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Useful Mandarin Phrases

Beijing Travel Essentials: Useful Mandarin Chinese Phrases

Useful Chinese Phrases

Chinese is the world's most spoken language with over 900 million speakers around the globe. As well as mainland China, Mandarin can be heard in both Taiwan and Singapore where the language has official status and among the millions of ex-pat Chinese around the world in the USA, UK, Japan and other countries.

The language has two written versions for the thousands of Chinese characters that make up the language. Simplified Chinese is used in mainland China and throughout South East Asia whereas traditional Chinese characters are used in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

Learning a few simple phrases before any visit to China can make your stay so much more enjoyable and hassle-free. Chinese people warm to any visitor who makes an effort to speak some of their language, however bad it is.

Mandarin has four tones numbered 1 through 4. The first is a high tone ā, second is a high rising tone third is a low falling-rising tone ă and fourth is a high falling tone
If you are interested in further Mandarin study please see our Chinese language book section.
See here for useful Cantonese phrases

Below are a few basic phrases to help you on your way.

Listen to some useful Mandarin phrases here, the numbers in Mandarin here, introductions & looking for an apartment here and greetings, weather, days of the week and travel words here.

The Basics

yes shì
no méiyǒu (don't have); bu (not so)
Where are? zai năli
How much? duōshao qián?
Ticket piào
Thank you xièxiè
Toilet cèsuǒ
Excuse me qĭng wen

Meeting People

Hello nĭ hăo
Goodbye zàijiàn
My name is wŏ ji
What is your name? Nǐ jiào shénme míngzì?
Greetings diā hăo
How are you? nĭ hăo ma?
Fine hăo
I'm from.... Wǒ láizì
Great Tài hǎole!



General

Where is ......? ......zai năli?
Train station huŏchē zhan
Airport fēijīchăng
Bus qhē
TV dianshi
I'd like a room, please wŏ xiăng dg fgjiān
How much is it per? mĕi duōshăo qi?
A week xīngqī
A night tiān
Name mingzi
Visa qiānzhèng
Passport huzhao
Today jīntiān
Day tiān
Year nian
Tomorrow mingtiān

Emergencies

Call a doctor! Dǎ diànhuà gěi yīshēng
Call an ambulance! Jiào jiùhù chē!
I want to contact the embassy Wǒ yào liánxì shǐguǎn
doctor yīshēng

Food & Drink

Do you have vegetarian food? Nǐ yǒu sùshí ma?
apple píngguǒ
banana xiāngjiāo
bread mibāo
butter huángyóu
cheese nǎilào
chicken
coffee kāfēi
fruit shuĭguŏ
meat rou
milk niăi
orange chegzhī
orange juice júzizhī
potato tŭd
rice (uncooked) damī
rice (cooked) mifan
salt yan
soup tāng
sugar táng
tea cha
vegetables shūc
water shuĭ
wok guō
yogurt suānăi

Numbers in Mandarin

1 yī 一
2 er 二
3 sān 三
4 shi 四
5 wŭ 五
6 liu 六
7 qī 七
8 bā 八
9 jiŭ 九
10 shi 十
50 wŭshi;五十
100 yībăi 一百
200 liăngībăi 二百
1000 yīqiān 一千



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