Take the 2-minute tour ×
Chinese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Chinese language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Is there any difference in meaning, formality, tone, or otherwise between the "good morning" greetings 早安 and 早上好? Or just regional preferences? (I'm thinking perhaps the former may be more common in Taiwan and the latter more common in Mainland China and/or northern China but I'm not sure.)

share|improve this question
    
I see no difference between 早上好 and 早安. Even more, you can simply say 安 or 早 instead. –  eccstartup Jul 21 '13 at 11:18
    
Almost no difference, only "早上好" is more speech-styled, and "早安" is more formal. –  XL _at_China Jul 22 '13 at 3:04
    
Actually, you could just use one character “早” as the same meaning –  user3002 Jul 23 '13 at 5:52

5 Answers 5

From the accepted answer at Baidu:

Both are words of greeting. Nowadays people generally use “早上好”. “早安” will give a feeling of before 民国 (the Republic of China (1912-1949)), or a literary feeling (it's common in literature).

Other people think 早安 has a warmer feeling.

Of course this is the perspective of mainland people.

In Taiwan 早安 is used much more than 早上好. (Ratio: 28, Google advanced search: exact phrase, country TW, language zh-TW)

  • "早安" 5,340,000
  • "早上好" 192,000

In the mainland, incidentally, 早安 is also used much more than 早上好, although the degree of usage seems much closer. (Ratio: 2.3, Google advanced search: exact phrase, country CN, language zh-CN)

  • "早安" 24,500,000
  • "早上好" 10,400,000
share|improve this answer
2  
+1 for thinking to use search results as an indicator of use/popularity. –  Growler Jan 15 '13 at 15:25
    
This is interesting because in Taiwan I always hear 早安 but people I know from Beijing say 早上好. The people from Beijing happened to be highly educated, so I wonder if 早上好 tends to be a more upper class (for lack of a better term) way of saying it. –  Dan Jan 15 '13 at 19:14
    
@Dan no. I am from Beijing and I can confirm 早上好 is commonly used by all social groups. 早安 (or 早) sounds Southern-ish to us. –  NS.X. Jan 15 '13 at 20:34
    
@BertR I know people in Southern China say 早安 but they fall into zh-CN not zh-TW, which might explain the numbers. –  NS.X. Jan 15 '13 at 20:37
4  
Be aware that search results would have a bias towards written forms of the language, as opposed to the spoken form. –  congusbongus Jun 18 '13 at 3:15

Generally people in Taiwan and Hongkong write in traditional chinese while people in Mainland China mostly write in simplified chinese.

Chinese in mainland speak mandarin. We speak 早上好 more often.

People in Hong Kong and Guangzhou speak Cantonese, which is much more ancient Chinese, they greet with 早晨. Cantonese sounds totally different than mandarin, almost like a different language.

People in Taiwan speak mostly mandarin, they say 早安, means safe , in peace

For detailed information:http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/正體字

share|improve this answer
    
(1) Simplified Chinese 簡體字 and Traditional Chinese 正體字 are always referring to the written character set, never to the spoken language / dialect (Mandarin/Cantonese). –  John Siu Jan 16 '13 at 4:11
    
OK, tried my best to fix the answer while preserving the meaning. –  John Siu Jan 16 '13 at 4:20

早安 is more literary, it's used more frequently in written form like novel and poems as well as articles, blogs and tweets. That's why Google gives more results.

Oral, we say 早上好 more.

share|improve this answer
    
Edit more information into your answer please! At the very least, whether you're from the mainland or taiwan. –  Stumpy Joe Pete Jul 21 '13 at 18:19

Slightly off-topic, an alternative to 早安 in Taiwan is "吃飯了沒有?", literally "have you eaten, yet? " . You may hear this more among older folks who experienced lean times in their youth, and also reflects generosity of the speaker.

share|improve this answer

早安 is Chinese for the English "good morning" and used in China everywhere.

早上好 is the creation of machine translation of English "good morning" and is probably used by translation machines.

I am a native Chinese speaking person and have travelled all over the world and I have never been greeted by anyone with "早上好".

share|improve this answer
    
please list evidence, but not just rely on your own language sense. –  Stan Jun 14 '13 at 0:15
    
I mean, 早上好 is the creation of machine translation of English, this might be true, but need a proof. –  Stan Jun 14 '13 at 0:22

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.