How do you say Happy New Year in Chinese? It's a nice phrase to learn so you can wish someone a happy Chinese New Year or just say happy new year at the turn of the calendar year.
The Importance of Practice
You can practice speaking Chinese in a Chinese restaurant or with a native speaker. Practice speaking the language with someone who is fluent will give you the chance to receive feedback and know if you are saying the words with the correct tonal inflections. Mandarin Chinese has four distinct tonal variations in which to say the Chinese words, and different inflections can change the meaning of the words. Get the inflection wrong, and you could wind up saying something you didn't intend to say.
Wishing Someone a Happy New Year
The Chinese pronunciation language, Pinyin, spells a happy new year greeting this way: x?n nián kuài lè. This is pronounced "sing nee-ann koo-why ler." You could also say happy new year this way: x?n nián h?o, prounounced "sing nee-ann how."
It's a good idea to listen to the way the words are pronounced and inflected so you can repeat the phrases spoken correctly. Just reading them doesn't give you enough information on how to say the words with the correct tonal inflection. Look online for Web sites that offer audio clips of spoken Mandarin so that you can master pronunciation. Replay the audio until you're sure you've got the pronunciation right.
Be sure to learn the formal construction of Chinese phrases. It is considered a sign of respect and politeness to address Chinese people with formal language, and this is something that Chinese culture values. Even if you know someone very well, they won't be offended if you greet them formally.
A Common New Year's Greeting
You can wish someone prosperity every year with the phrase nián nián y?'u yú, which sounds like "nin nin yo you." This is an extra nice greeting above and beyond wishing someone a happy new year.
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