Mandarin Words and Phrases You Should Know When Traveling to China
When traveling to any foreign country where English is not the first language, it is important to learn a few basic phrases to help you get by. If you are traveling to China the following words are probably the most important ones to learn:
1. Thank You
‘Xiexie’ means Thank You and is probably the most important words in any language. If you want to be polite in China, learn to say thank you in Chinese.
‘Nihao’ (pronounced like Meeow with an N) means ‘hello’. Everywhere you go in China you will want to say ‘nihao’ as a friendly reply to the many people who will greet you in this way.
3. You Are Welcome
‘Bukeqi’ means ‘you are welcome’ in Chinese and is another term of courtesy that you will hear often in reply to ‘xiexie’ or ‘thank you’.
4. I Do Not Want
‘Wobuyao’ means ‘I do not want’. In China, you will be approached by many hawkers trying to sell anything from Buddha statue to Maozedong t-shirts. As they can sometimes be quite persistent you want to say ‘no thank you’ in a firm manner by using the phrase ‘wobuyao’.
5. I Do Not Understand
‘Wotingbudong’ means ‘I do not understand’. When in China where most Chinese are unable to speak a word of English it is important to let them know that you don’t understand what they are trying to say to you.
6. My Name Is
‘Wojiao’ means ‘my name is’ and is great to use when you are introducing yourself to someone.
7. How Much
‘Duo shao qian’ means ‘how much?’ Be prepared to bargain prices as most Mandarine speakers are adept businessmen and will price their goods higher expecting their customers to bargain with them.
8. You Are Correct
‘Dui’ means ‘you are correct’ or ‘yes’ and is a term used as an affirmation.
‘Cesuo’ means ‘toilet’ and you will need to know how to ask where the nearest restroom is.
‘Ganbei’ means ‘cheers’ in Chinese and is good to know when making a toast in China.