Chinese Language Blog

My Neighborhood in Chinese Posted by on Jun 6, 2016 in Uncategorized

A great way to start building your vocabulary and practice talking about places and directions is to introduce your neighborhood (邻里 – lín lǐ) or community (社区 – shè qū; 小区 – xiǎo qū). If you live in a Chinese city, your neighborhood is most likely a very busy place, with all sorts of shops, businesses, and offices a short walking distance from your door. To help you talk about your ‘hood in Chinese, here are 25 words for common places:

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 7.48.29 AM

It should be noted that when it comes to hotels and restaurants, many words are used and are often interchangeable. I gave two examples above for “hotel” (饭店 and 酒店), but you might also see 宾馆 (bīn guǎn) and 旅馆 (lǚ guǎn) used. “Restaurant” can also be 饭店 in addition to the word given above (餐馆), as well as 餐厅 (cān tīng). Thankfully, most of the other words are pretty straight-forward and are the same all the time! Another interesting thing to point out is the full word for supermarket (超级市场 – chāo jí shì chǎng). You’ll almost always see it written as I did above (超市) – a great example of China’s love for shortening 4-character words down to two.

My Beijing 'hood.

My Beijing ‘hood.

For some more practice and to see what a Beijing ‘hood looks like, check out this video I made a few years ago:

Now it’s your turn! Use that new vocabulary and introduce your community in Chinese:

What places are in your community?
nǐ de xiǎo qū li yǒu shén me dì fāng

What places are near your community?
nǐ de xiǎo qū fù jìn yǒu shén me dì fāng

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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.


  1. Shannon:

    This one was very helpful for very useful phrases around my community! Thanks for this and all your posts! Do you guys already have one on “gluten free” and things like that? Or also on talking about ESL teaching in the Chinese language?

  2. Peter Simon:

    Hi, Sasha, good videos lately. Good illustrations to the vocab. Besides, good to see a playground. 15 years ago I don’t remember ever seeing one decent playground for the little ones in any cities I saw in 3 years. Just one thing: “newstand” should be spelt ‘newsstand’ in US English (or ‘news stand’ in GB).

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