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Chinese Survival Phrases Posted by on Nov 7, 2017 in grammar, Vocabulary

It’s no secret that Chinese is a tough language. With its tricky tones and thousands upon thousands of characters, it can be an intimidating language to study. Oh yeah, and there are also vast differences in pronunciation depending on what part of the country you’re in. While it can be a very difficult language, you’ll definitely need some Chinese if you plan on visiting the Middle Kingdom. Get started with these Chinese survival phrases.

25 Chinese Survival Phrases

Chinese Survival Phrases

A little Chinese goes a long way.

If you’re new to Chinese, or are just traveling to China and need a bit of the language to get by, these 25 Chinese survival phrases will go a long way:

你好
你好吗?
我很好,你呢?
再见
早上好
下午好
晚上好
晚安
谢谢
不客气
对不起
没关系
这个
那个
我要
我要这个
多少钱?
你有… 吗?
有/没有
请问
…在哪里?
卫生间在哪里?
我听不懂
你可以说慢一点吗?
你会说英语吗?

nǐ hǎo
nǐ hǎo ma
wǒ hěn hǎo, nǐ ne?
zài jiàn
zǎo shàng hǎo
xià wǔ hǎo
wǎn shàng hǎo
wǎn’ān
xiè xiè
bú kè qì
duì bù qǐ
méi guān xì
zhè ge
nà ge
wǒ yào
wǒ yào zhè ge
duō shǎo qián
nǐ yǒu… ma?
yǒu/méi yǒu
qǐng wèn
zài nǎ lǐ
wèi shēng jiān zài nǎ lǐ
wǒ tīng bù dǒng
nǐ kě yǐ shuō màn yì diǎn ma
nǐ huì shuō yīng yǔ ma
Hello
How are you?
I’m fine, and you?
Goodbye
Good morning
Good afternoon
Good evening
Good night
Thank you
You’re welcome
Sorry
It’s fine/No problem
This one
That one
I want
I want this one
How much is it?
Do you have…?
Yes, I do./No, I don’t.
Excuse me
Where is…?
Where is the bathroom?
I don’t understand.
Can you speak slowly?
Can you speak English?

 

Of course, your tones will probably be off at first, and you won’t be able to read or write any Chinese characters. Don’t worry – those things will come with time. You have to start somewhere, and using these basic survival phrases will get you going. I’ll go ahead and add one more for good measure – Cheers! (干杯! – gān bēi). Having a drink with locals in China is a great way to loosen up and practice. Just be aware that it literally means “dry glass” in Chinese, or the equivalent of “bottoms up” in English.

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About the Author:sasha

Sasha is an English teacher, writer, photographer, and videographer from the great state of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he moved to China and spent 5+ years living, working, studying, and traveling there. He also studied Indonesian Language & Culture in Bali for a year. He and his wife run the travel blog Grateful Gypsies, and they're currently trying the digital nomad lifestyle across Latin America.


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