How do you say hello in Chinese? Learning this simple greeting in Chinese is a good step to beginning to speak the language. Mandarin Chinese is the officially recognized language of China, and the most common Chinese dialect spoken. You can learn Chinese in a course, online or with a native speaker. Knowing your own learning style will help you find the best method for picking up the language. If you want to learn to write Chinese characters, you'll need a workbook and special ink and brushes for practicing. Take learning the language seriously and practice every day; Chinese is one of the most difficult languages to learn.
Saying Hello Correctly
The greeting "hello" in Chinese is pronounced "nee how." Getting the pronunciation right is only half of the challenge, however.
Mandarin Chinese has four distinct tone variations for the voice when you're pronouncing syllables. The first tone is a flat, unvarying tone. The second tone is a rising tone, as if you were asking a question. The third tone is a dip down and then up again. The fourth variation is a low tone, such as when you understand something and say "huh" like you finally get it. To correctly pronounce Ni hao, you should use the third tone, with a dip down that then rises, for each syllable.
The word Ni means "you" and Hao means "good." The literal translation is "you are good," which is taken as a hello greeting.
Learning Chinese takes repeated, regular practice. Chinese is a particularly complex language, because of the way words are created and because of the many variations in pronunciation and tone. Mastering the subtleties is very important, because you can easily offend someone or say something unintentional if you don't get the pronunciation and tone just right.
No matter how you choose to learn Chinese, be sure you have a way to hear the words spoken correctly, either by a fluent teacher or through audio files that you can pause, rewind and hear as many times as you like. By hearing the words and phrases repeated, you'll learn to master the correct way of saying them so that you're easily understood.
It takes time, patience and a strong eye for detail to learn Chinese characters. Discover how Chinese words are formed, and find resources to help you build a basic vocabulary.
How do you say "I love you" in Chinese? While the words themselves are simple, mastering pronunciation and the correct tone is a challenge that must be mastered to get your meaning across.