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How to Greet in Chinese

When travelling in Xinjiang, you might wanna greet local people and have a short chat with them.

It’s always interesting and fun to learn something new,right? The following are some common greeting words teach you how to greet local people.

 

1. "Ni Hao"-Hello

"Ni Hao" literally translates into "You Good" and can be a very generic greeting term. It is pronounced like "nee how". You can say it when you shake hands with your Chinese friends, when you walk by them in the hallway, when you sit down next to a new friend at dinner, etc.etc. It can be loosely used in all situations where you may say "hi" or "hello" in American English.

2. "Xie Xie"-Thank you

 "Xie Xie" means "Thank you". It is pronounced like "Shi-e Shi-e" or "Zhi-Zhi"(if that is not too confusing). It can be used whenever you want to say thank you to someone.

3. "Bu Ke Qi"-You're welcome

 "Bu Ke Qi" means "You're welcome". It is pronounced like "Boo Ker(British accent without the "r") Chi"

4. "Tai Hao Le!"-Wonderful

 "Tai Hao Le!" means "Wonderful!". It is pronounced like "Thai Hao Lah". This can be applied to many situations as you may suspect, such as someone agreeing to see you again, someone giving you a business card, etc..

5. "Da Jia Hao”- Hi everyone

Say "Da Jia Hao!" when opening a speech. You may be asked to make a speech. Open the speech by saying "Da Jia Hao!" which can be loosely translated into "How's everyone today?", "Hello everyone!", ""Wish everyone well!", or "Good day, everyone!"

6. "Na Li Na Li"

"Na Li Na Li" is a standard response to any compliment, including compliments to your spouse. Do not say "Xie Xie" (Thank you) when you receive compliments. It is not the Chinese way. Instead, say "Na Li Na Li" (pronounced as "Nah Lee Nah Lee").

Say every phrase twice. Except for "Na Li Na Li" which is already a repetitive phrase, everything above can be said twice to make you really sound like a native. For instance, instead of saying "Ni Hao", say "Ni Hao Ni Hao!". Instead of "Xie Xie", say "Xie Xie Xie Xie" (I know it may sound crazy but trust me, this is how a native Chinese would say it.) This is done to put emphasis on the words. Say the phase a little softer the second time, and keep repeating to fade out smoothly. So here you go again: Ni Hao Ni Hao! Xie Xie Xie Xie! Bu Ke Qi Bu Ke Qi! Tai Hao Le Tai Hao Le!

Summary:

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Notes:

Except for Mandarin Chinese which is generically used in Xinjiang, some languages, such as Uygur, Kazak and Mongolian, are used among local ethnic groups.