China is definitely a very exciting place to visit, it is a place that you have to visit before you die. However our trip could be challenging because of the language barrier. So, with the firm intention of helping you to overcome this difficulty, we have written this article.
If your biggest concern when arriving in Beijing is to make yourself understood, there is nothing to worry, on one hand, Chinese people are very expressive and usually work hard to understand the foreign tourists. Moreover, many people speak English in Beijing. Are you still worried?
We´ve compiled a list of useful expressions in Chinese (Mandarin) for you to be able to understand and make yourself understood, while you are traveling in Beijing. Ready? Take notes!
*Just one more thing: the accents on some vowels are tones, but don’t worry, I´ll take care of this with an indication between brackets, so you know if the vowel is pronounced longer or shorter.
Yī [y-i] – One
Er [Ahr] – Two
Shí [Sh-r] – Ten
Er shí [Ahr-sh]– Twenty
Yì bǎ [y-i paaa]– One Hundred
Qing [ching]: Please
Nǐ Hǎo [niiii jaaau]– Hi (The “j” is pronounced as “h” in English)
Nǐ Hǎo ma? [niiii jaaau ma?] – How are you?
Xiè xiè [sié sié] – Thank you
Wǒ jiǎo ___ [wooo jiaaao ___] – I’m ____
Nì na? [niná?] – and you?
Bù [Pu] – No
Duì bù qǐ [Tuy puchí] – I’m sorry/ excuse me
Zài jiàn [Tsái jién]– Goodbye
Wǒ yào/ Wǒ bù yào [wooo yáu/ wooo pu yáu] – I want /I don’t want
Wǒ zhī dào / Wǒ bù zhī dào [wooo tzitáu / wooo pu tzitáu]– I know / I don’t know
wǒ bù hui shuo zhongwen [wooo bujuí shuuuo tsongwén] – I don’t speak Chinese
Wǒ tīng bù dǒng [Wooo tiiing butóng]– I don’t understand
Dì tiě [Ti-tié] – Metro station
Jī chǎng [ji-chang]– Airport
Wǒ suí biàn kàn kàn [wooo suii bién kankán] – I am just watching (at the store)
Wǒ méi yǒu qián [wooo meei ioou chién]– I don’t have money.
Duō shǎo qián? [Tuuo shaao chién?] – How much is it?
Tài guì le! [Tái kuí-la] – That’s too expensive!
Nǐ kě yǐ piányì yìdiǎn ma? [Ni key-i pián-ii i-tiénma?] – Can you offer me a better price? Jiùmìng a! [Jioumíng a!]– Help!
Wǒ yào kàn bìng [wooo yáo kanpíng] – I need to see a doctor
Nǐ nēng bù nēng bāng wǒ [ni nung pu nung pang woo?]– Can you help me?
So? Have you learnt them? Now you can bargain in the markets so you won’t be as the classic foreigner willing to pay 10 times for than a souvenir, you can also ask for help if you have a stomach problem and even introduce yourself when you meet new people.
Now that you´ve discovered that Chinese is not impossible to speak, find cheap apartments in Beijing and begin your adventure; you won’t regret it!