Communicating with the Chinese

After listening to Berlitz’s Mandarin Chinese and reading the Chinese phrase book, here goes my Chinese and its English-Chinese translations LOL

Shopping for clothes

While shopping for clothes, the first thing I asked was, “You kou ma?” (Translation: Any discounts?)

Chinese: Kou? Kou shen me? (Translation: Reduce? Reduce what? Looks at me like I’m a moron, which I am obviously)

Me: Err…jian jia? (literal translation: Cut price?)

Chinese: mutter…mutter…you da jer. Da liu jer. (Translation: Sale on. You pay 60% of price.)

That’s my introduction to SALES in China.

Be on the look-out now for small numbers, which means small payments as opposed to big numbers or big discounts elsewhere. Is this the Chinese way for math? Really interesting.

Important Mandarin Chinese phrase when you go shopping: “You da jer ma?”


Takeaway at the restaurant

While buying dinner take-out for the adults at a nearby mall on our second day there, a helpful female assistant (xiao mei) answered any questions I had.

Then, she left me with the last dish which was steamed xiao bai chai (Translation: Chinese bok choi). A male assistant was spooning out the oyster sauce by the scoops.

Me: Kou le. (Enough.)

Boy (or xiao di): Keeps scooping. I love oyster sauce. I live oyster sauce.

Me: Err…kou le. (slightly louder)

The young lady saw what was happening and rushed over.

Xiaomei: TING! TING! TING! (Translation or interpretation: STOP! ARE YOU DEAF? WHAT ARE YOU DOING? YOU’RE EMBARRASING US!)

Xiaodi: Spell broken.

CORRECTIONS: “Gou le” and “Ting” 😉

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  • huisia Link

    haha…ya,i had experienced those “chicken talked with duck” talks before, don’t worry, you will get used of it very soon.

  • Allisia Link

    You should ask: da duo shou je? (Discount how many %?)
    The continue with: wu je? (50%?)
    Yap, this’s the chinese way math.

  • Kit Link

    Hui Sia – LOL got to have a thick face here if I’m gonna learn. Luckily I look like a wai guo ren.

    Allisia – thanks for the Mandarin lesson! I’ll remember this 🙂