If you are coming to China for the first time with your family, you are probably scared that your children will not be able to communicate with anyone. We have created a list for the top 10 Chinese phrases that will be useful to know before you land in China. These phrases are important whether you are only going to be in the country for a few days, or you are going to be living in China for a while. It’s important as a foreigner (lǎowài) to be able to communicate with the people around you.
1. Nǐ hǎo – Hello. This is the common greeting for when you see or meet someone.
2. Zàijiàn – Goodbye. There are many different ways in which you can say good bye in Mandarin, however this just the most common way to say it.
3. Yī, èr, sān, sì, wǔ, liù, qī, bā, jiǔ, shí – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. I always consider numbers to be one of the most important things to know in a foreign country, as you will hear and/or need to say them all the time.
4. Xièxiè – Thank you.
5. Duìbùqǐ– Sorry
6. Bu ke qi – You’re welcome
7. It is important to know how to say you, me, he, and she. As it is a common way to start a conversion by using:
8. Ni jao shenme mingzi? – What is your name? Your children will find this very handy since there will be a lot of children asking them this when they arrive at school.
9. Knowing how to say yes or no in a language is essential, sadly in Chinese there are several ways to say both. Usually how you answer will depend on the question itself, but the simplest way to answer is:
10. Wǒ xǐhuan – I like. Children will often want to express that they like a type of food, drink, toy, or sport. So we have included it on the list, that way they can explain what they like to classmates and teachers within the school.
Of course this is just the beginning of learning Chinese, the next part is, education in China. There are many great schools that offer some amazing programs for international students regardless of their Chinese level. If you would like to learn more about education for your child in China check out one of the leading international schools, YCIS Beijing. YCIS has a network of international schools in Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Qingdao, Hong Kong and even in California in the Silicon Valley.
About Author: Oliver Smith is a UK-born writer that has been living in China for the last couple of years and is an avid student of the Chinese language.
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