13 Useful Mandarin Phrases for Dragon Boat Festival

By Urban Family, June 24, 2020

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Today is China's Dragon Boat Festival and you’re probably looking to brush up your Mandarin skills. In order to help you impress your fellow workers, friends and family, we’ve prepared a comprehensive list of Dragon Boat-related vocabulary and phrases. 

Let’s start with the name of the festival itself. In Chinese it’s not a literal translation of ‘dragon boat.’ Duan in Chinese means beginning, wu means middle and jie is festival. The name translates to 'beginning of the middle,' and is named so because it marks the beginning of the middle of summer. 

Dragon Boat Festival
端午节
duān wǔ jié

Dragon Boat (Race)
龙舟(赛)
lóng zhōu (sài)

Bamboo-wrapped glutinous dumplings
粽子
Zòng zǐ

Happy Dragon Boat Festival
端午节快乐!
Duān wǔ jié kuài lè

Do you have some rice dumplings?
有粽子吗?
Yǒu zòng zǐ má?

Do you prefer sweet or salty?
你喜欢甜口的还是咸口的?
Nǐ xǐ huān tián kǒu de hái shì xián kǒu de?

What's the filling inside the rice dumplings?
粽子是什么馅儿的?
Zòng zǐ shì shén me xiàn’er de?

Pork filling
猪肉馅
Zhū ròu xiàn

Red bean paste
豆沙馅
Dòu shā xiàn

Salted egg yolk
咸蛋黄馅
Xián dàn huáng xiàn

What's your plan for the Dragon Boat Festival?
端午节有什么安排吗?
Duān wǔ jié yǒu shén me ān pái ma? 

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

I don't eat meat/peanut/dairy products/seafood.
我不吃肉/花生/奶制品/海鲜。
Wǒ bù chī ròu/huā shēng/nǎi zhìpǐn/ hǎi xiān.


[Cover image via Instagram@seekerdbc]

For more Mandarin guides, click here.

This post originally appeared on urban-family.com. It has been updated and republished on June 2, 2022.

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