Traveling overseas can be intimidating, particularly if you don’t speak the native tongue. With some careful preparation, however, your trip will become simpler and more pleasurable.
Beginning your Mandarin studies by learning these essential travel phrases will put you on the road to learning more vocabulary and perfecting pronunciation with ease! Speechling tutors can assist with this.
1. Don’t be afraid to ask
Non-Chinese speakers might find Mandarin strange sounding, but it really comes down to pronunciation. There are numerous similar sounds from English in Mandarin (r, zh and sh sounds for instance) so all it takes to make sounds is positioning your mouth differently for each sound and remember the tone markers to avoid sounding weird!
Mandarin is a tonal language, making it essential that you strike the appropriate tones to be understood. Saying the word “ma” with an inflected rising tone could mean something entirely different! That is why learning pinyin (which provides romanization of Chinese with tone markers for each syllable) is crucial – this allows speakers to ensure accurate pronunciation.
An essential skill when traveling is knowing how to ask for assistance in Mandarin. Before your trip, familiarize yourself with some of the most commonly used phrases like “Ce su?” (Where is the bathroom?) and “Ke yi bn” (“Do you have a map?”). Furthermore, be able to communicate basic needs like asking if something is spicy or warning others of any allergies.
2. You’re welcome
Although everyone must learn the standard “you’re welcome” (Bu ke qi or Bie ke qi) phrase as part of their first Chinese lessons, learning more than just this standard response can help show your politeness and thoughtfulness towards other people who express gratitude to you for something. Learning a few other ways can show them you care.
This expression may be more formal than Bu ke qi, yet still useful in certain situations. For instance, it can be used to thank people who helped out or when you are uncertain whether you owe anything back. Furthermore, it shows your concern over offending them as you know that they won’t take offense at what you did for them.
As with many phrases, their precise meaning will depend on the circumstances in which it’s used; nonetheless, it’s an effective way to demonstrate politeness and prove you are an considerate traveller.
3. Don’t be afraid to speak up
Traveling in China requires being able to communicate effectively with its locals. From asking directions, to haggling for lower prices on new dresses – knowing some useful Chinese phrases will make your travels much smoother! Check out our list of 10 Useful Chinese Phrases below that’ll make communicating much simpler and enjoyable!
Mandarin is a tonal language, which means each syllable has different connotations depending on its pitch. Without proper training, this could result in you saying something completely different than intended! To avoid this mishap, it’s best to learn a few essential Chinese travel phrases before traveling overseas – the easiest way to do this being finding qualified tutors online through TUTOROO; choose Melbourne, Sydney or Singapore now and start learning the Chinese language today!
4. You’re not alone
Traveling without much Chinese can be intimidating, but don’t let that keep you away from traveling abroad! Even if all you know are a few phrases it should be enough to get by – there will likely be other foreigners trying to navigate their way without much Chinese knowledge either!
Mandarin is a tonal language, making proper pronunciation crucial. Therefore, learning the Pinyin system – comprising roman letters with tone markers on them to assist pronunciation – may prove helpful for accurate communication with native Mandarin speakers.
Be sure to smile and show courtesy – locals will feel more at ease working with you and more likely to assist if necessary.
An essential travel tool is a phrasebook or app containing essential travel phrases, such as Lonely Planet’s version that’s easy to carry around and includes audio files so you can practice pronunciation. Or try working with Speechling tutors before going abroad for even more assistance from native speakers!
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Mandarin is the term given by Westerners to the standard language spoken on mainland China; native speakers refer to it as Beijing dialect or Huayu. Historically, European missionaries used the term “mandarin” as a way of distinguishing among different Chinese dialects.
No matter where you find yourself staying or dining, knowing how to seek help when needed is essential. If you are having difficulty understanding something, use pinyin – the romanized version of Chinese words with tone marks on each syllable– to ask for assistance; remembering that pronunciation matters: pronouncing one syllable incorrectly can alter its meaning entirely!
Utilizing the phrase Xie xie can also help show your appreciation when someone goes out of their way to assist, such as by letting you go ahead of them in line or offering their seat on an overcrowded train. This gesture can especially prove invaluable during emergencies when being able to request help could save lives.