The Chinese language contains a vast amount of characters (over 20,000). However, about 98% of written Chinese consists of the same 2,500 characters, so you can read the newspaper even if you can “only” identify about two or three thousand.
Verbs aren’t marked for tense. Instead, adverbs like “before” and “after” indicate temporal relations.
The word “Mandarin” comes from Sanskrit. Among Chinese speakers, Mandarin Chinese is often called Guóyǔ (国语), which means “national language”, or Pǔtōnghuà (普通话), which means “common speech”.
This is the basic and simple way to say thank you.
…中文怎么说？- …zhōng wén zěn me shuō?
If your Chinese friends speak some English, you can ask for translations of words and phrases whilst still keeping the conversation in Chinese.
Whether you are staying in China for just a few days or a few decades, at some point you will part ways with the Middle Kingdom to visit friends and family abroad or just to travel around the continent. Your Chinese friends and coworkers will wish you a safe and pleasant trip.
我不得不说再见了 - wǒ bù dé bù shuō zài jiàn le This one is a very nice thing to say, but it doesn’t necessarily sound polite or formal. It’s kind of like when you tell your friends – “listen, guys, I’d love to stay but I just have to go.”
我先告辞了 - wǒ xiān gào cí le This is a polite and very standard way to leave a social setting. It feels kind of like “pardon me.”
失陪了 - shī péi le It is very polite. You can use this with your friends, but it may feel like you’re trying to use it humorously because it is quite formal.
Educator at Pymain Language School