It happens with all languages, and Chinese is no exception, when you find a word or phrase that you 'just like' for one reason or another. Maybe it's how it sounds or how it translates or just that it expresses an idea really well, sometimes better than in your native language.

I was just reminded of a simple, beginner phrase that comes up constantly at work

你说的对 - Nǐ shuō de duì - You're right

It's simple and I can't help but translate it in my head as like "you are speaking the truth" and it seems so formal but is used so casually.

So... what's a phrase that you "just like" & is there any reason you like it?

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forgot to add one the more-popular phrases for foreigners in china, even those with little chinese knowledge know & use it:

麻烦 Máfan - bother, hassle

I don't think the dictionary really represents how we overuse it as a phrase though - it's a perfect word to describe going to the bank.  a manual process that involves hassle, waste of time, isn't very rational, tedious paperwork and just a feeling of more bother than what you get in return. "what a mafan" "this place is totally mafan" "total mafan" are all ones i've heard quite recently among bi-lingual speakers in china.

Only slightly different in Cantonese "ma4 faan4" and you do hear "What a", "total" and "completely" used before it such as in this example "His ad hoc mathematics methods on this project are completely ma4 faan4.  But since he does not understand Recursive Least Squares let alone use that method, he will eventually find that the methods he is using will fail when this project meets real world data".   ( Note Latin, Chinese and English combine in one common work place oriented sentence).

haha, great example for mafan Thomas.

没问题!  méi wèn tí or mò wèn tí   ---  no problem!

In Cantonese  mò man6 tai4!

One of the most prevalent lines ( in many languages ) in the Hong Kong comedy movie "Driving Miss Wealthy" is 小姐, 没问题!  ---  xiǎo jie, méi/ wèn tí! (Mandarin) or siu2 je2, mò man6 tai4! (Cantonese) or Miss, no problem!(English) and I think one time each in the Japanese and Tagalog languages.

I use the phrase often in Cantonese oriented stores and cafes.  For example after buying something in a store the cashier may say "Lay yiu1 mh yiu3 doi6?" (Do you want a bag?) and I would respond "mò man6 tai4!".

Just picked this up from Popup Chinese, and it's amusing me greatly: 说曹操曹操到!Speak of the devil....

Just so much fun to say!


我了个去! or 我去!  Means something like 'oh my bloody jesus', 'damn'.

A very colloquial kind of term in Chinese

nice one anti peng - have you had a chance to use it in real life? if so, when or what was the situation?

Sure. Here's an example conversation. 

A and B are friends.

A: 哈哈,我弄了一辆纯手工制作的自行车! Hahaha, I got a bike all by hand-made !

B: 我了个去,你是怎么做到的?!Oh my, how did you do that ?

For more information, check this website


shuo qilai rongyi zuo qilai nan

Easier said than done~!

nice ethan - did you learn that one to have a response when chinese people ask you "how is learning chinese?"

Gao Fu Shuai

Bai Fu Mei

We had a hilarious conversation about this phrase, because my boyfriend and I are very short and still, we are students so it's kind of funny when we expect each other to be tall, rich, handsome and pretty in the future HAHA

Oh and thanks to the video on Youtube of you guys I knew this phrase. My boyfriend was very surprised

Thanks a lot


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