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.
no méiyǒu (don't have); bu (not so)
Where are? zai năli
How much? duōshao qián?
Thank you xièxiè
Excuse me qĭng wen
Hello nĭ hăo
My name is wŏ ji
What is your name? Nǐ jiào shénme míngzì?
Greetings diā hăo
How are you? nĭ hăo ma?
I'm from.... Wǒ láizì
Great Tài hǎole!
Where is ......? ......zai năli?
Train station huŏchē zhan
I'd like a room, please wŏ xiăng dg fgjiān
How much is it per? mĕi duōshăo qi?
A week xīngqī
A night tiān
Call a doctor! Dǎ diànhuà gěi yīshēng
Call an ambulance! Jiào jiùhù chē!
I want to contact the embassy Wǒ yào liánxì shǐguǎn
Food & Drink
Do you have vegetarian food? Nǐ yǒu sùshí ma?
orange juice júzizhī
rice (uncooked) damī
rice (cooked) mifan
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
100 yībăi 一百
200 liăngībăi 二百
1000 yīqiān 一千
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