Talking About Summer in Chinese Posted by sasha on Jun 20, 2019 in Culture, Vocabulary
Tomorrow is the first day of summer (夏天 – xià tiān). Many students are getting ready to go on summer vacation (暑假 – shǔ jià), so lots of families plan to take a vacation (假期 – jià qī) in the coming months. All over China, people are excited for what the summer months bring. Learn how to chat with people by picking up some useful vocabulary for the season in this post on talking about summer in Chinese.
Summer Activities and Places
Of course, many people like to hit the beach (海滩 – hǎi tān) in the hot summer months. Some like to go swimming (游泳 – yóu yǒng), while others simply want to relax (休息 – xiū xí).
Coastal cities with a beach such as Qingdao (青岛 – qīng dǎo) and Xiamen (厦门 – xià mén) are at their busiest over the summer. Just one look at a crowded Chinese beach and you’ll see where the classic Chinglish idiom “people mountain, people sea” (人山人海 – rén shān rén hǎi) comes from.
Traveling (旅游 – lǚ yóu) is definitely one of the most popular summer activities, and not just to the beach. Plenty of people like to go to the mountains (山区 – shān qū) to enjoy some hiking (爬山 – pá shān).
When it comes to adventures, it’s hard to beat a hike of Tiger Leaping Gorge (虎跳峡 – hǔ tiào xiá) in Yunnan province. Walk high up in the mountains gazing down at the rushing Yangtze River and then come down the next day to see the spot where a tiger supposedly leapt over it.
Lots of tourists, both domestic and international, flock to China’s cities in the summer to do some sightseeing (观光 – guān guāng). Places like Beijing (北京 – běi jīng) and Shanghai (上海 – shàng hǎi) are both very popular destinations.
The cities can be hot and crowded during the summer, so many folks choose to escape out to the countryside to go camping (露营 – lù yíng), or maybe head to a nearby lake (湖 – hú) to do some fishing (钓鱼 – diào yú).
Of course, there are plenty of people who simply spend their free time in the summer at the local park (公园 – gōng yuán), perhaps cycling (骑自行车 – qí zì xíng chē) or just having a picnic (野餐 – yě cān). Or maybe getting wild on a “Party Bike” in Beijing’s Chaoyang Park…
Amusement parks (游乐园 – yóu lè yuán) are always packed in the summer months in China. As you might expect, water parks (水上乐园 – shuǐ shàng lè yuán) are very popular places as well. There’s always the local swimming pool (游泳池 – yóu yǒng chí) if you don’t feel like dealing with those huge crowds.
Festivals are all the rage in China these days, especially during the summer months. All over the country, there are several different music festivals (音乐节 – yīn yuè jié) and beer festivals (啤酒节 – pí jiǔ jié) happening in the summer. The Qingdao Beer Festival is one of the biggest in China and is pretty rowdy. Just see for yourself:
Students in China are always busy, and many of them attend a summer camp (夏令营 – xià lìng yíng) of some sort. There’s more studying than capture the flag going on here, though. I teach children ages 5-12 and when I ask them about their summer plans, most of them tell me they will be busy with more lessons and homework!
If you’re heading to the pool, water park, or the beach, you’ll want to bring your bathing suit (游泳衣 – yóu yǒng yī). Ladies might wear a bikini (比基尼 – bǐ jī ní), and many women in China rock a fashionable “face-kini” to avoid the sun.
During the summer months, many women prefer to wear a dress (连衣裙 – lián yī qún) or a skirt (裙子 – qún zi), while men opt for shorts (短裤 – duǎn kù) and a t-shirt (T恤 – T xù). In the capital, many guys roll up their shirts over their bellies in what’s known as the “Beijing bikini.”
You’ll see a lot of people wearing a hat (帽子 – mào zi), sandals (凉鞋 – liáng xié), and sunglasses (太阳镜 – tài yáng jìng) in the summer.
Summer Food & Drink
When it comes to summer food & drink, you just can’t beat BBQ (烧烤 – shāo kǎo). Whether in the park or at the beach, people all over China love firing up the grill during the hot summer months.
As you might expect, ice cream (冰淇淋 – bīng qí lín) is the most popular treat with children. Refreshing fruit like watermelon (西瓜 – xī guā) is also commonly enjoyed in summer.
You might be surprised to hear this, but a lot of people in China don’t really like cold drinks. Even during the hottest months of the summer, many people still drink room temperature or even boiling water. This is because cold drinks are believed to be bad for your qi.
Not everyone follows this mindset, though. Plenty of people enjoy an iced tea (冰茶 – bīng chá) or a cold glass of lemonade (柠檬水 – níng méng shuǐ). Of course, there’s also plenty of cold beer (冰的啤酒 – bīng de pí jiǔ) to be had during summer.
Here’s a list of all the Chinese summer vocabulary covered in this post for you to study:
qí zì xíng chē
yóu lè yuán
yóu yǒng chí
xià lìng yíng
shuǐ shàng lè yuán
yīn yuè jié
pí jiǔ jié
yóu yǒng yī
bǐ jī ní
ián yī qún
tài yáng jìng
bīng de pí jiǔ
bīng qí lín
níng méng shuǐ
See if you can use some of this vocabulary (or other Chinese words you know!) to answer a few questions: