4 Phrases to Help You In China

Last year I was asked how I overcame the language barrier in China.
Tiananmen Square Beijing China
If you remember correctly, I haven’t.

I don’t know a lot of Mandarin, but what I do know should help you if you decide to come to China.

Here are four simple Mandarin phrases and an extra tip that have helped me immensely since I landed in China in 2012.

Click on the card below to hear the Mandarin or English and and use the arrows to navigate between phrases.

1. Hello.

It may seem simple, but saying hello in Mandarin is a sturdy bridge between the cultural divide.

2. Thank you.

Gratitude never goes out of style! A thank you goes a long in anyone’s day.

3. I don’t understand.

Be honest, you don’t know what the hell anyone’s saying. Save everyone time and just speak your truth.

4. I’m sorry.

This is one of the most powerful phrases in the world. It’s humbling and humanizing. Apologize for your foolishness and…


If you’ve mastered “hello,” but can’t get further into the language: smile. Mother Teresa said it best, “Peace begins with a smile.”