Friday, March 18, 2011

How to say Hello in Chinese?

Most of us already know 你好 (nǐ hǎo). But what are some other ways of saying Hello in Chinese? Use one of the following rather than saying 你好 (nǐ hǎo) and you will definitely make some Chinese friends.

大家好(dàjiā hǎo) : Hello everyone

你好吗? (nǐ hǎo ma?) : How are you?

怎么样? (zěnme yàng) : How is it going?

好久不见 (hǎo jiǔ bù jiàn) : Long time no see

The following are also commonly used:

你身体好吗? (nǐ shēntǐ hǎo ma?) : How is your health? /How are you?

你吃过了吗? (nǐ chī guò le ma?) : Have you eaten yet?

And how do you respond to these questions? Well, you could always just reply 你好 (nǐ hǎo), but below are few possible responses which will make people believe that you know Chinese.

很好 (hěn hǎo) : Good

非常好 (fēicháng hǎo) : Very good

不错 (bùcuò) : Not bad

还好 (hái hǎo) : OK

And my personal favorite:

马马虎虎 (mǎmǎhǔhǔ) : so-so

Next time you have to say Hello in Chinese, don’t just say 你好. Try one of the above and make a good impression.


  1. Ma Wi Sen, 你好吗?
    How do I say 'Happy St. Patrick's Day' in Chinese?

  2. Do they celebrate St. Patrick's Day in China?

    Suggestion for a future blog post-- I work with a lot of Chinese students, and I try hard to pronounce names as correctly as possible, but I know some of the letters (like X, Q, etc) are pronounced with S or Sh sounds, are there other letters that might be said with sounds that aren't intuitive to English speakers? Do you have tips on pronouncing Chinese names, especially now that we know "How are you?" so we can correctly say "zěnme yàng Xiaoshan?"

  3. Can you record and upload the sound on your blog for each phrase? If you can that would be really cool!

  4. I don't think they celebrate St. Patrick's Day in China. I asked few of my Chinese friends if they knew how to say Happy St. Patrick's Day in Chinese and they had no idea. But Google Translate says that St. Patrick's Day is Shèng pàtèlǐkè jié in Chinese. So Happy St. Patrick's Day would be Shèng pàtèlǐkè jié kuàilè.

    Thanks for the future post suggestion americanepali. I will definitely put that on my list.

    Also thanks U for your suggestion. While that is a great idea, I think it will require too much work. I will look into what I can do about it.