Useful Mandarin Phrases for Spring Festival and the Year of the Rat

By Urban Family, January 20, 2020

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This article originally appeared on our sister website, Urban Family Shanghai.


With the Chinese New Year holiday commencing on January 24, you are no doubt getting ready to enjoy your vacation either in China or abroad. For those staying here during the largest national holiday period, you can experience an authentic Spring Festival in the not-so-crowded cities, or dare to venture out and battle the masses at popular tourist destinations. Either way, to help you throw around a few native niceties during the holiday period, we’ve assembled this special Spring Festival Phrase Guide to get you through CNY. 

Vocabulary

Year of the Rat
鼠年
Shǔ nián

Spring Festival
春节
Chūn jié

New Year’s Eve
除夕
Chú xī

Family
家人
Jiā rén

Travel
旅行
Lǚ xíng

Reunion Dinner
年夜饭
Nián yè fàn

Red Envelope
红包
Hóng bāo

Money

Qián

Spring Festival Gala
春晚
Chūn wǎn

Firecrackers
鞭炮/爆竹
Biān pào/ bào zhú

Lantern Festival
元宵节
Yuán xiāo jié

Phrases

Have a Happy New Year!
新年快乐!
Xīn nián kuài lè!

Happy Chinese New Year!
春节快乐!
Chūn jié kuài lè!

Wish you have an auspicious year!
万事如意!
Wàn shì rú yì!

Wish you make a good fortune in the coming year!
恭喜发财!
Gōng xǐ fā cái!

I was born in the Year of the Rat.
鼠年是我的本命年。
Shǔ nián shì wǒ de běn mìng nián.

I was born in the Year of the Rat. (Short form)
我属鼠。
shǔ shǔ.

What’s your Chinese zodiac?
你的生肖是什么?
Nǐ de shēngxiào shì shénme?

What’s your Chinese zodiac? (Short form)
你属什么?
Nǐ shǔ shén me?

Wish you good health! 
祝你身体健康!
Zhù nǐ shēntǐ jiànkāng!

What’s the origin of this activity?
能给我讲讲这项活动的起源吗?
Néng gěi wǒ jiǎng jiǎng zhè xiàng huó dòng de qǐ yuán mā?

What’s your plan for the Spring Festival?
春节有什么安排吗?
Chūn jié yǒu shén me ān pái mā?

Can I have some dumplings?
有饺子吗?
Yǒu jiǎo zi mā?

What’s the filling of the dumplings/tang yuan?
饺子/汤圆是什么馅儿的?
Jiǎo zi/ tāng yuán shì shén me xiàn’er de? 

Can I take a photo of this?
我能给这个拍张照吗?
Wǒ néng gěi zhè gè pāi zhāng zhào mā?

Does this train go to XXX?
这趟火车是去XXX的吗?
Zhè tang huǒ chē shì qù XXX de mā?

I don’t eat peanut/dairy products/seafood.
我不吃花生/奶制品/海鲜。
Wǒ bú chī huā shēng/nǎi zhìpǐn/ hǎi xiān. 

READ MORE: 17 Useful Mandarin Phrases for Traveling in China 

Good luck out there and happy Chinese New Year!

[Cover image via Unsplash]


This article was originally published by our sister magazine Urban Family Shanghai. For more articles like this, visit the Urban Family website, or follow the Urban Family WeChat account (ID: urbanfamilyshanghai).

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