With its renowned history and culture, it is highly recommended for non-Mandarin speakers to learn a few phrases or greetings to say during gatherings or Chinese celebrations. Besides, this can be a good start to get to know more about Chinese culture if you are planning to learn Mandarin in the near future.
Greetings are one of the first things someone learns when studying a new language, and this is because it shows your eloquence and familiarity with a language. Greetings are key to ensuring the people you talk to have a good impression of you right from the beginning Even if you are not fluent in Mandarin, it communicates that you care enough to try and that you care about your recipient’s culture. Furthermore, a proper Chinese greeting can really open up more opportunities for a conversation you desire.
Read on to learn the must-know Mandarin phrases for gatherings with your colleagues or friends now.
Simple Greetings in Mandarin
Picture yourself meeting your Chinese friends for a Chinese New Year gathering – you would definitely want to greet them with some festive greetings during such a special occasion. First off, you can start with a simple “你好 ni hao”, which translates to “Hello”, followed by “我是 wo shi” to introduce yourself with your name when you meet new people at the gathering.
To respond during a conversation, you can say “你呢 ni ne”, which means “what about you?” and “很高兴认识你 hen gao xing ren shi ni” to say “nice to meet you”. When asked “how are you?”, you can respond answer with “很好 hen hao”, which means “very good” or “great”. Since the Singapore government has also encouraged people to get vaccinated before attending social events, you can also share that you have gotten vaccinated by saying “我已经打了预防针 wo yi jing da le yu fang zhen”.
What to Say at the Dinner Table
Chinese cuisine is an exquisite one and Chinese people regard sharing a meal as one of the most important moments of everyday life. As part of the Chinese culinary culture, there are many traditions to adhere to during meals as part of etiquette or table manners. Some dining etiquette includes never filling your plate or bowl until it is full, chopsticks should never be left sticking up in your bowl and not using your phone during the meal.
Some Mandarin phrases you can learn for meals include “我喜欢中国菜 wo xi huan zhong guo cai”, which means “I like Chinese cuisine”, to show your appreciation for the cuisine or culture, “我要啤酒 wo yao pi jiu” which means “I’d like to have some beer”, since it is almost customary for Chinese people to have alcohol with their meals, especially in China. The host might serve you food at your plate or your bowl, you can then show your appreciation by saying “谢谢 xie xie”, which translates to “thank you”.
At the end of the gathering is a time to exchange pleasantries and show your appreciation for the host and say goodbye to your friends. Impress your Chinese friends by saying “謝謝你的招待 xie xie ni de zhao dai” to express your gratitude for their hospitality, or simply “再见 zai jian” or “回头见 hui tou jian”, which means “see you later”.
Want to learn more Mandarin phrases or learn how to communicate effectively in Mandarin? Why not sign up for Chinese language classes at the School of Language International (SLI)? Here at SLI, we have a wide range of Chinese courses suitable for adults and children of all levels in Singapore.
Visit our website to find out more now.