Must Know Words & Phrases for Chinese Summer Festivals
Several Chinese summer festivals take place every year. If you are travelling to the country this summer, keep your eye out for these events. And in preparation, why not learn some must know words and phrases? Getting up to date on must know words will help you communicate with the people you encounter and get an authentic feel for the Chinese culture.
This article reviews the Chinese words you should get to know on your trip and highlights some of the best festivals worth attending.
What Chinese Summer Festivals Should I Attend?
Before we reveal the must know words and phrases for your visit to China, here is a closer look at some Chinese summer festivals you may want to attend:
- The Dragon Boat Festival: The Dragon Boat Festival happens on different dates in mid-June. The 2000-year-old tradition involves dragon boat races, health-related customs and the honouring of Qu Yuan, a Chinese poet and politician. It is customary to eat sticky rice dumplings during the celebration.
- Double Seventh Day: Also known as Chinese Valentine’s Day, Doble Seventh Day happens on the 7th day of the 7th month of the Chinese lunar calendar. It falls around mid-August and is based on a well-known story about a weaver girl and an ox herd. It is celebrated by giving gifts like flowers and chocolates and going on dates with romantic partners.
What are the Must Know Words?
If you plan on visiting China to enjoy the summer festivals, familiarising yourself with the Chinese language is essential. Don’t worry, though – you don’t need to be fluent in Chinese! With our handy must know words and phrases, you’ll have a basic grasp of all words needed to enjoy the celebrations and festivities.
In the below sections, we provide the meaning of the Chinese words in English and their Chinese translation. If you are taking the trip, you may also want to learn some Chinese letters, but that’s a lesson for another day! Now, let’s suggest the must know words and phrases that will come in handy when you are at festivals and want to wish somebody well.
- Happy Holidays: It’s easy to see why “happy holidays” would be must know words during a celebration. The Chinese translation is pronounced “guonian hao” and can be used at all Chinese summer festivals.
- Wishing You Good Fortune: It’s customary in Chinese culture to wish each other good fortune during a celebration. This is expressed in the Chinese word “gongxifacai”, which means “wishing you prosperity and wealth”.
- May All Your Wishes Come True: These are other must know words you will want to get familiar with when you learn Chinese. The Chinese translation is “zhu xinxiang-shicheng”, a common phrase you’ll hear locals use during the festivities.
- Wishing You Good Health: Good health and Chinese culture go hand in hand. To wish someone wellness, say “jing shenti jiankang”. The literal translation of this phrase means “in good health or body”.
Four Must Know Chinese Foods
Chinese foods are other must know words for anyone attending Chinese summer festivals. After all, you will want to know what you are eating and ordering when you attend the celebrations. Some Chinese food-related terms you should get familiar with include:
- Dumplings: Dumplings are a Chinese culture classic! The word for them is “tangyuan”.
- Fish: Fish signifies surplus and wealth in Chinese culture. Unlike many of these must know words, it is also pretty simple to say in the Chinese language—the word is “yu”.
- Spring Rolls: When in China, you won’t want to miss out on a chance to eat authentic spring rolls. When asking for them in the Chinese language, say “chunjuan”.
- Fruit: Several fruits are popular in Chinese culture. These include tangerines (“juzi”), oranges (“chengzi”), and pomelo (“youzi”).
Seven Other Must Know Chinese Words
The above words and phrases are excellent knowledge when attending Chinese summer festivals. However, learning some more general Chinese terms is also beneficial to help you get around the country while on your travels. Here are seven examples to perfect before your holiday:
- Hello: It’s easy to see why hello is one of China’s must know words. There are at least thirteen different ways to say “hello” in Chinese, but the most basic and easiest to master before your trip is “ni hao”.
- No: In China, you may get offers from pushy cab drivers and salesmen. That’s why no is an essential word to learn. “Bu yao to” means “don’t want it” or “don’t need it”. The Chinese word “bu xie xie” is a little more polite and means “no thank you”.
- Right or Correct: Knowing how to say no in Chinese is helpful, but you must also learn to say yes! The word “dui” can substitute “yeah”, “right”, or “correct” in the Chinese language.
- Thank You: You will want to show people that you are polite. You can do so with the must know word “xie xie”, which means “thank you”. Place these words after you say “yes” to ask for something politely.
- Goodbye: To say goodbye in the Chinese language, say “zai jian”.
- Toilet: When you learn Chinese, you will definitely want to find out how to say toilet. It’s “cesuo”. If you really want to up your game, you can ask, “Where is the toilet?” by saying the phrase, “Cèsuǒ zài nǎlǐ”.
- Excuse Me: China tends to have crowded streets. You will make your way around more easily if you are familiar with the term “dui bu qi”, which translates to “excuse me”.
A Word About Chinese Letters
We are not going into Chinese letters in this article—the focus of this page is to cover the must know words and phrases for your next trip. However, we won’t leave you completely in the dark! Here are a few tips for understanding Chinese letters before you attend any Chinese summer festivals:
- Break Them Down: Chinese letters are made of components. If you break them down, they will be easier to understand.
- Understand Chinese Culture: Understanding Chinese culture can help with translation: Study Chinese culture to discover how Chinese letters evolved to aid your understanding.
- Practice Makes Perfect: You will learn Chinese letters better if you write them often. Concentrate on must know words to make communicating easier.
How Renaissance Translations Can Help
Attending any of the Chinese summer festivals will provide much fun! However, the Chinese language is not easy to master. You have your work cut out for you trying to perfect the pronunciation of these words before your summer holiday.
If you are struggling to understand any of these must know words and phrases, Renaissance Translations can provide professional Chinese translation services. We can assist you if you are trying to learn Chinese or need to communicate with Chinese speakers, whether it be for business or pleasure. Contact us for the assistance you need in the Chinese language, so you are sure to have a great trip to China.