No matter the length of your stay in China, learning Mandarin will make the trip much more rewarding and can make your stay all the more fulfilling! Don’t make learning Mandarin an insurmountable task: it doesn’t have to be difficult!
Start off your travel experience right with these essential travel phrases, organized in pinyin with their phonetic pronunciation written under each character. Be mindful of intonation as well!
1. Know the Language
Mandarin Chinese is one of the world’s most widely spoken languages, and learning even a few basic words will make your travels much simpler. If you only have limited time available for study, consider picking up a basic phrasebook or using an app like Duolingo or FluentU to quickly gain basic words that will enable you to communicate essential messages while traveling through China – like asking directions or indicting where to go next.
Mandarin can be challenging for English speakers because it is a tonal language with different tone variations for each word, making pronunciation challenging but at least easier thanks to pinyin, an alphabetic system developed by linguists to represent sounds from Chinese by using 26 letters from the English alphabet alphabet. Although pronunciation will still require practice with book or app practice is less challenging.
Mandarin differs from many other languages in that it does not mark gender or number; for instance, to refer to men, use wo () while to refer to females use ni (). Other languages might add suffixes like -er or -i to indicate singular or plural forms respectively.
2. Learn the Phrases
Learn some common Chinese phrases is an effective way of showing locals your efforts at learning their language, from asking directions or haggling at markets to making friends with locals. Having this knowledge on hand can make all the difference when visiting China!
First step to learning any new language is understanding its foundational concepts and basics. While no one should expect to absorb an entire tongue overnight, memorizing a few Mandarin phrases can make your journey far more pleasurable.
Some helpful Chinese travel phrases to remember include the following: 1) Hello and Goodbye or 2) If someone is sick (Zhe Ge Duo Shao Qian). Sorry about that!
Learning basic numbers is also beneficial. In China, for instance, 8 is considered unlucky and it’s good practice to know this when giving out your phone number or apartment number! Also knowing the word for toilet can come in handy if traveling abroad and finding yourself without toilet paper – or needing to locate public restrooms! You could use phrases like this when traveling abroad as contingency plans such as these:
4. Learn the Basics
Any travel plan should include learning some essential Mandarin phrases to ease navigation of the trip. Doing so can boost confidence while making local interactions simpler; supplement these lessons with vocabulary from phrasebooks or apps such as Duolingo for further assistance and feedback on pronunciation or work with a Speechling tutor for intensive guidance in learning this difficult language.
One of the key travel phrases is “Xie xie,” or thank you. This simple expression expresses your appreciation when someone opens their line for you or gives up their seat on an overcrowded bus, and also shows your respect for their language and culture.
Another useful travel phrase is “ni hao,” which translates literally to hello but can also serve as a general greeting in most situations. Nan is used for men’s bathrooms while nu refers to women’s. Knowing these terms could also prove helpful when trying to locate one while traveling; voice translation apps provide an easy way for practicing these phrases ahead of time.