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  #1  
Old 30.07.2008, 16:00
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Some easy Chinese sentences for the Olympics

Hi

Since the Olympics is starting soon, I thought we could post some easy Chinese sentences for those who never got into Chinese.

There are three ways to write Chinese:
  1. Chinese Simplified [Used in mainland China]
  2. Chinese Traditional [Usually has more strokes than simplified. Used in Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan]
  3. Pinyin [Basically the tones written in Latin characters]
Pinyin is also used to write Chinese on computers (Since there are a lot more Chinese characters than keys

so let's start with the first sentence which you probably already know:

================================================== ===

ni hao = hello
ni hao ma = how are you?

ni -> you
hao -> good
ma -> word to indicate a question

so basically: "ni hao" means "you good" = hello
and: "ni hao ma" means "you good?" = how are you

In chinese simplified it's: ni hao = 你好 , ni hao ma = 你好吗

[correct me if I'm wrong. Thanks! ]
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  #2  
Old 30.07.2008, 17:28
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Re: Some easy Chinese sentences for the Olympics

Beware. When said in a different "tone", Ni Hao Ma may mean "You are a good horse".
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Old 30.07.2008, 17:46
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Re: Some easy Chinese sentences for the Olympics

Useful Olympic language -

Jiayou!

Mandarin's equivalent to 'Hopp'.
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Old 30.07.2008, 17:54
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Re: Some easy Chinese sentences for the Olympics

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Useful Olympic language -
Jiayou!
Mandarin's equivalent to 'Hopp'.
Also, prefix "jiayou" with your country ("guo") of choice:

US - Mei Guo
UK - Ying Guo
Deutschland - De Guo
Switzerland - Rui Shi
China - Zhong Guo

eg. "Rui Shi Jia You!" which sorta means "go, team switzerland!"
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Old 30.07.2008, 18:40
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Re: Some easy Chinese sentences for the Olympics

wo hen hao = I'm fine

wo -> I, Me
hen -> very
hao -> good

So "wo hen hao" = "Me very good"

===================

ni ne = and you?

ni -> you
ne -> indicates a question? [please correct me on that]

so "ni ne" = "you?"

===================

wo ye hen hao = I'm also fine

wo = Me
ye = too
hen = very
hao = good

So "wo ye hen hao" = "Me too very good"

===================

xie xie = Thanks

xie = thanks [Said twice, because saying stuff twice brings luck (Maybe saying "bye" twice as in bye bye is influenced by chinese?)]



as always, please correct me if you see something wrong

Last edited by xapadoo; 30.07.2008 at 19:03. Reason: beardsy corrections
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  #6  
Old 30.07.2008, 18:49
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Re: Some easy Chinese sentences for the Olympics

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as always, please correct me if you see something wrong
Just the pinyin - it's 'ne' and 'ye'.

so...

Ni ne?

Wo ye hen hao.
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Old 15.08.2008, 16:52
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Re: Some easy Chinese sentences for the Olympics

Wan an = Good night (No clue what Wan means. I think "an" means "peace" :-) Wan = sleep?
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Old 15.08.2008, 20:33
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Re: Some easy Chinese sentences for the Olympics

How about some bargaining advice?

Usually they quote 3-4 times more than the actually price, unless your Chinese and bargaining skills are really good, you won't get normal price anyhow, but you can try to get a least close to it. So, please, don't spoil it for all the long term foreigners there and pay without bargaining.
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Old 15.08.2008, 20:52
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Re: Some easy Chinese sentences for the Olympics

Ooh! I became something of an expert with my frequent trips to XianYang market when I lived in Shanghai. I'm going out for a bit but I'll post a lengthy explanation of my method (which I call 'The Way of the Umbrella' or 'Fist of Tightness') when I get back later.
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Old 16.08.2008, 15:13
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Re: Some easy Chinese sentences for the Olympics

Guide to Haggling in China

Deal with Shock


The first thing you need to do is prepare for the shock. Walking into a Chinese market can be a dizzying assault on the senses. There are too many people, the sales people are too aggressive and don’t respect your personal space, and all in all there is a palpable atmosphere of mayhem.

As soon as you get past one person who grabs you shouting, “Rolex Rolex DVD DVD looky looky”, another one tries his luck. “Bag bag bag looky looky Nike Nike Yellow DVD.”

If someone grabs you, you can shout 'bu xing!' (Which pompously translates (I think) as 'That won't do!')

Learn to Ignore


You have to ignore everyone. It's hard to accept at first, especially if you've been taught to, like, respect other people and stuff. But you have to ignore everyone and focus on what you want.

If you find ignoring people to be too ignorant, you can politely tell them you don't want what they have to offer. 'bu yao!' (Don't want.)

Walk Around a Bit


It's important not to go straight to the first stall. Let's assume you want a fake Louis Vuitton handbag as a gift for your mistress. If you walk past a few bag stalls you can try to play them off against each other. Liang bai kuai? Ta shuo le san shi kuai! (200 bucks? She said thirty!) note - the grammar in that sentence is terrible. I don't know how to say it correctly.

Carry an Umbrella

Haggling is acting. You need props. An umbrella is perfect. You can point with it, drop it in astonishment, tap it impatiently, or hit yourself on the head with it.

Begin Haggling


The first step of the process is pointing to something with your umbrella and asking the price. Duoshao qian? (How much money?)

It is VERY IMPORTANT that you laugh at whatever he says. If you don't understand Chinese numbers, don't laugh at this stage. Shrug, and the stallkeeper will type the price into a calculator and show you the screen. Laugh at this point. This is his first price for really stupid foreign devils and you are sharing his joke. What a character!

But now you want the real price. As a rule of thumb, you can probably expect him to accept 10-20% of the first price. If he says 300, he means 30.

Go Slowly


When serving food, a Chinese person will say 'man man chi' (eat slowly) to his guest. Haggle slowly and you'll get more discount. The more theatrical your performance, the greater the discount. The more friends you have acting along with you ('bad cop' is the best supporting role if you only have one friend) the greater the discount.

Case Study


You want to buy some trainers. The woman asks for 400 RMB. You laugh, she laughs. Now what?

If she has a little stool, sit down, and get settled. Offer 50. Wu shi. Sit forward on your umbrella, preferably leaning your chin on the handle.

Begin pleading, shaking your head, looking to the heavens, sighing, leaving long silences, pretending to be angry, shrugging your shoulders, and mumbling instructions to your team mates (“Point to your own shoes and talk quickly in English… Put your hands on your hips… Try to get me to leave…”)

Nukes


If things aren't going well, try these useful phrases:

weishenme ni bu shihuan wo? (Why do you hate me?)
wo bu shi you qian ren (I'm not a rich guy)
tai gui le! you liangge er nai (That's too expensive. I have two mistresses to keep)
ni shi huai dan (You're a bad egg)
wo gei ni san bai kuai wo diao lian (If I give you three hundred bucks I'll lose face)

Final Tip

Walk away. If you agree on a price before walking away, you are paying too much. If you can't get the stallkeeper to go lower than 50 (for example) walk away. She will call you back and say 'okay 40'. If she doesn't call you back, it means 50 is her lowest price. Go back and pay it!
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Old 16.08.2008, 22:22
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Re: Some easy Chinese sentences for the Olympics

Funny tactic, but all goes as long as it works...
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Old 16.08.2008, 22:44
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Re: Some easy Chinese sentences for the Olympics

You don't get beaten up like this?
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Old 16.08.2008, 23:31
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Re: Some easy Chinese sentences for the Olympics

Quote:
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Guide to Haggling in China

Deal with Shock


The first thing you need to do is prepare for the shock. Walking into a Chinese market can be a dizzying assault on the senses. There are too many people, the sales people are too aggressive and don’t respect your personal space, and all in all there is a palpable atmosphere of mayhem.

As soon as you get past one person who grabs you shouting, “Rolex Rolex DVD DVD looky looky”, another one tries his luck. “Bag bag bag looky looky Nike Nike Yellow DVD.”

If someone grabs you, you can shout 'bu xing!' (Which pompously translates (I think) as 'That won't do!')

Learn to Ignore


You have to ignore everyone. It's hard to accept at first, especially if you've been taught to, like, respect other people and stuff. But you have to ignore everyone and focus on what you want.

If you find ignoring people to be too ignorant, you can politely tell them you don't want what they have to offer. 'bu yao!' (Don't want.)

Walk Around a Bit


It's important not to go straight to the first stall. Let's assume you want a fake Louis Vuitton handbag as a gift for your mistress. If you walk past a few bag stalls you can try to play them off against each other. Liang bai kuai? Ta shuo le san shi kuai! (200 bucks? She said thirty!) note - the grammar in that sentence is terrible. I don't know how to say it correctly.

Carry an Umbrella

Haggling is acting. You need props. An umbrella is perfect. You can point with it, drop it in astonishment, tap it impatiently, or hit yourself on the head with it.

Begin Haggling


The first step of the process is pointing to something with your umbrella and asking the price. Duoshao qian? (How much money?)

It is VERY IMPORTANT that you laugh at whatever he says. If you don't understand Chinese numbers, don't laugh at this stage. Shrug, and the stallkeeper will type the price into a calculator and show you the screen. Laugh at this point. This is his first price for really stupid foreign devils and you are sharing his joke. What a character!

But now you want the real price. As a rule of thumb, you can probably expect him to accept 10-20% of the first price. If he says 300, he means 30.

Go Slowly


When serving food, a Chinese person will say 'man man chi' (eat slowly) to his guest. Haggle slowly and you'll get more discount. The more theatrical your performance, the greater the discount. The more friends you have acting along with you ('bad cop' is the best supporting role if you only have one friend) the greater the discount.

Case Study


You want to buy some trainers. The woman asks for 400 RMB. You laugh, she laughs. Now what?

If she has a little stool, sit down, and get settled. Offer 50. Wu shi. Sit forward on your umbrella, preferably leaning your chin on the handle.

Begin pleading, shaking your head, looking to the heavens, sighing, leaving long silences, pretending to be angry, shrugging your shoulders, and mumbling instructions to your team mates (“Point to your own shoes and talk quickly in English… Put your hands on your hips… Try to get me to leave…”)

Nukes


If things aren't going well, try these useful phrases:

weishenme ni bu shihuan wo? (Why do you hate me?)
wo bu shi you qian ren (I'm not a rich guy)
tai gui le! you liangge er nai (That's too expensive. I have two mistresses to keep)
ni shi huai dan (You're a bad egg)
wo gei ni san bai kuai wo diao lian (If I give you three hundred bucks I'll lose face)

Final Tip

Walk away. If you agree on a price before walking away, you are paying too much. If you can't get the stallkeeper to go lower than 50 (for example) walk away. She will call you back and say 'okay 40'. If she doesn't call you back, it means 50 is her lowest price. Go back and pay it!
wow, great tips beardsy! in HK we just go "wah! tai gwai ah!!!" and walk away
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Old 17.08.2008, 01:19
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Re: Some easy Chinese sentences for the Olympics

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weishenme ni bu shihuan wo? (Why do you hate me?)
bravo! that´s chinese haggling in nutshell, with case study to boot! *applauds*

as for what xapadoo said about getting beaten up, just remember its like a ritual or role-play, if u will. a convivial attitude should ensure that nothing untoward happens. a suitable haggling face (kinda like apoker face) is hard to explain, just think of saying "aww come on, why are you giving me such a hard time??" in a slightly resigned manner, that should work

lastly, (see above) it should be "wei shen me ni bu xi huan wo?" which means, "why do you not like me?" for the ladies, executing this gambit with a pout would get you 20% off, ab sofort!
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