If you, your family or your friends are going to China this summer, make sure to remember these (19) ‘survival’ Chinese phrases to ensure that stress-free, enjoyable holiday you’ve been waiting for!
Phone, check. Wallet, check. Passport, check.
Everybody knows that this has become the pre-boarding ritual for whenever we jet off to our long-awaited destination. When all three are in our line of sight, a sigh of relief engulfs, not long before it gives way to that feeling of excitement.
Yet, this is all about to change.
Our language phrase books accompanied with the plethora of mobile translation apps available are taking centre stage as holiday necessities.
China’s tourism industry is continuing to develop healthily at a steady pace, helped by influx students, family getaways and backpackers all flocking to the likes of Beijing, Shanghai, Guilin and Hangzhou. Naturally then, a rise in western tourists must have led to the rise in English proficiency around China. However, the reality is that most Chinese people still do not understand English.
The language barrier is one of the greatest obstacles of them all when it comes to travelling abroad; I can ashamedly recall one of my first visits to China where my lack of Chinese caused me to overpay the airport driver by nearly 500 Yuan (the avg. price to my destination was 150, so you can do the math!).
Never again I told myself, would I let that happen to me or my fellow man and woman.
So if you want to become the ultimate tourist take a look and make sure to remember our basic ‘Greetings’ and ‘Asking Questions’ phrases below!
Now that you have been equipped with these essential phrases, a daily glance before you arrive in China should do the trick. Maybe even ask a Chinese speaker to help you with pronunciation!
I also recommend downloading Google Translate, Pleco Dictionary and Learn Chinese: Travel on your android phone for instant results in any given situation.
Join us in three weeks where we revisit and learn new phrases in our Travel Chinese Part II post.
Enjoy the sun!