Say ‘Hello’ to People in China

This is a Quora Question Answer for Mandarin Chinese, which  can be a reference to the beginner students.

The Original Quora Link.



How do you say “nice to meet you” in Chinese?


Just like a native English speaker probably doesn’t care how a Chinese begin with a English conversation, only if they can understand each other, I don’t think it really matter what you are supposed to say. A hello (你好, if you were a French person,then 您好) is just fine, things would get awkward if you pay more attention to the exact paraphrasing.

Here is some simple examples you can use daily naturally. the reasons behind it is the culture difference.

1.Total stranger ,such as pedestrian, you are asking something, like where is the nearest MacDonald (going to restroom )

— “抱歉,打扰” then follow question directly(literally means: Excuse me,……..)

2.Working mate, colleague who you are going to meet fist time but in the same company, like having a conference call or face to face meeting.

— “你好”, then follow your topic, maybe it would be better make a brief self introduction (what you are in charging for..), that’s it.

3.Top brass, you never meet, for a meeting or reviewing.

—“您好”, this is literally the same as ’你好’ both means ‘hello’ but with more respect.

4.Friend, you meet for the first time

— “你好”, then just go to your topic.

5.Good friend, often see each other.

— “Hi” , usually with an nod and smile, Do not say ‘你好’, awkward…

6.Good friend, not see each other for years, just met

—‘Hi, 最近好吗’ literally means “hi how have you been, or how are you doing ”

7.Girl/boy friend , intimate lover,

— Anything you both like….

Did I miss some scenario?…

I just exhausted my brain to recall where would I use the phrase “Nice to meet you” in China. it turns out Nowhere ,

Actually native Chinese barely use the phrase “Nice to meet you.”, but if you do, like I mentioned in the very beginning, it just fine, no problem.

Awkward silent time is usual when taking between foreigners, just try to be comfy.

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