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Lesson Transcript

Hi! I’m Rui. Welcome to Chinese Top Words. Today, we are going to cover how to respond to “How are you?” in Chinese. Okay, let’s get started!
The first one is…
1. 你怎么样? (Nǐ zěnmeyàng?) “How are you doing?”
This is a very casual way of saying hello or keeping updated so what’s new about you, like that or just, “How are you?”, “Are you good?”, like that. So 你怎么样? (Nǐ zěnmeyàng?).
The next one is…
2. 你最近还好吗? (Nǐ zuìjìn hǎo ma ?) “How have you been recently?”
This is a casual way of saying hello, but a little special thing about this way of saying hello is maybe you already know there’s something going on with your friend. For example, your friend just caught a disease and had been staying in a hospital for a long time or had been going through a breakup or just got a new job, very busy but have a very bad boss. So you’re going to say, oh 你最近还好吗? (Nǐ zuìjìn hǎo ma ?) “How have you been recently?”.
The next one is…
3. 我很好。 (Wǒ hěn hǎo.) “I'm fine.”
So when somebody is asking you, “How have you been recently?”, you can respond - 我很好。 (Wǒ hěn hǎo.) “I'm fine.”
Actually in Chinese, 很好 (hěn hǎo) is a little better than fine based on my own understanding because 很好 (hěn hǎo), 很 (hěn) is “very”, 好 (hǎo) means “good”, so it actually means I’m very good.
4. 我挺好的。 (Wǒ tǐng hǎo de.) “I'm pretty good.”
For example, your friend has been in America studying for master degrees, maybe you’re a little worried about how he is doing in America, you can ask, “Oh, how have you been recently?”, “How are you in America?”, but you actually really enjoy American life, you can say - Hmm, “I’m doing pretty good.” 我挺好的。 (Wǒ tǐng hǎo de.) It means you are satisfied with your life situation.
The next one is…
5. 我也挺好的。 (Wǒ yě tǐng hǎo de.) “I'm doing good too.”
So when your friend is saying “I’m doing pretty good”, 我也挺好的。 (Wǒ yě tǐng hǎo de.) and you too, you are satisfied with your life, with your work, you can say, hmm, I’m doing good too or if you do not want to share with your friend more information about your life when you’re not doing good, you can also say like, 我也挺好的。 (Wǒ yě tǐng hǎo de.), yeah I’m satisfied, that’s okay. Yeah, it’s like a pragmatic function, use it for close conversation, 我也挺好的。 (Wǒ yě tǐng hǎo de.).
Next one is…
6. 我最近有点儿忙。 (Wǒ zuìjìn yǒu diǎnr máng.) “I've been pretty busy lately.”
So 有点儿 (yǒu diǎnr) actually in English, literally it means a little, but why do we say… Actually, we are very busy, but why do we say, “I’m just a little busy.” 我最近有点儿忙。 (Wǒ zuìjìn yǒu diǎnr máng.)? It’s just, I think, not putting so much pressure on the person who heard it. If you say, oh I’m very busy, maybe the person or your friend will feel worried about your life. “Oh, why are you so busy? Are you okay? How are you?” So just not to putting so much pressure on your friend you will say, “Hmm, I’m just a little busy.”, actually is very busy.
7. 我最近不太顺利。 (Wǒ zuìjìn bútài shùnlì.) “Things are not going very well with me.”
So if you know your friend just got a new job in a really good, but busy company, “How have you been recently?” 你最近还好吗? (Nǐ zuìjìn hǎo ma ?). Your friend can say, maybe saying like, 我最近不太顺利。 (Wǒ zuìjìn bútài shùnlì.) It means, hmm, in this company, things are not going very well with me, maybe, he doesn’t get along with his colleagues or the project has some difficulty in progressing.
The next one is…
8. 一言难尽。 (yìyán nánjìn。) “It's a long story.”
Okay, for example, if you have been through a lot of difficulties recently, your company fired you and your mom has been pushing you to get married, just like me, so you have been exhausted recently and your friend is asking you, “Hey, how have you been recently?”. There are so many things you cannot cover in one word or in one sentence, there are more than one story, that makes you exhausted. You’re going to say, hmm 一言难尽。 (yìyán nánjìn。), or sometimes, you just don’t want to share so many details personally so you’re going to say, oh 一言难尽。 (yìyán nánjìn。) so people will not ask you further.
The next one is…
9. 谢谢你的关心。 (xièxie nǐ de guānxīn.) “Thank you for asking.”
For example, if I had been fighting with my boyfriend and one of my friend has known that and she’s trying to pry on the details, she just want gossip, she’s asking you, “Oh how have you been recently? How are you with your boyfriend? Are you okay?” like with that ironic smug on her face, I will just say, hmm 谢谢你的关心。 (xièxie nǐ de guānxīn.) “Thank you for asking.” That means I don’t want to share any details about it. Your concern is appreciated, but that’s all. I don’t want to talk anything about it with you. So it’s a little different with thank you for asking. It’s not really appreciated if somebody is asking. It’s just, I don’t want to share with you about details, but your concern is appreciated and that’s all. So it’s a way of closing a conversation.
The next one is…
10. 不好不坏。 (bùhǎo bùhuài) “Not too good but not too bad.”
So if somebody is asking you, “Oh, how have you been recently?”, if you got a new job, but you lost a money in the stock market so something good happened, something bad happened. So when you take everything into account, hmm, 不好不坏。 (bùhǎo bùhuài). So that’s like hmm, so it means not too good, but not too bad, something good happened, something bad also happened.
Thank you for watching Chinese Top Words today. Don’t forget to like our video and subscribe to our channel. Please leave us comments on how do you think about Chinese ways to respond to “How have you been doing?”. Don’t forget to check out ChineseClass101.com. I’ll be there. Bye!