5 Mandarin Phrases You Can’t Live Without: Get Them Now!

5 Mandarin Phrases You Can’t Live Without: Get Them Now!


In the era of globalization, learning a new language is more than just acquiring a skill; it’s an open door to understanding different cultures and expanding horizons. Among languages, Mandarin stands tall, given China’s rapidly growing economic influence and rich cultural history. If you’re starting on this journey of learning Mandarin, there are key phrases that will make the voyage smoother and more enjoyable. So, let’s dive right in!

1. 你好 (Nǐ hǎo) – Hello

Every conversation begins with a greeting, and 你好 is your go-to phrase for “Hello” in Mandarin. Pronounced “Nee Hao,” it’s an essential tool in your Mandarin arsenal. Whether you’re entering a shop, meeting someone for the first time, or starting a phone call, 你好 will be your faithful conversation opener.

2. 谢谢 (Xièxiè) – Thank You

Politeness can take you places, and saying “Thank You” is the universal sign of good manners. 谢谢, pronounced “Shei Shei,” is how Mandarin speakers express their gratitude. Remember to give a slight nod when saying 谢谢 to show respect, a crucial aspect of Chinese culture.

3. 请 (Qǐng) – Please

In Mandarin, 请, pronounced “Ching,” is your magic word. It’s widely used to make polite requests or invitations. So, if you want to ask someone to wait, you’d say 请等一下 (Qǐng děng yīxià). This phrase is your key to polite and friendly interactions in Mandarin!


An image showing the Mandarin phrase 请等一下 (Qǐng děng yīxià), with the English translation "Please wait a moment" beneath.

Master the art of patience in Mandarin with the phrase 请等一下 (Qǐng děng yīxià), meaning “Please wait a moment”.

4. 不客气 (Bú kèqì) – You’re Welcome

When someone says 谢谢 to you, the typical response is 不客气, which translates to “You’re Welcome”. Pronounced “Boo Keh Chi,” this phrase is a simple yet effective way to continue the conversation and keep the social interaction going.

An image depicting the Mandarin phrase 不客气 (Bú kèqì) with its English translation, "You're Welcome", underneath.

Respond graciously in Mandarin with 不客气 (Bú kèqì), meaning “You’re Welcome”.


5. 我不懂 (Wǒ bù dǒng) – I Don’t Understand

As a Mandarin beginner, you’re bound to face situations where you don’t understand what’s being said. No worries, because 我不懂 (Wǒ bù dǒng) is your rescue phrase! It simply means “I don’t understand”. Pronounced “Woh Boo Dong,” this phrase can be used to ask someone to repeat or explain what they’ve said.


Learning Mandarin may seem daunting at first, but remember, every expert was once a beginner. Start with these key phrases, and you’ll find yourself engaging in basic Mandarin conversations before you know it! Practice them daily, and you’ll see how they’ll soon become part of your natural speech.