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80+ Basic Chinese Words and Phrases to Help You Survive

Whether you are traveling to China, hanging out with Chinese people, or going out on a date with a Chinese person, it`s necessary to know some essential basic Chinese phrases to help you survive. Knowing a few handy phrases will not only help you avoid social awkwardness, it will allow you to build great new connections with people, and even make your Chinese conversations more interesting. Even if you just need to travel around China, basic Chinese words can help you out in unfamiliar surroundings and perhaps even help you avoid some potential misunderstandings. Here we’d like to introduce basic Chinese words and phrases which you may need in your next Chinese language survival and social situation.

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ChinesePinyinEnglish
Greetings  
你好!nǐ hǎo !Hello
早上好zǎo shàng hǎoGood morning
晚上好wǎn shàng hǎoGood evening
你好吗?nǐ hǎo ma ?How are you?
我很好wǒ hěn hǎoI’m fine
你吃了吗?nǐ chī le ma ?Have you eaten?
吃了chī leI ate
你呢nǐ neAnd you?
欢迎huān yíngWelcome
很高兴见到你hěn gāo xìng jiàn dào nǐPleased to meet you
Polite ways  
谢谢xiè xieThank you
不客气bù kè qìYou are welcome
qǐngPlease
请问qǐng wènExcuse me?
抱歉bào qiànSorry
对不起duì bù qǐI’m sorry
没关系méi guān xìNo problem
不好意思bù hǎo yì siExcuse me
借过一下jiè guò yī xiàPlease excuse me
Saying goodbye  
再见zài jiànGood bye
晚安wǎn ānGood night
回头见huí tóu jiànSee you later
祝您有个美好的一天!zhù nín yǒu gè měi hǎo de yī tiān !Have a nice day!
周末愉快zhōu mò yú kuàiHave a nice weekend
保持联系bǎo chí lián xìKeep in touch
一路顺风yí lù shùn fēngHave a smooth and safe journey.
慢走màn zǒuTake care
What’s your name  
我叫[Name], 你呢?wǒ jiào [Name], nǐ ne ?My name is …. What about you?
怎么称呼?zěn me chēng hū ?What is your name?
请问您贵姓?qǐng wèn nín guì xìng ?May I have your family name?
Making yourself understood  
我不会说中文wǒ bù huì shuō zhōng wénI don’t speak Chinese
你会说英语吗?nǐ huì shuō yīng yǔ ma ?Do you speak English?
我会说一点中文wǒ huì shuō yī diǎn zhōng wénI speak a little Chinese
请说慢一点qǐng shuō màn yī diǎnPlease speak more slowly
请写下来qǐng xiě xià láiPlease write it down
请你再说一遍好吗?qǐng nǐ zài shuō yī biàn hǎo ma ?Could you please repeat that?
我明白wǒ míng báiI understand
我不明白wǒ bù míng báiI don’t understand
我不知道wǒ bù zhī dàoI don’t know
我知道wǒ zhī dàoI know
什么意思?shén me yì siWhat do you mean?
Things you might see  
入口rù kǒuEntrance
出口chū kǒuExit
紧急出口jǐn jí chū kǒuEmergency exit
tuīPush
Pull
厕所cè suǒToilets
空的kōng deVacant
禁止吸烟jìn zhǐ xī yānNo smoking
打折dǎ zhédiscount
促销cù xiāopromotion
买一送一mǎi yī sòng yītwo for one
More useful basic Chinese phrases 
duìYes
no
也许吧yě xǔ bamaybe
请问,厕所在哪里?qǐng wèn , cè suǒ zài nǎ lǐ ?Excuse me,where’s the toilet?
多少?duō shǎo ?How much?
太贵了tài guì leToo expensive
便宜点pián yi diǎnMake it cheaper
你是本地人吗?nǐ shì běn dì rén ma ?Are you a local?
我从…来wǒ cóng … láiI’m from …
你经常来这吗nǐ jīng cháng lái zhè maDo you come here often?
我会想念你的wǒ huì xiǎng niàn nǐ deI will miss you
我爱你wǒ ài nǐI love you
别管我bié guǎn wǒLeave me alone!
救命啊!jiù mìng aHelp!
停下tíng xiàStop
生日快乐shēng rì kuài lèHappy Birthday
恭喜gōng xǐCongratulations
这个用中文怎么说zhè gè yòng zhōng wén zěn me shuōHow do you say this in Chinese?
叫警察jiào jǐng cháCall the police
你做什么样的工作?nǐ zuò shén me yàng de gōng zuò ?What kind of work do you do?
好搞笑hǎo gǎo xiàoThat’s hilarious
新春快乐xīn chūn kuài lèHappy Chinese New Year
等一下děng yī xiàWait a moment
结账,谢谢。jié zhàng , xiè xie。The bill, please. Thank you.
我要wǒ yàoI want…
一瓶啤酒yī píng pí jiǔa beer
一杯咖啡yī bēi kā fēia cup of coffee
一瓶水yī píng shuǐa bottle of water

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This Post Has 58 Comments

    1. A lot of people say Chinese is the hardest language to learn, but when you get to learn it for a while, it actually gets easier, and easier as you go!! I am learning this as my third language and it’s really hard, but pretty easy at the same time!!!!

    2. Hi good morning.. I need your help. I hope you would help about translating english sentence to mandarin laguage.. This is our assignment from our online class.
      How to introduce yourself in mandarin laguage?
      Starting from, Name, age, address, course enrolled, previous school and motto: “better late than never”.
      Pls help me.. Thank you. God Bless..

  1. Ni hao
    I’ve got that, Learning chinese language is much enough easy by pinning to start speaking with Chinese in business affairs. I’m enjoying of learning Chinese as my 3rd languages. So I’ll shift my business direction to China soon after learning essential levels.

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