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The Ultimate Guide on How to Tell Time in Chinese

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

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

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

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

1. How to Ask for the Time

You need to always keep track of your own time.

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

Pinyin: Xiàn zài jǐ diǎn le. 

In English: What time is it?

  • In Chinese: 请问你知道现在的时间吗?

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

In English: Do you have the time, please?

  • In Chinese: 请问[会议]是什么时候?

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

In English: What time is the [meeting]?

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

2. The Hours in Chinese

Can you express the time in Chinese precisely?

A Wall Clock

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 现在是16点钟。

Pinyin: Xiàn zài shì shí liù diǎn zhōng.

In English: It’s 4 PM.

Additional Notes: 

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

3. The Minutes in Chinese

Time

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

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 现在是三点十八分。

Pinyin: Xiàn zài shì sān diǎn shí bā fēn. 

In English: It’s 3:18 right now.

4. Hours Divided into Minutes

点半 (diǎn bàn) – half

Structure: 

In Chinese: 现在的时间是[点钟数字] 点 + 分钟

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

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 现在的时间是三点半。

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

In English: It’s half past three now.

一刻 (yī kè) – quarter

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 现在的时间是五点一刻。

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

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

5. General Time References of the Day

Improve Listening

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

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

Usage in a sentence: 

In Chinese: 我喜欢在[下午]的时候吃水果。

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

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

Additional Notes:

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

6. Chinese Time Adverbs

Remember to arrange your time wisely.

Man Looking at His Watch

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

现在 (xiàn zài) – right now

Usage in a sentence: 

In Chinese: 抱歉,我现在很忙,待会给你回电话。

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

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

目前 (mù qián) – currently

Usage in a sentence: 

In Chinese: 我目前正在专心复习考试。

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

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

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

Usage in a sentence: 

In Chinese: 我可以同时出色地完成很多件事。

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

In English: I can multitask very well.

之前 (zhī qián) – before

Usage in a sentence: 

In Chinese: 每次睡觉之前,我都喜欢阅读一会。 

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

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

之后 (zhī hòu) – after

Usage in a sentence: 

In Chinese: 我习惯在吃饭之后喝一杯果汁。

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

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

很快 (hěn kuài) – soon

Usage in a sentence: 

In Chinese: 我很快就可以帮你辅导作业了。

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

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

立刻 (lì kè) – immediately

Usage in a sentence: 

In Chinese: 每次收到短信,我都会立刻回复。

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

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

差不多 (chà bu duō) – almost

Usage in a sentence: 

In Chinese: 我差不多快到了。 

Pinyin: Wǒ chà bu duō kuài dào le. 

In English: I am almost there.

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

Usage in a sentence: 

In Chinese: 他过一会儿就会回来了。

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

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

很久 (hěn jiǔ) – for a long time

Usage in a sentence: 

In Chinese: 我们曾经做了很久的好朋友。

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

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

任何时候 (rèn hé shí hou) – any time

Usage in a sentence: 

In Chinese: 在任何时候,只要你需要我,我就会陪在你身边。 

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

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

尽快 (jìn kuài) – as soon as possible

Usage in a sentence: 

In Chinese: 我尽快把邮件发给你。

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

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

Additional Notes: 

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

7. Common Phrases Regarding Time

It can be tough to catch up with time sometimes!

Woman Looking at Watch

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

  • In Chinese: 赶紧的!  

Pinyin: Gǎn jǐn de! 

In English: Hurry up!

  • In Chinese: 抱歉,我迟到了。

Pinyin: Bào qiàn, wǒ chí dào le.

In English: Sorry that I’m late.

  • In Chinese: 我现在就出发。

Pinyin: Wǒ xiàn zài jiù chū fā. 

In English: I will be going right now.

  • In Chinese: 以防堵车,我打算提前半小时出发。

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

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

  • In Chinese: 请提前到达集合地点。

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

In English: Please arrive early at the meeting place.

  • In Chinese: 请准时到。

Pinyin: Qǐng zhǔn shí dào.

In English: Please be on time.

8. Bonus: Proverbs and Sayings

We should always cherish the time no matter what.

Sign with Time Words on Them

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

  • In Chinese: 时间就是金钱。

Pinyin: Shí jiān jiù shì jīn qián. 

In English: Time is money.

  • In Chinese: 一寸光阴一寸金,寸金难买寸光阴。

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

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

  • In Chinese: 时间会治愈一切。

Pinyin: Shí jiān huì zhì yù yī qiē. 

In English: Time heals all wounds. 

  • In Chinese: 时光飞逝。

Pinyin: Shí guāng fēi shì. 

In English: Time flies.

9. Conclusion

Basic Questions

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

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

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

National Single’s Day in China

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

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

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

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

1. How Did Singles’ Day Start?

Man lying on a sofa

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

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

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

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

Binge-shopping on Singles' Day

2. How Did it Become a Shopping Festival?

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

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

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

3. Singles’ Day Vocabulary

Love phrases

1- Words about Relationships

Single dog – 单身狗 (dān shēn gǒu)

Meaning: Someone who is single and sad

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 我今年还是一只单身狗。

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

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

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

Meaning: Someone who is single and proud

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 我想一直做个单身贵族,无拘无束。

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

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

Single stick – 光棍 (guāng gùn)

Usage in a sentence:

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

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

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

Not single anymore – 脱单 (tuō dān)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 今年的我终于不用再过光棍节了,因为我已经脱单啦!

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

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

Couple at a restaurant

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

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 我朋友总是在公共场合秀恩爱。 

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

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

Eat dog food – 吃狗粮 (chī gǒu liáng)

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

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 看来我今年情人节又要吃狗粮了。

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

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

2- Chinese Singles’ Day Shopping Vocabulary

Sign up – 注册 (zhù cè)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 我刚刚注册了一个淘宝的账号。

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

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

Coupon – 优惠券 (yōu huì quàn)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 我终于领到了优惠券,可以用来买我购物车里的东西。

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

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

Sales sign

Aren’t sales the best things ever?

Sale – 促销 (cù xiāo)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 每次我都会等到商场大促销再去购物。 

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

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

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

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 网上购物真方便。

Pinyin: Wǎng shàng gòu wù zhēn fāng biàn. 

In English: Online shopping is so convenient.

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

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 我打算等到了双十一购物节再买购物车里的这些东西。

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

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

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

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 我们店有很多网红同款的宝贝。

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

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

Shipping fees included – 包邮 (bāo yóu)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 每个人都很享受买东西包邮这项服务。 

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

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

People with smiling boxes on their heads

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

Positive feedback – 好评 (hǎo píng)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 如果您对我们的服务满意的话,请给我们一个好评吧。

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

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

Negative feedback – 差评 (chà píng)

Usage in a sentence:

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

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

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

Store – 店铺 (diàn pù)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 这家护肤品店铺的宝贝又便宜又好用。

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

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

Limited to one store only – 独家 (dú jiā)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 这件衣服是我们店独家设计的。 

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

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

New arrival – 新品 (xīn pǐn)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 听说这家店会在今年双十一上很多新品呢。 

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

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

Products – 宝贝 (bǎo bèi)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 我们家的宝贝质量都很好。 

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

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

4. Conclusion

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

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

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Asking for and Giving Directions in Chinese



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Being able to ask for and give directions is one of the practical skills we need to learn in life. It’s also one of the survival skills we need to equip ourselves with before visiting a new place.

If you don’t want to get lost in China, have a stressful time on your trip, or miss an excellent chance to communicate with locals and try out your Chinese speaking skills, you must read this survival guide on how to ask for and give directions in Chinese.

Don’t have time to read all the details in this article? Not a problem. Check out the comprehensive vocabulary list on positions and directions on ChineseClass101.com!

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Table of Contents
  1. On the Map
  2. On the Road
  3. Landmarks
  4. Must-know Phrases for Asking for Directions
  5. Must-know Phrases for Giving Directions
  6. Bonus: Taxi Directions in Chinese
  7. Conclusion


1. On the Map

Looking at a Map and Taking Notes

Before going to a place that you’ve never been to before, it’s always a good idea to check where things are on a map, which requires us to have the basic vocabulary for reading maps, such as north and west in Chinese.

1- Cardinal Directions in Chinese


The four basic cardinal directions, otherwise known as compass directions, in Chinese are:
  • In Chinese: 东
    Pinyin: dōng
    In English: east

  • In Chinese: 南
    Pinyin: nán
    In English: south

  • In Chinese: 西
    Pinyin:
    In English: west

  • In Chinese: 北
    Pinyin: běi
    In English: north

2- Intercardinal Directions in Chinese


The directions between the four basic cardinal directions are called intercardinal directions. The four most commonly used ones are:
  • In Chinese: 东南
    Pinyin: dōngnán
    In English: southeast

  • In Chinese: 东北
    Pinyin: dōngběi
    In English: northeast

  • In Chinese: 西南
    Pinyin: xīnán
    In English: southwest

  • In Chinese: 西北
    Pinyin: xīběi
    In English: northwest


In everyday Chinese, we often add 边 (biān) meaning “edge” or “side,” 方 (fāng) meaning “direction,” or 面 (miàn) meaning “side” after the cardinal directions. This makes phrases like 南边 (nánbiān) meaning “south side,” 北方 (běifāng) meaning “north part,” and 东面 (dōngmiàn) meaning “east side.”

Here are some example sentences.
  • In Chinese: 北京在中国的北方。
    Pinyin: Běijīng zài Zhōngguó de běifāng.
    Literal Translation: Beijing at China’s north part.
    In English: Beijing is in the north part of China.

  • In Chinese: 中国在俄罗斯的南边。
    Pinyin: Zhōngguó zài Éluósī de nánbiān.
    Literal Translation: China at Russia’s south side.
    In English: China is to the south of Russia.

  • In Chinese: 兵马俑在西安的东面。
    Pinyin: Bīngmǎyǒng zài Xī’ān de dōngmiàn.
    Literal Translation: Terracotta Warriors on Xi’an’s east side.
    In English: The Terracotta Warriors are on the east side of Xi’an.


2. On the Road


Directions

1- Position Words


When it’s time to finally hit the road, we’ll need to know more position and location words, such as left in Chinese, right in Chinese, front and back in Chinese, and more, in order to navigate and communicate.

Here are four pairs of opposites that describe position.

In Chinese: 前
Pinyin: qián
In English: front
In Chinese: 后
Pinyin: hòu
In English: back
In Chinese: 上
Pinyin: shàng
In English: up
In Chinese: 下
Pinyin: xià 
In English: down
In Chinese: 左
Pinyin: zuǒ
In English: left
In Chinese: 右
Pinyin: yòu
In English: right
In Chinese: 里
Pinyin:
In English: inside
In Chinese: 外
Pinyin: wài
In English: outside


Language Learning Tips: Memorizing opposites is a great way to expand your vocabulary, and it makes learning faster and easier.

Just like when we’re describing cardinal directions, we also add words like “side,” or 边 (biān), and 面 (miàn) after position words in everyday Chinese. This makes phrases like 前面 (qiánmian) meaning “front,” 上面 (shàngmian) meaning “up,” and 左边 (zuǒbiān) meaning “left side.”

Here are some example sentences:
  • In Chinese: 故宫里面有商店。
    Pinyin: Gùgōng lǐmian yǒu shāngdiàn.
    Literal Translation: Forbidden City inside has store.
    In English: There are stores inside the Forbidden City.

  • In Chinese: 售票处在大门的右边。
    Pinyin: Shòupiàochù zài dàmén de yòubiān.
    Literal Translation: Ticket place at gate’s right side.
    In English: The ticket office is on the right side of the gate.

  • In Chinese: 出租车的前面有一辆公交车。
    Pinyin: Chūzūchē de qiánmian yǒu yí liàng gōngjiāochē.
    Literal Translation: Taxi’s front has a city bus.
    In English: There’s a city bus in front of the taxi.

2- Direction Phrases with References


In order to pinpoint a location, we often use other locations as references. For example: “the ice cream store is next to the park,” or “the convenience store is across the street from the subway station.”

The following is a comprehensive list of direction phrases with references in Chinese:
  • In Chinese: 在……(的) 左/右边
    Pinyin: zài …(de) zuǒ / yòubiān
    In English: on the left/right side of…

  • In Chinese: 在……(的) 前/后面
    Pinyin: zài …(de) qián / hòumian
    In English: in front of/behind…

  • In Chinese: 在……(的) 里/外面
    Pinyin: zài …(de) lǐ / wàimian
    In English: in the inside/outside of…

  • In Chinese: 在……(的) 上/下面
    Pinyin: zài …(de) shàng / xiàmian
    In English: under/on top of …

  • In Chinese: 在……(的) 旁边
    Pinyin: zài …(de) pángbiān
    In English: next to…

  • In Chinese: 在……(的) 对面
    Pinyin: zài …(de) duìmiàn
    In English: across the road from…

  • In Chinese: 在……之间
    Pinyin: zài … zhījiān
    In English: between…

  • In Chinese: 离这里……米
    Pinyin: lí zhèli …mǐ
    In English: …meters away from here

  • In Chinese: 离这里……分钟车程
    Pinyin: lí zhèli …fēnzhōng chē chéng
    In English: …minutes’ ride away from here

Here are some example sentences to show how to use direction phrases with references:
  • In Chinese: 麦当劳在必胜客的上面。
    Pinyin: Màidāngláo zài Bìshèngkè de shàngmian.
    Literal Translation: McDonald’s at Pizza Hut up.
    In English: McDonald’s is located above Pizza Hut.

  • In Chinese: 洗手间在电梯和收款处之间。
    Pinyin: Xǐshǒujiān zài diàntī hé shōukuǎnchù zhījiān.
    Literal Translation: Washroom at elevator and cashier in between.
    In English: The restroom is between the elevator and cashier.”

  • In Chinese: 外滩离这里十分钟车程。
    Pinyin: Wàitān lí zhèli shí fēnzhōng chē chéng.
    Literal Translation: Bund away from here ten minutes car distance.
    In English: It takes ten minutes to drive to The Bund from here.

3. Landmarks


Skyline of Shanghai Over the River

When it comes to finding out and describing where certain places are located in Chinese, we should know the basic vocabulary for landmarks. In particular, this may come in handy when giving or receiving driving directions in Chinese.

1- In the City:


  • In Chinese: 机场
    Pinyin: jīchǎng
    In English: airport

  • In Chinese: 火车站
    Pinyin: huǒchē zhàn
    In English: railway station

  • In Chinese: 地铁站
    Pinyin: dìtiě zhàn
    In English: subway station

  • In Chinese: 公交车站
    Pinyin: gōngjiāochē zhàn
    In English: bus stop

  • In Chinese: 市中心
    Pinyin: shì zhōngxīn
    In English: downtown

  • In Chinese: 公园
    Pinyin: gōngyuán
    In English: park

  • In Chinese: 医院
    Pinyin: yīyuàn
    In English: hospital

  • In Chinese: 银行
    Pinyin: yínháng
    In English: hotel

  • In Chinese: 商场
    Pinyin: shāngchǎng
    In English: mall

  • In Chinese: 博物馆
    Pinyin: bówùguǎn
    In English: museum


2- On the Road


  • In Chinese: 红绿灯
    Pinyin: hónglǜdēng
    In English: traffic light

  • In Chinese: 路口
    Pinyin: lùkǒu
    In English: intersection

  • In Chinese: 拐角
    Pinyin: guǎijiǎo
    In English: corner

  • In Chinese: 斑马线
    Pinyin: bānmǎ xiàn
    In English: crosswalk

  • In Chinese: 天桥
    Pinyin: tiānqiáo
    In English: overpass

  • In Chinese: 指示牌
    Pinyin: zhǐshì pái
    In English: sign

  • In Chinese: 停车位
    Pinyin: tíngchē wèi
    In English: parking spot

  • In Chinese: 报刊亭
    Pinyin: bàokān tíng
    In English: newspaper stand


3- In a Building


  • In Chinese: 大门
    Pinyin: dàmén
    In English: main gate

  • In Chinese: 电梯
    Pinyin: diàntī
    In English: elevator/escalator

  • In Chinese: 楼梯
    Pinyin: lóutī
    In English: stairs

  • In Chinese: 洗手间
    Pinyin: xǐshǒujiān
    In English: restroom

  • In Chinese: 问询处
    Pinyin: wènxún chù
    In English: information desk

  • In Chinese: 安全出口
    Pinyin: ānquán chūkǒu
    In English: emergency exit


4. Must-know Phrases for Asking for Directions


Asking Directions

1- Question Patterns



Now we’re only one step away from asking directions in Chinese with complete questions.

Here are three commonly used question patterns used in this situation:

1- ……在哪?(…zài nǎ?) meaning “Where is…?”


Example:
  • In Chinese: 洗手间在哪?
    Pinyin: Xǐshǒujiān zài nǎ?
    Literal Translation: Restroom at where?
    In English: Where is the restroom?

2- 去……怎么走?(Qù … zěnme zǒu?) meaning “How do I get to …?”

Example:
  • In Chinese: 去天安门怎么走?
    Pinyin: Qù Tiānānmén zěnme zǒu?
    Literal Translation: To Tian’anmen Square how to go?
    In English: How do I get to Tian’anmen Square?

3- ……离这儿有多远?(…lí zhèr yǒu duō yuǎn?) meaning “How far is … from here?”


Example:
  • In Chinese: 广州离这儿有多远?
    Pinyin: Guǎngzhōu lí zhèr yǒu duōyuǎn?
    Literal Translation: Guangzhou from here has how far?
    In English: How far is Guangzhou from here?

2- Polite Expressions


To sound more polite, put a 请问 (qǐngwèn), meaning “excuse me, may I ask…,” in front of your question.

For example, to politely ask where the subway station is, say:
  • In Chinese: 请问地铁站在哪?
    Pinyin: Qǐngwèn dìtiě zhàn zài nǎ?
    Literal Translation: May I please ask subway station at where?
    In English: Excuse me, where is the subway?

Or to politely ask how to get to the closest convenience store, say:
  • In Chinese: 请问最近的便利店怎么走?
    Pinyin: Qǐngwèn zuìjìn de biànlì diàn zěnme zǒu?
    Literal Translation: May I please ask the closest convenience store how to go?
    In English: “Excuse me, how do I get to the closest convenience store?”


After you get the directions, don’t forget to thank the person who helped you for their kindness. Here are some common thank-you phrases to use in this situation.
  • In Chinese: 谢谢你。
    Pinyin: Xièxie nǐ.
    In English: Thank you.


Note: Putting a 你 () after 谢谢 (xièxie) makes your thank-you sound more sincere.
  • In Chinese: 好。我知道了。太谢谢了!
    Pinyin: Hǎo. Wǒ zhīdào le. Tài xièxiè le!
    In English: OK. I got it. Thank you so much!

  • In Chinese: 我看见了。谢谢。
    Pinyin: Wǒ kànjiàn le. Xièxie.
    In English: I can see it now. Thanks.


5. Must-know Phrases for Giving Directions


Being able to understand directions in Chinese when people give them to you is as important as knowing how to ask for directions. Here’s a list of phrases used when giving directions in Chinese:
  • In Chinese: 在……
    Pinyin: zài
    In English: at…

  • In Chinese: 先……再……
    Pinyin: xiān…zài
    In English: first…then…

  • In Chinese: 沿着……走
    Pinyin: yánzhe …zǒu
    In English: go along…

  • In Chinese: 直走
    Pinyin: zhí zǒu
    In English: go straight

  • In Chinese: 左转 / 左拐
    Pinyin: zuǒzhuǎn / zuǒguǎi
    In English: turn left

  • In Chinese: 右转 / 右拐
    Pinyin: yòuzhuǎn / yòuguǎi
    In English: turn right

  • In Chinese: 往……走
    Pinyin: wǎng …zǒu
    In English: go toward …

  • In Chinese: 掉头
    Pinyin: diàotóu
    In English: make a U-turn

  • In Chinese: 上 / 下楼
    Pinyin: shàng / xià lóu
    In English: go upstairs / downstairs

  • In Chinese: 很近
    Pinyin: hěnjìn
    In English: very close

  • In Chinese: 挺远的
    Pinyin: tǐng yuǎn de
    In English: pretty far

Here are some example sentences combining direction phrases with landmarks.
  • In Chinese: 沿着这条路直走,在红绿灯左拐。
    Pinyin: Yánzhe zhè tiáo lù zhí zǒu , zài hónglǜdēng zuǒguǎi.
    Literal Translation: Along this road straight walk, at red green light left turn.
    In English:Go straight along this road, and make a left at the traffic light.

  • In Chinese: 先出地铁站,再右转,走两个路口。
    Pinyin: Xiān chū dì tiě zhàn, zài yòu zhuǎn, zǒu liǎng ge lùkǒu.
    Literal Translation: “First get out subway station, then right turn, walk two intersections.
    In English: First get out of the subway station, then take a right for two intersections.

  • In Chinese: 上楼之后有个问询处,问询处的对面就是洗手间。
    Pinyin: Shàng lóu zhīhòu yǒu ge wèn xún chù , wèn xún chù de duìmiàn jiùshì xǐshǒujiān.
    Literal Translation: Go upstairs afterwards have an information place, information place’s opposite side is restroom.
    In English: After you go upstairs, there’s an information desk; the bathroom is right across from the information desk.

Check out this example of a complete dialogue of asking for and giving directions in Chinese on ChineseClass101.com.

6. Bonus: Taxi Directions in Chinese


Basic Questions

In addition to the direction phrases listed above, you should know the following phrases for taking a taxi in China.
  • In Chinese: 去这里。
    Pinyin: Qù zhèli.
    In English: To here.

  • In Chinese: 请快一点。
    Pinyin: Qǐng kuài yì diǎn.
    In English: Please hurry up a bit.

  • In Chinese: 请慢一点。
    Pinyin: Qǐng màn yì diǎn.
    In English: Please slow down a bit.

  • In Chinese: 就在这儿停。
    Pinyin: Jiù zài zhèr tíng.
    In English: Please stop right here.

7. Conclusion


Now you’ve learned all the words and phrases you need to talk about directions and locations in Chinese. Are you more confident in touring and getting around in China on your own now? With this guide, and the help of modern technology such as GPS and navigation applications, you don’t have to stress about finding the right places in China.

Just remember: While enjoying your time touring around China, don’t be shy to try out the phrases and expressions you’ve learned from ChineseClass101.com!

Happy Chinese learning!

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

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

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

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Table of Contents

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

1. Birthday

Happy Birthday

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

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

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

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

2. Mid-Autumn Festival

Full Moon

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

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

Eat mooncake and appreciate the moon with families!

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

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

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

3. Chinese Congratulations: Graduation

Graduation Cap on Stack of Books

Graduation means a whole new chapter in life!

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

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

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

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

4. Lantern Festival

Red Lanterns

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

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

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

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

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

5. Chinese New Year Congratulations

Remains of Fireworks on the Ground

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

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

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

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

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

6. Wedding

Marriage Proposal

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

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

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

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

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

7. Bad News

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

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

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

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

8. Death/Funeral

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

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

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

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

9. Injured/Sick

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

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

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

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

10. Holidays

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

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

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

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

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

11. Conclusion

Basic Questions

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

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

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Learn Chinese from Great Shows & Chinese Movies on Netflix

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

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

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

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

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

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Table of Contents

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

1. 致我们单纯的小美好 – A Love So Beautiful

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

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

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

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

2. 画皮 2 – Painted Skin: The Resurrection

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

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

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

3. 喜欢你 – This is Not What I Expected

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

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

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

4. 西游记之孙悟空三打白骨精 – The Monkey King 2

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

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

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

5. 香蜜沉沉烬如霜 – Ashes of Love

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

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

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

6. 流星花园 – Meteor Garden

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

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

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

7. 甄嬛传 – Empresses in the Palace

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

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

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

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

8. 白夜追凶 – Day and Night

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

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

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

9. 温暖的弦 – Here to Heart

Best Ways to Learn

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

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

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

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

10. 天盛长歌 – The Rise of Phoenixes

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

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

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

11. Conclusion

Improve Pronunciation

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

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

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

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Everything to Know About Chinese Business Etiquette and More

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

But what is Chinese etiquette?

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

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Table of Contents

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

1. How to Discuss Etiquette

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

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

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

  • When talking about DO’s:

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

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

Hygiene

Do’s:

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

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

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

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

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

Don’ts:

  • Do not stick your chopsticks perpendicularly on rice.

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

  • Do not mind sharing food on the same plate.

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

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

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

3. Do’s and Don’ts for Sightseeing

Bad Phrases

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

Do’s:

  • Do walk on your right side.

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

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

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

Don’ts:

  • Do not throw trash as you want.

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

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

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

4. Do’s and Don’ts for Greetings

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

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

Do’s:

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

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

  • Do bow when it’s needed.

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

Don’ts:

  • Do not ask people about age or income.

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

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

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

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

Thanks

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

Do’s:

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

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

  • Do arrive on time.

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

Don’ts:

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

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

  • Do not go into bedrooms without an invitation.

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

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

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

Do’s:

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

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

  • Do stay in line while waiting for a bus.

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

Don’ts:

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

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

  • Do not lean against the doors on a bus.

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

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

Business

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

Do’s:

  • Do prepare a business card.

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

  • Do dress professionally.

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

Don’ts:

  • Do not cross your legs while sitting down.

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

  • Do not overly use Internet slang.

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

8. Do’s and Don’ts for Celebrations

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

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

Do’s:

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

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

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

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

Don’ts:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Pursue Your Career in China — How to Find a Job in China

China is a large country with a great variety of demands for its market, and due to the rapidly growing internationality and the increasing economy, the appearance of foreign workers in China is more and more common. It’s not as difficult as you thought to set sail for your career in China. The international job opportunities in China are larger than you can imagine.

Working in China can bring a series of advantages to you considering its skyrocketing economy and the income for inflation getting higher and higher in most international companies. Therefore, foreigners with international experience are able to find a range of foreigners-friendly jobs in China, with an advantage.

Now, if you’re planning to find a job in China and establish your own footing in the society, this article is definitely the treasure you’re looking for!

Start with a bonus, and download the Business Words & Phrases PDF for FREE! (Logged-In Member Only)

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Table of Contents

  1. The Special Requirements to Work in China
  2. Where to Start Finding Employment in China
  3. The Utilization of Networking for Jobs — Chinese Job Sites
  4. Essential Chinese Phrases for Business Occasions and Interviews
  5. Some Other Communities Offline to Find Jobs in China
  6. Chinese CV, Interview, and Resume Tips
  7. Conclusion

1. The Special Requirements to Work in China

Chinese Visa

Though it’s not required to know the Chinese language in order to work there, according to different needs in different companies, the ability to speak Chinese fluently will bring you more benefits. Generally, jobs that require the ability to speak Chinese offer you a better salary. So far, the top-paying jobs in China are about finance, human resources, computer science, etc…

Generally, most foreigners in China find jobs teaching their first language to begin with. There’s a huge advantage for native English speakers since many Chinese parents wish their children to have perfect English. Therefore, jobs in China for English speakers are in high demand.

If you’re planning to start your career in China as a foreigner, one of the priorities for you to take care of is the work visa for you to work in China. There are pretty specific visa requirements for foreigners to work in China, so we’ll just give you some of the basics. Remember to go to a local embassy or a visa service center to get your application done. Of course, there’s a good selection of different visa types; the best one for you depends on how long you’ll be staying in China. Usually, the best type for a foreigner working in China is a Z-type visa. According to your personal situation, the type of visa you need may vary. For example, if you’re extremely expert in your profession, you’ll be able to apply for an R-type visa.

2. Where to Start Finding Employment in China

Which cities are the best fit for foreigners looking to find jobs in China? Check out the top four cities below.

1- Beijing

As the very capital of China, Beijing has certainly been a positive influence in the growing economy in China. When it comes to working and living in China, Beijing isn’t likely to let you down.

2- Shanghai

Shanghai is the center of finance and developed businesses in China. Recently, the first Disneyland in the Chinese mainland opened in Shanghai in 2016.

3- Guangzhou

With a strong cultural background, Guangzhou’s retail sales, household deposits total both takes the first three place in China, and its human development index takes the first position in China so far. It is also known as a popular place for immigrants.

4- Shenzhen

As one of the first cities to go through a revolution in China, Shenzhen has remained friendly and open to other cultures ever since, and its GDP is outstanding.

These four cities should be your absolute first options to go to when you decide to work in China as a foreigner. As four of the most prosperous cities in China, they are also more populous and therefore have a more competitive job market. Fortunately, as a foreigner, your identity may provide you a shortcut in those internationally developed countries that other native Chinese citizens won’t have access to.

3. The Utilization of Networking for Jobs — Chinese Job Sites

Gadgets

1- WeChat

https://web.wechat.com/

Once you’re all settled in China, you might want to download the application and register for a WeChat account immediately. It’s one of the most essential medias for Chinese people and the most common way to communicate via social media, being a significant Chinese job search website. You can even take the posts from your WeChat to use as your “second business card.” If later you’re in contact with people who are related to your work, it’s necessary to post carefully because many individuals think the content of your posts represent who you are.

There’s a word—guanxi—in Chinese, or 关系. Its literal meaning is “relationship,” and further, it talks about your personal connection and class within the business social circle. Nowadays, it’s commonplace to get a job through guanxi for many Chinese citizens; they’re skilled at utilizing the sources they have. Thus, WeChat can be a great tool for you to get updated information on jobs if you’ve already established some guanxi of your own. This will open doors for you to see posts regarding job opportunities.

2- LinkedIn

https://www.linkedin.com/

LinkedIn, as an internationally popular service for employment, now has a partnership with WeChat. You can easily link your LinkedIn to WeChat, making it convenient for other people to review both your professional profile and social media profile. Again, once that’s done, you’ll be responsible for establishing a proper public figure through your posts on WeChat.

3- Job Lead China

https://www.jobleadchina.com/job

Job Lead China is an excellent recruitment service provider and works as a bridge to build a connection between foreigners and the Chinese employment system. All the enterprises there are verified, and the platform provides a series of thorough services including analyzing the needs of the company, conducting profession search and background investigation, performing customer interviews, identifying candidates, and providing follow-up service after the trial stage. This is one of the most popular Chinese job hunting sites for good reason!

4- JobsiteChina

https://www.jobsitechina.com/Index_en.aspx

JobsiteChina is another platform that focuses on international employment. It provides a wide-range of expert services for job opportunities in China for foreigners, such as a Headhunter service, advertisement, CV downloading, and so on. There, you’ll also find some detailed guides for the procedures related to having a job in China.

5- 51Job

https://www.51job.com/

51Job is one of the largest platforms for local online lists of jobs in China. The application process is simple and easy; you can just post your resume and search for jobs for free. But keep in mind that this isn’t recommended for foreigners who cannot speak Chinese fluently, since everything is navigated in Chinese. Remember, there are many agents who can be a great help for you to start a job, but sometimes it’s not necessary to go through them. Thus, it’s important to learn to recognize the agents apart from the direct enterprises.

4. Essential Chinese Phrases for Business Occasions and Interviews

Here’s a list of some of the most important phrases to know when it comes time for that big interview or other business occasion, including the most common interview questions in China.

1- Business Card Exchange

  • In Chinese: 请问能和您交换一下名片吗?
  • Pinyin: Qǐng wèn néng hé nín jiāo huàn yī xià míng piàn ma?
  • In English: Can we please exchange the business cards?

2- Thanking for the Interview

  • In Chinese: 感谢您能给我这次参加面试的机会。
  • Pinyin: Gǎn xiè nín néng gěi wǒ zhè cì cān jiā miàn shì de jī huì.
  • In English: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to go to this interview.

3- Asking When to Expect Notice

  • In Chinese: 请问您什么时候能通知我录取结果呢?
  • Pinyin: Qǐng wèn nín shén me shí hòu néng tōng zhī wǒ gù yòng jié guǒ ne?
  • In English: Can I know when I will get the notice?

4- Greet All the Interviewers

  • In Chinese: 大家好。
  • Pinyin: Dà jiā hǎo.
  • In English: Hello, everyone.

5- When Asked if You Have Questions After Interview

  • In Chinese: 针对我们公司,您还有什么想问的吗?
  • Pinyin: Zhēn duì wǒ men gōng sī, nín hái yǒu shén me xiǎng wèn de ma?
  • In English: Is there any other question you have for our company?

6- When Asked to Introduce Yourself

  • In Chinese: 请给我们简单介绍一下你自己。
  • Pinyin: Qǐng gěi wǒ men jiǎn dān jiè shào yī xià nǐ zì jǐ.
  • In English: Please briefly introduce yourself for us.

7- When Asked for Work Experience

  • In Chinese: 能给我们简单介绍一下你之前的工作经历吗?
  • Pinyin: Néng gěi wǒ men jiǎn dān jiè shào yī xià nǐ zhī qián de gōng zuò jīng lì ma?
  • In English: Can you please briefly introduce your working experience before?

8- When Asked to Introduce Your Personal Strengths

  • In Chinese: 能给我们简单介绍一下你的个人优势吗?
  • Pinyin: Néng gěi wǒ men jiǎn dān jiè shào yī xià nǐ de gè rén yōu shì ma?
  • In English: Can you please tell us about your personal strength?

5. Some Other Communities Offline to Find Jobs in China

Job Fair

Job fairs are held in populous areas, and you’ll have to pay attention to the advertisement for the off-site job fairs both online and offline. Your network may just be your main source of information about these job fairs, so don’t forget to utilize some of the Chinese job searching sites above and continue to build strong connections!

There are two main websites that update the job fairs for many cities in China. You can find more information about them by clicking the city you are interested in.

Taking Notes

6. Chinese CV, Interview, and Resume Tips

1- Stay Humble

Traditionally, Chinese people attach great importance to the trait of being humble. Though during an interview or a business occasion, or in your resume, you’ll have to paint yourself in a presentable and confident image, you should remember not to overdo it so much that people form a bad impression of you as being arrogant. This is certainly one of the most important things to know when it comes to finding a job in China.

Interviewing

2- Nice Resume Photo

You may want to include a good portrait of yourself in your resume, as a nice appearance can instantly leave a positive impression. Make sure you choose a recent photo, which showcases the professional image of yourself.

3- Shake Hands if there’s a Chance

Small details can make a huge difference when landing a job in China. Don’t forget to shake hands when you meet your interviewers as well as when you leave. It shows a great deal of respect for the people who you offer to shake hands with. Remember to offer your hands gently to your interviewers or potential business partners when you have a chance.

Two Woman Shaking Hands

4- Organize Your Resume Neatly

The overall visual effect is important for a resume in China as well, despite the content. Keep your resume neat and well-organized to leave a good first impression for the viewers.

Resume

5- Try to Show as Many Accomplishments as You Can

Rather than your own evaluation of yourself, Chinese resume evaluators prefer to focus on your personal accomplishments. Personal evaluation can be biased; they would like to recognize your true strengths by the things you’ve accomplished previously.

7. Conclusion

Though it’s possible to find a job in China as a foreigner without speaking good Chinese, the skill of speaking Chinese will give you a much greater advantage when it comes to securing a decent career and helping you communicate to your co-workers more smoothly to establish a harmonious working environment.

ChineseClass101.com, provides a set of systematic and useful resources for studying Chinese. For example, there are professional teachers who can help you improve your Chinese language skills in order to find a job and further prepare for the interview. Don’t hesitate to take hold of this great advantage and learn more about how to find a job in China!

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6 Reasons to Learn a Language Before You Travel

6 Reasons to Learn a Language Before You Travel

There are plenty of destinations where you can get by with English, but sometimes you want to do better than just ‘get by’. Here are 6 reasons you should learn the basics of the language of your next trip destination.

What are the 6 reasons you should learn the basics of the language of your next trip destination?

1. You will be able to discover your destination better than other tourists.
Getting by is one thing, but actually experiencing a trip abroad is quite another. No amount of guidebooks and online research can compensate for a basic lack of language ability. Speaking the language of your destination permits you to explore that destination beyond the regular tourist traps. Your language skills will not only allow you to dig into all the hidden gems of your destination, but they will also allow you to mingle with the locals to get a true experience on your holiday. Think of it this way: you’re not restricted to talking to the people at the tourist desk anymore.

2. Knowing how to communicate with local police or medical personnel can be life-saving.
Before you leave for your destination, make sure you learn how to ask for help in that destination’s local tongue. Do you know how to ask the waiter if this dish has peanuts in it? Or tell your host family that you’re allergic to fish? Can you tell the local doctor where it hurts? Moreover, an awareness of an environment improves your chance of remaining safe inside it. For example, walking around a busy marketplace, dazzled by an unfamiliar language, signs and accents will instantly render any tourist a more attractive mark for pickpockets. Communicating with other people, asking questions and looking confident will make you look like a semi-local yourself, and will ward off potential thieves.

Click here for Chinese Survival Phrases that will help you in almost every situation

3. It helps you relax.
Traveling is much less stressful when you understand what that announcement at the airport was saying, or if this bus line reaches your hotel. These things stress you out when traveling and they disappear when you understand the language. This allows you to focus on planning your trip in a better, easier way.

Speaking the language can provide you with a way to get to know people you’d never otherwise have the opportunity to speak with.

4. Speaking the language can provide you with a way to get to know people you’d never otherwise have the opportunity to speak with.
Sometimes those relationships turn into friendships, and other times they’re nothing more than a lively conversation. Either way, as Nelson Mandela said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” When you approach someone – even staff at a store or restaurant – with English, rather than their own language, an invisible divide has already been erected. Making even a small effort to communicate in the language of the place you’re visiting can go a long way and you’ll find many more doors open up to you as a result.

Click here for the Top 25 Chinese Questions you need to know to start a conversation with anyone

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.

5. You’ll be a better ambassador for your country.
If we’re honest with ourselves, we know very little about other countries and cultures, especially the local politics. And what we do know is often filtered to us by the media, which tends to represent only certain interests. When you can speak the local language, you’re able to answer questions that curious locals have about your country and culture. Are you frustrated with how your country is presented in global news? Are you embarrassed by your country’s leaders and want to make it clear that not everyone is like that where you’re from? This is a very good opportunity to share your story with people who have no one else to ask. We all have a responsibility to be representatives of the place we come from.

6. Learning another language can fend off Alzheimer’s, keep your brain healthy and generally make you smarter.
For more information, check out this blog post about the 5 Benefits of Learning a New Language.

Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid for Chinese Learners

Hey everyone today we are going to show some common mistakes that Chinese learners make so that you guys know what to look out for!

Common Error #1:
Incorrect word order when forming questions:
English speakers tend to use English word order when forming questions with question words. In English, the question word comes at the beginning of the sentence. In Chinese the question word comes at the end of the sentence.

Common Error #2:
Making verbs past tense:
getting the particles 了 and 过 mixed up. Put in a simple way, 了 is used for a completed action. 过 is used to indicate previous experience.

Common Error #3:
Negating verbs:
Getting the 不 and the 没 mixed up. Put in a simple way, the 不 is used to negate action verbs in present, future, or when speaking about habitual actions. 没 is used when the action either did not happen, or isn’t complete yet.

Common Error #4:
In an attempt to be polite, using too many words:
A lot of Chinese learners, in an attempt to translate what is polite in their own language end up adding too many words to their sentences, confusing the people that are listening. One tip we have is to Listen to how a Chinese person who is learning English tends to speak and try to follow that pattern in Chinese.

Common Error #5:
Being so afraid about having a standard accent or the correct tones:
Some beginners are too afraid to speak because they are afraid of making mistakes, but the best way to fix this is by practicing! Chinese is a hard language so don’t be afraid to make mistakes! You will improve!

We would love to hear your stories and any other mistakes that you guys think are common for students of Chinese! Feel free to leave us a comment and share!

Top 5 Tools for Learning Chinese

Today we are going to give you our top 5 recomended tools to help you with mastering Chinese.
1.ABC Dictionary by John DeFrancis

This is a great pinyin dictionary with great definitions and easy lookup system

2. Adsotrans

This is a really good online super-dictionary, found at www.adsotrans.com. Just paste in any Chinese text and let Adso analyze it. Mouse over the results to see what the words mean in English, and how to pronounce them. There are numerous other features that come with this dictionary as well. Check it out!

3. Chinese Pera-kun

A firefox plug-in that lets you get translation for Chinese text by putting your mouse over the word.
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/3349

4. Flashcards

Try our flashcards on the site, chineseclass101.com. Simply add words from any of our lessons to your word bank, then go to the flashcards tab and they will be automatically populated for you.

5. Google’s Character Writing Software

Use pinyin to input Chinese characters. Google’s intuitive software will predict what words you want to use, and will allow you to string along sentences.
https://www.google.com/ime/pinyin/

6. Pinyin Chart

Come to www.chineseclass101.com and use our pinyin chart with audio for each of the sounds of Chinese to familiarize yourself with the pronunciation of pinyin as well as to perfect you own pronunciation.

Ok, I know we said top 5, but we thought all 6 of these products were so good we would include them all! If you guys have anymore ideas please leave a comment and let us know!