How to Say Thank You in Chinese
Posted by Julia Song on 09/11/2015 1:27 AM 3731
China is a country which has some highly particular cultural etiquette beliefs. "Thank you" is an important phrase when you want to express your gratitude in English. "Thank you" translates into Chinese as "谢谢", the pinyin is "xiè xie".
"xiè xie 谢谢" is the most common way to express "thank you" in Chinese, but not the only way to express gratitude. There are some other ways to express gratitude in Chinese. Therefore, if you know how to say thank you in Chinese in different ways and use them correctly, you can express your thanks with more nuance and style.
You use thank you or, in more informal English, thanks to express your gratitude when someone does something for you or gives you what you want; to politely accept or refuse something that has just been offered to you; or to politely acknowledge what someone has said to you. Sometimes you use thank you or thank you very much in order to say firmly that you do not want someone's help. We can use "xiè xie" in Chinese in almost all of these situations.
The formal way of saying thank you in Chinese is "谢谢你(您) xiè xie nǐ (nín )". Other common ways to express thank you in Chinese are "多谢 duō xiè" means many thanks, "谢谢你的帮助xiè xiè nǐ de bāng zhù" means thanks for your help, "非常感谢 fēi cháng gǎn xiè" means thank you very much. The way of saying thank you in Cantonese is "唔该".
"谢谢" is the simplified Chinese, and the traditional Chinese is "謝謝".
Learn how to write thank you in Chinese.
Learn how to pronounce thank you in Chinese.
When comparing English and Chinese, you will find that in English, people prefer to accept the others' praise, but Chinese choose not to accept or not to accept positively. Chinese think that you should be modest, so when someone praises you, you should choose the other words to express your thank you but "xiè xie".
1. 不用谢 bú yòng xiè
A Chinese man helped a foreigner find some directions and the foreigner said "Thanks" to the Chinese, but the Chinese answered "No thanks". As we know, you should answer "bu keqi 不客气" (you're welcome) when someone said "xiè xie" to you. However, many Chinese answered "bu yong xie" instead. "bu yong xie" means "you don't need to say thank you to me".
2. 哪里哪里 nǎ lǐ nǎ lǐ; 你(您)过奖了 nǐ(nín) guò jiǎng le
When Chinese praise you for doing something really good, like "your Chinese is really good", "your cooking is very good" To say "xiè xie" is too common and not so authentic. If you use "nǎ lǐ nǎ lǐ 哪里哪里" or "nǐ(nín) guò jiǎng le 你（您）太过奖了" instead, your Chinese will be impressed.
"nali nali" translate directly into English is "where where", but it is a modest and polite way to thanks someone who praise you in Chinese Mandarin.
"nǐ(nín) guò jiǎng le" means "I am(it is) not as good as you say, you flatter me". It's also a modest and polite way to express your gratitude.
3. 你太客气了 nǐ tài kè qì le
This sentence most be used when you invite Chinese to a dinner, give them a gift to express your gratitude, then Chinese would like to say "xiè xie, nǐ tài kè qì le ". It means "thank you very much, that's very kind of you ".
4. 太麻烦你了 tài má fán nǐ le
"má fán" means trouble, troublesome, inconvenient, bother. This sentence means "it's too much trouble for you". Chinese use this sentence when what you have done helped them a lot. They think maybe they have bothered you. You can refuse them but you still chose to help them. So Chinese like to use this sentence to say thank you very much in Chinese.
5. Sometimes Chinese will choose some negation words like "不，没 bù, méi" to refuse your praise
It doesn't mean that they don't like what you said. It's just a modest and polite expression of "thank you" in Chinese.
Generally speaking, "xiè xie" is (approximate to) thank you. Chinese seldom say xiè xie to people in close relationships and they do not tend to say xiè xie when others say something nice to them. However, more and more, a growing number of young people who learn English tend to use "xiè xie" like "thank you".
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About The Author
Julia’s cheerful attitude and close attention to her students’ progress make her an excellent Mandarin teacher for students of all levels. Holding a bachelor’s degree in language instruction and several years’ teaching experience, Julia excels at linguistic pedagogy and one-on-one instruction. Learn Chinese online with Julia Song >>