"The limits of my language are the limits of my world" - Ludwig Wittgenstein
China. the country of insane buildings, stunning landscapes and a language that most foreigners have zero hope of mastering. With over 50,000 different characters, it's no surprise that most Chinese only know about 8,000 and that only about 3,000 are regularly used in everyday life. But what if you're a foreigner who knows around... urm 0(?) characters? Unfortunately there's basically no hope of any English outside of the major tier 1 cities - ad even then you're pushing your luck. So, with that in mind, we decided to list some of our key phrases that will at least mean you can survive a trip!
It's also worth noting that you can now download entire languages for Google Translate offline so 100% do that otherwise you may find yourself stuck more often than not!
We've done a couple of other articles about how to learn a language so check those out here!
So here we go. Here are our top 15 phrases that you won't be able to travel to China without!
Standard daily phrases...
你好 - Nǐ hǎo- hello
你有 - Nǐ yǒu- do you have
是 - shi- yes
不 - bu- no
我不明白 - Wǒ bù míngbái-i don't understand.
你会说英文吗? - Nǐ huì shuō yīngwén ma? - do you speak English?
可以 - Kěyǐ - Can i...
Helpful food words
吃 - Chī- eat
喝 - Hē - drink
咖啡 - Kāfēi - coffee
水 - Shuǐ - water
肉 - rou - meat
蔬菜 - Shūcài - vegetable
Helpful shopping words
多少钱 - Duōshǎo qián? - How much is it?
太贵了 - Tài guìle - too expensive
Helpful words for travelling
火车站 - Huǒchē zhàn - train station
地铁 - Dìtiě - metro station
飞机场 - Fēijī chǎng - airport
在 哪儿 - zai nar - where is?
我去 - Wǒ qù - I'm going to