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I was writing a card to a friend and wanted to finish with "Hope you'll have a great day" but realised what I could think of wasn't quite the same meaning, or just sounded odd/weird.

What I wrote in the end was:

希望你今天會很快樂

which, if I'm not mistaken is more so "Hope you'll be very happy today"

I tried Google translate which gave me:

希望你有一個偉大的一天

which doesn't seem quite right to me (maybe I'm just not used to the phrases used?)

So was wondering what is the best way to say "Hope you'll have a great day" in Chinese?

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I guess you're American, as I've only ever heard Americans use this phrase? It doesn't even sound 'right' in the UK in English, so can this be directly translated to Chinese? –  Cocowalla Jan 1 '12 at 3:05
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6 Answers 6

up vote 6 down vote accepted

The word "Great" has many meanings, both in English and Chinese. It seems that Google Translate picks "magnificent", "grand" as its translation in this case.

While "Hope you'll have a great day" is said time and time again in English conversation, it's less so in Chinese - but it does not mean people do not say it.

There are a few different ways to say it depending on the context.


When someone is having a day out, for example, visiting a place, going to a theme park, going shopping with friends and so on, you can say:

(Traditional/Simplified)
祝你(今天)玩得愉快/祝你(今天)玩得愉快 = Hope you'll have fun./Have fun!

"Today" is often omitted in speaking here as it's a "day out" that happens today.


When someone is organising an event, staging a gig, hosting a fair or similar stuff, you can say:

祝你今天順利/祝你今天顺利 = Hope it goes well today/Hope your gig goes well today.

"Today" is usually not omitted here in speaking as it emphasises the event is happening today.


When you say it to a business owner or someone running a shop, this can translate into:

祝你今天生意興隆/祝你今天生意兴隆 = Hope you'll have good business today.

Which according to Google Translate, it's "I wish you business is booming today."


I'm sure there are other occasions where you'd say "Hope you'll have a great day" and it is not the same Chinese expression. If anyone can think of any, please share with us :)

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I think what you wrote is all right.

For the one given by Google Translation, it is unnatural. Or it may be treated as humorous, or comical. We don't use "偉大的" in this situation.

Instead of "希望你", we may be "祝你" more often.

Depending on the situation, there may be several ways of saying this. For example: "祝你今天過得愉快" "祝你今天玩的高興", etc.

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My suggestion would be to use 过得. It's best to think of this as "passed", as in "I hope your day passed well".

I think the best sentence would be:

希望你今天过得很愉快

My wife also said this is not something that people would normally say orally and also suggested if this is a birthday card then maybe you could use this for to wish happiness for the whole year:

希望你今年过得很愉快

Also it is common to put at the end of a letter something simple like:

祝愉快

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Great question btw. –  xiaohouzi79 Dec 26 '11 at 9:57
    
For the last example, do yo mean "祝愉快"? –  fefe Dec 27 '11 at 1:40
1  
In the first sentence do you mean 过的 or 过得 ? –  tbaums Dec 27 '11 at 11:04
    
@tbaums - Apologies all, had a couple of Christmas beers before answering this question, I have now edited. –  xiaohouzi79 Dec 28 '11 at 6:48
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In this particular context, don't worry about having to translate 'great day' explicitly. I feel your best options according to what is usual in Chinese writing would be:

  • (祝|愿)你有个愉快的一天 (the closest to have a nice day)
  • 祝你节日愉快 (if there's a special occasion/holiday like xmas)
  • 祝你(诸|事)事顺利 (everything is smooth-sailing, good tidings)
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the word great have two meanings in Chinese.

One meaning is like this:

He is a great man. 他是一个伟大的人。

great in here means very excellent.

But in the sentence:

Have a great day. great means very happy.

How ever we don't usually say it. Instead, we give wishes more specific.

Like 玩的愉快, 一帆风顺, 工作顺利 and so on.

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Can I simply regard this as your best wishes? Well, you may try this

祝你一天顺利

It's much more common in oral Chinese.

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祝你 一天 顺利 sounds odd to me. –  Stan Aug 1 '13 at 6:32
    
Hi @Stan, you emphasized the word 一天? –  IronBlood Aug 1 '13 at 11:37
    
Yes. I feel some sentence like 祝你有个愉快的一天 is OK but 祝你一天顺利 is strange. There're two reasons: 1) I haven't heard that before and it sounds odd; 2) 祝你一天顺利 might give people such an impression: "Wouldn't you bless me the second day is also great?" Anyway, it's context-dependent :) –  Stan Aug 1 '13 at 12:00
    
Yes, 祝你有个愉快的一天 is absolutely right in grammar. I checked you page just now. Nobody say something like that in HK? Well, in my sentence, 一天 means more like some day, no particular. –  IronBlood Aug 1 '13 at 12:09
    
Personally I haven't heard 祝你一天... before. Neither in mainland nor in HK. I think 祝你今天/明天... and 祝你有...的一天 would be used more often. I fully understand 祝你一天顺利 is also grammatically correct so I only said "odd to me". –  Stan Aug 1 '13 at 12:34
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