?
    In English: Can I get the bill please?
  • In Chinese: 我们一共[数字] 个人。
    Pinyin: Wǒ men yī gòng [shù zì] gè rén.
    In English: We have [number] people.
  • In Chinese: 服务生/小姐!
    Pinyin: Fú wù shēng/xiǎo jiě!
    In English: Waiter/waitress!
  • In Chinese: 这个太好吃了。
    Pinyin: Zhè gè tài hǎo chī le.
    In English: It’s delicious.
  • In Chinese: 你有什么推荐的吗?
    Pinyin: Nǐ yǒu shén me tuī jiàn de ma?
    In English: Do you have any recommendations?

5. Asking for and Giving Directions

World Map

A list of Chinese phrases for travellers, of course, necessitates a section for directions! We don’t want you getting lost while exploring China (or heading to your business meeting). Study and practice this list of Chinese travel phrases and words to keep yourself on the right track and headed in the right direction!

1- A List of General Locations

  • 酒店 (jiǔ diàn) — hotel
  • 餐厅 (cān tīng) — restaurant
  • 公园 (gōng yuán) — park
  • 地铁站 (dì tiě zhàn) — subway station
  • 公交车站 (gōng jiāo chē zhàn) — bus stop
  • 洗手间 (xǐ shǒu jiān) — restroom
  • 房间 (fáng jiān) — room
  • 图书馆 (tú shū guǎn) — library
  • 失物认领处 (shī wù rèn lǐng chù) — lost and found

2- Basic Phrases for Directions

  • In Chinese: [地点]在哪里?
    Pinyin: [dì diǎn] zài nǎ lǐ?
    In English: Where is [location]?
  • In Chinese: 请问去[地点]应该怎么走?
    Pinyin: Qǐng wèn qù [dì diǎn] yīng gāi zěn me zǒu?
    In English: How can I get to [location]?
  • In Chinese: 往左拐。
    Pinyin: Wǎng zuǒ guǎi.
    In English: Turn left.
  • In Chinese: 往右拐。
    Pinyin: Wǎng yòu guǎi.
    In English: Turn right.
  • In Chinese: 直走。
    Pinyin: Zhí zǒu.
    In English: Go straight.

Additional notes: Workers in most big hotels in China are well-trained and speak English fluently, so don’t worry about check-in and check-out at your hotel.

6. Emergencies

People Leaving a Building
If there’s an emergency, stay calm and find help!

Emergencies are rarely expected, especially when you’re on vacation or taking a trip to your dream country. But it’s important to be prepared in case you do find yourself in an emergency situation. Study and practice these basic Chinese travel phrases for emergencies in order to stay safe and be prepared!

  • In Chinese: 救命啊!
    Pinyin: Jiù mìng a!
    In English: Help!
  • In Chinese: 我护照/钱包丢了,请问你有没有看见过?
    Pinyin: Wǒ hù zhào /qián bāo diū le, qǐng wèn nǐ yǒu méi yǒu kàn jiàn guò?
    In English: I lost my passport/wallet, did you see it?
  • In Chinese: 有医生吗?
    Pinyin: Yǒu yī shēng ma?
    In English: Is there a doctor?
  • In Chinese: 请问你可以帮我一下吗?
    Pinyin: Qǐng wèn nǐ kě yǐ bāng wǒ yī xià ma?
    In English: Can you please help me?

Additional notes: Please remember that the ambulance number in China is 120 and the police number is 110, just in case there’s an emergency in need of those numbers. If so, you should call them immediately.

7. Flattery Phrases

Aside from the more common Chinese travel phrases, it’ll be good to know some flattery phrases to let your new Chinese friends or associates know that you appreciate them (and love their country!). Take a look:

People with Boxes Over Their Heads Giving a Thumbs Up
Don’t hesitate to give the people who once helped you a big thumbs-up 🙂

  • In Chinese: 中国人真友好。
    Pinyin: Zhōng guó rén zhēn yǒu hǎo.
    In English: Chinese people are so nice.
  • In Chinese: 中国文化可真有意思。
    Pinyin: Zhōng guó wén huà kě zhēn yǒu yì sī.
    In English: Chinese culture is so interesting.
  • In Chinese: 中国真是一个美丽的国家啊。
    Pinyin: Zhōng guó zhēn shì yī gè měi lì de guó jiā a.
    In English: China is such a beautiful country.
  • In Chinese: 中国美食实在是太好吃了。
    Pinyin: Zhōng guó měi shí shí zài shì tài hǎo chī le.
    In English: Chinese food tastes delicious.
  • In Chinese: 我们可以成为好朋友吗?
    Pinyin: Wǒ men kě yǐ chéng wéi hǎo péng yǒu ma?
    In English: Can we become good friends?

8. Useful Phrases to Go Through Language Problems

Our list of travel words in Chinese to English is sure to help you out as you navigate our beautiful country. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be a few bumps in the road. Check out this list of helpful words and phrases for overcoming language barriers during your visit!

  • In Chinese: 请问你会说英语吗?
    Pinyin: Qǐng wèn nǐ huì shuō yīng yǔ ma?
    In English: Can you speak English?
  • In Chinese: 我不明白你什么意思,可以麻烦你再说一遍吗?
    Pinyin: Wǒ bù míng bái nǐ shén me yì sī, kě yǐ má fán nǐ zài shuō yī biàn ma?
    In English: I don’t understand, can you repeat?
  • In Chinese: 可以麻烦您帮我写下来吗?
    Pinyin: Kě yǐ má fán nín bāng wǒ xiě xià lái ma?
    In English: Can you write it down for me please?
  • In Chinese: 抱歉,我的中文不是很好,可以麻烦你慢点说吗?
    Pinyin: Bào qiàn, wǒ de zhōng wén bú shì hěn hǎo, kě yǐ má fán nǐ màn diǎn shuō ma?
    In English: Sorry, I’m not good at Chinese, can you speak slowly?
  • In Chinese: 请问您这个的中文怎么表达?
    Pinyin: Qǐng wèn nín zhè gè de zhōng wén zěn me biǎo dá?
    In English: How do you say it in Chinese?

9. Conclusion

Through this guide for traveling phrases, we hope you’ve successfully boosted your confidence in planning your future trip. Knowing these Chinese to English travel phrases is sure to help you out in a pinch, and will allow you to fully enjoy your China experience!

If you wish to be even more prepared and knowledgeable for your visit to China, you’ll find everything you need here for wonderful Chinese culture and language lessons at ChineseClass101.com!

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How to Say Happy New Year in Chinese & New Year Wishes

Learn all the Chinese New Year wishes online, in your own time, on any device! Join ChineseClass101 for a special Chinese New Year celebration!

How to Say Happy New Year in Chinese

Can you relate to the year passing something like this: “January, February, March – December!”? Many people do! Quantum physics teaches us that time is relative, and few experiences illustrate this principle as perfectly as when we reach the end of a year. To most of us, it feels like the old one has passed in the blink of an eye, while the new year lies ahead like a very long journey! However, New Year is also a time to celebrate beginnings, and to say goodbye to what has passed. This is true in every culture, no matter when New Year is celebrated.

So, how do you say Happy New Year in Chinese? Let a native teach you! At ChineseClass101, you will learn how to correctly greet your friends over New Year, and wish them well with these Chinese New Year wishes!

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Table of Contents

  1. How to Celebrate New Year in China
  2. Must-Know Chinese Words & Phrases for the New Year!
  3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions in Chinese
  4. Inspirational New Year Quotes
  5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes
  6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages
  7. How ChineseClass101 Can Help You Learn Chinese

But let’s start with some vocabulary for Chinese New Year celebrations, very handy for conversations.

1. How to Celebrate New Year in China

To most Chinese people, you truly begin a brand new year only when you experience a traditional Spring Festival celebration. So even though there is a one-day public holiday for New Year’s day in January, it doesn’t really have a New Year’s celebratory atmosphere. However, in recent years, various kinds of countdown activities have become very popular among young people, and the day has become a kind of romantic holiday.

Now before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question?

What are the lyrics to the Chinese version of the song “Happy New Year,” or Xin Nian Hao, 新年好 (xīnniánhǎo)?

If you don’t already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep reading.

Just as in many countries in the West, the most important activity when celebrating the coming new year in China is, of course, a countdown or 倒数计时 (dàoshǔ jìshí). In the bustling city areas, you will see many kinds of celebratory events. The big screens in financial districts will display the numbers as they count down, and when they hit zero, fireworks or 烟花 (yānhuā) are set off in many places to celebrate. Young people go to bars, themed restaurants hold gatherings, and people drink and dance.

In recent years, the end of the year has become the time when people go shopping because this is the day that malls offer big discounts known as Chinese Black Friday or 黑色星期五 (hēisè Xīngqīwǔ). Malls will usually extend their shopping hours and sales shifts until late at night, and their product racks will look as though a robbery has taken place overnight because they’ll be almost empty!

New Year’s Day is, of course, a good opportunity to connect with family and friends who you haven’t seen for a long time. Some years ago, it was popular to exchange New Year’s cards, called 贺年卡 (hèniánkǎ). In recent years, more and more people have been conveying their wishes and greetings via email or text message due to a desire to save trees and avoid sending physical cards.

Now it’s time to answer our quiz question!

Do you know the lyrics to the Chinese version of the song “Happy New Year,” or 新年好, (Xīn Nián Hǎo)?

The song says 新年好呀,新年好呀,祝福 大家新年好;我们唱歌,我们跳舞,祝福大家新年好

(xīnniánhǎo yā , xīnniánhǎo yā , zhùfú dàjiā xīnniánhǎo ;wǒmen chànggē, wǒmen tiàowǔ, zhùfú dàjiā xīnniánhǎo)

Meaning “Happy new year, happy new year, wishing everyone a happy new year; we sing, we dance, wishing everyone a happy new year!” Almost everyone in China can sing it!

Happy New Year!

新年快樂!
新年快乐!
Xīnnián kuàilè !

2. Must-Know Chinese Words & Phrases for the New Year!

Chinese Words & Phrases for the New Year

1- Year


nián

This is pretty self-explanatory. Most countries follow a Gregorian calendar, which has approximately 365 days in a year, while in some cultures, other year designations are also honored. Therefore, New Year’s day in China could fall on a different day than in your country. When do you celebrate New Year?

2- Midnight

午夜
wǔyè

The point in time when a day ends and a new one starts. Many New Year celebrants prefer to stay awake till midnight, and greet the new annum as it breaks with fanfare and fireworks!

3- New Year’s Day

元旦
Yuándàn

In most countries, the new year is celebrated for one whole day. On the Gregorian calendar, this falls on January 1st. On this day, different cultures engage in festive activities, like parties, parades, big meals with families and many more.

You can do it!

4- Party

派对
pàiduì

A party is most people’s favorite way to end the old year, and charge festively into the new one! We celebrate all we accomplished in the old year, and joyfully anticipate what lies ahead.

5- Dancing

舞蹈
wǔdǎo

Usually, when the clock strikes midnight and the New Year officially begins, people break out in dance! It is a jolly way to express a celebratory mood with good expectations for the year ahead. Also, perhaps, that the old year with its problems has finally passed! Dance parties are also a popular way to spend New Year’s Eve in many places.

6- Champagne

香槟
xiāngbīn

Originating in France, champagne is a bubbly, alcoholic drink that is often used to toast something or someone during celebrations.

7- Fireworks

烟花
yānhuā

These are explosives that cause spectacular effects when ignited. They are popular for announcing the start of the new year with loud noises and colorful displays! In some countries, fireworks are set off to scare away evil spirits. In others, the use of fireworks is forbidden in urban areas due to their harmful effect on pets. Most animals’ hearing is much more sensitive than humans’, so this noisy display can be very frightful and traumatising to them.

8- Countdown

倒计时
dào jìshí

This countdown refers to New Year celebrants counting the seconds, usually backward, till midnight, when New Year starts – a great group activity that doesn’t scare animals, and involves a lot of joyful shouting when the clock strikes midnight!

9- New Year’s Holiday

新年假期
Xīnnián jiàqī

In many countries, New Year’s Day is a public holiday – to recuperate from the party the previous night, perhaps! Families also like to meet on this day to enjoy a meal and spend time together.

10-Confetti

五彩纸屑
wǔcǎi zhǐxiè

In most Western countries, confetti is traditionally associated with weddings, but often it is used as a party decoration. Some prefer to throw it in the air at the strike of midnight on New Year’s Eve.

11- New Year’s Eve

跨年夜
kuà nián yè

This is the evening before New Year breaks at midnight! Often, friends and family meet for a party or meal the evening before, sometimes engaging in year-end rituals. How are you planning to give your New Year greetings in 2018?

12- Toast

干杯
gānbēi

A toast is a type of group-salutation that involves raising your glass to drink with others in honor of something or someone. A toast to the new year is definitely in order!

13- Resolution

决心
juéxīn

Those goals or intentions you hope to, but seldom keep in the new year! Many people consider the start of a new year to be the opportune time for making changes or plans. Resolutions are those intentions to change, or the plans. It’s best to keep your resolutions realistic so as not to disappoint yourself!

14- Parade

游行
yóuxíng

New Year celebrations are a huge deal in some countries! Parades are held in the streets, often to celebratory music, with colorful costumes and lots of dancing. Parades are like marches, only less formal and way more fun. At ChineseClass101, you can engage in forums with natives who can tell you what Chinese New Year celebrations are like!

3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions

So, you learned the Chinese word for ‘resolution’. Fabulous! Resolutions are those goals and intentions that we hope to manifest in the year that lies ahead. The beginning of a new year serves as a good marker in time to formalise these. Some like to do it in writing, others only hold these resolutions in their hearts. Here are our Top 10 New Year’s resolutions at ChineseClass101 – what are yours?

Learn these phrases and impress your Chinese friends with your vocabulary.

New Year's Resolutions

1- Read more

多阅读。
Duō yuèdú.

Reading is a fantastic skill that everyone can benefit from. You’re a business person? Apparently, successful business men and women read up to 60 books a year. This probably excludes fiction, so better scan your library or Amazon for the top business reads if you plan to follow in the footsteps of the successful! Otherwise, why not make it your resolution to read more Chinese in the new year? You will be surprised by how much this will improve your Chinese language skills!

2- Spend more time with family

花更多时间陪伴家人。
Huā gèngduō shíjiān péibàn jiārén.

Former US President George Bush’s wife, Barbara Bush, was quoted as having said this: “At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, a parent.” This is very true! Relationships are often what gives life meaning, so this is a worthy resolution for any year.

3- Lose weight

减肥。
Jiǎnféi.

Hands up, how many of you made this new year’s resolution last year too…?! This is a notoriously difficult goal to keep, as it takes a lot of self discipline not to eat unhealthily. Good luck with this one, and avoid unhealthy fad diets!

4- Save money

存钱。
cúnqián.

Another common and difficult resolution! However, no one has ever been sorry when they saved towards reaching a goal. Make it your resolution to save money to upgrade your subscription to ChineseClass101’s Premium PLUS option in the new year – it will be money well spent!

5- Quit smoking

戒烟。
Jièyān.

This is a resolution that you should definitely keep, or your body could punish you severely later! Smoking is a harmful habit with many hazardous effects on your health. Do everything in your power to make this resolution come true in the new year, as your health is your most precious asset.

6- Learn something new

学习新东西。
Xuéxí xīn dōngxi.

Science has proven that learning new skills can help keep brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s at bay! It can even slow down the progression of the disease. So, keep your brain healthy by learning to speak a new language, studying towards a qualification, learning how to sew, or how to play chess – no matter how old you are, the possibilities are infinite!

7- Drink less

少喝酒。
Shǎo hējiǔ.

This is another health resolution that is good to heed any time of the year. Excessive drinking is associated with many diseases, and its effect can be very detrimental to good relationships too. Alcohol is a poison and harmful for the body in large quantities!

8- Exercise regularly

多运动。
Duō yùndòng.

This resolution goes hand-in-hand with ‘Lose weight’! An inactive body is an unhealthy and often overweight one, so give this resolution priority in the new year.

9- Eat healthy

饮食健康。
Yǐnshí jiànkāng.

If you stick with this resolution, you will lose weight and feel better in general. It is a very worthy goal to have!

10- Study Chinese with ChineseClass101

跟ChineseClass101.com一起学习中文。
Gēn ChineseClass yī líng yī diǎn com yīqǐ xuéxí Zhōngwén.

Of course! You can only benefit from learning Chinese, especially with us! Learning how to speak Chinese can keep your brain healthy, it can widen your circle of friends, and improve your chances to land a dream job anywhere in the world. ChineseClass101 makes it easy and enjoyable for you to stick to this resolution.

4. Inspirational New Year Quotes

Inspirational Quotes

Everyone knows that it is sometimes very hard to stick to resolutions, and not only over New Year. The reasons for this vary from person to person, but all of us need inspiration every now and then! A good way to remain motivated is to keep inspirational quotes near as reminders that it’s up to us to reach our goals.

Click here for quotes that will also work well in a card for a special Chinese new year greeting!

Make decorative notes of these in Chinese, and keep them close! Perhaps you could stick them above your bathroom mirror, or on your study’s wall. This way you not only get to read Chinese incidentally, but also remain inspired to reach your goals! Imagine feeling like giving up on a goal, but reading this quote when you go to the bathroom: “It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” What a positive affirmation!

5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes

Language Learning Quotes

Still undecided whether you should enroll with ChineseClass101 to learn a new language? There’s no time like the present to decide! Let the following Language Learning Quotes inspire you with their wisdom.

Click here to read the most inspirational Language Learning Quotes!

As legendary President Nelson Mandela once said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” So, learning how to say Happy New Year in Chinese could well be a way into someone special’s heart for you! Let this year be the one where you to learn how to say Happy New Year, and much more, in Chinese – it could open many and unexpected doors for you.

6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages

Here’s a lovely bonus for you! Why stop with Chinese – learn how to say Happy New Year in 31 other languages too! Watch this video and learn how to pronounce these New Year’s wishes like a native in under two minutes.

7. Why Enrolling with ChineseClass101 Would Be the Perfect New Year’s Gift to Yourself!

If you are unsure how to celebrate the New Year, why not give yourself a huge gift, and enroll to learn Chinese! With more than 12 years of experience behind us, we know that ChineseClass101 would be the perfect fit for you. There are so many reasons for this!

Learning Paths

  • Custom-tailored Learning Paths: Start learning Chinese at the level that you are. We have numerous Learning Pathways, and we tailor them just for you based on your goals and interests! What a boon!
  • Marked Progress and Fresh Learning Material Every Week: We make new lessons available every week, with an option to track your progress. Topics are culturally appropriate and useful, such as “Learning how to deliver negative answers politely to a business partner.” Our aim is to equip you with Chinese that makes sense!
  • Multiple Learning Tools: Learn in fun, easy ways with resources such 1,000+ video and audio lessons, flashcards, detailed PDF downloads, and mobile apps suitable for multiple devices!
  • Fast Track Learning Option: If you’re serious about fast-tracking your learning, Premium Plus would be the perfect way to go! Enjoy perks such as personalised lessons with ongoing guidance from your own, native-speaking teacher, and one-on-one learning on your mobile app! You will not be alone in your learning. Weekly assignments with non-stop feedback, answers and corrections will ensure speedy progress.
  • Fun and Easy: Keeping the lessons fun and easy-to-learn is our aim, so you will stay motivated by your progress!

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There’s no reason not to go big in 2018 by learning Chinese with ChineseClass101. Just imagine how the world can open up for you!

How to Say ‘Merry Christmas’ in Chinese

How to Say Merry Christmas in Chinese

Do you know any ways to wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ in Chinese? ChineseClass101 brings you easy-to-learn translations and the correct pronunciation of Chinese Christmas phrases!

Christmas is the annual commemorative festival of Christ’s birth in the Western Christian Church. It takes place on December 25th and is usually celebrated with much food and fanfare! However, not all cultures celebrate Christmas. In some countries, Christmas is not even a public holiday! However, many countries have adapted Christmas and its religious meaning to tally with their own beliefs, or simply in acknowledgment of the festival’s importance to other cultures. If you want to impress native Chinese speakers with culturally-appropriate Christmas phrases and vocabulary, ChineseClass101 will teach you the most important ways to wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ in Chinese!

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Table of Contents

  1. How to Celebrate Christmas in China
  2. Holiday Greetings and Wishes
  3. Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary
  4. Twelve Days of Christmas
  5. Top 10 Christmas Characters
  6. How ChineseClass101 Can Help You

1. How to Celebrate Christmas in China

Christmas Words in Chinese

December 25 is Christmas, a traditional Western festival with religious origins. In recent years, Christmas has become a popularly celebrated holiday in China, too. Let’s go over the differences between Western and Chinese Christmas customs.

Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-

The Chinese have incorporated many customs of their own into Christmas celebrations, such as the “Christmas Fruit.” Do you know what this is?

If you don’t already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep reading.

Though Christmas is not an official public holiday in Mainland China, the Chinese have increasingly embraced the celebration of this holiday since the economic reform and opening-up policy, or 改革开放 (gǎigé kāifàng). It is, however, a public holiday in Macau, which took influence from the Portuguese. Similarly, Hong Kong also observes a three-day holiday for Christmas, spanning from December 24 to December 26.

Christmas celebrations in China have distinctly Chinese characteristics. Some of these customs are fascinating, while others may be confusing. In the West, Christmas is a time for family reunions, while in China, people more often go out in groups and see a movie, go to karaoke, or go shopping as a way to celebrate Christmas.

China’s economy is always at its best during Christmas time, as Christmas provides plenty of business opportunities, or 商机 (shāngjī), and big profits. Christmas Eve is the country’s biggest day for shopping and sales. Shops and restaurants all play along with the Christmas theme, adding to the Christmassy atmosphere. Many movies are shown at Christmas time, as the holiday is also seen as a day for romance.

In China, Santa Claus, or 圣诞老人 (Shèngdànlǎorén) is depicted differently than in the West. Most notably, the Chinese interpretation of Santa plays the saxophone, or sometimes alternatively the French horn, violin, or trumpet. This aspect of Santa’s image most likely started as a commercial campaign, but over time developed into a key aspect of his persona.

Now it’s time to answer our quiz question-

The Chinese have incorporated many customs of their own into Christmas celebrations, such as the “Christmas Fruit.” Do you know what this is?

The “Christmas Fruit” or 圣诞果 (Shèngdàn guǒ) is an apple, which is the most common Christmas gift in China. The apple was appointed as the Christmas fruit because in Chinese, the word for apple is a homophone of “Christmas Eve”. Christmas Eve is 圣诞夜 (Shèngdànyè), while “apple” is 圣诞果 (Shèngdàn guǒ). With the help of special packaging, common apples are turned into expensive gifts.

2. Holiday Greetings and Wishes for the Holiday Season

Holiday Greetings and Wishes

1- Merry Christmas!

圣诞节快乐!
Shèngdàn Jié kuàilè!

Do you know how to say ‘Merry Christmas’ in Chinese? Learn here how to pronounce it perfectly! ‘Merry’ means to be joyful, to celebrate and generally be in good spirits. So, with this phrase you are wishing someone a joyful, celebratory remembrance of Christ’s birth!

2- Happy Kwanzaa!

宽扎节快乐!
Kuān zhā jié kuàilè!

Surprise your African-American, or West African native friends with this phrase over the Christmas holidays! Kwanzaa is a seven-day, non-religious celebration, starting on Dec 26th each year. It has its roots in African American modern history, and many people celebrate both Kwanzaa and Christmas!

3- Have a happy New Year!

新年快乐!
Xīnnián kuàilè !

In countries where Christmas is not officially celebrated, but a Gregorian calendar is observed, this would be a friendly festive-season wish over New Year.

4- Happy Hanukkah!

光明节快乐!
guāngmíng jié kuàilè !

Hanukkah is the beautiful Hebrew festival over November or December each year. It is also called the ‘Festival of Lights’ and is celebrated to commemorate the Jewish freedom of religion.

5- Have a great winter vacation!

寒假快乐!
hánjià kuàilè !

This is a good phrase to keep handy if someone doesn’t observe any religious festival over the Christmas holidays! However, this will only be applicable in the Northern hemisphere, where it is winter over Christmas.

6- See you next year!

明年见!
Míngnián jiàn!

Going away on holiday over Christmas season, or saying goodbye to someone about to leave on vacation? This would be a good way to say goodbye to your friends and family.

7- Warm wishes!

致以温馨的祝福!
zhìyǐ wēnxīn de zhùfú!

An informal, friendly phrase to write in Chinese Christmas cards, especially for secular friends who prefer to observe Christmas celebrations without the religious symbolism. It conveys the warmth of friendship and friendly wishes associated with this time of year.

8- Happy holidays!

节日快乐!
Jiérì kuàilè!

If you forget how to say ‘Merry Christmas!’ in Chinese, this is a safe, generic phrase to use instead.

9- Enjoy the holidays!

好好享受假期!
hǎohao xiǎngshòu jiàqī !

After saying ‘Merry Christmas’ in Chinese, this would be a good phrase with which to wish Christmas holiday-goers well! It is also good to use for secular friends who don’t celebrate Christmas but take a holiday at this time of the year.

10- Best wishes for the New Year!

祝新的一年一切都好!
zhù xīn de yì nián yíqiè dōuhǎo !

This is another way of wishing someone well in the New Year if they observe a Gregorian calendar. New Year’s day would then fall on January 1st.

3. Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary

Christmas is associated with many traditions and religious symbols in multiple countries across the world. It originated centuries ago in the West with the birth of Christianity, and the celebrations are often embedded with rich cultural significance. So, by now you know how to say Merry Christmas in Chinese! Next, learn pertinent vocabulary and phrases pertaining to Christmas, as well as how to pronounce them correctly. At ChineseClass101, we make sure you sound like a native speaker!

1- Christmas

圣诞节
Shèngdàn Jié

This is the Chinese word for ‘Christmas’. Most happy Christmas wishes in Chinese will include this word!

2- Snow

雪花
xuěhuā

In most Northern-hemisphere countries, Christmas is synonymous with snow, and for Christmas, the snowman is often dressed as Santa Claus.

3- Snowflake

雪花
xuěhuā

Snowflakes collectively make up snow. A single snowflake is small, white, light like a feather and icy cold! When put under a microscope, the snowflake reveals itself to have the most beautiful, symmetrical patterns. These patterns have become popular Christmas decorations, especially in Western countries.

4- Snowman

雪人
xuěrén

As you guessed – a snowman is only possible to build if it is snowing! What a fun way to spend Christmas day outside.

5- Turkey

火雞
huǒjī

Roast turkey is the traditional main dish on thousands of lunch tables on Christmas day, mainly in Western countries. What is your favorite Christmas dish?

6- Wreath

花环
huāhuán

Another traditional Western decoration for Christmas, the wreath is an arrangement of flowers, leaves, or stems fastened in a ring. Many families like to hang a Christmas wreath outside on their houses’ front doors.

7- Reindeer

驯鹿
xúnlù

Reindeer are the animals commonly fabled to pull Santa Claus’ sled across the sky! Western Christmas folklore tells of Father Christmas or Santa Claus doing the rounds with his sled, carrying Christmas presents for children, and dropping them into houses through the chimney. But who is Santa Claus?

8- Santa Claus

圣诞老人
Shèngdàn Lǎorén

Santa Claus is a legendary and jolly figure originating in the Western Christian culture. He is known by many names, but is traditionally depicted as a rotund man wearing a red costume with a pointy hat, and sporting a long, snow-white beard!

9- Elf

精灵
jīnglíng

An elf is a supernatural creature of folklore with pointy ears, a dainty, humanoid body and a capricious nature. Elves are said to help Santa Claus distribute presents to children over Christmas!

10- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

红鼻子驯鹿鲁道夫
hóngbízi xúnlù Lǔdàofū

‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ is a Christmas song based on an American children’s story book with the same name. Rudolph is one of Santa’s reindeer. The song became more famous than the book, and can still be heard playing in many shopping malls over Christmas time across the globe!

11- North Pole

北极
Běi Jí

The cold North Pole is where Santa Claus is reputed to live with his reindeer!

12- Sled

雪橇
xuěqiāo

A sled is a non-motorised land vehicle used to travel over snow in countries where it snows a lot, and is usually pulled by animals such as horses, dogs or reindeer. This one obviously refers to Santa’s sled! Another word for sled is sleigh or sledge.

13- Present

礼物
lǐwù

Gift or present giving is synonymous with Christmas Eve and the greatest source of joy for children over this festive time! This tradition signifies that Christ’s birth was a gift to mankind, but not all people who hand out presents over Christmas observe the religious meaning.

14- Bell


líng

On Christmas Day, or Christmas Eve, many religious celebrants enjoy going to church for a special sermon and Christmas rituals. The start of the sermon is often announced with bells or a bell, if the church has one. For this reason, the sound of ringing bells is often associated with Christmas Day.

15- Chimney

烟囱
yāncong

The chimney is the entrance Santa Claus uses to deliver children’s presents on Christmas Day, according to folklore! Wonder how the chubby man and his elves stay clean…?!

16- Fireplace

壁炉
bìlú

In most countries where it snows, Christmas is synonymous with a fire or burning embers in houses’ fireplaces. Families huddle around its warmth while opening Christmas presents. Also, this is where Santa Claus is reputed to pop out after his journey down the chimney!

17- Christmas Day

圣诞节
Shèngdàn Jié

This is the official day of commemorative celebration of Christ’s birth, and falls each year on December 25.

18- Decoration

装饰
zhuāngshì

Decorations are the colourful trinkets and posters that make their appearance in shops and homes during the Christmas holiday season in many countries! They give the places a celebratory atmosphere in anticipation of the big Christmas celebration. Typical Christmas decorations include colorful photographs and posters, strings of lights, figurines of Santa Claus and the nativity scene, poinsettia flowers, snowflakes and many more.

19- Stocking

长袜
chǎng wà

According to legend, Santa Claus places children’s presents in a red stocking hanging over the fireplace. This has also become a popular decoration, signifying Christmas.

20- Holly

冬青
dōngqīng

Holly is a shrub native to the UK, and parts of Europe, Africa and Asia. It is characterised by glossy, spiny-toothed leaves, small, whitish flowers, and red berries. Ironically, its significance for Christmas relates to Christ’s crucifixion and suffering rather than his birth. However, the leaves’ distinctive shape and image have become popular Christmas decorations.

21- Gingerbread house

姜饼房
jiāngbǐng fáng

According to legend, the gingerbread house synonymous with Christmas is related to Christ’s birth place, Bethlehem. Bethlehem literally means ‘House of Bread’. Over centuries, it has become a popular treat over Christmas time in many non-religious households as well.

22- Candy cane

拐杖糖
guǎizhàng táng

According to folklore, Christmas candy canes made their appearance first in Germany in the 16th century. A choir master gave children the candy canes to suck on in church in order to keep them quiet during the Christmas sermon! Apparently, the candy is shaped like a cane in remembrance of the shepherds who were the first to visit the baby Jesus. Today, like gingerbread houses, they are still a popular sweet over the festive season!

23- Mistletoe

槲寄生
hújìshēng

Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that grows on certain trees. In the Middle Ages, it was believed that the mistletoe has magical powers, and could protect a household from evil if hung above a door during December. The belief didn’t last but the habit did, and the mistletoe is another popular Christmas decoration!

4. Twelve Days of Christmas

Twelve Days of Christmas

Wow, you’re doing extremely well! You know how to wish someone a Merry Christmas in Chinese, and you learned pertinent vocabulary too! The Twelve Days of Christmas is not very well known in modern times, so, you’re on your way to becoming an expert in Christmas traditions and rituals. Well done!

The Twelve Days of Christmas, also known as Twelvetide, is a traditional festive period of 12 days dedicated to celebrate the nativity of Christ. Christmas Day is, for many who observe Twelvetide, the first day of this period.

‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ is also a popular Christmas song about a series of gifts given on each day of Twelvetide. According to experts, these gifts were created as a coded reference to important symbols in the Christian church. Here is a list of those gifts mentioned in the song! Do you recognise them?

5. Top 10 Christmas Characters in American Culture

Top 10 Christmas Characters

This is fantastic, you know how to explain almost everything about Christmas in Chinese! However, do you know the most popular Christmas characters in American culture? Your knowledge will not be complete without this list.

6. ChineseClass101 Is One Of The Best Online Language Schools Available!

Visit ChineseClass101!

We don’t just say this – we can prove it! Geared to your personal needs and goals, we have several learning paths from which to choose. From Chinese for Absolute Beginners to Advanced Chinese, lessons are designed to meet you where you are, and increase your language abilities in fun, easy and interactive lessons! Mastering a new language has never been this easy or enjoyable.

We have over a decade of experience and research behind us, and it shows! With thousands of audio and video lessons, detailed PDF lessons and notes, as well as friendly, knowledgeable hosts, ChineseClass101 is simply unbeatable when it comes to learning correct Chinese. Plenty of tools and resources are available when you study with us. New lessons are added every week so material remains fresh and relevant. You also have the option to upgrade and enjoy even more personalised guidance and services. This is a sure way to fast-track your learning!

So, this Christmas, why don’t you give yourself a present and enroll in ChineseClass101? Or give an enrollment as a present to a loved one. It will be a gift with benefits for a whole lifetime, not just over Christmas!

How To Say ‘Thank you’ in Chinese

How to Say Thank You in Chinese

In most cultures, it is custom to express gratitude in some way or another. The dictionary defines gratitude as follows: it is “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness”. Giving a sincere, thankful response to someone’s actions or words is often the ‘glue’ that keeps relationships together. This is true in most societies! Doing so in a foreign country also shows your respect and appreciation for the culture. Words have great power – use these ones sincerely and often!

Table of Contents

  1. 12 Ways to say ‘Thank you’ in Chinese
  2. Video Lesson: Learn to Say ‘Thank You’ in 3 Minutes
  3. Infographic & Audio Lesson: Survival Phrases – Thank You
  4. Video Lesson: ‘Thank You’ in 31 Languages
  5. How ChineseClass101 Can Help You

So, how do you say ‘Thank you’ in Chinese? You can learn easily! Below, ChineseClass101 brings you perfect translations and pronunciation as you learn the most common ways Chinese speakers say ‘Thanks’ in various situations.

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1. 12 Ways to say ‘Thank you’ in Chinese

1- Thank you.

谢谢。
Xièxiè.

The magical words that can bring a smile to any face. For one day, truly mean it whenever you say these words, and see how this lifts your spirit too!

2- That’s very kind of you.

您真是太好了。
Nín zhēnshì tài hǎo le.

This phrase is appropriate when someone clearly goes out of their way to give good service, or to offer you a kindness.

3- Thanks for your kind words!

感谢您的赞美之辞。
Gǎnxiè nín de zànměi zhī cí.

Someone paid you a compliment and made you feel good? That is kind of him/her, so express your gratitude!

4- Thank you for coming today.

感谢您今天的光临。
Gǎnxiè nín jīntiān de guānglín.

This welcoming phrase should be part of your arsenal if you’re conducting more formal meetings with Chinese speakers. If you’re hosting a party, this is also a good phrase when you greet your Chinese guests!

5- Thank you for your consideration.

谢谢您的关心。
Xièxie nín de guānxīn.

This is a more formal, almost solemn way to thank someone for their thoughtfulness and sensitivity towards you. It is also suitable to use when a native speaker has to consider something you submit, like a job application, a project or a proposal. You are thanking them, in essence, for time and effort they are about to, or have spent on your submission.

6- Thanks a lot!

多谢了!
Duōxièle!

This means the same as ‘Thank you’, but with energy and enthusiasm added! It means almost the same as ‘thank you so much’ in Chinese. Use this in an informal setting with your Chinese friends or teachers.

7- Teachers like you are not easy to find.

像您这样的老师不容易找到。
Xiàng nín zhèyàng de lǎoshī bù róngyì zhǎodào.

Some phrases are compliments, which express gratitude by inference. This is one of them. If you’re particularly impressed with your ChineseClass101 teacher, this is an excellent phrase to memorize!

8- Thank you for spending time with us.

谢谢您花时间和我们在一起。
Xièxie nín huā shíjiān hé wǒmen zài yìqǐ.

Any host at a gathering with Chinese speakers, such as a meeting or a party, should have this under his/her belt! Use it when you’re saying goodbye or busy closing a meeting. It could also be another lovely way to thank your Chinese language teacher for her time.

9- Thank you for being patient and helping me improve.

感谢您的耐心并帮助我提高。
Gǎnxiè nín de nàixīn bìng bāngzhù wǒ tígāo.

This phrase is another sure way to melt any formal or informal Chinese teacher’s heart! Teaching is not easy, and often a lot of patience is required from the teacher. Thank him/her for it! It’s also a good phrase to use if you work in China, and want to thank your trainer or employer. You will go a long way towards making yourself a popular employee – gratitude is the most attractive trait in any person!

10- You’re the best teacher ever!

您是有史以来最好的老师!
Nín shì yǒushǐ yǐlái zuì hǎo de lǎoshī!

This is also an enthusiastic way to thank your teacher by means of a compliment. It could just make their day!

11- Thank you for the gift.

谢谢你的礼物。
Xièxie nǐ de lǐwù.

This is a good phrase to remember when you’re the lucky recipient of a gift. Show your respect and gratitude with these words.

12- I have learned so much thanks to you.

我非常感谢你。
Wǒ fēicháng gǎnxiè nǐ.

What a wonderful compliment to give a good teacher! It means they have succeeded in their goal, and you’re thankful for it.

2. Video Lesson: Learn to Say ‘Thank You’ in 3 Minutes

In China, there are numerous ways to say “thank you.” Let’s take a look at some of the most common ways to express ones gratitude.

1- 謝謝。Xiè Xie
By far the most common phrase used to express ones thanks is xiè xie (Thank you.). This is undoubtedly the phrase of gratitude you will here the most throughout your journeys, and conveniently the easiest to pronounce.

As Chinese is a tonal language, it is important to correctly pronounce the tones, as an incorrect pronunciation of a tone can change the meaning of a word and in turn, the meaning of the phrase. In the case of xiè xie, however, the phrase is used so frequently that no matter how badly you mispronounce the tones, this expression of gratitude will be understood. As the phrase xiè xie consists of two of the same characters, it literally means, “Thank(s), thank(s).” However, it is translated as “Thank you.”

2- 謝謝你。Xiè Xie Nǐ
Xiè xie nǐ (Thank you.), or the politer version xiè xie nin (Thank you.[formal]), are common variations of the phrase Xiè xie. (Thank you.). In both of these phrases xiè xie is followed by the word for you, (you) or the politer version nín (you, formal). The literal meaning of these phrases are closer to their English counterpart “Thank you.” as both phrases includes the word you.

3- 多谢。 Duō Xiè
Another polite way to express one’s gratitude is the phrase, Duō xiè. (Thank you so much.) which literally means “Many thanks.” or “A lot of thanks.” The components of this sentence are duō (many) and xiè (to thank). Literally many thanks, but translated as “Thank you very much.”

4- 我很感谢。 Wǒ Hěn Gǎnxiè
Finally there is a phrase that expresses one’s utmost gratitude. This phrase is Wǒ hěn gǎn xiè. (Thank you so much.) which literally means “I very feel thanks.” but is translated as “Thank you so much.” This phrase is reserved for very special occasions, such as when someone does something extremely kind or particularly helpful.

Cultural Insights

Quick Tip 1
The gesture for thank you in Chinese is to cover one’s right hand with the left, and raise them chest or head high while bowing one’s head.

Quick Tip 2
When in a dining situation, the waiter or waitress will often pour beverages for the patrons. A commonly used way of expressing gratitude for this action is to ,tap the table with one’s index and middle fingers. This gesture, often repeated several times, and expresses the receiver’s gratitude as well as that notion “that is enough of what is being poured.”

On the run to China? Wait! You can’t go without some basic language phrases under your belt! Especially if you’re heading to meet your prospective employer! Either in person or online, knowing how to say ‘Thank you’ in the Chinese language will only improve their impression of you! ChineseClass101 saves you time with this short lesson that nevertheless packs a punch. Learn to say ‘Thank you’ in Chinese in no time!

3. Audio Lesson: Survival Phrases – Thank You

5 Ways to Say Thank You in Chinese

Perhaps you think it’s unimportant that you don’t know what ‘Thank you’ is in Chinese, or that it’s too difficult a language to learn. Yet, as a traveler or visitor, you will be surprised at how far you can go using a little bit of Chinese in China!

Click Here to Listen to the Free Audio Lesson!

At ChineseClass101, we offer you a few ways of saying ‘Thank you’ in Chinese that you have no excuse not knowing, as they’re so simple and easy to learn. The lesson is geared to aid your ‘survival’ in formal and informal situations in China, so don’t wait! You will never have to google ‘How do you say thanks in Chinese’ again…!

4. ‘Thank You’ in 31 Languages

For the global traveler in a hurry, here are 31 ways to say ‘Thank you’! These are the first words you need to learn in any foreign language – it is sure to smooth your way with native speakers by showing your gratitude for services rendered, and your respect for their culture! Learn and know how to correctly say ‘Thank you’ in 31 different languages in this short video.

5. Why would ChineseClass101 be the perfect choice to learn Chinese?

However, you need not stop at ‘Thank you’ in Chinese – why not learn to speak the language?! You have absolutely nothing to lose. Research has shown that learning a new language increases intelligence and combats brain-aging. Also, the ability to communicate with native speakers in their own language is an instant way to make friends and win respect! Or imagine you know how to write ‘Thank you’ to that special Chinese friend after a date…he/she will be so impressed!

Thank You

ChineseClass101 Has Special Lessons, Tools and Resources to Teach You How to Say Thank You and Other Key Phrases

With more than a decade of experience behind us, we have taught thousands of satisfied users to speak foreign languages. How do we do this? First, we take the pain out of learning! At ChineseClass101, students are assisted as they master vocabulary, pronunciation, and conversation through state-of-the-art and fun online learning methods. A library replete with learning resources allows for you to learn at your own pace and in your own space! Resources include thousands of video and audio recordings, downloadable PDF lessons and plenty of learning apps for your mobile devices. Each month, we add benefits with FREE bonuses and gifts to improve your experience.

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We accommodate all levels and types of learners, from Absolute Beginner to Advanced, and ChineseClass101 is free for anyone to sign up. However, you can choose to fast track your fluency with lesson customization and increased interactive learning and practicing. Upgrade to Premium, or Premium PLUS to enhance your experience and greatly expedite your learning. With this type of assistance, and pleasurable effort on your part, you will speak Chinese in a very short period of time!

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Best of all is that you’re never alone! We believe that practice is the holy grail of learning any new language, and we gear our courses to ensure lots of it. Enroll with us, and you gain immediate access to our lively forum where we meet and greet, and discuss your burning questions. Our certified teachers are friendly and helpful, and you are very likely to practice your first ‘Thanks!’ in Chinese on him/her, AND mean it! Hurry up, and sign up now – you will thank us for it.

Learn Chinese Direct from Beijing with ChineseClass101.com

Dear Chinese Students,

Today we’re pleased to announce the launch of ChineseClass101.com. This is a joint project between Popup Chinese and the folks at Innovative Language Learning.

If you’re familiar with the Innovative Language approach to teaching, you’ll know the strength of their materials has always been tight, step-by-step progressive lessons for beginners. At Popup Chinese, we’ve historically geared our materials towards more advanced students, so when we had the chance to cooperate with the Innovative team and work together to build something that could take advantage of the powerful system they’ve already built we leapt at the chance, and began work designing a focused and stepwise program for Mandarin instruction.

Although a few hints leaked out (*ahem*), for the past few months we’ve worked somewhat stealthily to build the best team possible for the task. You’ll find our progressive beginner lessons hosted by none other than the famous Frank Fradella. Other big names on our roster are Amber Scorah and of course everyone on our existing team like Echo Yao and Brendan O’Kane. This is a great team and I can say with confidence I’ve never worked with a stronger one. With more than 100 lessons on the new site, our content is off to a good start too. As Frank said once after a marathon recording session, “our first twenty lessons here teach more than I learned in a whole year studying elsewhere.”

We think this is a great step forward and look forward to hearing your feedback and thoughts as well. It is definitely a major step forward for Chinese language education online. There’s never been a better time to learn Chinese, or a better way to learn it online. Regardless of whether you’re an advanced independent learner or a total newbie, we hope you’ll enjoy the work we’ll be doing both here and at ChineseClass101. Thanks for your support, and 加油 everyone!

Best from Beijing,

David Lancashire

Best from New York,

Amber Scorah