GET UP TO 55% OFF WITH OUR BEST HOLIDAY DEALS
GET UP TO 55% OFF WITH OUR BEST HOLIDAY DEALS
ChineseClass101.com Blog
Learn Chinese with Free Daily
Audio and Video Lessons!
Start Your Free Trial 6 FREE Features

Archive for the 'Chinese Words' Category

How to Introduce Your Family in Chinese

Thumbnail

Almost everyone holds a special place in their heart for families. A family is those you’re bound with from birth, the ones who will always be there for you unconditionally. When we first meet someone, we like to be familiar with their family background. Knowing this provides valuable information on that person’s upbringing, which could shape their personality dramatically. Thus, it’s important to learn how to talk about your family in Chinese.

In China, family has great importance. 孝顺 (xiào shùn), which means being responsible and obedient to parents, is one of the best qualities a person can have. While reading this article, keep in mind that the Chinese view of parent-child relationships differs in some ways from that of Western countries.

Now let’s get right into today’s adventure!

Table of Contents

  1. Family Perceptions in China
  2. Family Member Terms and Other Basics
  3. Terms for Relatives
  4. Family Member Terms as a Married Person
  5. Endearment Terms
  6. Bonus - Interesting Expressions about Family Members
  7. Conclusion: How ChineseClass101 Can Help You Master Family Terms

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Family Phrases in Chinese


1. Family Perceptions in China

Parents Phrases

The family institution in China is incredibly strong. China highly values family bonds, particularly parent-child relationships. When it comes to family in the Chinese culture, there are even traditions that say children should never travel far, and should always stay with their parents.

Even now, many men still live with their parents even after their marriage. In this case, the woman will have to move to the man’s house and live with his parents. This sometimes creates an unpleasant relationship between the wife and her mother-in-law, which is a situation you can see used as a stereotype in a wide variety of Chinese shows.

There are many different ways to name family members depending on your relationship to them. Age difference is the main factor in determining what to call a family member, since Chinese people heavily emphasize that youngsters should respect their elders.

One thing to keep in mind: Unlike in Western culture, it’s not respectful to directly call elders by their names. This matter will be introduced more thoroughly later in this article.


2. Family Member Terms and Other Basics

Family Words

Here are some Chinese words for family members to expand your family in Chinese vocabulary! With just these basic words and phrases, you have a great place to start a simple conversation about family.

  • In Chinese: 家人
    Pinyin: jiā rén
    In English: family

    In Chinese: 我的家庭很幸福。
    Pinyin: Wǒ de jiā tíng hěn xìng fú.
    In English: I have a happy family.

    In Chinese: 我是在单亲家庭中长大的。
    Pinyin: Wǒ shì zài dān qīn jiā tíng zhōng zhǎng dà de.
    In English: I grew up in a single-parent family.

  • In Chinese: 母亲
    Pinyin: mǔ qīn
    In English: mother
  • In Chinese: 父亲
    Pinyin: fù qīn
    In English: father
  • In Chinese: 妈妈
    Pinyin: mā ma
    In English: mom
  • In Chinese: 爸爸
    Pinyin: bà ba
    In English: dad
  • In Chinese: 姐姐 / 妹妹
    Pinyin: jiě jie / mèi mei
    In English: (older) sister / (younger) sister

    In Chinese: 我有个[姐姐].
    Pinyin: Wǒ yǒu gè [jiě jie].
    In English: I have a(n) [older sister].

  • In Chinese: 哥哥/弟弟
    Pinyin: gē ge /dì di
    In English: (older) brother / (younger) brother
  • In Chinese: 兄弟姐妹
    Pinyin: xiōng dì jiě mèi
    In English: sibling

Fun fact: The interesting thing about siblings in Chinese is that older and younger siblings have different terms, whereas English does not.

  • In Chinese: 姥爷 / 爷爷 / 祖父
    Pinyin: lǎo yé / yé ye / zǔ fù
    In English: (mother’s side) grandfather / (father’s side) grandfather / grandfather
  • In Chinese: 姥姥 / 奶奶 / 祖母
    Pinyin: lǎo lao / nǎi nai / zǔ mǔ
    In English: (mother’s side) grandmother / (father’s side) grandmother / grandmother
  • In Chinese: 父母 / 家长
    Pinyin: fù mǔ / jiā zhǎng
    In English: parents

Fun fact: The literal meaning of 家长 is the family’s leader.

  • In Chinese: 祖父母
    Pinyin: zǔ fù mǔ
    In English: grandparents
  • In Chinese: 曾祖母
    Pinyin: zēng zǔ mǔ
    In English: great grandmother
  • In Chinese: 曾祖父
    Pinyin: zēng zǔ fù
    In English: great grandfather


3. Terms for Relatives

Family in Winter Clothes Outside
Who can say having a big family isn’t fun?

Now, let’s work our way around the Chinese family tree, so that you’ll never struggle to find the right word for a family member!

  • In Chinese: 亲戚/亲属
    Pinyin: qīn qi / qīn shǔ
    In English: relative

Fun fact: There’s a fun Chinese term called 走亲戚 (zǒu qīn qi), which literally means “walk through relatives.” This is a tradition that Chinese people normally have during Chinese New Year, which is also known as the Spring Festival. It’s a holiday where families spend time together and catch up, just like Christmas in Western cultures. If some families can’t make the reunion, you’ll need to 走亲戚, to visit them at their place and spend some quality time. This shows that the Chinese extended family is just as important as the Chinese immediate family.

  • In Chinese: 叔叔
    Pinyin: shū shu
    In English: uncle
  • In Chinese: 阿姨
    Pinyin: ā yí
    In English: aunt

Fun fact: In English, youngsters can usually call their elders who have no relations Mr. or Ms. and such, and sometimes if an elder is close enough, they can even directly call them by their names. This is quite different in China.

The young generation have to call adults who are older a certain term depending on the age difference. Usually, you can call people who are ten to twenty years older “aunt” (阿姨) or “uncle” (叔叔). For people who are at a similar age as your grandparents, you’re required to call them “grandmother” (奶奶) or “grandfather” (爷爷).

  • In Chinese: 堂兄弟姐妹/表兄弟姐妹
    Pinyin: táng xiōng dì jiě mèi /biǎo xiōng dì jiě mèi
    In English: cousin

Fun fact: Since “cousin” in Chinese is a relatively long word, Chinese people usually don’t use the word “cousin.” Instead, they’ll use the terms that can show the direct relation. There are eight different terms under the category “cousin,” including: 堂兄 (táng xiōng) [male, father’s side, older], 堂弟 (táng dì) [male, father’s side, younger], 堂姐 (táng jiě) [female, father’s side, older], 堂妹 (táng mèi) [female, father’s side, younger], 表兄 (biǎo xiōng) [male, mother’s side, older], 表弟 (biǎo dì) [male, mother’s side, younger], 表姐 (biǎo jiě) [female, mother’s side, older], 表妹 (biǎo mèi) [female, mother’s side, younger].

  • In Chinese: 外甥女 / 侄女
    Pinyin: wài shēng nǚ / zhí nǚ
    In English: niece
  • In Chinese: 侄子 / 外甥
    Pinyin: zhí zi / wài shēng
    In English: nephew


4. Family Member Terms as a Married Person

Once you’ve married in Chinese culture, you’ve gained several new Chinese family members. Here’s what to call them all!

  • In Chinese: 妻子
    Pinyin: qī zǐ
    In English: wife
  • In Chinese: 丈夫 / 先生
    Pinyin: zhàng fū / xiān shēng
    In English: husband

Family Smiling
I believe we all want a happy family!

  • In Chinese: 女儿
    Pinyin: nǚ ér
    In English: daughter
  • In Chinese: 儿子
    Pinyin: ér zi
    In English: son
  • In Chinese: 姐夫 / 妹夫
    Pinyin: jiě fū / mèi fū
    In English: brother-in-law
  • In Chinese: 嫂子 / 弟妹
    Pinyin: sǎo zi / dì mèi
    In English: (older brother’s side) sister-in-law / (younger brother’s side) sister-in-law
  • In Chinese: 婆婆 / 岳母
    Pinyin: pó po / yuè mǔ
    In English: mother-in-law (husband’s mother) / mother-in-law (wife’s mother)
  • In Chinese: 公公 / 岳父
    Pinyin: gōng gong / yuè fù
    In English: father-in-law (husband’s father) / father-in-law (wife’s father)

Fun fact: In Chinese culture, if you’re on good terms with your father-in-law and mother-in-law, and you feel comfortable, it will be good to call them “mom” or “dad,” just like your wife/husband does. This shows that you see them as your own mother or father. However, in many cases, it can be difficult to get along with your father-in-law or mother-in-law.


5. Endearment Terms

Family Walking by a Lake
Let’s use more endearment terms to call the ones you love!

  • In Chinese: 爹地 / 爸爸 / 老爸
    Pinyin: diē dì / bà ba / lǎo bà
    In English: daddy
  • In Chinese: 妈咪 / 妈妈 / 老妈
    Pinyin: mā mī / mā ma / lǎo mā
    In English: mommy
  • In Chinese: 老哥 / 老弟
    Pinyin: lǎo gē / lǎo dì
    In English: (older) brother / (younger) brother
  • In Chinese: 老姐 / 老妹
    Pinyin: lǎo jiě / lǎo mèi
    In English: (older) sister / (younger) sister
  • In Chinese: 老婆 / 媳妇
    Pinyin: lǎo pó / xí fù
    In English: wife
  • In Chinese: 老公
    Pinyin: lǎo gōng
    In English: husband

Elderly Person Lying in Bed

Fun fact: 老 means “old” in Chinese, which is a very common thing to call someone who is close to you in Chinese. If you notice, lots of the nicknames mentioned above begin with a 老. In this case, 婆 and 公 each means “old women” and “old men.” By calling your other half this, it shows your commitment that you want to grow old with each other.

  • In Chinese: 亲爱的
    Pinyin: qīn ài de
    In English: dear
  • In Chinese: 宝贝
    Pinyin: bǎo bèi
    In English: baby
  • In Chinese: 闺女
    Pinyin: guī nǚ
    In English: daughter


6. Bonus - Interesting Expressions about Family Members

Family Quotes

  • In Chinese: 虎毒不食子。
    Pinyin: Hǔ dú bú shí zǐ.
    In English: Even a vicious tiger won’t eat its own son.
    Actual meaning: Parents will always treat their own children kindly, no matter how evil their nature is.
  • In Chinese: 有其父必有其子。
    Pinyin: Yǒu qí fù bì yǒu qí zǐ.
    In English: Like father, like son.
    Actual meaning: A son’s character is very likely to resemble his father’s.
  • In Chinese: 不听老人言,吃亏在眼前。
    Pinyin: Bù tīng lǎo rén yán, chī kuī zài yǎn qián.
    In English: If you don’t listen to elders’ advice, you will learn your lesson.


7. Conclusion: How ChineseClass101 Can Help You Master Family Terms

I hope you’re now more fascinated with the unique Chinese culture after reading this article about Chinese family. Continue to binge on learning the most native and entertaining Chinese lessons at ChineseClass101.com; here, Chinese is no longer an excruciating language that’s hard to master. It’s a paradise where you can enjoy yourself even while studying!

Before you go, let us know in the comments how confident you feel naming your family members in Chinese now! And tell us common sayings or idioms about family in your own language while you’re at it! ;) We look forward to hearing from you!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Family Phrases in Chinese

Dōngzhì Festival: Celebrate Winter Solstice in China

The Dōngzhì Festival in China, also called the Chinese Winter Solstice Festival, is one of the most important and popular holidays in China. Some argue it’s actually more important than the Chinese New Year!

In this article, you’ll learn about Chinese Winter Solstice traditions and why this holiday was significant in the past.

Are you ready? Let’s get started!

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

1. What is the Winter Solstice?

Essentially, the Chinese Winter Solstice is a time to prepare for the New Year and spend time with family and loved ones.

In Chinese tradition, there’s a saying that says Winter Solstice is more important than the Lunar New Year. That is because ancient China was an agricultural community, and cultivation had to be done according to the season.

Why do the Chinese celebrate the Winter Solstice?

Chinese people observed astronomy and the laws of nature, and found that the Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year. After that day, the daytime gradually becomes longer, and spring comes as winter fades away. Hence, the start of a new year actually starts on Winter Solstice instead of the Lunar New Year.

As a matter of fact, in the past, Winter Solstice was said to have been New Year’s Day. No wonder that in the south of the Yangtze River, there’s a saying: “You will be one year older after having the Winter Solstice dinner.”

2. When is the Dōngzhì Festival?

Frosty Winter Scene

Each year, the Winter Solstice occurs somewhere between December 21 and 23.

3. How the Chinese Celebrate Winter Solstice

Family Getting Together

1- Chinese Winter Solstice Traditional Food

Okay, so first things first: What do people eat on Winter Solstice?

People in the North eat dumplings during the Winter Solstice. Dumplings are a very popular folk food with a long history in China. There’s a saying that “there is no better food than dumplings.”

In many places, there’s a custom of eating lamb during the Winter Solstice Festival. Since China enters its coldest time after Winter Solstice, traditional Chinese doctors regard lamb as a food that can help people tonify Yang (an aphrodisiac effect) and make the body strong.

Eating Tangyuan is another traditional custom for Winter Solstice and is particularly popular in southern China. Tangyuan is also called Tangtuan (gnocchi) or Tuanzi (dumpling) and is a dessert made from glutinous rice flour. The character yuan (round) indicates reunion and that something is perfectly successful. There’s a saying among the people that “you will be one year older once you eat Tangyuan.”

2- Counting Nine

There’s also the custom of “counting nine.” In the lunar calendar, ancient Chinese people created a way to count days in winter: starting from the Winter Solstice day that begins with the “first nine,” to the “ninth nine.” There’s an old saying: “During the time of the first and second nine, you don’t put your hands out of your coat; on the third and fourth nine, you can skate on the ice…” Finally, after eighty-one days, the cold winter is gone.

4. Dumplings and Frostbite

During the Chinese Winter Solstice, dumplings are a longtime favorite food! Do you know why the custom of eating dumplings was handed down in northern China?

Eating dumplings during the Winter Solstice Festival is to commemorate an ancient doctor named Zhang Zhongjing, who is thought to have invented dumplings. Because the dumpling soup he made had successfully cured the frostbitten ears of many people, a saying was born: “If you don’t eat dumplings at Winter Solstice, your ear will be frostbitten.”

5. Must-Know Vocabulary for the Chinese Winter Solstice

Glutinous Rice Ball

Here’s the essential Chinese vocabulary you should know for the Chinese Winter Solstice!

  • 馄饨 (húntun) — Wonton dumpling
  • 冬天 (dōngtiān) — Winter
  • 合家团聚 (héjiā tuánjù) — Family reunion
  • 糯米团子 (nuòmǐ tuánzi) — Glutinous rice ball
  • 桂花酒酿圆子 (guìhuā jiǔniàng yuánzǐ) — Glutinous rice balls in sweet osmanthus and glutinous rice wine
  • 和家人吃冬至团圆饭 (hé jiārén chī dōngzhì tuányuánfàn) — Have dinner with family on Winter Solstice evening
  • 午夜阳光 (wǔyè yángguāng) — Midnight sun
  • 极夜 (jí yè) — Polar night
  • 冬至 (Dōng Zhì) — Winter Solstice Festival
  • 冬至大如年 (Dōng Zhì dà rú nián) — Winter Solstice is more important than Chinese New Year

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

Final Thoughts

What are your thoughts on the Chinese Winter Solstice holiday? Are there any special winter-related holidays in your country? Let us know about them in the comments!

Chinese culture is so rich and full. If you’re interested in learning more about China and her people, or if you want more wintery Chinese words, you may find the following pages useful:

Learning Chinese doesn’t have to be boring or overwhelming—with ChineseClass101.com, it can even be fun! If you’re serious about improving your Chinese, create your free lifetime account today!

Happy Chinese learning, and stay warm out there! :)

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

Chinese Phrases for Tourists and Chinese Travel Phrases

Thumbnail

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!

Log

How to Celebrate Single’s Day in China: You’re not alone!

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!

Tired of Being Jealous of People Who Can Celebrate Valentine’s Day? Now It’s You Single People’s Turn!

1. How Did Singles’ Day Start?

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

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!

Wine Toast

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.

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.

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.

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!

Welcome to the World of Chinese Numbers

Thumbnail

Our daily life is always closely associated with numbers. They’re a great tool that provides us with convenience and better understanding with precision. Especially in language learning, Chinese numbers are one of the most necessary things to study right from the start.

Grammar rules and writing numbers in Chinese are quite simple and straightforward. If you follow the guide and practice often enough, I’m sure you’ll become a Chinese-number master in no time! Now let’s get right into the magical world of Chinese numbers!

Table of Contents

  1. Numbers 0-9
  2. Numbers 10-100
  3. Numbers up to 1000
  4. Numbers from 1000 - 10,000
  5. Regarding to Phone Numbers
  6. Saying Prices
  7. How to Use Numbers When Shopping
  8. How to Express Time
  9. Bonus - Fun Chinese Number Slangs
  10. Conclusion

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Count to One Billion in Chinese


1. Numbers 0-9

Chinese Numbers

Let’s start with the simplest single numbers you can use!

Numbers in Chinese are called 数字 (shùzì), which literally means “counting words.” The basic numbers in Chinese are extremely simple, and the writings for number of Chinese characters are easy. Especially if you take a closer look at the writings for one to three, you’ll notice that the number of lines is the same as the number itself.

With this in mind, let’s go over a common trick people use to remember numbers. How do you write number one? One line. For number two is two lines, and number three is three lines.

How about four? - Of course, four lines!

So just remember, the “line” writing will start to change after three. Also, before you start to practice, here are a few tips for the line writing for numbers two and three:

  • For number two, you need to write the line below longer.
  • For number three, you need to write the line in the middle shorter than the top one, and the line at the bottom should be the longest line!
  • 0 - 零 (líng)
  • 1 - 一 ()
  • 2 - 二 (èr)
  • 3 - 三 (sān)
  • 4 - 四 ()
  • 5 - 五 ()
  • 6 - 六 (liù)
  • 7 - 七 ()
  • 8 - 八 ()
  • 9 - 九 (jiǔ)

These are a few of the most important numbers in learning Chinese, so be sure to go over these again before moving forward.


2. Numbers 10-100

Here are Chinese characters for numbers 10 to 100.

  • 10 - 十 (shí)
  • 20 - 二十 (èr shí)
  • 30 - 三十 (sān shí)
  • 40 - 四十 (sì shí)
  • 50 - 五十 (wǔ shí)
  • 60 - 六十 (liù shí)
  • 70 - 七十 (qī shí)
  • 80 - 八十 (bā shí)
  • 90 - 九十 (jiǔ shí)
  • 100 - 一百 (yī bǎi)


3. Numbers up to 1000

And here are the numbers in Chinese characters for numbers up to 1000.

  • 200 - 二百 (èr bǎi) [formal]
  • 200 - 两百 (liǎng bǎi) [casual]
  • 300 - 三百 (sān bǎi)
  • 400 - 四百 (sì bǎi)
  • 500 - 五百 (wǔ bǎi)
  • 600 - 六百 (liù bǎi)
  • 700 - 七百 (qī bǎi)
  • 800 - 八百 (bā bǎi)
  • 900 - 九百 (jiǔ bǎi)
  • 536 - 五百三十六 (wǔ bǎi sān shí liù)


4. Numbers from 1000 - 10,000

  • 1000 - 一千 (yī qiān)
  • 2000 - 两千 (liǎng qiān)
  • 3000 - 三千 (sān qiān)
  • 4000 - 四千 (sì qiān)
  • 5000 - 五千 (wǔ qiān)
  • 6000 - 六千 (liù qiān)
  • 7000 - 七千 (qī qiān)
  • 8000 - 八千 (bā qiān)
  • 9000 - 九千 (jiǔ qiān)
  • 10,000 - 一万 (yī wàn)

Additional notes: To express a random number, just put the measurement of the numbers involved in order. For example, 536 needs to be expressed in the following order: 500, 30, and 6. Thus, it’s 五百三十六(wǔ bǎi sān shí liù). It’s not that difficult to grasp!


5. Regarding to Phone Numbers

1- Expressing Your Phone Number

  • In Chinese: 我的号码是: “一三零九四二五零六三七”
  • Pinyin: Wǒ de hàomǎ shì: “yāo sān líng jiǔ sì èr wǔ líng liù sān qī”
  • In English: My phone number is: “13094250637.”

2- Format for Saying the Phone Number

There are two formats for pausing while saying your phone number aloud:

  • Format 1: 1-3-0-9-4-2-5-0-6-3-7 (yāo - sān - líng - jiǔ - sì - èr - wǔ - líng - liù - sān - qī)
  • Format 2: 130-9425-0637 (yāo sān líng - jiǔ sì èr wǔ - líng liù sān qī)

Additional notes: When number 1 is presented as a series of numbers instead of a quantity, the pronunciation may vary and can be read as yāo.


6. Saying Prices

Wondering how to express price when you see one at the market? It’s not hard!

Discounted Price Sign

There are different measurements in prices in Chinese price, which is called 价钱 (jià qián):

  • In Chinese: 角 / 毛
    Pinyin: jiǎo [formal] / máo [casual]
    Equivalent in U.S. money: dime
  • In Chinese: 分
    Pinyin: fēn
    Equivalent in U.S. money: cent
  • In Chinese: 元
    Pinyin: yuán
    Equivalent in U.S. money: dollar
  • In Chinese: 五元钱 / 五块钱
    Pinyin: wǔ yuán qián [formal] / wǔ kuài qián [casual]


7. How to Use Numbers When Shopping

  • In Chinese: 我买一斤。
    Pinyin: Wǒ mǎi yī jīn.
    In English: I will buy a pound.
  • In Chinese: 这个多少钱?
    Pinyin: Zhè gè duō shǎo qián?
    In English: How much is this?
  • In Chinese: 给我来五个。
    Pinyin: Gěi wǒ lái wǔ gè.
    In English: I want five of those.
  • In Chinese: 我要付现金。
    Pinyin: Wǒ yào fù xiàn jīn.
    In English: I want to pay in cash.
  • In Chinese: 便宜点吧。
    Pinyin: Pián yí diǎn ba.
    In English: Make it cheaper.

A reminder: In many Chinese stores that aren’t officially structured, it’s common to bargain. So feel free to use the last phrase and save some money if you’re shopping somewhere casual!


8. How to Express Time

1- Time Measurements

  • In Chinese: 时/小时
    Pinyin: shí [formal] / xiǎo shí [casual]
    In English: hour
  • In Chinese: 分
    Pinyin: fēn
    In English: minute
  • In Chinese: 秒
    Pinyin: miǎo
    In English: second

2- Asking About Time

  • In Chinese: 请问现在几点了?/ 现在是什么时间?
    Pinyin: Qǐng wèn xiàn zài jǐ diǎn le? / Xiàn zài shì shén me shí jiān?
    In English: What time is it right now?

3- Expressing Specific Time

  • A whole time: hour of time + 点 (diǎn) / 点钟 (diǎn zhōng)

    Example:
    In Chinese: 五点 / 五点钟
    Pinyin: wǔ diǎn / wǔ diǎn zhōng
    In English: five o’clock

  • Half hour passed: hour of time + 点半 (diǎn bàn)

    Example:
    In Chinese: 五点半
    Pinyin: wǔ diǎn bàn
    In English: five-thirty

  • Little time passed: hour of time + 点多 (diǎn duō)

    Example:
    In Chinese: 三点多
    Pinyin: sān diǎn duō
    In English: Some time past three

  • Almost the time: 快 (kuài wǔ diǎn le) + hour of time + 点 (diǎn) + 了(le)

    Example:
    In Chinese: 快六点了。
    Pinyin: Kuài liù diǎn le.
    In English: It is almost six o’clock.

Please note that the Chinese time system is based on military time. If you use AM/PM, that might cause some confusion.


9. Bonus - Fun Chinese Number Slangs

Four-character slangs are a part of Chinese culture that’s deeply ingrained in people’s daily speaking. They can make your conversation more engaging and entertaining!

Numbers also play a great role in many four-character slangs in order to create a better picture. If you speak any of those slangs, people will probably be impressed in how rich your vocabularies in Chinese are!

Additional notes: There are also some slangs mentioned below that include more than one number.

0 - 零 (líng)

  • In Chinese: 零零散散
  • Pinyin: líng líng sàn sàn
  • Usage: To describe things that are messy and are scattered everywhere

1 - 一 ()

  • In Chinese: 一清二楚
  • Pinyin: yī qīng èr chǔ
  • Usage: To describe things that are expressed explicitly and clearly

2 - 二 (èr)

  • In Chinese: 三心二意
  • Pinyin: sān xīn èr yì
  • Usage: To describe a person who gets distracted and doesn’t focus on doing the things they’re supposed to be doing

3 - 三 (sān)

  • In Chinese: 三生有幸
  • Pinyin: sān shēng yǒu xìng
  • Usage: To describe a situation where you feel that you are extremely lucky

4 - 四 (sì)

  • In Chinese: 挑三拣四
  • Pinyin: tiāo sān jiǎn sì
  • Usage: To describe someone who’s very picky

5 - 五 ()

  • In Chinese: 五花八门
  • Pinyin: wǔ huā bā mén
  • Usage: To describe something that has a great variety of choices

6 - 六 (liù)

If you ever decide to do something selfish and refuse to consider your family’s feelings…here’s the word, which I hope will never happen. :(
Two People in Big Arguement

  • In Chinese: 六亲不认
  • Pinyin: liù qīn bú rèn
  • Usage: To describe when someone does something morally wrong to one’s family or someone that is as close as family, despite the familial bond they shared

7 - 七 ()

Look at how messy this is! Want to learn a word to describe it? Here’s the right one!

Very Cluttered, Messy Sink

  • In Chinese: 乱七八糟
  • Pinyin: luàn qī bā zāo
  • Usage: To describe something that’s disorganized and messy

8 - 八 ()

  • In Chinese: 八面玲珑
  • Pinyin: bā miàn líng lóng
  • Usage: To describe someone who’s sophisticated and can deal with all kinds of situations and changes wisely and smoothly

9 - 九 (jiǔ)

A dangerous situation like this can be described by an idiom that entails number 9.

Person Scaling Building

  • In Chinese: 九死一生
  • Pinyin: jiǔ sǐ yī shēng
  • Usage: To describe something that’s so dangerous that it’s hard to survive

10 - 十 (shí)

Have you ever done something that’s so perfect that everyone gives you a thumbs-up?

Several Thumbs-Up

  • In Chinese: 十全十美
  • Pinyin: shí quán shí měi
  • Usage: To describe something or some situation that’s entirely perfect and ideal


10. Conclusion

Numbers, in learning the Chinese language, are very important. I’m sure you had a great experience and paid much effort to learning Chinese numbers and how to utilize them! This is only a brief introduction to Chinese numbers, though, so if you wish to go any further with these, our website is a perfect place for that. Check out ChineseClass101.com and get ready to have a delightful journey in learning Chinese with our fun lessons!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Count to One Billion in Chinese

How To Post In Perfect Chinese on Social Media

Thumbnail

You’re learning to speak Chinese, and it’s going well. Your confidence is growing! So much so that you feel ready to share your experiences on social media—in Chinese.

At Learn Chinese, we make this easy for you to get it right the first time. Post like a boss with these phrases and guidelines, and get to practice your Chinese in the process.

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

1. Talking about Your Restaurant Visit in Chinese

Eating out is fun, and often an experience you’d like to share. Take a pic, and start a conversation on social media in Chinese. Your friend will be amazed by your language skills…and perhaps your taste in restaurants!

xué yǒu eats at a restaurant with his friends, posts an image of the food, and leaves this comment:

POST

Let’s break down xué yǒu’s post.

超级美味的全聚德烤鸭! (Chāojí měiwèi de Quánjùdé kǎoyā !)
“Super delicious Quanjude Peking Roast Duck!”

1- 超级美味的 (chāojí měiwèi de )

First is an expression meaning “super delicious.”
This expression is used to describe tasty food in an exaggerated way. “超级” means “super,” which indicates degree. Exaggerated language is often used on social media platforms to express the speaker’s emotions.

2- 全聚德烤鸭 (Quánjùdé kǎoyā )

Then comes the phrase - “Quanjude Peking Roast Duck.”
Peking duck is a famous dish from Beijing that has been served since the imperial era. This dish is highly prized for the duck’s crispy skin. Quanjude Peking Roast Duck is the most authentic version of Peking duck. A main feature of Quanjude Peking Roast Duck is its slicing in front of the diners.

COMMENTS

In response, xué yǒu’s friends leave some comments.

1- 好香呀! (Hǎo xiāng ya !)

His college friend, tāo, uses an expression meaning - “Smells delicious!”
Use this expression to make conversation by agreeing with the poster about the food.

2- 我也要去吃! (Wǒ yě yào qù chī !)

His girlfriend’s high school friend, xīn xīn, uses an expression meaning - “I have to go as well!”
Use this expression to indicate that you would like to have the same experience as the poster.

3- 这么肥,小心! (Zhème féi , xiǎoxīn !)

His high school friend, lì, uses an expression meaning - “So fattening, be careful!”
Use this expression to show you are feeling concerned for the poster’s weight. In Asian countries, weight issues are discussed openly, and it’s not uncustomary for friends and family to tell you to your face that you’re getting fat!

4- 环境好吗? (Huánjìng hǎo mɑ ?)

His girlfriend, jìng, uses an expression meaning - “Is the setting any good?”
Use this expression to show you are feeling curious about the restaurant’s atmosphere.

VOCABULARY

Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 烤鸭 (kǎoyā ): “roast duck”
  • 香 (xiāng ): “delicious”
  • 肥 (féi ): “fattening”
  • 小心 (xiǎoxīn ): “careful”
  • 好 (hǎo ): “good”
  • 环境 (huánjìng ): “settings”
  • 超级 (chāojí ): “super”
  • So, let’s practice a bit. If a friend posted something about having dinner with friends, which phrase would you use?

    Now go visit a Chinese restaurant, and wow the staff with your language skills!

    2. Post about Your Mall Visit in Chinese

    Another super topic for social media is shopping—everybody does it, everybody loves it, and your friends on social media are probably curious about your shopping sprees! Share these Chinese phrases in posts when you visit a mall.

    jìng shops with her sister at the mall, posts an image of the two of them, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down jìng’s post.

    好久没血拼了。 (Hǎojiǔ méi xuè pīn le。)
    “I haven’t gone shopping in a long time.”

    1- 好久 (hǎojiǔ )

    First is an expression meaning “in a long time.”
    “好久” is a compound word. “好” is commonly used in Chinese to indicate degree, similar to the English word “very”. It can be used to modify adjectives such as big, beautiful, and delicious.

    2- 没血拼了 (méi xuè pīn le)

    Then comes the phrase - “I haven’t gone shopping.”
    “血拼” is commonly used on social media platforms and means “going on a shopping spree”. People of urban China love shopping as well as posting their shopping photos on social media.

    COMMENTS

    In response, jìng’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 这是在哪儿? (Zhè shì zài nǎr?)

    Her neighbor, ruò lán, uses an expression meaning - “Where are you?”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling curious about the poster’s location.

    2- 鞋子好漂亮! (Xiézi hǎo piàoliang!)

    Her high school friend, xīn xīn, uses an expression meaning - “Those shoes are so pretty!”
    Use this expression to make conversation and comment on the shoes in the poster’s photo.

    3- 美女! (Měinǚ!)

    Her college friend, tāo, uses an expression meaning - “Hi there, gorgeous!”
    Use this to make conversation by greeting the poster with a term that compliments her on her looks.

    4- 折扣真心不错! (Zhékòu zhēnxīn bùcuò!)

    Her boyfriend’s high school friend, lì, uses an expression meaning - “Great discounts!”
    Use this expression if you are feeling optimistic about the price of merchandise.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 好久 (hǎojiǔ ): “in a long time”
  • 血拼 (xuè pīn ): “go shopping”
  • 美女 (měinǚ): “gorgeous”
  • 鞋子 (xiézi): “shoes”
  • 漂亮 (piàoliang): “pretty”
  • 折扣 (zhékòu ): “discount”
  • 真心不错 (zhēnxīn bùcuò): “great”
  • So, if a friend posted something about going shopping, which phrase would you use?

    3. Talking about a Sport Day in Chinese

    Sports events, whether you’re the spectator or the sports person, offer fantastic opportunities for great social media posts. Learn some handy phrases and vocabulary to start a sport-on-the-beach conversation in Chinese.

    xué yǒu plays with his friends at the beach, posts an image of the team, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down xué yǒu’s post.

    我们战无不胜! (Wǒmen zhànwúbùshèng!)
    “We’re invincible!”

    1- 我们 (wǒmen)

    First is an expression meaning “we.”
    Chinese love team sports and often shout slogans such as “we are the champion(我们必胜)”, “Come on! Come on!(加油!加油!)” while watching sporting events.

    2- 战无不胜 (zhànwúbùshèng)

    Then comes the phrase - “invincible.”
    A double negative is used in “战无不胜” for emphasis. Many Chinese like to watch sporting events, especially soccer games. When Italy won the 2006 FIFA World Cup Final, one of China’s most famous football commentators became hysterical and completely forgot he was doing a show. He was then dubbed as Italy’s most loyal fan.

    COMMENTS

    In response, xué yǒu’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 加油! (Jiāyóu !)

    His girlfriend, jìng, uses an expression meaning - “Come on!”
    Use this expression to be enthusiastic and supportive.

    2- 我支持你! (Wǒ zhīchí nǐ !)

    His supervisor, zhì qiáng, uses an expression meaning - “I’m rooting for you!”
    Use this expression to be supportive, in an enthusiastic way.

    3- 为什么不叫我? (Wèishénme bù jiào wǒ ?)

    His college friend, tāo, uses an expression meaning - “Why didn’t you ask me?”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling somewhat excluded.

    4- 这不算什么! (Zhè bù suàn shénme !)

    His girlfriend’s nephew, xiǎo míng, uses an expression meaning - “This is nothing!”
    Use this expression if you wish to tease the poster with a humorous insult.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 战无不胜 (zhànwúbùshèng): “invincible”
  • 加油 (jiāyóu): “come on”
  • 支持 (zhīchí ): “root for”
  • 为什么 (Wèishénme): “why”
  • 叫 (jiào): “ask”
  • 不算什么 (bù suàn shénme): “nothing”
  • 我们 (wǒmen): “we”
  • Which phrase would you use if a friend posted something about sports?

    But sport is not the only thing you can play! Play some music, and share it on social media.

    4. Share a Song on Social Media in Chinese

    Music is the language of the soul, they say. So, don’t hold back—share what touches your soul with your friends!

    jìng shares a song she just heard at a party, posts an image of the artist, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down jìng’s post.

    分享一首老歌。 (Fēnxiǎng yī shǒu lǎo gē 。)
    “Sharing an old song.”

    1- 分享 (fēnxiǎng)

    First is an expression meaning “share.”
    “分享” means “sharing something”. Chinese like to share their favorite books, songs and movies on social media platforms because it’s similar to sharing their emotions.

    2- 一首老歌 (yī shǒu lǎo gē)

    Then comes the phrase - “an old song.”
    “一首” is a compound word that consists of a numeral and a classifier/measure word. Classifiers/measure words are frequently used in the Chinese language when a noun is quantified by a numeral. Normally, it is necessary to insert a classifier between the numeral and the noun when a phrase like “one song” is translated into Chinese. The Chinese equivalent for “one song” is “一首歌”, where “一” means “one”, “歌” means “song”, and “首” is the required classifier. The 1990s was the golden age of Chinese pop music. Many excellent musicians, singers and music pieces came from that period. Much of today’s youth still enjoys songs from that period.

    COMMENTS

    In response, jìng’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 有点伤感。 (Yǒudiǎn shānggǎn 。)

    Her neighbor, ruò lán, uses an expression meaning - “Sounds a bit sad.”
    Use this expression to indicate how the song makes you feel.

    2- 喜欢歌词。 (Xǐhuān gēcí 。)

    Her high school friend, xīn xīn, uses an expression meaning - “I like the lyrics.”
    Use this expression to indicate your preference.

    3- 好像是一个电影的插曲。 (Hǎoxiàng shì yī gè diànyǐng de chāqǔ 。)

    Her boyfriend’s high school friend, lì, uses an expression meaning - “Seems like a movie soundtrack.”
    Use this expression to share a personal opinion.

    4- 真老土! (Zhēn lǎo tǔ !)

    Her nephew, xiǎo míng, uses an expression meaning - “Really old-fashioned!”
    Use this expression if you think the song is dated.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 老歌 (lǎo gē ): “old song”
  • 有点 (yǒudiǎn): “a bit”
  • 伤感 (shānggǎn): “sad”
  • 喜欢 (xǐhuān): “like”
  • 电影 (diànyǐng): “movie”
  • 分享 (fēnxiǎng): “share”
  • 老土 (lǎo tǔ): “old-fashioned”
  • Which song would you share? And what would you say to a friend who posted something about sharing music or videos?

    Now you know how to start a conversation about a song or a video on social media!

    5. Chinese Social Media Comments about a Concert

    Still on the theme of music—visiting live concerts and shows just have to be shared with your friends. Here are some handy phrases and vocab to wow your followers with in Chinese!

    xué yǒu goes to a concert, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down xué yǒu’s post.

    一年一度的草原音乐节,超赞! (Yī nián yī dù de cǎoyuán yīnyuè jié , chāo zàn !)
    “The annual Grasslands Music Festival, fabulous!”

    1- 一年一度的草原音乐节 (yī nián yī dù de cǎoyuán yīnyuè jié)

    First is an expression meaning “the annual Grasslands Music Festival.”
    The Zhang Bei Grasslands Music Festival, also known as the InMusic Festival, is the largest and arguably the most entertaining music festival in China. Singers and audience members of this festival are known to build close connections with each other and the beautiful scenery that surrounds them. This festival is named “green” due to its location.

    2- 超赞 (chāo zàn )

    Then comes the phrase - “fabulous.”
    This expression is used to describe something that is particularly good. It is commonly used on social media platforms but is rarely used in everyday conversation.

    COMMENTS

    In response, xué yǒu’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 真棒! (Zhēn bàng !)

    His college friend, tāo, uses an expression meaning - “Awesome!”
    Use this expression when you’re agreeing with the poster and are feeling excited.

    2- 很壮观。 (Hěn zhuàngguān 。)

    His supervisor, zhì qiáng, uses an expression meaning - “Very spectacular.”
    Use this expression to show you too are feeling positive about the festival.

    3- 人好多呀! (Rén hǎoduō ya !)

    His girlfriend’s high school friend, xīn xīn, uses an expression meaning - “Very crowded!”
    Use this expression to give a personal opinion about the festival.

    4- 真羡慕! (Zhēn xiànmù !)

    His high school friend, lì, uses an expression meaning - “I’m so jealous!”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling envious.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 音乐节 (yīnyuè jié): “music festival”
  • 超赞 (chāo zàn): “fabulous”
  • 真棒 (zhēn bàng ): “awesome”
  • 好 (hǎo): “very”
  • 壮观 (zhuàngguān): “spectacular”
  • 一年一度 (yī nián yī dù): “annual”
  • 羡慕 (xiànmù ): “jealous”
  • If a friend posted something about a concert , which phrase would you use?

    6. Talking about an Unfortunate Accident in Chinese

    Oh dear. You broke something by accident. Use these Chinese phrases to start a thread on social media. Or maybe just to let your friends know why you are not contacting them!

    jìng accidentally breaks her mobile phone, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down jìng’s post.

    我把手机摔坏了,真倒霉! (Wǒ bǎ shǒujī shuāi huài le , zhēn dǎoméi !)
    “I broke my cell phone. What bad luck!”

    1- 我把手机摔坏了 (wǒ bǎ shǒujī shuāi huài le)

    First is an expression meaning “I broke my cell phone.”
    把 is a Chinese grammatical construction. In this construction, the functional word “把” is placed before the object of a verb, and the object is placed before the verb. This construction indicates that an action is done to the object by the subject.

    2- 真倒霉 (zhēn dǎoméi)

    Then comes the phrase - “What bad luck.”
    This expression is commonly used to indicate that something bad happened.

    COMMENTS

    In response, jìng’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 怎么回事? (Zěnme huí shì ?)

    Her neighbor, ruò lán, uses an expression meaning - “What happened?”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling curious and would like to know more details.

    2- 现在的手机都很容易坏! (Xiànzài de shǒujī dōu hěn róngyì huài !)

    Her boyfriend’s high school friend, lì, uses an expression meaning - “Cell phones break easily these days!”
    Use this expression if you are feeling pessimistic.

    3- 刚好换个新的! (Gānghǎo huàn gè xīn de !)

    Her high school friend, xīn xīn, uses an expression meaning - “It’s time to get a new one!”
    Use this expression to make conversation.

    4- 我很同情你。 (Wǒ hěn tóngqíng nǐ 。)

    Her college friend, tāo, uses an expression meaning - “I feel sorry for you.”
    Use this expression if you are feeling sympathy for the poster.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 手机 (shǒujī ): “cellphone”
  • 你 (nǐ ): “you”
  • 容易 (róngyì ): “easily”
  • 摔坏 (shuāi huài ): “break”
  • 新 (xīn ): “new”
  • 同情 (tóngqíng ): “feel sorry for”
  • 坏 (huài ): “broken”
  • If a friend posted something about having broken something by accident, which phrase would you use?

    So, now you know how to describe an accident in Chinese. Well done!

    7. Chat about Your Boredom on Social Media in Chinese

    Sometimes, we’re just bored with how life goes. And to alleviate the boredom, we write about it on social media. Add some excitement to your posts by addressing your friends and followers in Chinese!

    xué yǒu gets bored at home, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down xué yǒu’s post.

    好无聊呀!谁能帮帮我? (Hǎo wúliáo ya ! Shéi néng bāng bāng wǒ ?)
    “So boring! Will someone help me?”

    1- 好无聊呀 (hǎo wúliáo ya)

    First is an expression meaning “so boring.”
    People often use this expression when they have nothing to do. It often implies that he/she wants someone to talk to or that he/she needs advice from someone on what to do.

    2- 谁能帮帮我 (shéi néng bāng bāng wǒ)

    Then comes the phrase - “will someone help me.”
    Duplications like “帮帮” are common in Chinese. Words or phrases are repeated to produce a modified meaning. Classifiers can be repeated to indicate “every”. For example, “个个都聪明” means “every one of them is clever”.

    COMMENTS

    In response, xué yǒu’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 一个人多清净。 (Yī gè rén duō qīngjìng 。)

    His high school friend, lì, uses an expression meaning - “Nothing beats peace and quiet.”
    Use this expression if you’re of the opinion that the poster shouldn’t complain about having nothing to do.

    2- 请我吃饭! (Qǐng wǒ chīfàn !)

    His college friend, tāo, uses an expression meaning - “Take me out to dinner!”
    Use this expression to be funny but also offer a solution.

    3- 去踢足球,或者去游泳。 (Qù tī zúqiú , huòzhě qù yóuyǒng 。)

    His supervisor, zhì qiáng, uses an expression meaning - “Play soccer, or go swimming.”
    Use this phrase to give suggestions.

    4- 我也是一样。 (Wǒ yěshì yīyàng 。)

    His girlfriend’s high school friend, xīn xīn, uses an expression meaning - “Same here.”
    Use this expression to indicate that you’re in a similar situation as the poster.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 无聊 (wúliáo ): “boring”
  • 帮 (bāng ): “help”
  • 饭 (fàn ): “dinner”
  • 足球 (zúqiú ): “soccer”
  • 或者 (huòzhě ): “or”
  • 一样 (yīyàng ): “same”
  • 去游泳 (qù yóuyǒng ): “go swimming”
  • If a friend posted something about being bored, which phrase would you use?

    Still bored? Share another feeling and see if you can start a conversation!

    8. Exhausted? Share It on Social Media in Chinese

    Sitting in public transport after work, feeling like chatting online? Well, converse in Chinese about how you feel, and let your friends join in!

    jìng feels exhausted after a long day at work, posts an image of herself looking tired, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down jìng’s post.

    累死了!连饭都不想吃! (Lèi sǐ le ! Lián fàn dōu bùxiǎng chī !)
    “Exhausted! I don’t even want to eat!”

    1- 累死了 (lèi sǐ le )

    First is an expression meaning “exhausted.”
    “死了” usually follows adjectives with negative connotations to exaggerate the degree of how bad something is. In recent years, however, “死了” has also been added to adjectives with positive connotations to indicate a higher degree. For instance, 可爱死了 so lovely, 开心死了 so happy, etc.

    2- 连饭都不想吃 (lián fàn dōu bùxiǎng chī)

    Then comes the phrase - “I don’t even want to eat.”
    “连… 都…” is used to introduce an element that is to be emphasized, mostly unexpected or surprising events or information. It can be used in the same manner as “even”.

    COMMENTS

    In response, jìng’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 你应该换个工作。 (Nǐ yīnggāi huàn gè gōngzuò 。)

    Her college friend, tāo, uses an expression meaning - “You should get a new job.”
    Use this expression to offer a suggestion to the poster.

    2- 做个按摩! (Zuò gè ànmó !)

    Her neighbor, ruò lán, uses an expression meaning - “Get a massage!”
    Use this expression to make a positive suggestion.

    3- 挺住! (Tǐng zhù !)

    Her high school friend, xīn xīn, uses an expression meaning - “Hang in there!”
    Use this expression to be supportive.

    4- 早休息吧。 (Zǎo xiūxi ba 。)

    Her boyfriend’s high school friend, lì, uses an expression meaning - “Have an early night.”
    Use this expression to show you are caring.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 累 (lèi ): “exhausted”
  • 应该 (yīnggāi ): “should”
  • 工作 (gōngzuò ): “job”
  • 按摩 (ànmó ): “massage”
  • 挺住 (tǐng zhù ): “hang in there”
  • 早休息 (zǎo xiūxi): “have an early night”
  • 吃 (chī ): “eat”
  • If a friend posted something about being exhausted, which phrase would you use?

    Now you know how to say you’re exhausted in Chinese! Well done.

    9. Talking about an Injury in Chinese

    So life happens, and you manage to hurt yourself during a soccer game. Very Tweet-worthy! Here’s how to do it in Chinese.

    xué yǒu suffers a painful injury, posts an image of his leg, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down xué yǒu’s post.

    打篮球摔伤了腿,真命苦! (Dǎ lánqiú shuāi shāng le tuǐ , zhēn mìng kǔ !)
    “I hurt my leg while playing basketball. So unlucky!”

    1- 打篮球摔伤了腿 (dǎ lánqiú shuāi shāng le tuǐ)

    First is an expression meaning “I hurt my leg while playing basketball.”
    “摔伤” is a complementary phrase. The two kinds of complementary phrases are verb-complement phrases and adjective-complement phrases. A verb-complement phrase consists of a verb and a complement. For example, 看清楚 see clearly(看 is the verb and 清楚 is the complement).

    2- 真命苦 ( zhēn mìng kǔ)

    Then comes the phrase - “so unlucky.”
    “真命苦” is commonly used in oral expressions and means very unlucky.

    COMMENTS

    In response, xué yǒu’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 怎么这么不小心! (Zěnme zhème bù xiǎoxīn!)

    His neighbor, ruò lán, uses an expression meaning - “So careless!”
    Use this expression to criticise the poster for hurting themselves.

    2- 严重吗? (Yánzhòng mɑ ?)

    His college friend, tāo, uses an expression meaning - “Is it serious?”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling worried and concerned.

    3- 祝你早日康复! (Zhù nǐ zǎorì kāngfù !)

    His girlfriend’s high school friend, xīn xīn, uses an expression meaning - “Get better soon!”
    Use this expression if you are feeling warmhearted and wish the poster a speedy recovery.

    4- 好可怜。 (Hǎo kělián 。)

    His high school friend, lì, uses an expression meaning - “Poor thing.”
    Use this expression to show you are sympathetic.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 篮球 (lánqiú ): “basketball”
  • 命苦 (mìng kǔ ): “unlucky”
  • 腿 (tuǐ ): “leg”
  • 不小心 (bù xiǎoxīn ): “careless”
  • 严重 (yánzhòng ): “serious”
  • 早日 (zǎorì): “soon”
  • 可怜 (kělián ): “poor”
  • If a friend posted something about being injured, which phrase would you use?

    We love to share our fortunes and misfortunes; somehow that makes us feel connected to others.

    10. Starting a Conversation Feeling Disappointed in Chinese

    Sometimes things don’t go the way we planned. Share your disappointment about this with your friends!

    jìng feels disappointed about today’s weather, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down jìng’s post.

    又是雾霾天!还怎么出门! (Yòu shì wùmái tiān ! Hái zěnme chūmén !)
    “Smoggy day again! How could I possibly go out!”

    1- 又是雾霾天 (yòu shì wùmái tiān)

    First is an expression meaning “smoggy day again.”
    Nowadays, people often talk about smoggy days because pollution is becoming a serious issue in China, especially in the northern cities.

    2- 还怎么出门 (hái zěnme chūmén)

    Then comes the phrase - “how could I possibly go out.”
    “怎么” is an interrogative pronoun. Pronouns can replace nouns, verbs, adjectives, numerals, and adverbs and can be classified as personal pronouns, demonstrative pronouns, or interrogative pronouns. Personal pronouns are used to replace people or things. Demonstrative pronouns are used to distinguish people or things. And interrogative pronouns are used to ask questions.

    COMMENTS

    In response, jìng’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 污染越来越严重! (Wūrǎn yuè lái yuè yánzhòng !)

    Her supervisor, zhì qiáng, uses an expression meaning - “Pollution is becoming more and more serious!”
    Use this expression to agree with the poster by giving a personal opinion.

    2- 戴口罩! (Dài kǒuzhào !)

    Her high school friend, xīn xīn, uses an expression meaning - “Wear a mask!”
    Use this expression to make a suggestion.

    3- 远离城市。 (Yuǎnlí chéngshì 。)

    Her boyfriend’s high school friend, lì, uses an expression meaning - “Get away from the city.”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling pessimistic too, and make a suggestion.

    4- 天气真糟糕!可怕! (Tiānqì zhēn zāogāo ! Kěpà !)

    Her neighbor, ruò lán, uses an expression meaning - “Such terrible weather! Horrible!”
    This is another expression indicating that you strongly agree with the poster about the weather.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 雾霾 (wùmái ): “smoggy”
  • 出门 (chūmén ): “go out”
  • 污染 (wūrǎn ): “pollution”
  • 口罩 (kǒuzhào ): “mask”
  • 远离 (yuǎnlí ): “get away from”
  • 城市 (chéngshì ): “city”
  • 可怕 (kěpà ): “horrible”
  • How would you comment in Chinese when a friend is disappointed?

    Not all posts need to be about a negative feeling, though!

    11. Talking about Your Relationship Status in Chinese

    Don’t just change your relationship status in Settings, talk about it!

    xué yǒu changes his status to “In a relationship”, posts an image of him and his girlfriend, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down xué yǒu’s post.

    太激动了,我恋爱了! (Tài jīdòng le , wǒ liàn’ài le !)
    “So excited. I’m in love!”

    1- 太激动了 (tài jīdòng le)

    First is an expression meaning “so excited.”
    “太激动了” is used when the speaker is excited about something.

    2- 我恋爱了 (wǒ liàn’ài le)

    Then comes the phrase - “I’m in love.”
    In China, people usually express their love in a subtle way. However, nowadays, younger people are becoming more open and direct and tend to show their love boldly, like on social media.

    COMMENTS

    In response, xué yǒu’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 祝福你们! (Zhùfú nǐmen !)

    His neighbor, ruò lán, uses an expression meaning - “You have my blessing!”
    Use this blessing to show you are feeling warmhearted and positive about the relationship.

    2- 真的假的? (Zhēn de jiǎ de ?)

    His college friend, tāo, uses an expression meaning - “For real?”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling frivolous, but probably positive about the announcement.

    3- 可爱的女孩。 (Kě’ài de nǚhái 。)

    His high school friend, lì, uses an expression meaning - “Lovely girl.”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling appreciative of the poster’s choice in women.

    4- 简直是个奇迹! (Jiǎnzhí shì gè qíjì !)

    His girlfriend’s high school friend, xīn xīn, uses an expression meaning - “It’s a miracle!”
    Use this expression to be funny.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 激动 (jīdòng ): “excited”
  • 恋爱 (liàn’ài ): “be in love”
  • 你们 (nǐmen ): “you”
  • 女孩 (nǚhái ): “girl”
  • 可爱 (kě’ài ): “lovely”
  • 奇迹 (qíjì ): “miracle”
  • 真的 (zhēn de ): “real”
  • What would you say in Chinese when a friend changes their relationship status?

    Being in a good relationship with someone special is good news - don’t be shy to spread it!

    12. Post about Getting Married in Chinese

    Wow, so things got serious, and you’re getting married. Congratulations! Or, your friend is getting married, so talk about this in Chinese.

    jìng is getting married today, so she leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down jìng’s post.

    我是世界上最幸福的人。我们结婚了! (Wǒ shì shìjiè shàng zuì xìngfú de rén 。 Wǒmen jiéhūn le !)
    “I am the happiest person in the world. We got married!”

    1- 我是世界上最幸福的人 (wǒ shì shìjiè shàng zuì xìngfú de rén)

    First is an expression meaning “I am the happiest person in the world.”
    In China, people often use this phrase to express their happiness, especially after they tie the knot.

    2- 我们结婚了 (wǒmen jiéhūn le)

    Then comes the phrase - “we got married.”
    “了” indicates the realization or completion of an action. For instance, 我写了两封信 (I wrote two letters).

    COMMENTS

    In response, jìng’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 恭喜恭喜! (Gōngxǐ gōngxǐ !)

    Her neighbor, ruò lán, uses an expression meaning - “Congratulations!”
    This is the traditional response to this kind of news.

    2- 你今天最美! (Nǐ jīntiān zuì měi !)

    Her husband’s high school friend, lì, uses an expression meaning - “You look your best today!”
    Use this phrase to compliment the bride on her appearance.

    3- 他才是最幸福的人。 (Tā cái shì zuì xìngfú de rén 。)

    Her high school friend, xīn xīn, uses an expression meaning - “He’s the happiest person.”
    Use this expression to compliment the bride on who she is, meaning the bridegroom is lucky to have landed a bride like her.

    4- 郎才女貌。 (Lángcáinǚmào 。)

    Her supervisor, zhì qiáng, uses an expression meaning - “Perfect match.”
    Use this statement to indicate what you think of the match.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 世界 (shìjiè ): “world”
  • 最幸福 (zuì xìngfú ): “happiest”
  • 结婚 (jiéhūn ): “get married”
  • 恭喜 (gōngxǐ ): “congratulations”
  • 他 (tā ): “he”
  • 人 (rén ): “person”
  • 今天 (jīntiān ): “today”
  • How would you respond in Chinese to a friend’s post about getting married?

    For the next topic, fast forward about a year into the future after the marriage…

    13. Announcing Big News in Chinese

    Wow, huge stuff is happening in your life! Announce it in Chinese.

    xué yǒu finds out he and his wife are going to have a baby, posts an image of the two of them, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down xué yǒu’s post.

    重大消息!我要有宝宝了! (Zhòngdà xiāoxi ! Wǒ yào yǒu bǎobao le !)
    “Big news! I’m having a baby!”

    1- 重大消息 (zhòngdà xiāoxi)

    First is an expression meaning “big news.”
    “重大消息” is often placed in front of an important message to draw people’s attention. This message can be either a good thing or a bad thing, but in most cases it’s good.

    2- 我要有宝宝了 (wǒ yào yǒu bǎobao le)

    Then comes the phrase - “I’m having a baby.”
    The adverb “要” and the modal particle “了” are used to describe an action that will happen in the future. The adverb “要” functions as an adverbial adjunct. For instance, 我要睡觉了 (I’m going to bed).

    COMMENTS

    In response, xué yǒu’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 你终于要做爸爸了! (Nǐ zhōngyú yào zuò bàba le !)

    His college friend, tāo, uses an expression meaning - “You’re finally going to be a father!”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling excited and happy for the poster.

    2- 起好名字了吗? (Qǐ hǎo míngzi le mɑ ?)

    His neighbor, ruò lán, uses an expression meaning - “Have you picked a name yet?”
    Use this phrase to make conversation by asking a question.

    3- 真是个好消息! (Zhēn shì gè hǎo xiāoxi !)

    His high school friend, lì, uses an expression meaning - “What great news!”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling optimistic about the news.

    4- 我要做哥哥了,哈! (Wǒ yào zuò gēge le , hā !)

    His nephew, xiǎo míng, uses an expression meaning - “I’m going to be a big brother, ha!”
    Use this expression to be funny.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 重大 (zhòngdà ): “big”
  • 消息 (xiāoxi ): “news”
  • 宝宝 (bǎobao ): “baby”
  • 终于 (zhōngyú ): “finally”
  • 名字 (míngzi): “name”
  • 哥哥 (gēge ): “big brother”
  • 爸爸 (bàba ): “father”
  • Which phrase would you choose when a friend announces their pregnancy on social media?

    So, talking about a pregnancy will get you a lot of traction on social media. But wait till you see the responses to babies!

    14. Posting Chinese Comments about Your Baby

    Your bundle of joy is here, and you cannot keep quiet about it! Share your thoughts in Chinese.

    jìng plays with her baby, posts an image of the little one, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down jìng’s post.

    我的萌宝宝还知道对着镜头笑呢! (Wǒ de méng bǎobao hái zhīdào duì zhe jìngtóu xiào ne !)
    “My adorable baby even knows to smile at the camera!”

    1- 我的萌宝宝 (wǒ de méng bǎobao)

    First is an expression meaning “my adorable baby.”
    Chinese people often use the word “萌” on social media platform to express that someone or something is very cute. For example, 这只小狗很萌 (This puppy is so cute).

    2- 还知道对着镜头笑呢 (hái zhīdào duì zhe jìngtóu xiào ne)

    Then comes the phrase - “even knows to smile at the camera.”
    In China, younger parents like to share their baby’s photos on social media. Some parents even update the photos every day to record their baby’s development.

    COMMENTS

    In response, jìng’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 好可爱! (Hǎo kěài !)

    Her husband’s high school friend, lì, uses an expression meaning - “So cute!”
    Use this expression if you think the baby is adorable.

    2- 真想捏捏她的小脸。 (Zhēn xiǎng niē nie tā de xiǎoliǎn 。)

    Her high school friend, xīn xīn, uses an expression meaning - “Really want to squeeze her little face.”
    Use this expression to be affectionate.

    3- 笑得真坏。 (Xiào de zhēn huài 。)

    Her neighbor, ruò lán, uses an expression meaning - “Such a wicked grin.”
    This is a humorous expression to indicate that you like the baby’s smile.

    4- 超级宝宝! (Chāojí bǎobao !)

    Her college friend, tāo, uses an expression meaning - “Super baby!”
    Use this expression to show your enthusiastic, positive feelings about the baby.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 萌 (méng ): “adorable”
  • 镜头 (jìngtóu ): “camera”
  • 笑 (xiào ): “smile”
  • 对着 (duì zhe): “at”
  • 超级 (chāojí ): “super”
  • 脸 (liǎn ): “face”
  • 捏 (niē ): “squeeze”
  • If your friend is the mother or father, which phrase would you use on social media?

    Congratulations, you know the basics of chatting about a baby in Chinese! But we’re not done with families yet…

    15. Chinese Comments about a Family Reunion

    Family reunions - some you love, some you hate. Share about it on your feed.

    xué yǒu goes to a family gathering, posts an image of the group, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down xué yǒu’s post.

    温馨时刻,一家人,一顿大餐 (Wēnxīn shíkè , yī jiā rén , yī dùn dàcān)
    “Warm moments, the whole family, a big meal.”

    1- 温馨时刻 (wēnxīn shíkè)

    First is an expression meaning “warm moments.”
    “…时刻” is often used on social media to indicate a very special moment.

    2- 一家人,一顿大餐 (yī jiā rén , yī dùn dàcān)

    Then comes the phrase - “the whole family, a big meal.”
    “大餐” means “big meal”. Chinese people enjoy having big meals during get-togethers.

    COMMENTS

    In response, xué yǒu’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 直流口水! (Zhí liú kǒushuǐ !)

    His wife’s high school friend, xīn xīn, uses an expression meaning - “Mouth watering!”
    Use this expression to comment on the food.

    2- 真是热闹。 (Zhēn shì rènao 。)

    His neighbor, ruò lán, uses an expression meaning - “So lively.”
    Use this phrase to describe the family, if you perceive them to be energetic.

    3- 酒喝得不少吧? (Jiǔ hē de bù shǎo ba ?)

    His college friend, tāo, uses an expression meaning - “You drank a lot, didn’t you?”
    Use this expression to make fun of the poster’s drinking habits.

    4- 可惜没有我。 (Kěxī méi yǒu wǒ 。)

    His nephew, xiǎo míng, uses an expression meaning - “Too bad I wasn’t there.”
    Use this expression to show you are regretful for not having attended.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 温馨 (wēnxīn ): “warm”
  • 时刻 (shíkè ): “moment”
  • 餐 (cān ): “meal”
  • 一家人 (yī jiā rén ): “the whole family”
  • 一 (yī ): “a”
  • 不少 (bù shǎo ): “a lot”
  • 可惜 (kěxī ): “too bad”
  • Which phrase is your favorite to comment on a friend’s photo about a family reunion?

    16. Post about Your Travel Plans in Chinese

    So, the family are going on holiday. Do you know how to post and leave comments in Chinese about being at the airport, waiting for a flight?

    jìng waits at the airport for her flight, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down jìng’s post.

    一个人的旅行,出发了! (Yī gè rén de lǚxíng , chūfā le !)
    “One man’s journey. Get going!”

    1- 一个人的旅行 (yī gè rén de lǚxíng)

    First is an expression meaning “one man’s journey.”
    “一个人的旅行” indicates that someone is traveling alone. This phrase refers to “a journey of self-discovery” and is a kind of literary expression.

    2- 出发了 (chūfā le )

    Then comes the phrase - “get going.”
    This expression means “starting a journey” and is commonly used when someone is heading for a new place.

    COMMENTS

    In response, jìng’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 去哪里玩? (Qù nǎlǐ wán ?)

    Her husband’s high school friend, lì, uses an expression meaning - “Where are you heading?”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling curious about the poster’s holiday destination.

    2- 带好吃的回来! (Dài hǎochī de huílái !)

    Her high school friend, xīn xīn, uses an expression meaning - “Bring me some treats!”
    Use this expression if you want the poster to bring you gifts.

    3- 一路顺风。 (Yīlù shùnfēng 。)

    Her neighbor, ruò lán, uses an expression meaning - “Bon voyage.”
    This is a loan-expression from French, which means “Travel well!” It is often used in other languages.

    4- 注意安全哦。 (Zhùyì ānquán o 。)

    Her husband, xué yǒu, uses an expression meaning - “Be safe.”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling concerned and wish the poster well.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 旅行 (lǚxíng ): “journey”
  • 出发 (chūfā ): “get going”
  • 哪里 (nǎlǐ ): “where”
  • 好吃的 (hǎochī de ): “treats”
  • 一路顺风 (yīlù shùnfēng): “bon voyage”
  • 一个人的 (yī gè rén de): “one man’s”
  • 安全 (ānquán ): “safe”
  • Choose and memorize your best airport phrase in Chinese!

    Hopefully the rest of the trip is better!

    17. Posting about an Interesting Find in Chinese

    So maybe you’re strolling around at your local market, and find something interesting. Here are some handy Chinese phrases!

    xué yǒu finds an unusual item at a local market, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down xué yǒu’s post.

    刚淘到的好东西。让你们开开眼! (Gāng táo dào de hǎo dōngxi 。 Ràng nǐmen kāi kāi yǎn !)
    “Just got some great stuff. Behold!”

    1- 刚淘到的好东西 (gāng táo dào de hǎo dōngxi)

    First is an expression meaning “just got some great stuff.”
    “淘到的” is used to indicate that a person bought something. This phrase should be followed by a noun such as a dress, a bag, etc.

    2- 让你们开开眼 (ràng nǐmen kāi kāi yǎn )

    Then comes the phrase - “behold.”
    This expression is used to show off something you have. It indicates that you want admiration.

    COMMENTS

    In response, xué yǒu’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 什么宝贝? (Shénme bǎobei ?)

    His neighbor, ruò lán, uses an expression meaning - “What did you get?”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling curious about the purchase.

    2- 你好厉害! (Nǐ hǎo lìhai !)

    His wife’s high school friend, xīn xīn, uses an expression meaning - “Impressive!”
    Use this expression if you’re impressed with the poster’s purchase.

    3- 真精致。一定价值不菲吧? (Zhēn jīngzhì 。 Yī dìng jiàzhí bùfěi ba ?)

    His high school friend, lì, uses an expression meaning - “Really exquisite. Must’ve cost a fortune, right?”
    Use these phrases to make conversation by giving a personal opinion, and asking a question too.

    4- 是要送给我的吧? (Shì yào sòng gěi wǒ de ba ?)

    His college friend, tāo, uses an expression meaning - “A present for me, right?”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling playful.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 刚 (gāng ): “just”
  • 淘到 (táo dào ): “get”
  • 东西 (dōngxi ): “stuff”
  • 什么 (shénme ): “what”
  • 厉害 (lìhai): “impressive”
  • 价值不菲 (jiàzhí bùfěi): “cost a fortune”
  • 精致 (jīngzhì ): “exquisite”
  • Which phrase would you use to comment on a friend’s interesting find?

    Perhaps you will even learn the identity of your find! Or perhaps you’re on holiday, and visiting interesting places…

    18. Post about a Sightseeing Trip in Chinese

    Let your friends know what you’re up to in Chinese, especially when visiting a remarkable place! Don’t forget the photo.

    jìng visits a famous landmark, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down jìng’s post.

    登顶长城。感觉就是不一样! (Dēng dǐng Cháng chéng 。 Gǎnjué jiù shì bù yīyàng !)
    “Reached the top of the Great Wall. Feels great!”

    1- 登顶长城 (dēng dǐng Cháng chéng)

    First is an expression meaning “reached the top of the Great Wall.”
    The Great Wall is one of the largest construction projects ever completed. The wall is constructed of masonry, rocks and packed-earth and stretches 4,160 miles across North China.

    2- 感觉就是不一样 (gǎnjué jiù shì bù yīyàng)

    Then comes the phrase - “feels great.”
    This expression is used when someone feels good about something, but it can also be used to describe a place, an activity, etc.

    COMMENTS

    In response, jìng’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 真壮观! (Zhēn zhuàngguān !)

    Her neighbor, ruò lán, uses an expression meaning - “Really spectacular!”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling in awe.

    2- 看上去风好大。 (Kàn shàng qù fēng hǎo dà 。)

    Her husband’s high school friend, lì, uses an expression meaning - “Looks so windy.”
    Share this phrase as a personal opinion.

    3- 我很久没有去长城了! (Wǒ hěn jiǔ méi yǒu qù Cháng chéng le !)

    Her high school friend, xīn xīn, uses an expression meaning - “I haven’t been to the Great Wall for a long time!”
    This comment is another phrase to use if you want to make conversation by sharing a personal detail.

    4- 哪一个? (Nǎ yī gè ?)

    Her college friend, tāo, uses an expression meaning - “Which one?”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling frivolous and you wish to tease the poster.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 长城 (Cháng chéng ): “the Great Wall”
  • 感觉 (gǎnjué ): “feel”
  • 一个 (yī gè ): “one”
  • 看上去 (kàn shàng qù ): “look”
  • 顶 (dǐng ): “top”
  • 哪 (nǎ ): “which”
  • 登 (dēng ): “reach”
  • Which phrase would you prefer when a friend posts about a famous landmark?

    Share your special places with the world. Or simply post about your relaxing experiences.

    19. Post about Relaxing Somewhere in Chinese

    So you’re doing nothing yet you enjoy that too? Tell your social media friends about it in Chinese!

    xué yǒu relaxes at a beautiful place, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down xué yǒu’s post.

    晒一下我的休闲天堂,美妙绝伦。 (Shài yī xià wǒ de xiūxián tiāntáng , měimiào juélún 。)
    “Check out my paradise, truly exceptional.”

    1- 晒一下我的休闲天堂 (shài yī xià wǒ de xiūxián tiāntáng)

    First is an expression meaning “check out my paradise.”
    “晒一下” means “check out something” and is often used on social media platforms. For instance, 晒一下我的新鞋 (check out my new shoes).

    2- 美妙绝伦 (měimiào juélún)

    Then comes the phrase - “truly exceptional.”
    “美妙绝伦” is an example of Chengyu. Chengyu are a type of traditional Chinese idiomatic expression, most of which consist of four characters. Chengyu were widely used in Classical Chinese and are still common in written and spoken Chinese today.

    COMMENTS

    In response, xué yǒu’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 真的需要定期放松。 (Zhēn de xūyào dìngqī fàngsōng 。)

    His supervisor, zhì qiáng, uses an expression meaning - “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
    Use this expression to be old fashioned.

    2- 突然觉得自己很累。 (Tūrán juéde zìjǐ hěn lèi 。)

    His high school friend, lì, uses an expression meaning - “Suddenly, I feel so worn out.”
    Use this expression to share how the image makes you feel.

    3- 简直是世外桃园! (Jiǎnzhí shì shìwài táoyuán !)

    His wife’s high school friend, xīn xīn, uses an expression meaning - “True Shangri-la!”
    Use this expression to share a personal opinion.

    4- 亲近自然。 (Qīnjìn zìrán 。)

    His college friend, tāo, uses an expression meaning - “Connect with nature.”
    This is another observation about the post and image - a good way to stay part of the conversation.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 晒一下 (shài yī xià ): “check out”
  • 休闲 (xiūxián ): “leisure”
  • 天堂 (tiāntáng ): “paradise”
  • 美妙绝伦 (měimiào juélún): “truly exceptional”
  • 突然 (tūrán ): “suddenly”
  • 自然 (zìrán ): “nature”
  • 世外桃源 (shìwài táoyuán): “Shangri-la”
  • Which phrase would you use to comment on a friend’s feed?

    The break was great, but now it’s time to return home.

    20. What to Say in Chinese When You’re Home Again

    And you’re back! What will you share with friends and followers?

    jìng returns home after a vacation, posts an image of herself at home, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down jìng’s post.

    没办法,该回到现实了! (Méi bànfa , gāi huídào xiànshí le !)
    “Nothing left to be done; time to go back to reality!”

    1- 没办法 (méi bànfa )

    First is an expression meaning “nothing left to be done.”
    This expression is used to indicate your unwillingness to do something.

    2- 该回到现实了 (gāi huídào xiànshí le)

    Then comes the phrase - “time to go back to reality.”
    “回到现实” means “getting back into your usual routine”.

    COMMENTS

    In response, jìng’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 悠长假期。一定玩痛快了吧! (Yōucháng jiàqī 。 Yīdìng wán tòngkuài le ba !)

    Her husband’s high school friend, lì, uses an expression meaning - “A long vacation. You must have enjoyed yourself!”
    Use this comment to be part of the conversation.

    2- 都晒黑了! (Dōu shài hēi le !)

    Her neighbor, ruò lán, uses an expression meaning - “You got tanned!”
    Use this expression to comment on the poster’s tan.

    3- 有没有礼物给我? (Yǒu méi yǒu lǐwù gěi wǒ ?)

    Her college friend, tāo, uses an expression meaning - “Any gifts for me?”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling frivolous, and want gifts from the poster.

    4- 离开了这么久。 (Líkāi le zhème jiǔ 。)

    Her high school friend, xīn xīn, uses an expression meaning - “You’ve been gone so long.”
    Use this expression to partake in the conversation with a general comment about their long holiday.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 回到 (huídào ): “go back”
  • 悠长 (yōucháng ): “long”
  • 假期 (jiàqī ): “vacation”
  • 现实 (xiànshí ): “reality”
  • 黑 (hēi ): “tanned”
  • 礼物 (lǐwù ): “gift”
  • 这么 (zhème ): “so”
  • How would you welcome a friend back from a trip?

    What do you post on social media during a public commemoration day such as the Chinese Lantern Festival?

    21. It’s Time to Celebrate in Chinese

    It’s an historic day and you wish to post something about it on social media. What would you say?

    xué yǒu appreciates the lanterns with his wife, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down xué yǒu’s post.

    我在跟老婆一起赏花灯,真浪漫! (Wǒ zài gēn lǎopó yīqǐ shǎng huādēng , zhēn làngmàn !)
    “I’m appreciating the lanterns with my wife; so romantic!”

    1- 我在跟老婆一起赏花灯 (wǒ zài gēn lǎopó yīqǐ shǎng huādēng)

    First is an expression meaning “I am appreciating the lanterns with my wife.”
    The Chinese Lantern Festival is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunar calendar. This festival marks the end of the Chinese New Year celebrations. According to the folk custom of China, on that night people celebrate the festival by appreciating the lanterns, guessing riddles written on the lanterns, and eating rice balls.

    2- 真浪漫 (zhēn làngmàn)

    Then comes the phrase - “so romantic.”
    People light up fancy lanterns on the night of the Lantern Festival and consider the event to be quite romantic.

    COMMENTS

    In response, xué yǒu’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 这么巧。我也在赏花灯! (Zhème qiǎo 。 Wǒ yě zài shǎng huādēng !)

    His college friend, tāo, uses an expression meaning - “What a coincidence. I’m appreciating the lanterns as well!”
    Use this expression if you are doing the same as the poster, probably at the same time.

    2- 恩爱的一对儿! (Ēn’ài de yī duìr !)

    His wife’s high school friend, xīn xīn, uses an expression meaning - “Lovebirds!”
    Use this expression to comment on the romance.

    3- 有没有猜灯谜? (Yǒu méi yǒu cāi dēngmí ?)

    His nephew, xiǎo míng, uses an expression meaning - “Have you tried guessing the riddles written on the lanterns?”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling curious.

    4- 元宵节快乐! (Yuánxiāo jié kuàilè !)

    His supervisor, zhì qiáng, uses an expression meaning - “Happy Lantern Festival!”
    This is a common greeting and wish for this time of year in China.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 花灯 (huādēng ): “lantern”
  • 赏 (shǎng ): “appreciate”
  • 猜 (cāi ): “guess”
  • 浪漫 (làngmàn ): “romantic”
  • 灯谜 (dēngmí ): “riddles written on lanterns”
  • 元宵节 (Yuánxiāo jié ): “the Lantern Festival”
  • 跟…一起 (gēn … yīqǐ ): “with”
  • If a friend posted something about a holiday, which phrase would you use?

    The Chinese Lantern Festival and other public commemoration days are not the only special ones to remember!

    22. Posting about a Birthday on Social Media in Chinese

    Your friend or you are celebrating your birthday in an unexpected way. Be sure to share this on social media!

    jìng goes to her birthday party, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down jìng’s post.

    天啊!感谢大家给我的惊喜! (Tiān a ! Gǎnxiè dàjiā gěi wǒ de jīngxǐ !)
    “Oh, my god! Thank you all for throwing me a surprise party!”

    1- 天啊 (tiān a)

    First is an expression meaning “Oh, my god.”
    “天啊” can be used when you are surprised.

    2- 感谢大家给我的惊喜 (gǎnxiè dàjiā gěi wǒ de jīngxǐ )

    Then comes the phrase - “thank you all for throwing me a surprise party.”
    Chinese birthday traditions reflect the culture’s deep-seated focus on longevity. Typically, people eat Longevity Noodles during birthday celebrations.

    COMMENTS

    In response, jìng’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 生日快乐! (Shēngrì kuàilè !)

    Her neighbor, ruò lán, uses an expression meaning - “Happy Birthday!”
    This is the traditional birthday wish in Chinese.

    2- 好大的蛋糕! (Hǎo dà de dàngāo !)

    Her high school friend, xīn xīn, uses an expression meaning - “This cake is huge!”
    This comment shows that you are in awe of the size of the cake.

    3- 一定收到很多礼物。 (Yīdìng shōu dào hěn duō lǐwù 。)

    Her husband’s high school friend, lì, uses an expression meaning - “I bet you received a lot of presents.”
    Use this phrase to be humorous and make conversation.

    4- 又长了一岁。 (Yòu zhǎng le yī suì 。)

    Her college friend, tāo, uses an expression meaning - “One year older.”
    Use this expression to comment on the poster’s age.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 大家 (dàjiā ): “you all”
  • 感谢 (gǎnxiè ): “thank”
  • 好大的 (hǎo dà de ): “huge”
  • 生日 (shēngrì ): “birthday”
  • 蛋糕 (dàngāo ): “cake”
  • 收到 (shōu dào ): “receive”
  • 天啊 (tiān a): “Oh, my god”
  • If a friend posted something about birthday greetings, which phrase would you use?

    23. Talking about New Year on Social Media in Chinese

    Impress your friends with your Chinese New Year’s wishes this year. Learn the phrases easily!

    xué yǒu celebrates the New Year, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down xué yǒu’s post.

    新年快乐!恭喜发财! (Xīnnián kuàilè ! Gōngxǐ fācái !)
    “Happy New Year! May you be happy and prosperous!”

    1- 新年快乐 (xīnnián kuàilè )

    First is an expression meaning “Happy New Year.”
    “新年快乐” is one of the most commonly used New Year’s greetings. “新年” can be replaced with other festivals. For instance, 中秋快乐 Happy Mid-Autumn Festival.

    2- 恭喜发财 (gōngxǐ fācái)

    Then comes the phrase - “May you be happy and prosperous.”
    Chinese people often bless each other via social media during New Year’s. “恭喜发财” is another commonly used New Year’s greeting.

    COMMENTS

    In response, xué yǒu’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 祝你万事如意! (Zhù nǐ wànshì rúyì !)

    His high school friend, lì, uses an expression meaning - “All the best to you!”
    Use this expression as a warmhearted response to the poster’s wish.

    2- 年年有余! (Niánnián yǒuyú !)

    His supervisor, zhì qiáng, uses an expression meaning - “May there be surpluses every year!”
    This is another positive wish for the new year ahead, indicating abundance.

    3- 红包拿来! (Hóngbāo ná lái !)

    His nephew, xiǎo míng, uses an expression meaning - “Give me my red envelope!”
    Use this expression to comment on an old custom.

    4- 下周我们聚聚! (Xiàzhōu wǒmen jù jù!)

    His college friend, tāo, uses an expression meaning - “We can get together sometime next week!”
    Ask this question if you’re keen to meet up with the poster.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 新年 (xīnnián ): “New Year”
  • 快乐 (kuàilè ): “happy”
  • 发财 (fācái ): “be surpluses”
  • 我们 (wǒmen ): “we”
  • 红包 (hóngbāo ): “red envelope”
  • 下周 (xiàzhōu ): “next week”
  • 聚聚 (jù jù): “get together”
  • Which is your favorite phrase to post on social media during New Year?

    But before New Year’s Day comes another important day…

    24. What to Post on Christmas Day in Chinese

    What will you say in Chinese about Christmas?

    jìng celebrates Christmas with her family, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down jìng’s post.

    转眼又是一年。圣诞快乐! (Zhuǎnyǎn yòu shì yī nián 。 Shèngdàn kuàilè !)
    “Another year has gone by in the blink of an eye. Merry Christmas!”

    1- 转眼又是一年 (zhuǎnyǎn yòu shì yī nián)

    First is an expression meaning “another year has gone by in the twinkling of an eye.”
    This expression is used when someone thinks that time has gone by quickly. “Another year” can be replaced with “another week”, “another month”, etc.

    2- 圣诞快乐 (shèngdàn kuàilè )

    Then comes the phrase - “Merry Christmas.”
    There are not many Christians in China, but celebrating Christmas has become increasingly popular. Many customs, such as exchanging gifts, are similar to Western celebrations. In large cities, there are commercial Christmas decorations, signs, and items displayed during December.

    COMMENTS

    In response, jìng’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 漂亮的雪景! (Piàoliàng de xuějǐng !)

    Her husband’s high school friend, lì, uses an expression meaning - “Beautiful snow!”
    This phrase is a comment on the weather, in particular, snow.

    2- 可惜我在南方,看不到雪。 (Kěxī wǒ zài nánfāng , kàn bù dào xuě 。)

    Her high school friend, xīn xīn, uses an expression meaning - “It’s a pity that I can’t see snow here in the south.”
    This is a conversation-filler, also commenting on the snow, or lack thereof.

    3- 谁能陪我一起过? (Shéi néng péi wǒ yīqǐ guò ?)

    Her college friend, tāo, uses an expression meaning - “Who wants to celebrate Christmas with me?”
    Ask this question as a way to keep the conversation going.

    4- 同乐同乐! (Tóng lè tóng lè !)

    Her supervisor, zhì qiáng, uses an expression meaning - “Let’s celebrate together!”
    Make this suggestion if you wish to join the poster for Christmas celebrations.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 转眼 (zhuǎnyǎn ): “in the twinkling of an eye”
  • 同 (tóng ): “together”
  • 圣诞 (shèngdàn ): “Christmas”
  • 雪景 (xuějǐng ): “snow”
  • 漂亮 (piàoliàng ): “beautiful”
  • 南方 (nánfāng ): “south”
  • 谁 (shéi ): “who”
  • If a friend posted something about Christmas greetings, which phrase would you use?

    So, the festive season is over! Yet, there will always be other days, besides a birthday, to wish someone well.

    25. Post about Your Anniversary in Chinese

    Some things deserve to be celebrated, like wedding anniversaries. Learn which Chinese phrases are meaningful and best suited for this purpose!

    xué yǒu celebrates his wedding anniversary with his wife, posts an image of the two of them together, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down xué yǒu’s post.

    有了这么好的妻子,我欲何求。 (Yǒu le zhème hǎo de qīzi , wǒ yù hé qiú 。)
    “Having such a good wife, I shall not want.”

    1- 有了这么好的妻子 (yǒu le zhème hǎo de qīzi )

    First is an expression meaning “having such a good wife.”
    Depending on the context, different terms can be used to address wives in the Chinese language. For instance, 老婆 (colloquial), 夫人 (formal), 贱内 (classical).

    2- 我欲何求 (wǒ yù hé qiú )

    Then comes the phrase - “I shall not want.”
    This is quoted from Classical Chinese poetry. It means that you have the best and therefore want nothing more.

    COMMENTS

    In response, xué yǒu’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 好感动! (Hǎo gǎndòng !)

    His high school friend, lì, uses an expression meaning - “So touching!”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling emotionally touched by the image.

    2- 替你们感到高兴。 (Tì nǐmen gǎndào gāoxìng 。)

    His neighbor, ruò lán, uses an expression meaning - “I feel happy for you.”
    Use this expression to show you have positive feelings about the marriage and anniversary.

    3- 甜言蜜语总是对的。 (Tiányán mìyǔ zǒng shì duì de 。)

    His college friend, tāo, uses an expression meaning - “Sweet talk is always welcomed.”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling frivolous and wish to joke around a bit with the poster.

    4- 要有实际行动! (Yào yǒu shíjì xíngdòng !)

    His wife’s high school friend, xīn xīn, uses an expression meaning - “Actions speak louder than words!”
    Use this expression to be funny.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 妻子 (qīzi ): “wife”
  • 有 (yǒu ): “have”
  • 求 (qiú ): “want”
  • 甜言蜜语 (tiányán mìyǔ ): “sweet talk”
  • 行动 (xíngdòng ): “action”
  • 总是 (zǒng shì ): “always”
  • 我 (wǒ ): “I”
  • If a friend posted something about Anniversary greetings, which phrase would you use?

    Conclusion

    Learning to speak a new language will always be easier once you know key phrases that everybody uses. These would include commonly used expressions for congratulations and best wishes, etc.

    Master these in fun ways with Learn Chinese! We offer a variety of tools to individualize your learning experience, including using cell phone apps, audiobooks, iBooks and many more. Never wonder again what to say on social media!

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

    How to Apologize in Chinese like a Native

    If you’ve just started learning Chinese, you may have wondered at some point, “How do I say sorry in Chinese?” Indeed, it’s vital to learn how to say sorry in Chinese culture, and any culture for that matter. We’re all human, and we all tend to make mistakes in the long journey of life, both small and large, and a fitting apology is almost always desired afterwards. This is when we need to say the “magic word” to make everything right again. Apologizing is the key to harmony in a relationship, as it can help you move past many unnecessary conflicts and misunderstandings.

    There are different ways of how to say sorry in the Chinese language. As a language learner who just set sail for Chinese, this article will help you get a sense of the unique way native Chinese people apologize. After you master the art of apologizing in Chinese with this article, you’ll never have to worry about not knowing what to say when you make forgivable mistakes! What are you waiting for? Let’s delve into how to give an apology in Chinese Mandarin. Start with a bonus, and download your FREE cheat sheet - How to Improve Your Chinese Skills! (Logged-In Member Only)

    1. The Most Important Apologizing Words
    2. How to Take the Blame
    3. Expressions for Formal and Business Situations
    4. Condolences
    5. Other Expressions
    6. How to respond
    7. Conclusion

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


    1. The Most Important Apologizing Words

    First things first! Here are some of the most common ways to apologize in Chinese, with some grammar explanations to make things clearer for you. This includes how to say “sorry” and “excuse me” in Chinese, which are two phrases you definitely will want to know!

    • In Chinese: 对不起。
      Pinyin: dui bu qǐ
      In English: Sorry

    The origin of this phrase is very interesting. Ancient Chinese people liked to showcase their knowledge by using couplets, which is a traditional form of art in the Chinese language. However, it’s often difficult to complete the pair. So, in order to express that they weren’t as knowledgeable as the person they were speaking to, people would say 对不起, which meant they weren’t able to complete the couplet. Later, it spread and become a popular way to apologize.

    Now, you can use 对不起 for a simple sincere apology. But keep in mind that it also indicates that you owe someone for what you did, so be careful when you use it, as it can be seen as a strong word. It’s best suited for an occasion where you feel the need to own up to your mistake and desire forgiveness in return. To make it even more formal, you can add the subjective and objective, such as in: 我对不起你 (wǒ duì bu qǐ nǐ), meaning “I am sorry to you.”

    • In Chinese: 抱歉。
      Pinyin: bào qiàn
      In English: I am sorry (I hold my apology).

    Compared to 对不起, 抱歉 is a lighter way to say I’m sorry in Chinese than the degree of apology that 对不起 entails. If there’s something you strongly feel sorry about and you feel desperate to express your apology, don’t use 抱歉 as it’s not sufficient to express your emotion in this context. 抱 literally means “hold,” and 歉 means “apology.” The whole word conveys a sense of guilt and regret, so if you ever feel bad about something and want to express it, this word is a good fit.

    • In Chinese: 不好意思。
      Pinyin: bù hǎo yì sī
      In English: Excuse me.

    The literal meaning of 不好意思 is “feeling embarrassed or shy,” which indicates an even lighter degree of apology compared to 抱歉. For things that aren’t as significant or that you don’t personally feel extremely bad about, feel free to use this phrase to politely show your apology for the little inconvenience you caused, such as being late.

    Sometimes Chinese people also use it for expressing their shy or awkward feelings. For example, when people feel too flattered and thus are embarrassed by a compliment, they might say 你说的我都不好意思了(nǐ shuō de wǒ dōu bù hǎo yì sī le), meaning “You are making me feel embarrassed.”

    Additional note: You can also add 真 before any of the three phrases above. It means “really,” which adds a sincerity to the apology.


    2. How to Take the Blame

    • In Chinese: 我错了。
      Pinyin: wǒ cuò le
      In English: It is my fault.

    This can be used both seriously and casually. In a serious situation, it emphasizes the fact that you’re willing to admit your mistakes. You can also repeat it to comfort someone who’s unsatisfied or irritated by something trivial you did, usually with people you’re close with.

    • In Chinese: 是我不好。
      Pinyin: shì wǒ bù hǎo
      In English: It is my bad.

    You can bravely admit your mistake by saying this. This is a neutral expression as well, which suits both serious and casual situations. You may want to add 原谅我吧 (yuán liàng wǒ ba), meaning “please forgive me,” right after to make your apology sound more genuine.

    • In Chinese: 责任全在我/是我的责任。
      Pinyin: zé rèn quán zài wǒ /shì wǒ de zé rèn
      In English: All the responsibility lies on me/It is all my responsibility.

    This is a powerful expression for owning up to all the responsibility for something you’ve done. Essentially, this puts all of the blame on yourself.

    • In Chinese: 要怪就怪我吧。
      Pinyin: yào guài jiù guài wǒ ba
      In English: If you have to blame someone, blame me.

    If there’s an embarrassing situation where someone has to own up to his/her mistake for the sake of a group, and you want to be the one who takes the fall, this is the right phrase to use. Usually, you need to add some good explanation right after in order to support the reason why you should be the one to take the blame. It’s sometimes good to be the one who admits the mistake, because everyone else may dearly appreciate your sacrifice for turning the embarrassment into a better atmosphere.


    3. Expressions for Formal and Business Situations

    3 Ways to Say Sorry

    You’ll find this section extremely helpful and relevant if you’ve ever wondered how to say phrases like “Sorry I’m late,” in Chinese. Let’s take a look at the most common formal and business Chinese apologies.

    • In Chinese: 抱歉/不好意思/对不起,麻烦你了。
      Pinyin: bào qiàn / bù hǎo yì sī / duì bu qǐmá fán nǐ le
      In English: I am sorry to trouble you.
    • In Chinese: 抱歉/不好意思/对不起,我今天不能去了。
      Pinyin: bào qiàn / bù hǎo yì sī / duì bu qǐ, wǒ jīn tiān bú néng qù le
      In English: I am sorry that I won’t make it today.
    • In Chinese: 抱歉/不好意思/对不起,我要先走一步。
      Pinyin: bào qiàn / bù hǎo yì sī / duì bu qǐ, wǒ yào xiān zǒu yī bù
      In English: Sorry, I have to go.
    • In Chinese: 抱歉/不好意思/对不起,我来晚了。
      Pinyin: bào qiàn / bù hǎo yì sī / duì bu qǐ, wǒ lái wǎn le
      In English: Sorry that I am late.
    • In Chinese: 不好意思/抱歉,借过一下可以吗?
      Pinyin: bú hǎo yì sī / bào qiàn,jiè guò yī xià kě yǐ ma
      In English: Sorry, do you mind stepping aside?

    For the phrases mentioned above, you can use different forms of “sorry” depending on the degree of importance regarding the specific event, and the part after the comma conveys different situations. Please feel free to substitute the phrase, keeping in mind that 对不起 indicates the strongest degree of apology, and 抱歉 is the second strongest one. 不好意思 indicates the least degree of apology of the three. You can always add some additional explanation after saying sorry, to make your situation more clear so that people can better understand your apology.

    • In Chinese: 打扰一下,请问发生什么了?
      Pinyin: dǎ rǎo yī xià, qǐng wèn fā shēng shén me le
      In English: Excuse me, what happened?

    Although “Excuse me” in English indicates a sorry feeling, in Chinese it literally means “allow me to disturb you,” where 打扰 means “to disturb.”


    4. Condolences

    • In Chinese: 很抱歉听到这个消息。
      Pinyin: hěn bào qiàn tīng dào zhè gè xiāo xī
      In English: I am sorry to hear that.

    When learning how to say “I am sorry to hear that” in Chinese, you can now entail what we learned earlier. 抱歉, in this sentence, is used to express some specific event that you feel sorry about. You can also substitute 听到这个消息 meaning “to hear the news,” with many other things that you want to express your sadness about. This also goes for “I am sorry that…”.

    • In Chinese: 节哀顺变。
      Pinyin: jiē āi shùn biàn
      In English: I am so sorry for your loss.

    Learning how to say “sorry for your loss” in Chinese may be one of the most important phrases you can master, and can be the difference between clearly expressing your sorrow for a loved one—or failing to. This is an old traditional phrase for comforting people who lost someone dear to them. 节哀 means “repress sadness,” and 顺变 means “let go of the accident and change.”


    5. Other Expressions

    Ways to Say Sorry

    • In Chinese: 我向你赔礼道歉。
      Pinyin: wǒ xiàng nǐ péi lǐ dào qiàn
      In English: Let me apologize to you.

    赔礼 represents the action of compensating a formality for apologizing, which suggests a serious situation. When you use it, it may require some physical performance to fully express the apology, such as a bow or treating the person to a meal.

    • In Chinese: 你能原谅我吗?
      Pinyin: nǐ néng yuán liàng wǒ ma
      In English: Will you forgive me?

    This phrase conveys a powerful desire for forgiveness, which is usually used for a fault that’s caused by a very serious condition.

    • In Chinese: 你别生气啊。
      Pinyin: nǐ bié shēng qì a
      In English: Don’t be mad.

    This can be used for both serious and casual occasions when apologizing. Whenever a sentence-final interjection such as 啊 is included, the sentence is usually not as formal or serious, and indicates a softer expression.

    • In Chinese: 我不是故意的。
      Pinyin: wǒ bú shì gù yì de
      In English: I didn’t do it on purpose.

    You can definitely use this phrase for self-defense for an act you didn’t intentionally commit. It’s usually added right after a “sorry” phrase.

    • In Chinese: 你别怪我啊。
      Pinyin: nǐ bié guài wǒ a
      In English: Please don’t blame me.

    怪 can mean different things depending on the situation. For example, for an adjective it can mean “weird” or “strange.” Please keep in mind that it’s used as a verb meaning “blame” here.


    6. How to respond

    • In Chinese: 没关系。
      Pinyin: méi guān xi
      In English: It’s fine.
    • In Chinese: 没事。
      Pinyin: méi shì
      In English: It’s okay.
    • In Chinese: 没什么大不了的。
      Pinyin: méi shén me dà bú liǎo de
      In English: It is no big deal.
    • In Chinese: 这有什么的。
      Pinyin: zhè yǒu shén me de
      In English: That is nothing.
    • In Chinese: 别放在心上。
      Pinyin: bié fàng zài xīn shàng
      In English: Don’t mind it.


    7. Conclusion

    Are you gaining more confidence after learning all the expressions along with the explicit explanations provided? It’s not as difficult as you thought, as long as you come to the right teacher and source to study Chinese!

    Fortunately, here at ChineseClass101.com, you can find just this. Here, you’ll be able to obtain a delightful learning experience and acquire the best resources to help you speak Chinese like a native. What are you waiting for? Come visit us right now!

    In the meantime, be sure to continue practicing these various ways of how to say “I am sorry” in the Chinese language. You’ll get the hang of it in no time!

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

    The Chinese Double Ninth Festival

    Each year, the Chinese celebrate the age-old Double Ninth Festival, which is sometimes referred to as the Chongyang Festival or Senior Day. Few Chinese holidays reach as far back into history as this one does, with origins in the Han Dynasty. Further, the Double Ninth Festival reflects many of the values and beliefs most dear to the Chinese people, such as respect for ancestors and the elderly.

    In this article, you’ll learn all about the Double Ninth Festival in Chinese culture, including its most notable traditions. As any successful language-learner can tell you, understanding a country’s culture is a vital step in mastering the language. And at ChineseClass101.com, we hope to make every aspect of your language-learning journey both fun and informative, including this one!

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

    1. What is the Double Ninth Festival?

    The Double Ninth Festival (Chongyang) originated from ancient times, as early as the Han Dynasty, when people celebrated the autumn harvest for the year. Essentially, the Double Ninth Festival is a day for Chinese people to avoid bad luck (we’ll explain how later) and to show respect and honor toward one’s ancestors.

    According to the Double Ninth Festival story, there was once a man who was warned about danger to his village. He listened to the warning, escaped into the mountains, and thus survived the village catastrophe. This explains the focus on ascending heights to avoid ill fortune.

    2. When is the Double Ninth Festival?

    Ninth Day of Ninth Lunar Month

    The date of Double Ninth Day is on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month, hence its name. For your convenience, here’s a list of this holiday’s date for the next ten years.

    • 2019: October 7
    • 2020: October 25
    • 2021: October 14
    • 2022: October 4
    • 2023: October 23
    • 2024: October 11
    • 2025: October 29
    • 2026: October 18
    • 2027: October 8
    • 2028: October 26

    3. Double Ninth Festival Celebrations & Traditions

    During the crisp autumn days, what interesting celebrations do people hold? Well, Double Ninth Festival traditions are many.

    Traditionally, the customs of the Double Ninth Festival include ascending heights, enjoying chrysanthemums, and drinking. “Ascending heights” is an elegant way to say hiking. In many northern areas, autumn is the best time to be outdoors, with clear skies and crisp air. Hence, many people choose to go out, hike, and enjoy the views.

    At the Double Ninth Festival, people not only ascend heights, but also eat Chongyang cake. In Chinese, “cake” (gao) is a homonym of “height” (gao), which has an auspicious sense of rising step-by-step.

    The chrysanthemum symbolizes longevity and is one of the most popular flowers in China. There has long been a tradition of enjoying chrysanthemums at the Double Ninth Festival. Hence, the Double Ninth Festival is also called the Chrysanthemum Festival. In fact, the whole ninth lunar month is the month of chrysanthemums. Many flower markets and botanical gardens hold chrysanthemum exhibitions one after another, attracting tourists to enjoy and take photos.

    At the Double Ninth Festival, people drink chrysanthemum wine, which is made from chrysanthemums and glutinous rice. It’s said that chrysanthemum wine can protect eyesight and prevent aging. If you like drinking, you may want to try it.

    In recent years, the Double Ninth Festival has also been called the Elderly Festival since, in Chinese, “nine” is a homonym of “long,” which represents long life. Thus, people usually commemorate their ancestors or organize activities to show respect to the elderly on this day. For example, many primary schools and middle schools take students to work as volunteers in nursing homes, and some medical centers also offer free health consultations to the elderly.

    4. Why is it Called Chongyang?

    Paying

    Why do we call Double Ninth Day Chongyang in Chinese?

    In ancient China, numbers were subdivided into two opposing types: Yin (feminine) and Yang (masculine). Since nine is a Yang number and the ninth day of the ninth lunar month has two Yang numbers, it is called Chong (double) Yang.

    5. Essential Vocabulary for the Double Ninth Festival

    Chrysanthemum Flower

    Here’s the essential vocabulary you need to know for the Chinese Double Ninth Festival!

    • 菊花 (júhuā) — chrysanthemum
    • 登高 (dēnggāo) — climb a mountain
    • 郊游 (jiāoyóu) — picnic
    • 风筝 (fēngzhēng) — kite
    • 香 (xiāng) — incense
    • 菊花酒 (júhuā jiǔ) — chrysanthemum wine
    • 重阳糕 (Chóngyáng gāo) — Chung Yeung rice cake
    • 久 (jiǔ) — long time
    • 祭祖 (jìzǔ) — pay respect at ancestors’ grave
    • 九月九 (jiǔyuè jiǔ) — the ninth day of the ninth lunar month
    • 重阳节 (Chóngyáng jié) — Double Ninth Festival

    To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, and accompanied by relevant images, check out our Double Ninth Festival vocabulary list!

    How ChineseClass101 Can Help You Master Chinese

    What are your thoughts on the Double Ninth Festival in China? Is there any similar holiday in your country? Let us know in the comments; we always look forward to hearing from you.

    To continue learning about Chinese culture and the language, explore ChineseClass101.com. We provide an array of fun and effective learning tools for every learner, at every level:

    • Insightful blog posts on an array of cultural and language-related topics
    • Free vocabulary lists covering a range of topics and themes
    • Podcasts and videos to improve your listening and pronunciation skills
    • Mobile apps to learn Chinese anywhere, on your own time
    • Much, much more!

    If you’re interested in a more personalized, one-on-one approach to language-learning, be sure to upgrade to Premium Plus. Doing so will give you access to your own Chinese teacher who will help you develop a learning plan tailored to your needs and goals. Yes, really!

    Learning Chinese is no easy feat, but your hard work and determination will pay off in the long run. And ChineseClass101 will be here to help you on each step of your language-learning journey!

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

    Celebrating the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival

    The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival is the second-most important festival in Chinese culture. This holiday is special, and particularly close to the hearts of Chinese people, because of its emotional connotations. The Mid-Autumn Festival represents thankfulness and unity among loved ones, something that even family or friends far away can experience as they look up at the same full moon.

    In this article, you’ll learn about the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival and the traditions associated with it. In learning about this significant Chinese holiday, you’ll gain much insight into Chinese culture—and this is an essential step in mastering the language.

    At ChineseClass101.com, we hope to make every aspect of your language-learning journey both fun and informative. So let’s get started!

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

    1. What is Mid-Autumn Festival in Chinese Culture?

    To Chinese people, the Mid-Autumn Festival is second in importance to the Spring Festival. Just like during Thanksgiving in the U.S., young people who normally leave their families to make a living and work hard will return home for a gathering with their relatives. Essentially, the Mid-Autumn Festival is a time of thanksgiving and togetherness with loved ones, which is done through gazing at the full moon.

    Moon appreciation is an activity with a special emotional significance to Chinese people, especially those with relatives or significant others who live far away. When they look at the same bright moon, they associate their mutual longing for each other with it. This is a unique expression of Eastern romantic emotions.

    Further, there’s a Mid-Autumn Festival story about the archer Hou Yi and his wife Chang’e, who the Emperor of Heaven sent to destroy excess suns to end the people’s suffering. Hongkongers, in particular, find much meaning in this story on the Mid-Autumn Festival.

    2. When is Mid-Autumn Festival?

    A Full Moon

    The date of the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival varies each year on the Gregorian calendar, as it takes place on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month. For your convenience, we’ve composed a list of this holiday’s date for the next ten years.

    • 2019: September 13
    • 2020: October 1
    • 2021: September 21
    • 2022: September 10
    • 2023: September 29
    • 2024: September 17
    • 2025: October 6
    • 2026: September 25
    • 2027: September 15
    • 2028: October 3

    3. How is it Celebrated?

    Festival Dragon

    The day before the Mid-Autumn Festival, every big city experiences citywide traffic jams because everyone is busy visiting friends to give them mooncakes, the most popular Mid-Autumn Festival food. The traditional flavors of mooncakes are egg yolk and lotus paste; they’re soft and crumbly, and taste sweet. Mooncakes are round to represent reunion, so people exchange mooncakes to convey their wishes for family harmony and wholeness.

    As the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar is at the end of fall, it often coincides with National Day, which falls on November 1. Whenever this happens, the government will arrange for a seven- or eight-day public holiday.

    To take advantage of this long holiday, more and more working-class people choose to drive out of town to a holiday villa in the countryside for a few days of vacation. Breathing the fresh air in nature while appreciating the moon and eating mooncakes is lots of fun.

    In some places, children will enjoy carrying around Mid-Autumn Festival lanterns, shaped like favorite cartoon characters.

    4. Special Moon Idioms

    Chinese people associate special feelings with the moon, and especially like to use the moon to describe their feelings and emotions.

    Let me introduce a four-word idiom that has to do with the moon: 花好月圆. It means that the flowers are good, and the moon is also round. In other words, life is beautiful and fulfilling. Chinese people use this idiom to congratulate newly-married couples, or during a housewarming.

    Another Chinese saying goes, “The moon of the fifteenth, the roundness of the sixteenth,” which means that the moon on the fifteenth of the lunar month may not be as round as that on the sixteenth. This means that our life may be better tomorrow, so we should look forward to tomorrow with a positive attitude.

    5. Vocabulary You Should Know for the Mid-Autumn Festival

    Snowy Mooncakes

    Here’s some vocabulary you need to know for the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival!

    • 满月 (mǎnyuè) — full moon
    • 蛋黄 (dànhuáng) — egg yolk
    • 月饼 (yuèbǐng) — moon cake
    • 月兔 (yuètù) — Moon Rabbit
    • 嫦娥 (cháng’é) — Chang’e
    • 后羿 (Hòu Yì) — Houyi
    • 灯笼 (dēnglong) — lantern
    • 莲蓉 (liánróng) — lotus seed paste
    • 赏月 (shǎng yuè) — moon watching
    • 冰皮月饼 (bīngpí yuèbǐng) — snowy mooncake
    • 中秋节 (Zhōngqiū Jié) — Mid-Autumn Festival

    To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, check out our Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival vocabulary list!

    How ChineseClass101 Can Help You Delve into Chinese Culture

    We hope you enjoyed learning about the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival with us! Do you have any astrology-related holidays in your own country? Let us know in the comments!

    To continue learning about Chinese culture and studying the language, explore ChineseClass101.com. We provide an array of fun and effective learning tools for every learner, at every level:

    • Insightful blog posts on a variety of cultural and language-related topics
    • Free vocabulary lists covering a range of topics and themes
    • Podcasts to improve your listening and pronunciation skills
    • Mobile apps so you can learn Chinese anywhere, on your own time
    • Much, much more!

    If you’re interested in a more personalized, one-on-one approach to learning Chinese, be sure to upgrade to Premium Plus! Doing so will give you access to your own Chinese tutor who will help you develop a learning plan based on your needs and goals. Yes, really!

    Chinese isn’t an easy language to tackle, but your hard work and determination will pay off. You’ll be speaking, writing, and reading Chinese like a native before you know it, and ChineseClass101 will be here with you for each step of your journey to language mastery!

    Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

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

    Use Your Body Gestures to Communicate in Chinese

    Thumbnail

    When you’re engaged in a conversation, body gestures play a great role in conveying your message. A lot can be integrated into your body language. With well-performed body gestures along with verbal language, individuals’ communication can be way more efficient and delightful.

    Due to the differences between cultures, the rules for body gestures can vary. China, with a rich and strong history, refers to this as 礼仪之邦 (lǐ yí zhī bāng), meaning a state of ceremonies. As the very crutch of Chinese language, Chinese gestures and body language in Chinese culture hold much importance. If you want to communicate and express yourself more vividly and properly, here’s a guide to open your eyes to Chinese culture and its body gestures! Start with a bonus, and download your FREE cheat sheet - How to Improve Your Chinese Skills! (Logged-In Member Only)

    1. Body Gestures for Greeting
    2. How to Express Numbers
    3. Special Body Gestures
    4. Popular Informal Body Gestures for Fun
    5. Conclusion

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


    1. Body Gestures for Greeting

    Chinese Hand Gestures

    In China, body language and gestures are commonly used to express friendly greetings in both formal and casual environments. Here’s a quick guide, though these are mostly self-explanatory and common in other cultures and regions.

    1- Nod

    Nodding is one of the easiest ways to greet someone. It’s often used with people you’re not very familiar with, in formal business occasions, or when you don’t have time to talk. You can just simply nod with a smile to the person you wish to greet.

    2- Shake Hands

    Hand Shake

    Shaking hands is a vital body gesture for showing courtesy and friendliness in Chinese culture. It shows a good measure of politeness and respect. You can use this gesture either in a formal business occasion or at a casual party to make some new friends.

    3- Wave Hands

    Woman Waving Hand

    Similar to Western culture, waving hands when saying goodbye or hello is very common in China as well. It’s more likely to be used between close friends or people your age.


    2. How to Express Numbers

    Similar to in other cultures, Chinese body signs and hand movements are often used to express numbers. Learn more about this aspect of Chinese body language and gestures here.

    1- One through Five

    • In Chinese: 一
      Pinyin:
      In English: One
    • One Finger

    • In Chinese: 二
      Pinyin: èr
      In English: Two
    • In Chinese: 三
      Pinyin: sān
      In English: Three

    There are two ways of doing three depending on personal habits. One way looks like an OK gesture where thumb and index finger form a ring, and the other three fingers point up straight. There other is to simply stick out three fingers.

    Three Fingers

    • In Chinese: 四
      Pinyin:
      In English: Four
    • Four Fingers

    • In Chinese: 五
      Pinyin:
      In English: Five

    Five Fingers

    As you can see, in Chinese number gestures from one to five, the hand gestures are nearly identical to those in western countries. The number of your fingers that you stretch out literally represents the number you’re suggesting. These hand gestures aren’t difficult to master, right? Now, are you ready for more of a number challenge?

    2- Six through Ten

    • In Chinese: 六
      Pinyin: liù
      In English: Six

    For numbers from six to nine, the explanations for the gestures are controversial. Some say that the gestures mimic the writing. Six and eight mimic their Chinese characters, 六 and 八 respectively. If you do the gesture and then keep it upside down, can you see that the shape looks just like the character? And gestures for seven and nine mimic the shape of 7 and 9.

    Six Gesture

    • In Chinese: 七
      Pinyin:
      In English: Seven

    Seven Gesture

    For numbers six and seven, the reason why the finger is presented like this is very easy to understand: The thumb represents the number “five.” Now you can see how the fingers are added to become the number represented.

    • In Chinese: 八
      Pinyin:
      In English: Eight

    Eight Gesture

    The meaning for this gesture is a little controversial. An easy and commonly accepted way to explain this is that 八 looks like how the fingers are positioned. However, it can mean different numbers in different regions. For example, in Taiwan, it means seven.

    • In Chinese: 九
      Pinyin: jiǔ
      In English: Nine

    Nine Gesture

    Ten minus one equals nine, and that’s what the curved index finger represents, meaning one less than ten.

    • In Chinese: 十
      Pinyin: shí
      In English: Ten

    Ten Gesture

    There are various ways of doing ten. One common way is to use index fingers from both hands to form a cross. This is a way to mimic its Chinese character 十, which looks like a cross. Another way is to hold a fist, which looks like a rock, and it means 石(shí) in Chinese. This pronunciation is the same as 十 (shí), so when a Chinese person sees a fist, it’s not hard to imagine the number ten. Feel free to choose whatever that makes you feel comfortable.

    These Chinese hand gestures are probably quite different from what you know (sometimes they can even be different between various regions in China!). It might take some time for you to memorize it all, but don’t worry! Just try to understand how they’re represented, as this will help you absorb the gestures more quickly!


    3. Special Body Gestures

    Chinese gesturing also includes a few special body gestures that you should know before your trip to China! Here are a few of them.

    1- How to Point to Yourself

    In Chinese culture, when you’re relating something to yourself, you may point to your own nose with your index finger. The meaning of this is completely different from its meaning in Western culture, where it may be considered rude to do so. However, remember to avoid pointing your finger to other people’s nose. It’s perfectly fine for yourself, but when referring to others, you may want to use your whole palm instead to show full respect.

    2- Hug People Carefully

    When it comes to hugging, Chinese people might be a bit reserved. In Western culture, it’s perfectly normal to hug someone when greeting, even someone you barely know. As for Chinese greetings, Chinese people cannot accept such closeness. If it’s not someone you’re extremely close with or it’s not a very special occasion on which to show affection, remember to avoid hugging! This Chinese gesture may be considered rude. You may just want to offer a handshake instead.

    People Hugging

    3- “Come Here” Gesture

    When you want to summon someone to come to you, as commonly known in Western culture, you usually make this sign with your palm facing up. This is slightly different in China. Chinese people are accustomed to making their palm face down while summoning people.

    Anyhow, this is usually for people who are younger than you, kids, your employees, taxis, or waiters. For peers or your elders, this may be considered inappropriate and perceived as a lack of respect. You may instead want to politely invite them over with your arm suggesting the direction, or with a proper bow.

    Come Here Gesture


    4. Popular Informal Body Gestures for Fun

    Chinese nonverbal communication can go way beyond simple greetings and formalities—they can even be fun! Here are a few Chinese gestures and signs that have gained popularity in Chinese culture for being convenient and even cute! You’ll fit right in with your Chinese surroundings once you get the hang of these.

    1- Make a Little Heart

    Using your thumb and index finger to form a little heart has recently become an incredibly popular gesture in Asia because of how adorable it looks. Many celebrities are starting to do it as well to show their love for their fans. If you have a close Chinese friend (or are someday able to meet the celebrity of your dreams!) and you want to show how much you appreciate him/her, this is undoubtedly a pleasant way to do so!

    2- Make “Okay” with Your Fingers

    Similar to in Western culture, you can certainly indicate “OK” with your fingers since the English phrase “Okay” (along with many other simple English phrases) have been integrated internationally and are now a part of Chinese people’s daily lives.

    OK Sign

    3- Fist and Palm Gesture

    This is a Chinese tradition meaning “wish you good fortune.” It may feel strange at first, but as you practice more and get used to it, it will become very fun and natural to do! Chinese people usually do it during New Years, especially young people; they do it to elders to show their respect and good wishes. If you show this gesture to elders during a Chinese New Year celebration, you might want to add 给您拜年了! (gěi nín bài nián le), which is a way to say “wish you a happy new year” in Chinese.

    Fist and Palm Gesture

    4- Typical Peace Sign for Taking Pictures

    If there’s one pose that everyone uses at least once in their life for a picture, it’s the “peace” sign. However, Chinese people use it quite differently than some Western people. In Chinese culture, they like to show the side of their palm to the camera while taking a picture. Further, girls like to put the “peace” sign close to their face or even directly point it to their face.

    Peace Signs

    5- Pinky Promise

    In many cultures, a pinky promise means an agreement. Many friends and couples like to make promises to each other in this way, and many Chinese people think it’s a lovely way to make a promise. One thing to remember is that this is not seen as a formal agreement in Chinese culture, so be sure not to use it for an official contract or anything like that.


    5. Conclusion

    Did you have fun learning common body gestures in China? Is your desire for learning more interesting Chinese culture aroused? If you wish to learn more about Chinese people and their culture beyond what we already introduced above, just come to ChineseClass101.com to embrace all kinds of sources regarding learning the Chinese language and its culture!

    In the meantime, why not practice these body gestures to learn Chinese more effectively (and with a lot more flair)? Best wishes for your Chinese learning endeavors! Start with a bonus, and download your FREE cheat sheet - How to Improve Your Chinese Skills! (Logged-In Member Only)

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