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Basic Chinese Phrases - Greetings
How are You? Nǐ hǎo ma 你好吗？
Also commonly shortened to nǐ hǎo. This is likely to be the first Chinese words that you will ever need to learn. Useful as a greeting or a ice-breaker. Suitable for use with Chinese friends of all ages and professions. Remember to use the Chinese phrase, nǐ hǎo, whenever you meet a Chinese friend or neighbor.
Fantastic Hěn bàng 很棒
Use this when you feel great or to describe something really fantastic.
Very Good Hěn hǎo 很好
This is useful when giving praise for a job or task well done. Also useful as a reply to anyone who says "Ni Hao Ma?' to you. Q: Ni Hao Ma? (How are you?) A: Hen Hao (Very Good) The same phrase, Hen Hao, can also be used as a praise or compliments to someone who has done a good job.
So So Mǎ mǎ hu hǔ 马马虎虎
Use this when you just feel so-so, or just alright. Can be used when to describe something that is not great but not bad either. Such as the question: Hǎo chī ma? (how is this food?) Answer: Mǎ mǎ hu hǔ (Just so-so).
No Good Bù hǎo 不好
This is useful when there is a need to comment on a shoddy or incomplete job or task. Can also be used as a reply to Nǐ hǎo ma but may not be such a good reply. Q: Nǐ hǎo ma? (How are you?) A: Bù hǎo (No Good)
Thank You xiè xie 谢谢
Saying Thank you is another basic and polite term that is easy to remember and use.
And you? Nǐ ne? 你呢？
Don't forget to ask how the other person is doing! After you describe how you are, you can simply say Nǐ ne? to the other person.
Interactive Media: Chinese-English Forum, Video Greetings from Friends in China (Coming Soon)