How to Speak with Numbers in Chinese

幸运数字(Xìngyùn shùzì,lucky number):

2 (Èr, two or double)
好事成双(Hǎoshì chéng shuāng, good things are come in pairs.)
6(Liù, six,)means goes smoothly.
8 (Bā,eight) sounds similar to “发”(Fā,to become wealthy)
9 (Jiǔ, nine) sounds similar to“久”(Jiǔ, everlasting)

Unlucky number:

4 (Sì,four)sound similar to “死”(Sǐ, death)
5 (Wǔ, five)sound similar to “无”(Wú,have nothing)
7(Qī,seven)sounds similar to “气”(Qì,angry)
In reading a cardinal number, like telephone numbers, room numbers, passport numbers, car numbers, etc. 1 is often read as “Yāo”.
14(Yāo sì) sounds similar to “要死”(Yàosǐ,will die)

China’s Lucky Cell-phone Numbers

lucky_number_in_chinaGenerally speaking, Number 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 are considered to be lucky numbers in China. Even numbers like 2, 6, 8 are generally considered luckier than the odd ones.But an even number, 4, is categorized as unlucky even though it is an even number, because its pronunciation rhymes with the Chinese word “死” (Sǐ in Chinese) meaning “death”.

Similarly, number 9 is categorized as Chinese lucky number because its pronunciation rhymes with the Chinese word “久” (Jiǔ in Chinese) meaning “longlasting”.

Whether a number is considered lucky or unlucky is often related to the similarity between the pronunciation of the number and the sound byte of another word which carries a positive connotation.

Many aspects of their daily life are based on Chinese lucky numbers. They carefully select their cell phone, home telephone or office telephone so that it contains Chinese lucky numbers.

In large cities, auctions lure hundreds of buyers with special numbers set aside by mobile phone companies. Certain sequences are highly sought because they sound like Chinese phrases in different dialects. In Mandarin, the popular sequence 518 can be interpreted as, “I want to prosper,” and 168 sounds like, “A road of prosperity.” In Cantonese, the sequence 289 sounds like, “Easy long-term prosperity.”

The number 8, pronounced ” Bā” in Mandarin, is considered desirable because it rhymes with the word for prosper, ” Fā” In Mandarin, the number 9 is pronounced identically to the word for long-lasting, ” Jiǔ.” Thus Sept. 9, 1999, was a particularly popular day for Chinese weddings.

The number 6 is popular for a variety of reasons. Depending on the dialect, its interpretation ranges from “longevity” to “joy.”

The numbers set has its pariah, too. Some sequences are to be avoided, as well. In Cantonese, 14 or 1414 is interpreted as “immediate death,” and 53 or 5353 means “poor health.”

On Chinese lucky numbers are based much of Chinese customs and traditions. As such, the lucky number is not always expected to bring good luck but having it brings satisfaction to the person.