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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!

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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:

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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!

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Use Your Body Gestures to Communicate in Chinese

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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

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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)

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The Hungry Ghost Festival in Chinese Culture

Of China’s three ghost-related festivals, the Hungry Ghost Festival is the most important. The Hungry Ghost Festival, Chinese culture dictates, is when people worship and show great respect to the dead. The Chinese believe that on this day, the gates of hell are open, allowing the spirits of dead ancestors to roam the earth until the gates shut again.

Learn about the Chinese Ghost Festival with ChineseClass101.com and gain a greater understanding of Chinese culture as a whole. Immersing yourself in a country’s culture is the most effective way of mastering its language, and we hope to make it both fun and informative!

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1. What is the Ghost Festival in China

The Chinese Ghost Festival, like its Qingming (or Tomb Sweeping Day) holiday, is a ghost-related holiday and one of great cultural significance. The old saying, according to the Hungry Ghost Festival origin, is that on this day, ghosts return from the underworld and wander on the earth.

Hence, people worship their ancestors through Hungry Ghost Festival offerings to drive evil away and have their families blessed.

2. When is the Chinese Ghost Festival?

Souls Wandering in Moonlight

The date of the Ghost Festival varies each year on the Gregorian calendar. For your convenience, here’s a list of this holiday’s date for the next ten years.

  • 2019: August 15
  • 2020: September 2
  • 2021: August 21
  • 2022: August 12
  • 2023: August 30
  • 2024: August 17
  • 2025: September 6
  • 2026: August 27
  • 2027: August 16
  • 2028: September 2

3. Chinese Ghost Festival Traditions & Customs

Someone Lighting Candles

On this day, people give steamed buns to those deceased family members who they believe have lost their connections, to keep their hunger at bay on their way to the underworld. There is also a custom of illuminating lights during the Ghost Festival, to send ghosts off and guide them back to the underworld. It sounds a little creepy, right?

Worshiping ancestors during the Ghost Festival is slightly different from Tomb Sweeping Day. First, people worship at noon. Usually, they prepare a full table of delicious dishes; the good Ghost Festival food shows the ghosts that they are living a happy life, and their ancestors don’t need to worry about them. Families with elderly people will pay more attention to details such as arranging seven pairs of chopsticks, seven wine glasses, and a carved wooden fruit box, in order to show respect to their ancestors.

There is a Chinese saying that “ghosts won’t knock at the doors of those with a good conscience,” meaning that evil won’t come if a person doesn’t do bad things; it will go away instead.

4. Traditional Taboos

During the Hungry Ghost Festival, there are two things that you’d better not do.

To avoid running into ghosts, people believed in ancient times that moving to new houses and marrying should be avoided throughout the ghost month.

Essentially, any important or life-altering events/actions should be avoided during this holiday, as hungry ghosts could easily make a mess of things.

Other taboos include:

  • You shouldn’t go out at midnight as this increases your chance of running into ghosts.
  • You shouldn’t wear red cord accessories.
  • You shouldn’t bring bells.
  • You shouldn’t hang and dry clothes.
  • You shouldn’t pick money up off the street.

5. Useful Vocabulary for the Chinese Ghost Festival

Burning Incense

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for the Chinese Ghost Festival!

  • 祖先 (zǔxiān) — ancestor
  • 纸钱 (zhǐqián) — Joss paper
  • 中元节 (Zhōngyuán Jié) — Ghost Festival
  • 烧香 (shāoxiāng) — burn incense
  • 孝 (xiào) — filial piety
  • 祭奠死者 (jìdiàn sǐzhě) — hold a memorial ceremony for the deceased
  • 纸扎祭品 (zhǐzhā jìpǐn) — varieties of paper items burned for the deceased
  • 游魂 (yóuhún) — wandering soul
  • 素食 (sùshí) — vegetarian meal
  • 阎罗王 (Yán Luó Wáng) — Yama
  • 祭祀 (jìsì) — sacrificial offering

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

Conclusion: Choose ChineseClass101 for Total Language Mastery

What do you think about the Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival? Does your country have a day to worship or honor the dead? Let us know in the comments! We love hearing from you.

To continue learning about Chinese culture’s many facets and begin speaking the language like a native, explore ChineseClass101.com and take advantage of our many fun and practical learning tools! Read more insightful blog posts like this one, study our free Chinese vocabulary lists, and download our mobile apps for convenient learning! By upgrading to Premium Plus, you can also begin learning Chinese one-on-one with your own teacher and personalized plan.

With ChineseClass101, the learning options are endless and you have our constant support. Your hard work will pay off, and success in Chinese is yours!

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“Lol” in Chinese & More: Chinese Slang for the Internet

Do you have a social media account? Do you want to trigger an interesting conversation with friends online? As the Internet has become an essential part of human life in modern society, I believe most of you will say yes.

Chinese people are one of the most active groups on social media, and it requires some skills to talk to them online. For example, what’s “lol” in Chinese? Being able to properly use 网络流行语 (wǎng luò liú xíng yǔ), or popular Internet slangs in Chinese, can be entertaining and can help to build a closer relationship between individuals online.

Chinese people also like to use many stickers and GIFs, which are known as 表情包 (biǎo qíng bāo), to show their emotions in a vivid way. Further, they’re passionate about developing Chinese Internet slangs.

Of course, it’s not at all difficult to make your Internet experience full of fun in Chinese, as long as you master some of the popular Chinese words and slang with ChineseClass101.com!

Table of Contents

  1. Common Chinese Social Media
  2. Common Chinese Number Slangs and Letters
  3. Common Words
  4. Popular Slang Sentences
  5. Conclusion

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1. Common Chinese Social Media

The First Thing To Do is Start Off with the Right Social Media!

  • Wechat

    This is the most popular social media that Chinese people use. If you want to build a long-term relationship with someone, one of the first things you’ll ask is: “May I have your Wechat?” Wechat has become a part of Chinese people’s life, and in China, you’ll see Chinese people check their Wechat on a daily basis. Be aware that it’s a rather private social media; make sure that you’re eligible enough to ask for someone’s Wechat before you actually do.

  • Weibo

    Weibo is much like Twitter. It’s a rather public social media, where many celebrities post and interact with fans on a follower-based social media. If you ever want to initiate some word-of-mouth to have a fan-base, Weibo is a good place to start. Of course, you can also use it as a public version of “Wechat” to post as many things as you like.

  • QQ

    QQ is another popular social media where you can post and chat with your friends. It also offers services like listening to music, playing social games, microblogging, and more.

  • TikKok (Douyin)

    TikKok has only become popular in China recently. It’s known as 抖音 (dǒu yīn) in Chinese, and is a place where you can create and share your videos. Many celebrities also use it for broadcasting.

Ready to learn Chinese internet slang? Without further ado, here’s our Chinese internet slang list and guide to Chinese slang!


2. Common Chinese Number Slangs and Letters

Let’s start off our list of Chinese words and slang, with number and letter slang. These Chinese characters and slang expressions are commonly used and are perfect to add to your arsenal as you learn Chinese slang!

1- 666

Meaning: Used to compliment people who are good at something.

Usage in a sentence:
In Chinese: 今天游戏你打的可真棒啊,666!
Pinyin: Jīn tiān yóu xì nǐ dǎ de kě zhēn bàng a, liù liù liù!
In English: Today you did so good on the game, excellent!

Additional notes: This Chinese slang is originally from 溜溜溜 (liù liù liù) and 牛牛牛 (niú niú niú), which means “excellent” in Chinese, and the number six has the same (or similar) pronunciation as the word. That’s why people now simply use 666 as a compliment.

2- 520

Do You Know That You Can Actually Express Your Love With Numbers?

Meaning: I love you.

Usage in a sentence:
In Chinese: 今天是情人节,我想告诉你520。
Pinyin: Jīn tiān shì qíng rén jiē, wǒ xiǎng gào sù nǐ wǔ èr líng.
In English: Today is Valentine’s Day, and I want to tell you that I love you.

3- 233

Meaning: Laugh out loud; pounding the floor.

Usage in a sentence:
In Chinese: 你看这个笑话是不是很逗,233。
Pinyin: Nǐ kàn zhè gè xiào huà shì bú shì hěn dòu, èr sān sān.
In English: Look how funny this joke is, LOL.

Additional notes: 233 is the code of a GIF emoticon on the social media platform 猫扑 (māo pū). The image depicts a character laughing hard and pounding the floor. As this emoticon became popular, people started to use just its code, 233, to refer to this emoticon.

4- 886

There Are Three Simple Numbers That Are Equivalent To When You Wave Your Hands And Say Goodbye.

Meaning: Bye bye.

Usage in a sentence:
In Chinese: 我要去写作业. 886,待会聊。
Pinyin: Wǒ yào qù xiě zuò yè le. bā bā liù, dā huì liáo.
In English: I am going to do my homework. Bye bye, we can talk later.

Additional notes: 886 has a similar pronunciation as the word 拜拜咯 (bái bái lo) in Chinese, which means “bye bye.”


3. Common Words

Here’s Chinese slang (internet) that’s sure to come in handy while chatting it up with your Chinese friends!

1- 卖萌

What is this Little Adorable Kitten Doing? Let’s Find Out a Word to Describe It!

Meaning: To showcase cuteness.

Pinyin: mài méng

Usage in a sentence:
In Chinese: 你看我家猫,又在卖萌了。
Pinyin: Nǐ kàn wǒ jiā māo, yòu zài mài méng le.
In English: Look at my cat, she is showing her cuteness again.

2- 学霸

Meaning: Someone who’s excellent at school and always gets good grades.

Pinyin: xué bà

Usage in a sentence:
In Chinese: 她次次考试都是班里第一名,简直就是个学霸。
Pinyin: Tā cì cì kǎo shì dōu shì bān lǐ dì yī míng, jiǎn zhí jiù shì gè xué bà.
In English: She is always in first place for every exam, so good at school and studying!

3- 土豪

Meaning: Someone who’s extremely rich.

Pinyin: tǔ háo

Usage in a sentence:
In Chinese: 我听说他家有辆私人飞机,可真够土豪的。
Pinyin: Wǒ tīng shuō tā jiā yǒu liàng sī rén fēi jī, kě zhēn gòu tǔ háo de.
In English: I heard that his family owns a private airplane, he is so rich.

4- 小鲜肉

Meaning: Guys who are young and good-looking.

Pinyin: xiǎo xiān ròu

Usage in a sentence:
In Chinese: 听说韩国又出了一个很帅的组合,里面全是小鲜肉!
Pinyin: Tīng shuō hán guó yòu chū le yī gè hěn shuài de zǔ hé, lǐ miàn quán shì xiǎo xiān ròu!
In English: I heard that another K-POP group just debuted, and it’s full of young and cute guys.

Additional notes: The direct translation for 小鲜肉 is little fresh meat, which is a funny way to describe cute young guys.

5- 男神

Meaning: A man who’s considered the person of your dreams.

Pinyin: nán shén

Usage in a sentence:
In Chinese: 今天我又在学校看见男神了,我的心当时扑通扑通地直跳!
Pinyin: Jīn tiān wǒ yòu zài xué xiào kàn jiàn nán shén le, wǒ de xīn dāng shí pū tōng pū tōng de zhí tiào!
In English: I saw the man of my dreams again at school today, and my heart was beating so hard!

Additional notes: This is a term often used by girls who consider male celebrities or their crush as the man of their dreams.

6- 单身狗

Meaning: Someone who’s single.

Pinyin: dān shēn gǒu

Usage in a sentence:
In Chinese: 又是一年光棍节,我还是一只单身狗。
Pinyin: Yòu shì yī nián guāng gùn jié, wǒ hái shì yī zhī dān shēn gǒu.
In English: It’s another Single’s Day, and yet I am still a single dog.

Additional notes: Single’s Day in China is a very special holiday for young people who are single. It’s called 光棍节 (guāng gùn jié) in Chinese, and is on November 11 because the numbers of the date (11/11) are four straight ones that look pretty lonely as they’re standing by themselves.

7- 小姐姐

Meaning: Girls who are young and pretty.

Pinyin: xiǎo jiě jiě

Usage in a sentence:
In Chinese: 我刚才在图书馆看到了一个特别漂亮的小姐姐。
Pinyin: Wǒ gāng cái zài tú shū guǎn kàn dào le yī gè tè bié piào liàng de xiǎo jiě jie.
In English: I just saw a super cute girl at the library.

Additional notes: 小姐姐 in Chinese means “little sister.” It’s a longer version of 小姐, which is similar to “Ms.” in English when addressing young ladies.

8- 尬聊

Meaning: To have an embarrassing conversation.

Pinyin: gà liáo

Usage in a sentence:
In Chinese: 刚才有个男生跟我搭讪,然后我们居然尬聊了整整一个小时。
Pinyin: Gāng cái yǒu gè nán shēng gēn wǒ dā shàn, rán hòu wǒ men jū rán gà liáo le zhěng zhěng yī gè xiǎo shí.
In English: There was a guy who was hitting on me just now; I can’t believe we had an embarrassing conversation for a whole hour.

9- 作死

Meaning: To ask for death; used to describe someone who does things without knowing the actual danger of doing them.

Pinyin: zuò sǐ

Usage in a sentence:
In Chinese: 你明知道明天考试今天还去看电影?真是作死啊。
Pinyin: Nǐ míng zhī dào míng tiān kǎo shì jīn tiān hái qù kàn diàn yǐng? Zhēn shì zuò sǐ a.
In English: You clearly knew that there is an exam tomorrow and you still went to see a movie? You are really asking for death.


4. Popular Slang Sentences

1- 也是醉了

Literal translation: “I am so drunk.”

Pinyin: yě shì zuì le

Meaning: Used to express your inability to help something that is very ridiculous.

Usage in a sentence:
In Chinese: 我男朋友竟然拿我那么贵的香水当清洁剂喷,也是醉了。
Pinyin: Wǒ nán péng yǒu jìng rán ná wǒ nà me guì de xiāng shuǐ dāng qīng jié jì pēn, yě shì zuì le.
In English: I can’t believe my boyfriend sprayed my expensive perfume as an air freshener, I am speechless.

2- 感觉不会再爱了

Literal translation: “I don’t think I’m going to love anyone anymore.”

Pinyin: gǎn jiào bú huì zài ài le

Meaning: To feel desperate and hopeless when something bad happens.

Usage in a sentence:
In Chinese: 等我好不容易攒够钱,我一直想买的衣服居然没货了,感觉不会再爱了。
Pinyin: Děng wǒ hǎo bú róng yì zǎn gòu qián, wǒ yī zhí xiǎng mǎi de yī fú jū rán méi huò le, gǎn jué bú huì zài ài le.
In English: I finally have enough money now, but the clothes I have been wanting to buy are out of stock now, I feel hopeless.

3- 你这是要上天啊

Literal translation: “It seems like you are flying to the sky.”

Pinyin: nǐ zhè shì yào shàng tiān ā

Meaning: Used to describe someone doing something that’s considered crazy and insane.

Usage in a sentence:
In Chinese: 你确定要在期末考试前旅行?你这是要上天啊。
Pinyin: Nǐ què dìng yào zài qī mò kǎo shì qián lǚ xíng? Nǐ zhè shì yào shàng tiān a.
In English: Are you sure you want to travel right before final exams? You’re crazy.

4- 友谊的小船说翻就翻

Literal translation: “The boat of our friendship can be overthrown anytime.”

Pinyin: yǒu yì de xiǎo chuán shuō fān jiù fān

Meaning: Used to make fun of your friends when they do something that makes you feel like he/she isn’t cherishing your friendship.

Usage in a sentence:
In Chinese: 没想到你竟然为了男朋友爽我约,友谊的小船说翻就翻啊。
Pinyin: Méi xiǎng dào nǐ jìng rán wèi le nán péng yǒu shuǎng wǒ yuē, yǒu yì de xiǎo chuán shuō fān jiù fān a.
In English: I can’t believe you are standing me up for your boyfriend, our friendship is so weak.

Additional notes: This slang is for nothing serious, and is usually used between friends who want to make fun of each other. In Chinese culture, people enjoy using irony and sarcasm with their close friends; this is a large aspect of their humor.

5- 惊不惊喜?意不意外?

Literal translation: “Are you surprised? Is it out of your expectation?”

Pinyin: jīng bú jīng xǐ, yì bú yì wài

Meaning: Used to show irony for some surprising news.

Usage in a sentence:
In Chinese: 你看没看今天微博热搜?听说你喜欢的明星公布恋情了!惊不惊喜?意不意外?
Pinyin: Nǐ kàn méi kàn jīn tiān wēi bó rè sōu? Tīng shuō nǐ xǐ huān de míng xīng gōng bù liàn qíng le! Jīng bù jīng xǐ? Yì bú yì wài?
In English: Have you checked out the trend today on Weibo yet? I heard that the celebrity you like has announced that he is having a relationship! Are you surprised? Is it out of your expectation?

6- 整个人都不好了

Literal translation: “I don’t feel good for my whole being.”

Pinyin: zhěng gè rén dōu bù hǎo le

Meaning: Used when you feel upset about something and are on the verge of collapsing.

Usage in a sentence:
In Chinese: 知道我的期末考试成绩之后,我整个人都不好了。
Pinyin: Zhī dào wǒ de qī mò kǎo shì chéng jì zhī hòu, wǒ zhěng gè rén dōu bú hǎo le.
In English: After I got the grades for my final exams, I don’t feel good.


Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed our Chinese slang list. Did these fun Chinese Internet slangs enrich your knowledge of Chinese? Let us know which of these slang terms is your favorite!

It’s time to take yourself to a notch higher in your Chinese skills by visiting ChineseClass101.com, which offers numerous entertaining lessons and articles, all to improve all aspects of your Chinese. Here, you can enjoy more professional and interesting Chinese phrases, as well as Chinese culture, with videos and blog articles. Why not give it a try and see how the adventure goes for you?

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Chinese Words with no English Equivalent

Have you ever had an expression in your language that you couldn’t find an accurate translation for in another language? Don’t worry, as this is common for every language learner. The art of a language is way beyond words, as it’s also based on the culture and history of a country.

Each well-developed language has its own essence that cannot be fully integrated into another language. Chinese is no exception. There are many Chinese words with no English equivalent, words you may never know exist though they’re spoken daily in China.

There are many Chinese words with no English equivalent waiting for you to explore! If you want to sound like a native, be sure to grasp these words and try to integrate these untranslatable Chinese words into your daily conversation! Knowing how to use these Chinese words with no translation will surely give you an advantage when communicating in Chinese!

Table of Contents

  1. 热闹 (rè nao)
  2. 撒娇 (sā jiāo)
  3. 加油 (jiā yóu)
  4. 缘分 (yuán ​fèn)
  5. 冤枉 (yuān wǎng)
  6. 孝顺 (xiào​ shùn)
  7. 辛苦 (xīn kǔ)
  8. 见外 (jiàn wài)
  9. 失恋 (shī liàn)
  10. 追… (zhuī)
  11. 下台阶 (xià táijiē)
  12. Conclusion

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1. 热闹 (rè nao)

Look at how full of people this place is! This exactly describes the word we’re going to introduce.

Crowd Carrying Flags

  • Literal translation: Bustling
  • Meaning: Fun and lively
  • Example situation: If there’s a place that has a lot of people, a lively vibe, and you like it, that place is 热闹 (rè nao).
  • Usage in a sentence:
    In Chinese: 这条街真是热闹,人山人海的。
    Pinyin: Zhè tiáo jiē zhēn shì rè nào, rén shān rén hǎi de.
    In English: This street is so fun and lively, it’s full of people.
  • Additional notes: 热闹 is a very common descriptive word for an atmosphere that makes people feel fun and lively due to the large amount of people involved, and often gives people an urge to get involved in the atmosphere with others.

A fun fact is that the word 人山人海 is a form of a Chinese idiom called 成语 (chéng yǔ). Here, its literal translation is “people mountain people ocean,” which means “people are like mountain and ocean,” which utilizes exaggeration to make the image more vivid and accurate. You’ll learn a lot more 成语 like this along the way as you climb the ladder higher and higher in studying Chinese.


2. 撒娇 (sā jiāo)

Has your girlfriend ever acted cute in a childish way? This is the right word for that moment!

Woman Wrapping Arms Around Man from Behind

  • Literal translation: Showcase cuteness
  • Meaning: Act like a spoiled child
  • Example situation: If your girlfriend is doing something adorable and childish to get your attention, (for example, being pouty) she is 撒娇 to you.
  • Usage in a sentence:
    In Chinese: 我的女友正撅着嘴用她水汪汪的大眼睛看着我,正在冲我撒娇。
    Pinyin: Wǒ de nǚ yǒu zhèng juē zhe zuǐ yòng tā shuǐ wāng wāng de dà yǎn jīng kàn zhe wǒ, zhèng zài chòng wǒ sā jiāo.
    In English: My girlfriend is being pouty and looking at me with her watery eyes, she is acting like a child to me.
  • Additional notes:
    This is a very common word in Chinese that people use to describe the special type of childlike cuteness that’s usually done to get attention, typically used for children, girlfriends, pets, etc.


3. 加油 (jiā yóu)

What should you do when your friend needs to be encouraged? Just give them a thumbs-up and say this to them. It’ll certainly give them some energy!

Man Giving Thumbs-Up Sign

  • Literal translation: Add gas
  • Meaning: Go for it
  • Example situation: If your friend needs to be encouraged before giving her presentation, you
    can say 加油 to her.
  • Usage in a sentence:
    In Chinese: 待会的比赛加油哦,我支持你。
    Pinyin: Dài huì de bǐ sài jiā yóu o, wǒ zhī chí nǐ.
    In English: Just go for the competition later, you have my full support.


4. 缘分 (yuán ​fèn)

  • Literal translation: Fate
  • Meaning: Somehow, a force drives things or people together in a desired and meaningful way
  • Example situation: If your teacher from elementary school happens to become your mother-in-law in the future, there is a 缘分 between you guys.
  • Usage in a sentence:
    In Chinese: 没想到这么多年之后我又遇见你了,咱们真是有缘分。
    Pinyin: Méi xiǎng dào zhè me duō nián zhī hòu wǒ yòu yù jiàn nǐ le, zán men zhēn shì yǒu yuán fèn.
    In English: I can’t believe I met you again after all those years, this is such a fate between us.


5. 冤枉 (yuān wǎng)

Have you ever felt extremely upset like the man in this photo because of being wrongly accused of something? Don’t worry, as the word we’re about to show you can help you point out your sorrowful feelings in a moment like this!

Man in Cell Expressing Deep Sorrow

  • Literal translation: To wrongly accuse
  • Meaning: Unjustly judged
  • Example situation: If you accused your little brother of eating your snacks because they’re gone, and later found out you put them somewhere else, you 冤枉 your brother.
  • Usage in a sentence:
    In Chinese: 你冤枉他了,他没有拿你的橡皮,是我刚才临时借用了你的橡皮。
    Pinyin: Nǐ yuān wǎng tā le, tā méi yǒu ná nǐ de xiàng pí, shì wǒ gāng cái lín shí jiè yòng le nǐ de xiàng pí.
    In English: You unjustly judged him, he didn’t take your eraser, it was me who just borrowed it.


6. 孝顺 (xiào​ shùn)

Look at how close this family is, and guess what the key is for such a great relationship between Chinese parents and children. You’ll see soon.

Chinese Parents with their Children

  • Literal translation: Filial
  • Meaning: Obedient, respectful, loyal, and responsible to their parents and elder families
  • Example situation: If a person listens to his parents about everything and spends as much time with them as he can, he is very 孝顺.
  • Usage in a sentence:
    In Chinese: 他为了陪在自己父母身边放弃了留学的机会,真是个孝顺的儿子。
    Pinyin: Tā wéi le péi zài zì jǐ fù mǔ shēn biān fàng qì le liú xué de jī huì, zhēn shì gè xiào shùn de ér zǐ.
    In English: In order to stay by his parents’ side, he gave up on the opportunity to study abroad, he is such a responsible and great son.
  • Additional notes: 孝顺 is a trait that Chinese attach great value to. China is a country that holds the bond between children and parents very dearly from tradition.


7. 辛苦 (xīn kǔ)

  • Literal meaning: Laborious
  • Meaning: To have worked hard or done a lot for something
  • Example situation: If your friend has spent a long time proofreading your essay for you, you should tell them that you are so 辛苦 and show your gratitude.
  • Usage in a sentence:
    In Chinese: 这么远赶过来给我过生日,真是辛苦你了。
    Pinyin: Zhè me yuǎn gǎn guò lái gěi wǒ guò shēng rì, zhēn shì xīn kǔ nǐ le.
    In English: You have come so far to celebrate my birthday with me, thank you for your effort.


8. 见外 (jiàn wài)

When your friends are being too polite and refuse your courtesy like this, they are being 见外.

Two Women Walking Together in the Snow

  • Literal translation: To look outside
  • Meaning: Being too polite just like an outsider would be
  • Example situation: If your best friend keeps saying “thank you” and wants to treat you with something big for a small favor you did for them, they are being 见外.
  • Usage in a sentence:
    In Chinese: 咱们这么好的朋友,不用跟我见外。
    Pinyin: Zán men zhè me hǎo de péng yǒu, bú yòng gēn wǒ jiàn wài.
    In English: We are such close friends, don’t be so polite to me like you’re a stranger.
  • Additional notes: Although Chinese people attach great importance to manners, they usually don’t say “thank you” to their very close friends or family for small favors, because doing so is viewed as 见外.


9. 失恋 (shī liàn)

Do you know what’s likely to happen when a relationship seems to be broken like this? Well, they might both 失恋 soon!

A Man Behind the Woman

  • Literal translation: To lose love
  • Meaning: Just broke up and felt disappointed in love
  • Example situation: If your friend just got dumped and felt heartbroken, he just 失恋.
  • Usage in a sentence:
    In Chinese: 他最近心情一直很低落,因为他失恋了。
    Pinyin: Tā zuì jìn xīn qíng yī zhí hěn dī luò, yīn wéi tā shī liàn le.
    In English: He has been very frustrated lately, because he just broke up.


10. 追… (zhuī)

  • Literal translation: To chase after someone
  • Meaning: The progress toward winning someone’s heart by a series of actions
  • Example situation: If a guy is giving flowers to a girl he likes, he is chasing after that girl.
  • Usage in a sentence:
    In Chinese: 自从他对那个女孩一见钟情之后,就一直在追她。
    Pinyin: Zì cóng tā duì nà gè nǚ hái yī jiàn zhōng qíng zhī hòu, jiù yī zhí zài zhuī tā.
    In English: Ever since he fell in love with the girl at first sight, he has been chasing after her.
  • Additional notes: This is an interesting expression unique to Chinese culture that focuses on the actions of how an individual wins the heart of another individual. That’s why you’ll often hear people ask a couple questions such as: “Who chased after whom?” or “How long did you chase after him/her for?” This may be one of the most beautiful untranslatable Chinese words.


11. 下台阶 (xià táijiē)

  • Literal translation: To go down a step
  • Meaning: To give someone a chance to save face so as not to be embarrassed
  • Example situation: If someone’s embarrassed because of a conversation and you said something to change the topic, the person is able to 下台阶.
  • Usage in a sentence:
    In Chinese: 刚才他们聊的话题实在是太让我尴尬了,还好我朋友转移话题我才能下台阶。
    Pinyin: Gāng cái tā men liáo de huà tí shí zài shì tài ràng wǒ gān gà le, hái hǎo wǒ péng yǒu zhuǎn yí huà tí wǒ cái néng xià tái jiē.
    In English: What they were talking about made me extremely awkward, thanks to my friend who changed the subject I was able to be saved from the embarrassment.
  • Additional notes: If you’re familiar with Chinese culture, you’ll know that there’s another popular term called 脸面 (liǎn miàn) meaning face, which indicates one’s need to maintain honor for their public image, so 下台阶 can be seen as a course of action to save someone’s face.


12. Conclusion

Now do you have a deeper understanding of the Chinese language by learning all these interesting and unique Chinese untranslatable words? By integrating these words into your daily conversations, you’ll be able to get a better glimpse at how Chinese culture works.

Still feel desperate to learn more? Continue your journey in studying professional Chinese today at ChineseClass101.com. Here we offer a great source of Chinese lessons that’s both fun and entertaining! From blog posts, to helpful vocabulary lists, and online forums, there’s something here just for you!

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Mao Zedong & The Communist Party of China: CPC Founding Day

With two important festivals celebrated on the same day, no wonder this day bustles with colored flags fluttering and is full of excitement! What are the activities involved in this celebration, and who was Mao Zedong?

Let’s take a look at these two festivals to help you better understand the Chinese culture as a whole. After all, sound cultural knowledge is one of the most important steps in mastering a language. And at ChineseClass101.com, we hope to make this learning journey both fun and informative!

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1. What are CPC Founding Day & Hong Kong’s Return Anniversary?

July 1 is the anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China.

In July, 1921, communist organizations from different areas of China sent their representatives to Shanghai to hold the First Congress of the Chinese Communist Party and declared the establishment of the CCP. Mao Zedong, the founder of Communist Party of China, suggested setting July 1 as the anniversary of the CCP’s “birthday,” which is usually called the “Party’s Birthday.”

Also, July 1 is the anniversary of the Return of Hong Kong, commonly known as the “Ninety Seven Return,” (or “the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong,” or “Hong Kong handover“), and mainland China refers to this day as Hong Kong returning to its motherland.

These all refer to the historical event when the United Kingdom handed the sovereignty of Hong Kong back to the People’s Republic of China. This Hong Kong return to China is one of the most significant aspects of China’s history.

What was the Cultural Revolution in China?

The Cultural Revolution in China largely had to do with promoting Maoism and finding ways to preserve Chinese communism. So, when was the Cultural Revolution in China?

Beginning in 1966, the end of the Cultural Revolution in China was in 1976. In 1976, Deng Xiaoping worked with reformers to undue much of the Maoist policies within the Party.

2. CPC Founding Day & Hong Kong Return Anniversary Date

Man Speaking in Front of People

Each year, the Chinese observe CPC Founding Day and Anniversary of the Return of Hong Kong on July 1.

3. Reading Practice: How is CPC Day Celebrated?

How does China celebrate these two events? Read the Simplified Chinese text below to find out, and find the English translation directly below it.

这一节日虽然政治气氛浓厚,由于举国上下共同庆祝的气氛的烘托,也成为中国节日文化的一部分。这一天,电视台会播放大型庆祝晚会。也会有许多回顾建党历史的纪录片、电视剧等影视作品接连上映,带领人们重温历史,展望未来。

“一国两制”是一个在中国的电视新闻上出现频率颇高的词汇,即”一个国家,两种制度”。意思是在一个中国的前提下,香港、澳门作为特别行政区保持原有的制度和生活方式长期不变。”一国两制”是前中国领导人邓小平为了实现中国统一的目标而创造、提出的方针。

Although July 1 originated from political events, the celebrations across the whole country have made it part of China’s holiday culture. On July 1, a celebratory evening party is broadcast on TV. Documentaries, films, and TV series regarding the CCP will also be on show to tell people about the past and to draw pictures of the future.

Yi Guo Liang Zhi is a phrase that frequently appears in TV news, and it means “one country, two political systems.” Hong Kong and Macao are special administrative regions where their established system can be retained under a high degree of autonomy for a certain period. It is a principle originally proposed by China’s former leader Deng Xiaoping for the unification of China.

4. How Long is the Holiday?

Flowers and Wreaths on Graves

How long is the holiday for these two events?

Despite being of great significance, July 1 is not a public holiday with days off. CCP members even need to attend meetings on July 1 and report their ideological work.

5. Useful Vocabulary for these Two Chinese Holidays

Communist Flag

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for CPC Founding Day in China!

  • 政党 (zhèngdǎng) — political party
  • 毛泽东 (Máo Zédōng) — Mao Zedong
  • 邓小平 (Dèng Xiǎopíng) — Deng Xiaoping
  • 文化大革命 (Wénhuà Dà Gémìng) — Cultural Revolution
  • 纪念 (jìniàn) — commemoration
  • 共产主义 (gòngchǎn zhǔyì) — communism
  • 共产党 (Gòngchǎn Dǎng) — Communist Party of China
  • 马列主义 (Mǎ Liè Zhǔyì) — Marxism-Leninism
  • 社会主义 (Shèhuì Zhǔyì) — Socialism
  • 解放 (jiěfàng) — liberate
  • 建党节 (jiàndǎng jié) — CPC Founding Day

To hear each vocabulary word pronounced, check out our CPC Founding Day vocabulary list.

Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed learning about CPC Founding Day and the Anniversary of the Return of Hong Kong with us! Did you learn anything new? Let us know in the comments!

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Know that your hard work will soon reap benefits, and you’ll be speaking, reading, and writing Chinese like a native before you know it!

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

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

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

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

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

Table of Contents

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

Log


1. Introducing Basic Information and Identifying Yourself

1- Name

Formal:

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

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

Less formal:

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

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

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

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

Informal:

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

2- Nationality and Hometown

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

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

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

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

3- Age

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

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

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

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

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

4- Where you Live

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

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


2. Placing Yourself in Society

1- Major and Profession

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

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

2- Where you Work or Study

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

3- Information about Family

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

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


3. Personal Details

1- Describe Your Personality with a Few Words

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

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

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

2- Hobbies

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

Formal

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

Informal

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

3- Pets

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

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

4- Future Plan

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

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

5- How Long You’ve been Studying Chinese

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

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


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

1- Business Occasions

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

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

2- Introduce Yourself to Everyone in a New Working Place

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

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


5. Additional Tips for Introducing Yourself in China

1- Stay Humble

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


6. Bonus Questions

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

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


7. Conclusion

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

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How to Celebrate the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival

One of China’s most popular holidays around the world is the Dragon Boat Festival. The Dragon Boat Festival seeks to commemorate the suicide of Qu Yuan, a heroic poet. While a bit dark, the Dragon Boat Festival history is a unique facet of Chinese culture as a whole.

At ChineseClass101.com, we hope to make learning Chinese both fun and informative, especially when it comes to the culture and the history behind it. Any successful language learner can tell you that this is a vital step in mastering a language.

That said, we hope you enjoy learning about the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival with us!

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1. What is the Dragon Boat Festival?

The Dragon Boat Festival is a Chinese traditional festival to commemorate a hero named Qu Yuan.

Qu Yuan was a politician and poet who lived two thousand years ago. He had been a court official in the State of Chu. He was very loyal, but the King believed the words of the treacherous instead and exiled him. Feeling humiliated, he jumped into a river on May 5 to end his life. It is said that people missed him greatly after his death. They began boating on the same river and this activity gradually evolved into Dragon Boat racing.

2. When is Dragon Boat Festival?

A Dragon Boat

So, when is the Dragon Boat Festival?

Each year, China celebrates the Dragon Boat Festival on the fifth day of the fifth month of the lunar calendar. For your convenience, here’s a list of this holiday’s date on the Gregorian calendar for the next ten years.

  • 2019: June 7
  • 2020: June 25
  • 2021: June 14
  • 2022: June 3
  • 2023: June 22
  • 2024: June 10
  • 2025: May 31
  • 2026: June 19
  • 2027: June 9
  • 2028: May 28

3. Reading Practice: Chinese Dragon Boat Festival Traditions

How do the Chinese celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival? Read the Simplified Chinese below to learn about Chinese Dragon Boat Festival traditions (including Dragon Boat Festival food!), and find the English translation directly below it.

说到赛龙舟,这是一项非常受欢迎的传统竞技。龙舟就是小船,赛龙舟就是划船比赛。比赛的时候,每个穿上安排25名船员,由其中一人指挥,2人敲鼓,其他人齐心协力,力争最快划到终点。赛龙舟最吸引人的是它热闹的气氛,龙舟上鼓声震天,喊声不绝;两岸围观的观众也络绎不绝。

而在端午节一定要吃的食物当然是粽子了。传说屈原跳江后,人们不忍心他的躯体被江河里的鱼虾吃掉,便做了很多带馅儿的团子撒到水里喂鱼——这就是粽子的由来。那么粽子是什么样的呢?最里面是枣、豆沙等做成的馅儿,由浸泡好的糯米包裹,最外面再包上粽子叶。煮好以后剥掉粽子叶,蘸白糖吃。

古时候人们认为端午节这天在家门口悬挂艾叶能避邪气。现代科学发现,艾叶的确能起到杀菌消毒、预防瘟疫流行的作用。

The dragon boat race is a very popular tradition. Dragon boats are small boats, and the dragon boat race is a boating race. There are twenty-five members on each boat: one in command, two playing the drums, and the rest making rigorous efforts to be the fastest to reach the finish line. What attracts people most is the atmosphere of the race. On the dragon boat, the drums sound like thunder, and the crew members’ shouts are never-ending. On both sides of the river bank is an endless stream of spectators.

During the Dragon Boat Festival, you must not miss out on eating rice dumplings. Legend says that after Qu Yuan jumped into the river, people didn’t want his body to be eaten by river fish; they made many dumplings with fillings and threw them into the river to feed the fish. This is the origin of the rice dumpling. So, what does a rice dumpling look like? Fillings such as jujube, red bean paste, or others are put inside soaked glutinous rice, and the rice is wrapped in bamboo leaves. After boiling, you can peel off the leaves and dip the rice dumplings in sugar to eat them.

In ancient times, people believed that hanging wormwood leaves on the door of their home could keep evil away. Modern science has found that wormwood leaves can sterilize and prevent plague infection.

4. How Traditions Relate to Qu Yuan

Sweet Rice Dumplings

Which customs in the Dragon Boat Festival (China) commemorate Qu Yuan?

The Dragon Boat Festival itself is a festival to commemorate Qu Yuan. The customs related to Qu Yuan include the dragon boat race and eating rice dumplings.

5. Useful Vocabulary for the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival

Playing on Gongs and Drums

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival!

  • 端午节 (Duānwǔ Jié) — Dragon Boat Festival
  • 屈原 (Qū Yuán) — Qu Yuan
  • 龙舟赛 (lóngzhōu sài) — dragon boat race
  • 龙舟 (lóngzhōu) — dragon boat
  • 糯米 (nuòmǐ) — glutinous rice
  • 锣鼓 (luó gǔ) — gongs and drums
  • 雄黄酒 (xiónghuáng jiǔ) — realgar wine
  • 粽 (zòng) — rice dumpling stuffed with meat
  • 划龙舟 (huá lóngzhōu) — row a dragon boat
  • 甜粽 (tiánzòng) — sweet rice dumpling

To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, check out our Chinese Dragon Boat Festival vocabulary list. Here, each word is accompanied by an audio file of its pronunciation.

Conclusion

What do you think of the Dragon Boat Festival in China? Does your country have a similar holiday or festival? Let us know in the comments!

To learn more about the culture in China and the Chinese language, visit us at ChineseClass101.com! It’s our aim to make learning Chinese both fun and informative, and to ensure that every learner can master the language. We offer an array of useful learning tools, from insightful blog posts like this one to free Chinese vocabulary lists. You can also discuss lessons with fellow Chinese learners on our community forum, and upgrade to Premium Plus to take advantage of our MyTeacher program!

We hope you took away something valuable from this lesson, and that you feel more knowledgeable about this facet of Chinese culture. Know that your hard work will pay off, and you’ll be speaking Chinese like a native before you know it!

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Best Chinese Movies for Learning Chinese

Movies are one of the most popular and easy-to-get forms of entertainment in our society. Everyone, at some point or another, just craves to sit down and watch their favorite type of movie, and to immerse themselves in the movie-world.

There’s a great variety of Chinese movies. For example, there are Chinese war movies, martial arts movies (which are mostly kung-fu movies), Chinese cooking movies, and the list goes on. If you enjoy watching movies and wish to learn some daily-spoken Chinese language, this way of learning will definitely be an adventure for you!

All the movies listed here offer a glimpse into the very unique Chinese culture. They’re the very best Chinese movies for you as a language learner! By watching them, you’ll improve both your listening and speaking ability immensely. It may even further intrigue your passion for Chinese! We hope you’re able to get some helpful info on learning Chinese from movies on our Chinese movies blog. Here are some tips to improve your pronunciation while watching movies in Chinese.

Ways to improve pronunciation

Table of Contents

  1. The Top 12 Chinese Movies for Studying the Language
  2. Websites and Places for Watching Good Chinese Movies
  3. How Can Watching Chinese Movies Become a Great Tool for Learning the Language?

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1. The Top 12 Chinese Movies for Studying the Language

Movie genres

1- You are the Apple of My Eye

  • Chinese Title: 那些年,我们一起追的女孩
  • Pinyin: nà xiē nián ,wǒ men yī qǐ zhuī de nǚ hái
  • English Title: You are the Apple of My Eye

Apple of my eye poster

This movie was released in 2011 and aroused memories of many people’s innocent youth. It’s one of the best Chinese romantic movies for students or for people who want to be nostalgic for their past school romances. It contains many easy-to-understand daily speaking Chinese words and phrases, especially for teenagers. The story includes all the innocence, beauty, struggles, romance, and growth that take place during one’s youth. Remember to prepare some tissues when you watch it!

  • Chinese quote: 青春是一场大雨,即使感冒了,还盼望回头再淋它一次。
  • Pinyin: Qīng chūn shì yī chǎng dà yǔ, jí shǐ gǎn mào le, hái pàn wàng huí tóu zài lín tā yī cì.
  • English Meaning: Youth is like a rain. Even though you catch a cold from it, you still wish to relive it again.

2- Lost in Thailand

  • Chinese Title: 泰囧
  • Pinyin: tài jiǒng
  • English Title: Lost in Thailand

Lost in thailand poster

This is a Chinese comedy film about an adventure Lang Xu, Bo Gao, and Bao Wang have in Thailand for a competitive business war. Explore their magical trip with them as you watch and learn from the movie! Go ahead and have a good laugh while you’re at it, and learn some funny phrases in Chinese! Maybe you’ll even be able to make classic jokes in Chinese as you progress in your studies.

  • Chinese quote: 你是不是一生下来你妈就把你扇到地上来着!
  • Pinyin: Nǐ shì bú shì yī shēng xià lái nǐ mā jiù bǎ nǐ shān dào dì shàng lái zhe!
  • English Meaning: Your mother slapped you to the ground once you were born! Is that right!

3- Love is not Blind

  • Chinese Title: 失恋33天
  • Pinyin: shī liàn sān shí sān tiān
  • English Title: Love is not Blind

Love

This movie is one of the best Chinese movies for people who long for some comfort from a breakup, and it will teach you a great lesson. Particularly, you can watch this movie for learning standardized Mandarin. The story talks about a girl’s thirty-three-day journey from the loss of love to being herself again, in a humorous way. It was known as the first “healing” love movie customized for the Singles Day (11/11) in mainland China.

  • Chinese quote: 每个人的故事,就像别人的小说或电影,只要事不关己,永远遥不可及。
  • Pinyin: Měi gè rén de gù shì, dōu xiàng bié rén de xiǎo shuō huò diàn yǐng, zhī yào shì bù guān jǐ, yǒng yuǎn yáo bù kě jí.
  • English Meaning: Everyone’s story is like someone else’s story or movie. As long as it’s not your business, it will always feel faraway.

4- Let the Bullets Fly

  • Chinese Title: 让子弹飞
  • Pinyin: ràng zǐ dàn fēi
  • English Title: Let the Bullets Fly

Let the bullets fly poster

This is one of the best Chinese action movies. It talks about the story of a man’s great transformation from a purposeless robber to the responsible governor of Goose City. Soon, an aggressive battle is on with the bully Silang Huang who guards the Goose City. The legend of the hero is always passed down, and at the end of the story, Mazi Zhang finally realizes what he needs to pursue.

  • Chinese quote: 如果你活着,早晚都会死;如果你死了,你就永远活着。
  • Pinyin: Rú guǒ nǐ huó zhe, zǎo wǎn dōu huì sǐ; rú guǒ nǐ sǐ le, nǐ jiù yǒng yuǎn huó zhe.
  • English Meaning: If you are alive, you will die sooner or later; if you die, then you will be living forever.

5- Youth

  • Chinese Title: 芳华
  • Pinyin: fāng huá
  • English Title: Youth

Bloom of youth poster

This is a modern Chinese historical movie about the lives of the army’s young new recruits during the 1970s. It was a great transformation period for China, and the youth of that generation is worth being recorded.

  • Chinese quote: 一个始终不被人善待的人, 最能识得善良, 也最能珍视善良。
  • Pinyin: Yī gè shǐ zhōng bú bèi rén shàn dài de rén, zuì néng shí dé shàn liáng, yě zuì néng zhēn shì shàn liáng.
  • English Meaning: A person who was never treated kindly, is the most capable of recognizing kindness and as well as cherishing it.

6- Ip Man

  • Chinese Title: 叶问
  • Pinyin: yè wèn
  • English Title: Ip Man

Ip man poster

This one is a great hero Chinese movie about a famous Chinese martial artist called Ip Man, who is also the mentor of Bruce Lee. Throughout the movie, Chinese patriotism is passionately present.

  • Chinese quote: 每个人走的路都是自己选的。
  • Pinyin: Měi gè rén zǒu de lù dōu shì zì jǐ xuǎn de.
  • English Meaning: Everyone is the decider for the journey of their life.

7- Rob-B-Hood

  • Chinese Title: 宝贝计划
  • Pinyin: bǎo bèi jì huà
  • English Title: Rob-B-Hood

Rob-b-hood poster

This movie is a Chinese action comedy film that stars the famous actor Jackie Chan. It tells the story of the journey of two men who, after stealing an infant, start to have a unique and humorous experience.

  • Chinese quote: 人本来就是很复杂的,三岁定八十,你给他吃什么,教他什么都是不可以马虎的。
  • Pinyin:
  • Rén běn lái jiù shì hěn fù zá de, sān suì dìng bā shí, nǐ gěi tā chī shén me, jiāo tā shén me dōu shì bù kě yǐ mǎ hu de.
  • English Meaning: Humans are complicated. How one is going to be at the age of eighty depends on the age of three. You need to pay attention to what you feed and teach him.

8- Go Away Mr.Tumor

  • Chinese Title: 滚蛋吧,肿瘤君!
  • Pinyin: gǔn dàn ba ,zhǒng liú jūn
  • English Title: Go Away Mr.Tumor!

Go away mr. tumor poster

Whilst battling against a malignant tumor, a woman writes a story that inspires millions of people worldwide. This story makes you reflect upon life and death, and sheds some light on the saying “living in the moment.” A great movie to start for a beginner for learning Chinese.

  • Chinese quote: 人不能因为害怕失去,就不去拥有。死,只是一个结果,怎么活着才是最重要的。
  • Pinyin: Rén bù néng yīn wèi hài pà shī qù, jiù bú qù yōng yǒu. Sǐ, zhǐ shì yī gè jié guǒ, zěn me huó zhe cái shì zuì zhòng yào de.
  • English Meaning: You cannot refuse to embrace things just because you are afraid of losing them. Death is just a result, and the ways of living is the most important thing.

9- My Memories of Old Beijing

  • Chinese Title: 城南旧事
  • Pinyin: chéng nán jiù shì
  • English Title: My Memories of Old Beijing

This classic old movie is originally from an autobiographical novel by Lin Haiyin, which has become one of the best Chinese movies of all time. The story was told from the perspective of a little girl, Yingzi, who had a memorable childhood in Beijing.

  • Chinese quote: 无论什么困难的事,只要硬着头皮去做,就闯过去了。
  • Pinyin: Wú lùn shén me kùn nán de shì, zhǐ yào yìng zhe tóu pí qù zuò, jiù chuǎng guò qù le.
  • English Meaning: No matter how difficult it is, as long as you just go ahead and do it, you will always overcome the difficulty.

10- So Young

  • Chinese Title: 致我们终将逝去的青春
  • Pinyin: zhì wǒ men zhōng jiāng shì qù de qīng chūn
  • English Title: So Young

So Young poster

This story is about the bittersweet youth of a girl who discovers university life and learns many lessons from it. Later, she also faces the challenges of being in a society full of pressure. This movie is a mirror of reality. Many characters in the movie become the kind of people they used to dislike. We can gain much more than love from this film; we can also gain much wisdom about the journey of growth.

  • Chinese quote: 再好的过去,回忆的次数多了味道也就淡了。
  • Pinyin: Zài hǎo de guò qù, huí yì de cì shù duō le wèi dào yě jiù dàn le.
  • English Meaning: No matter how wonderful the memories were, if you recollect and reminisce too many times, the good in it will eventually go away.

11- Once Upon a Time

  • Chinese Title: 三生三世十里桃花
  • Pinyin: sān shēng sān shì shí lǐ táo huā
  • English Title: Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time poster

This movie, released in 2017, has another beautiful name: Eternal Love. It’s a bittersweet love tragedy featuring Bai Qian, a goddess and monarch from Heavenly Realms, who is sent to the mortal world to undergo a trial to become a High Goddess. She meets Ye Hua there and falls in love with him. This fairy tale will show you the regrets and struggles that come with love and will also introduce a glimpse of Chinese culture regarding the Heavenly Realms.

  • Chinese quote: 我明白得太迟,而你终究不会在原地等我了。
  • Pinyin: Wǒ míng bái dé tài chí, ér nǐ zhōng jiū bú huì zài yuán dì děng wǒ le.
  • English Meaning: It was too late when I realized everything, and now you are not there waiting for me anymore.

12- The Mermaid

  • Chinese Title: 美人鱼
  • Pinyin: měi rén yú
  • English Title: The Mermaid

The mermaid poster

This film tells the romantic story of the rich man Xuan Liu and the mermaid Shanshan. Xuan Liu’s real estate project threatens Shanshan’s families who live under the sea, and thus Shanshan as a spy was meant to assassinate him in order to save them. Surprisingly, they fall in love. This beautiful fairy tale is starred by the famous actor Stephen Chow and was released in 2016.

Chinese quote: “假如你的生命只剩下一分钟的话你会做些什么?” “看着你。”
Pinyin: “Jiǎ rú nǐ de shēng mìng zhǐ shèng xià yī fēn zhōng de huà nǐ huì zuò xiē shén me?” “Kàn zhe nǐ.”
English Meaning: “What would you do if there is only one minute left in your life?” “Looking at you.”


2. Websites and Places for Watching Good Chinese Movies

Netflix:

There’s a variety of classic Chinese movies on Netflix. Although they might not be the newest ones, many of them are still very entertaining and are a great fit for learning Chinese culture and language. You can find one of the classics we just mentioned here: Ip Man!

YouTube Chinese movie:

YouTube usually has the newest Chinese movies and shows, and most of the movies we mentioned in this article can be found there! A great thing about newly made Chinese movies is that they’re often made with both Chinese and English subtitles. Just research the movie title on YouTube and enjoy!

Chinese Movie Theaters in China:

If you plan to visit China, don’t forget to take a glance at some of the best Chinese movie theaters: Wanda International Cinemas and China Film Stellar Theater Chain. Hope you have a fantastic experience there!


3. How Can Watching Chinese Movies Become a Great Tool for Learning the Language?

By watching movies, you can practice both your listening and speaking skills in the language. As you look at the subtitles, your vocabulary knowledge will boost dramatically as well! They’re not as dull as most language textbooks. Instead, they teach you the most close-to-life Chinese!

ChineseClass101.com will definitely help you learn Chinese more efficiently, providing you with a great source of information on the Chinese language. You can also research some new vocabularies and questions you may have from watching the movies! Soon you’ll be able to watch Chinese movies with absolute confidence in understanding them!

Start with a bonus, and download the Must-Know Beginner Vocabulary PDF for FREE! (Logged-In Member Only)

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Binge on the Best Chinese TV Shows to Learn Chinese

Who doesn’t love having fun while studying? Now’s the time for Chinese language learners to throw away the textbook for a while and join us in this fun journey! Watching Chinese TV shows properly will not only help you examine the native culture and society in an interesting context, but also help you unconsciously remember more vocabularies and phrases with less effort than if you were plainly trying to memorize them.

As long as you integrate these tips and follow the instructions introduced in this article, you’ll definitely find your way out along with these great Chinese TV shows. Get ready to improve your Chinese skills dramatically and let us guide you through the most popular Chinese TV shows.

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Table of Contents

  1. Watch the Shows in the Right Way
  2. Sites Where You Can Watch Popular Chinese Shows
  3. Ten Classic Must-watch Chinese Shows
  4. Conclusion

1. Watch the Shows in the Right Way

If you watch TV shows on a regular daily basis, soon you’ll be able to memorize vocabulary more efficiently by associating them with its context, vivid action, interesting plot, and visual image, which will also help you get a better sense of grammar, accent, and native culture.

Unlike academic textbooks, a well-produced TV show brings you to a whole new world and you’ll easily find yourself becoming motivated to keep watching. Eventually, you’ll become immersed in it.

Now, the question is, although watching TV shows helps and is more entertaining, can you rely on watching shows by itself?

Certainly not. If you truly wish to improve your Chinese skills systematically from all aspects, it requires a little dedication. Now, here are some tips to guide you as you utilize TV shows as a tool to study Chinese:

  • Find the right one: A show that can trigger your interest of studying is the key. First find a good TV show that matches your particular interests.
  • Identify which language skill you wish to improve: For example, if you want to increase your storage of vocabulary or grammar usage, you’ll need to pay close attention to the subtitles all the time. On the other hand, if you want to improve your listening skills, then it’ll be best for you not to look at the subtitles too much. (If you’re a beginner, it’s always good to watch Chinese TV shows with English subtitles, though, whether you look at them a lot or not.)

Furthermore, if you wish to practice your Chinese by immersing yourself in the Chinese environment, a show with only Chinese subtitles will be the best fit depending on your level.

Taking notes

  • Stay observant and take notes: When your main purpose is to study the language, don’t pay too much attention to the show itself. You don’t want to forget your “learner” identity. You’ll need to constantly observe by watching, reading, and listening to see if there’s anything you don’t understand that’s worth looking up.

    Stay like a hungry wolf who’s desperate for its food. Always stay alert when something you don’t understand pops up. When it happens, don’t be lazy! Pause it, and take time to take some notes. This will probably be a bit time-consuming, but it’s worth the effort.

    For instance, a forty-minute show may take you an hour to watch in this way. Just remember that it means you’re absorbing and learning!

2. Sites Where You Can Watch Popular Chinese Shows

Due to the restriction for copyright, many shows on Chinese websites only allow users who are located in Mainland China to watch. Fortunately, although you don’t live in Mainland China, you’ll still be able to find the most popular Chinese shows with the most recent updates on Youtube and some other channels.

For people who live outside of Mainland China, you can find popular Chinese TV shows on:

  • YouTube: This is the best channel for people who aren’t located in Mainland China to find the most recent updates without any charge. You can usually find them with both Chinese and English subtitles.
  • Netflix: This includes a variety of classic Chinese shows, though you’ll need a subscription.
  • ViKi: This streams free online and provides many recently popular Chinese shows with both Chinese and English subtitles.
  • AsianCrush: This is where you can enjoy all kinds of Asian shows.

For people who live in Mainland China, here are five Chinese websites that are exclusive to those who are located in Mainland China. If you’re not fluent in Chinese, no worries; just use Google to translate everything.

The best thing about them is that you can find almost every single category of Chinese shows on them, whether it’s a niche market or a popular one, a classic or a recent release. Just enjoy it all. With these sites you can find great Chinese TV shows to watch online:

3. Ten Classic Must-watch Chinese Shows

Here’s our list of popular Chinese TV shows and other recent shows. A lot of these are drama Chinese TV shows, so watching these is a great way to catch up on the latest Chinese dramas. That said, here’s our Chinese TV shows to watch online.

1- Chinese Paladin - 仙剑奇侠传 (xiān jiàn qí xiá zuàn)

Chinese Paladin, based on the popular role-playing game The Legend of Sword and Fairy, was released in 2005 and introduces Chinese Xianxia (仙侠) culture, which often involves appearances of gods, immortals, people, demons, and ghosts. There will also be various magic weapons and fairy instruments utilized by the characters.

There are also lots of romantic phrases waiting for you to learn since a great deal of love stories are involved in this series!

Preview of Chinese Paladin

Vocabularies:

  • 理解 (lǐ jiě) — understanding
  • 爱 (ài) — love
  • 心 (xīn) — heart
  • 人 (rén) — person

Classic quotes:

  • In Chinese: 相爱, 不如相知.
    Pinyin: Xiàng ài, bù rú xiàng zhī.
    In English: Falling in love is not as powerful as understanding each other in depth.
  • In Chinese: 她偷走了我的心,却是为了她爱的人。
    Pinyin: Tā tōu zǒu le wǒ de xīn, què shì wéi le tā ài de rén.
    In English: She stole my heart, and yet it is only for the one she loves.

2- Ipartment - 爱情公寓 (ài qíng gōng yù)

A sitcom produced from Mainland China, the i in the English title is a reference to ài (爱), the Chinese term for “love.” This series talks about a group of friends who live in the same apartment and their hilarious, entertaining, and heartwarming daily life, which will teach you a lot about romance and friendship.

If you ever feel that your life is difficult and needs a little bit of laughter to lighten it up, watch this show!

Preview of Chinese TV Show Ipartment

Vocabularies:

  • 以为 (yǐ wéi) — assume
  • 其实 (qí shí) — actually
  • 成功 (chéng gōng) — success
  • 每当 (měi dāng) — every time
  • 钥匙 (yào shí) — key

Classic quotes:

  • In Chinese: 别以为世界抛弃了你, 其实世界压根没空搭理你。
    Pinyin: Bié yǐ wéi shì jiè pāo qì le nǐ, qí shí shì jiè yà gēn méi kōng dā lǐ nǐ.
    In English: Don’t assume the whole world abandoned you, actually this world doesn’t have time to care for you.
  • In Chinese: 每当我找到成功的钥匙,就有人把锁给换了!
    Pinyin: Měi dāng wǒ zhǎo dào chéng gōng de yào shí, jiù yǒu rén bǎ suǒ gěi huàn le!
    In English: Every time I find the key to success, there is someone who would change the lock!

3- With You - 最好的我们 (zuì hǎo de wǒ men)

This is a 2016 Chinese web series based on the novel The Best of Us that shows you how memorable and unforgettable Chinese high school love can be. It’s much different from western culture due to Chinese education system and traditions. Remember to prepare tissues for the ending!

Preview of With You

Vocabularies:

  • 变化(biàn huà) - change
  • 可能(kě néng) - possibility
  • 唯一 (wéi yī) - the only
  • 最好(zuì hǎo) - best

Classic quotes:

  • In Chinese: 世界上唯一不变的就是变化,世界上唯一可能的就是不可能。
    Pinyin: Shì jiè shàng wéi yī bú biàn de jiù shì biàn huà, shì jiè shàng wéi yī kě néng de jiù shì bù kě néng.
    In English: The only invariable is to constantly change in the world, and the only possibility is impossibility.
  • In Chinese: 当时的他是最好的他,后来的我是最好的我。 可是最好的我们之间,隔了一整个青春。
    Pinyin: Dāng shí de tā shì zuì hǎo de tā, hòu lái de wǒ shì zuì hǎo de wǒ. kě shì zuì hǎo de wǒ men zhī jiān, gé le yī zhěng gè qīng chūn.
    In English: He was the best of him at the time, I became the best of me later. But between the best form of us, there was a whole youth that crossed by.

4- Ode to Joy - 欢乐颂 (huān lè sòng)
This story revolves around five women living in an apartment, sharing their daily struggles and experiences as independent modern individuals in an urban city, Shanghai. As those women grow a mutual bond together through laughter and tears, you’ll certainly obtain some worthy lessons of a lifetime.

Ode to Joy, a heartwarming Chinese TV show

Vocabularies:

  • 问题 (wèn tí) — problem
  • 自己 (zì jǐ) — self
  • 除了 (chú le) — except

Classic quotes:

  • In Chinese: 一个人不理你,有可能是对方的问题。 但是如果大家都不理你,就要从自身找问题了。
    Pinyin: Yī gè rén bù lǐ nǐ, yǒu kě néng shì duì fāng de wèn tí. Dàn shì rú guǒ dà jiā dōu bù lǐ nǐ, jiù yào cóng zì shēn zhǎo wèn tí le.
    In English: If someone doesn’t want to talk to you, it might be his problem. But if no one wants to talk to you, then you need to find the problem from yourself.
  • In Chinese: 除了自己,谁都不能和你过一辈子。
    Pinyin: Chú le zì jǐ, shuí dōu bù néng hé nǐ guò yī bèi zǐ.
    In English: Except for yourself, there is no one who can spend a whole life with you forever.

5- Nirvana in Fire - 琅琊榜 (láng yá bǎng)

Nirvana in Fire is a 2015 Chinese historical drama based on Hai Yan’s novel, which introduces a spectacular drama in ancient times that entails numerous complex imperial conflictions. If you’re curious about how the culture in ancient China was, this will be one of the best Chinese shows for learning Chinese you’ll never regret watching!

Nirvana in Fire

Vocabularies:

  • 公平的 (gōng píng de) — fair
  • 朋友 (péng yǒu) — friends
  • 背叛 (bèi pàn) — betray
  • 世间 (shì jiān) — world

Classic quotes:

  • In Chinese: 虽然这世间少有公平,但是我希望你可以永远保持这份赤子之心。
    Pinyin: Suī rán zhè shì jiān shǎo yǒu gōng píng, dàn shì wǒ xī wàng nǐ kě yǐ yǒng yuǎn bǎo chí zhè fèn chì zǐ zhī xīn.
    In English: Although it is hard to be fair in this world, at least I hope you will keep your original pure heart.
  • In Chinese: 人只会被朋友背叛,敌人是永远都没有‘出卖’和‘背叛’的机会的。
    Pinyin: Rén zhī huì bèi péng yǒu bèi pàn, dí rén shì yǒng yuǎn dōu méi yǒu ‘chū mài ’hé ‘bèi pàn ’de jī huì de.
    In English: Only friends can betray humans, your enemy can never have the chance to betray.

6- In Time with You - 我可能不会爱你 (wǒ kě néng bú huì ài nǐ)

This show is a 2011 Taiwanese television series that talks about a lifelong romantic relationship that is originated from friendship. As the main characters grow together and realize their romantic feelings towards each other, you can’t help tearing up. This is a heartfelt story that not only teaches you about love but also how to live life.

Touching Chinese romance - In Time with You

Vocabularies:

  • 失去 (shī qù) — to lose
  • 眼睛 (yǎn jīng) — eyes
  • 女人 (nǚ rén) — women
  • 昂贵 (áng guì) — expensive

Classic quotes:

  • In Chinese: 让女人发光的不一定要是昂贵的钻石,还有为爱流过泪的眼睛。
    Pinyin: Ràng nǚ rén fā guāng de bù yī dìng yào shì áng guì de zuàn shí, hái yǒu wéi ài liú guò lèi de yǎn jīng.
    In English: What makes women shine is not only expensive diamonds, as well as the eyes that you only teared up for love.
  • In Chinese: 如果我不曾拥有,那也就没有什么好失去的了。
    Pinyin: Rú guǒ wǒ bù céng yōng yǒu, nà yě jiù méi yǒu shén me hǎo shī qù de le.
    In English: If I have never owned it, then there is nothing to lose for me.

7- The Vigilantes in Masks - 怪侠一枝梅 (guài xiá yī zhī méi)

Taking Place in the Ming Dynasty, The Vigilantes in Masks is a Chinese TV show that’ll teach you not only the language, but important Chinese cultural information. Released in 2010, it covers fun and adventurous stories with a Robin Hood vibe. Through the lens of Chinese history, you’ll see many fantastic Kung Fu moves and ancient Chinese culture in the old society.

Chinese adventure

Vocabularies:

  • 失望 (shī wàng) — disappointment
  • 希望 (xī wàng) — hope
  • 绝望的 (jué wàng de) — hopeless
  • 支持 (zhī chí) — support

Classic quotes:

  • In Chinese: 绝望就是在你失望的时候给你希望,在你满怀希望的时候让你彻底失望。
    Pinyin: Jué wàng jiù shì zài nǐ shī wàng de shí hòu gěi nǐ xī wàng, zài nǐ mǎn huái xī wàng de shí hòu ràng nǐ chè dǐ shī wàng.
    In English: Being hopeless is to give you hope when you are disappointed, and then to make you disappointed again when you are full of hope.
  • In Chinese: 你做什么我都支持你。
    Pinyin: Nǐ zuò shén me wǒ dōu zhī chí nǐ.
    In English: I will support you no matter what you do.

8- Love O2O - 微微一笑很倾城 (wēi wēi yī xiào hěn qīng chéng)

This show talks about a couple who originally knew each other from a video game and happen to go to the same college. As they overcome numerous obstacles after falling in love through online gaming, they finally are able to enjoy their life together.

Love O2O

Vocabularies:

  • 一见钟情 (yī jiàn zhōng qíng) — fall in love at first sight
  • 如果 (rú guǒ) — if
  • 喜欢 (xǐ huān) — like
  • 瞬间 (shùn jiān) — moment

Classic quotes:

  • In Chinese: 如果我知道有一天会这么爱你,我一定对你一见钟情。
    Pinyin: Rú guǒ wǒ zhī dào yǒu yī tiān huì zhè me ài nǐ, wǒ yī dìng duì nǐ yī jiàn zhōng qíng.
    In English: If only I know someday I will love you this much, I promise to fall in love with you at very first sight.
  • In Chinese: 原来世界上真有这样的事,只要一瞬间,对一个人的喜欢就能到达顶点。
    Pinyin: Yuán lái shì jiè shàng zhēn yǒu zhè yàng de shì, zhī yào yī shùn jiān, duì yī gè rén de xǐ huān jiù néng dào dá dǐng diǎn.
    In English: Such thing like this truly exists, it requires only one moment for you to like someone to the maximum.

9- Fleet of Time - 匆匆那年 (cōng cōng nà nián)

This is a Chinese coming-of-age TV show that provides a glimpse of Chinese high school life along with many struggles between friends, classmates, teachers, and parents. You’ll learn many fashionable phrases that teenagers like to use.

Learn slang with Fleet of Time

Vocabularies:

  • 再见 (zài jiàn) — goodbye
  • 承诺 (chéng nuò) — promise
  • 青春 (qīng chūn) — youth
  • 毕业 (bì yè) — graduation

Classic quotes:

  • In Chinese: 再见,不是一句道别,而是一个承诺。
    Pinyin: Zài jiàn, bú shì yī jù dào bié, ér shì yī gè chéng nuò.
    In English: “Good bye” is not for departure, instead it is a promise.
  • In Chinese: 毕业那天, 你像往常一样跟我道别。多年以后,我才明白:那天与我道别的,是青春
    Pinyin: Bì yè nà tiān, nǐ xiàng wǎng cháng yī yàng gēn wǒ dào bié. Duō nián yǐ hòu, wǒ cái míng bái: nà tiān yǔ wǒ dào bié de, shì qīng chūn.
    In English: You said goodbye as usual on our graduation day. I only started to understand it many years after: it was youth who said goodbye to me.

10- Scarlet Heart - 步步惊心 (bù bù jīng xīn)

This is a 2011 Chinese television series based on a bittersweet love story of a woman who transported to Qing dynasty and had an unforgettable experience while she gets involved with people in the empire.

Experience an emotional journey with Scarlet Heart

Vocabularies:

  • 笑 (xiào) — smile
  • 每天 (měi tiān) — every day
  • 找 (zhǎo) — find
  • 世界 (shì jiè) — world

Classic quotes:

  • In Chinese: 我以后要你每天都如此笑。
    Pinyin: Wǒ yǐ hòu yào nǐ měi tiān dōu rú cǐ xiào.
    In English: I want you to smile like this every single day.
  • In Chinese: 你不来我的世界找我,那我就去你的世界找你。
    Pinyin: Nǐ bù lái wǒ de shì jiè zhǎo wǒ, nà wǒ jiù qù nǐ de shì jiè zhǎo nǐ.
    In English: If you won’t come to my world to find me, then I will go after you in your world.

4. Conclusion

Of course, In order to learn Chinese more efficiently from TV shows, a number of fundamental vocabularies and basic grammar knowledge can be helpful. We provide professional and entertaining lessons and articles here at ChineseClass101.com.

You’ll find the most effective materials to guide you through everything you need to know to become a great Chinese speaker. So what are you waiting for? One click is all it takes to see for yourself!

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