Interesting Facts About Mandarin Chinese
- Mandarin Chinese has 4 different tones and an additional tone which is neutral.
- Tones differentiate word meanings in Mandarin.
- Mandarin Chinese has over 100,000 characters.
- Logograms are used in Mandarin to represent a word or a phrase.
- The Chart of Common Characters of Modern Chinese has only about 2,500 common characters.
- Mandarin isn't the only language in China! In fact, Cantonese is widely spoken in Southern China and in Hong Kong.
- Mandarin Chinese has over a billion speakers. It has speakers from mainland China and other parts of the globe.
- It is the most natively spoken language in the world.
- Mandarin as a language was developed to unify most parts of China.
Basic Mandarin Chinese Words
Nihao, pronounced Nee How. Mandarin for hello
- Use this simple greeting to say hi to your fellow passengers, taxi driver, seller, hotel receptionist etc.
Zao, pronounced zhow. Mandarin for good morning.
- Chinese are quite friendly and would appreciate being greeted in the morning.
Wan'ān, pronounced one-un. Mandarin for goodnight.
- Use this on your friends and family when retiring to bed.
Xièxiè, pronounced shieh- shieh. Mandarin for thank you.
- Use this to show appreciation.
Bù kèqì, pronounced as Boo kuh- chi. Mandarin for you're welcome.
- It's always polite to reply bù kèqì when someone tells you xièxiè.
Basic Mandarin Chinese Phrases
Dūo shao, pronounced as Dwuh shauh. Mandarin for how much.
- You'll probably want to buy stuff during your stay in China and this is just how to start.
Hào chī, pronounced how chir. Mandarin for delicious.
- You'll probably enjoy the delicious meals in Chinatown or in the streets of Shanghai.
- Use the word as a polite way to say the food was tasty.
Måi dān, pronounced my dahn. Mandarin for check please!
- Use this after you've finished the food and don't forget to add hào chī.