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.

With traditional Chinese characters it is correct and proper to address a female as “妳”.

If I have a simple question, I think it's clear I should use the female form.

妳最近好嗎?

But to say "hello", “你好” feels more like a set phrase.

So my question is simple,

Should I write

妳好

when addressing a female?

Or just use the gender-neutral

你好

share|improve this question

5 Answers 5

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Yes you can definitely use “妳好“ when addressing female.

However notice that in Chinese there isn't a strict usage defined to differentiate addressing male and female. If you use "你" instead, the reader will not (and probably should not) assume a male is addressed in the context.

In other word, "你好" is perfectly fine to address female without any grammatical concern.

share|improve this answer

This question is easily answered by a look at any Chinese grammar or dictionary,e.g. Yip Po-Ching and Don Rimmington's Chinese a Comprehensive grammar, 外国人实用汉语语法, A Practical Chinese Grammar for Foreigners 实用现代汉语语法(增订本)(2001年 北京)only have 你/您 in their lists of personal pronouns. 另外有不少每天都看中文阅读材料的网民阅读本问题头一次和这虚构汉字见了面。在这方面繁和简体之间没有区别。It seems the question has been exhaustively answered before:

How widespread is the use of 妳? widespread is the use of 妳?

As is well known 她 was first used by Liu Bannong in 1920 (1920年9月4日) and thereafter gradually gained general acceptance. What is the history of 妳 though?. A fairly long article in traditional characters about Liu Bannong http://www.zwbk.org/MyLemmaShow.aspx?zh=zh-tw&lid=129512 contains 她 7 times, but makes no reference to 妳. 請問「妳」與「她」的由來及歷史?https://tw.knowledge.yahoo.com/question/question?qid=1012062907110 says 是民國初年文學界有鴛鴦蝴蝶派用白話寫散文新詩 but zh.wikipedia's article on 鴛鴦蝴蝶派 contains no reference to 妳.

share|improve this answer
    
For you, you can remember never use 妳 is better. It's nealy an obsoluted word, almost most chinese have forgotten this word, though they understand when they see it. The one who use this word maybe considered a little literary sickness. –  user6269 Aug 26 at 1:47
1  
"妳" is perfectly correct in traditional chinese, and very common here in Taiwan. My question is specifically about "妳好", given I am in a location where "妳" is still used. –  Matthew Rudy 马泰 Aug 26 at 14:28
    
@user6269 Just like what OP said here, the usage of is perfectly fine in traditional Chinese writing. It is only obsolete in simplified Chinese writing, not traditional Chinese writing. –  LulalaBoss Aug 27 at 19:29

Should I say “妳好“ when addressing a female?

both "you" has the same pronunciation

Should one write “妳好" when addressing a female?

both the male and female forms of "you" works, and you can use 您 as a more polite form of "you"

share|improve this answer

「妳」 was originated from 「奶」or「嬭」.

In modern Chinese, we don't have a specific rule for using 「妳」 as a second person pronoun. Note that there is strict rules for using 她/他 for HE/SHE in Chinese.

In document or official letters, my suggestion is to stick with "你好".

However, in literature or any other informal situation, you can pick either "你好" or "妳好", whenever it fits your context.

For example a poem by Rabindranath Tagore, the Chinese translator uses 「妳」 in the translation "I love you".

我的心湧起千層情濤,衝向世界的岸邊;我要用淚水的語言,題上她的簽名:『我愛妳。』

share|improve this answer

Plz don't do that in formal context."妳” is deprecated in mainland China. It is originally a good word,but some "非主流” use it with other "火星文" to make it imply bad feelings.

share|improve this answer
    
The OP indicated that the context here is traditional Chinese, not simplified Chinese. The usage of is perfectly acceptable in traditional Chinese writing. –  LulalaBoss Aug 27 at 19:26
    
I agree with you,I also pointed out "mainland China","formal context".You can use it(and traditional Chinese) in informal context in mainland China. –  Jacob Aug 29 at 1:58

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.