Greetings are important in all cultures. While waves, handshakes and smiles tend to be universal signs of greeting, there are many different ways to say hello. Plus, there are many variations of hello, such as “hi” and “how are you?.” Then, there’s Good Morning and Good Evening.
Just like in all languages, there are a few different ways to ask the same questions. By the same token, there are formal and informal ways to say hello and other common phrases. For example, informal hello is “nǐ hǎo” while the polite hello is “nín hǎo.”
Let’s go over a few of the cultural circumstances when you would greet someone formally or informally.
- Hello: nǐ hǎo
- Polite hello: nín hǎo
- Good morning: zǎoshàng hǎo, nĭ zăo; zăo
- How are you?: nǐhǎo ma?
- Welcome: huānyíng
- Congratulations: gōngxi nǐ
- I’m glad to meet you: wǒ hěn gāoxìng rènshí nǐ
- Good morning: zǎoshàng hǎo
- Good afternoon: xiàwŭ hăo
- Good evening: wănshàng hăo
- How is it going?: nĭ zĕnmeyàng?
- How’s it going lately?: zuìjìn zĕnmeyàng
- I’m doing great, thank you: wŏ hĕnhăo, xièxie
- I’m not doing well: wŏ bútàihăo
- I’m fine: tĭnghăode
- I’m okay: háixíng
- Goodbye: zàijiàn
- See you tomorrow: míngtiān jiàn
- See you soon: huítóu jiàn
- Good luck: zhù nĭ hăoyùn
- See you next week: xiàge xīngqījiàn
- Talk to you soon: găitiān zàiliáo
- Take care: mànzŏu
- Hi everyone: dàjiāhǎo
- Long time no see: hǎo jiǔ bú jiàn
- It’s OK: hái kěyǐ
- Bye-bye: bái bái
- See you later/in awhile: yī huǐ er jiàn
- See you tomorrow: míng tiān jiàn
- Let’s catch up later/ let’s stay in touch: zài lián xi
- Excuse me, I must leave: shī péi le
- Farewell: hòu huì yǒu qī
While there are many ways to say hello and goodbye, and everything in between, it’s important to know the fluency of Mandarin Chinese so these phrases don’t seem forced. Learning to converse smoothly in Chinese is as easy as getting the right training. No more boring textbooks and books on tape. Now you can learn online by people who live in China and know the language fluently.
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