Chinese Language Basics: 10 Most Useful Phrases and Expressions

Are you visiting China for the first time? If you’re worried about the language barrier, learn Chinese language basics to get around China with ease!

In China, a simple handshake or kind greeting can go a long way. However, speaking a little bit of Chinese can make a huge difference. You can create meaningful connections and get to experience Chinese culture.

Get started and learn all about Chinese language basics and common phrases and expressions that you can use every day in China!

The Chinese language is the most spoken language in the world.
10 Most Useful Chinese Phrases and Expressions

Chinese people are very warm and friendly. They’re not shy to ask questions or converse with you. To help you make new friends, here are 10 of the most basic phrases and expressions that you can use!

1. 你好!Ni Hao – Hello/Hi
2. 你好吗?Ni Hao Ma? – How are you?
3. 很高兴认识你 Hen Gao Xing Ren Shi Ni – Glad to see you/Nice to meet you
4. 你叫什么名字?Ni Jao Shenme Mingzi – What’s your name?
5. 我叫 Wo Jiao – My name is…
6. 谢谢!Xiexie! – Thank you! or 非常感谢!Feichang Ganxie – Thank you so much!
7. 请问…? Qingwen…? – Could I ask…? (This is a polite way to ask a question)
8. 好的!Hao de! – OK!
9. 不好意思,可以问个路玛? Bu Haoyisi, Keyi Wen Ge Lu Ma? – Excuse me, could I ask for some directions?
10. 可以帮个忙吗?Keyi Bang Ge Mang Ma? – Could you help me?

More Chinese Words to Learn!

Generally speaking, you can address Chinese people by their family or first name. You can also place Mr. or Ms. in front of their names. This is commonly used in China and is therefore widely accepted.

An important part of Chinese language basics is addressing elders properly. Respect for elders is very important in Chinese tradition and culture. Therefore, you need to learn the right way to address them.

So, if you’re talking to a much older person than yourself, you can address him/her as “elder” followed by the surname. For example, Elder Li. If you’re speaking with someone younger, you can address him/her as “younger” then the surname.

Want to write and speak Chinese? Apply for a one-on-one Online Chinese Program with BLCU and improve your Chinese language skills!

Register for a free trial class here:

Check it out by searching on Google or China Admissions platform.

Content crafter at China Admissions with nine years of professional writing experience. Fil-Chinese who honors my heritage every day. On a fascinating journey exploring China and tracing my ancestry. See China through my lens.
Christine Chiu

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