Survival Chinese

survivalchineseThis section of Lost Laowai is designed to teach you some basic survival Chinese – words and phrases that will get you by.

It is advisable to also visit our section on Chinese pinyin, as Chinese is a rather complicated language and even saying basic things can be difficult without an understanding of this core concept.

If you’re looking for more ways to improve your Chinese, be sure to check out some useful sites and useful Chinese software sections.

NOTE: Click the “play” icon beside the pinyin (or the pinyin itself) to hear how the phrase/word should sound.

Greetings & Goodbyes

English Pinyin Chinese
Hello ní hǎo 你好
How are you? ní hǎo ma? 你好吗?
I’m fine, and you? wó hén hǎo, nǐ ne? 我很好, 你呢?
Nice to meet you. jiàndao ní hěn gāoxìng 见到你很高兴.
Goodbye zàijiàn 再见
See you soon. yíhuìr jiàn 一会儿见.
See you tomorrow. míngtiān jiàn 明天见.


English Pinyin Chinese
Thank you xièxie 谢谢
You’re welcome búkèqi 不客气
Sorry duìbuqǐ 对不起
It doesn’t matter méiguānxi 没关系
No problem méiwèntí 没问题

Useful Phrases

English Pinyin Chinese
I want (something) wǒ yào … 我要 …
I don’t want (something) wǒ búyào … 我不要 …
I like (something) wǒ xǐhuan … 我喜欢 …
I don’t like (something) wǒ bùxǐhuan … 我不喜欢 …
Do you have (something)? ní yǒu … ma? 你有 … 吗?
Where is the (something)? … zài nǎr? … 在哪儿?
How much is it? duōshǎoqián? 多少钱?
Please speak slowly. qǐng shuō màn yìdiǎn 请说慢一点.


English Pinyin Chinese
Two èr
Three sān
Six liù
Nine jiǔ
Ten shí
Eleven shíyī 十一
Twenty èrshí 二十
Twenty One èrshíyī 二十一
One Hundred yībǎi 一百
One Thousand yīqiān 一千