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I'm going to be visiting China next year, along with my father. My parents are divorced, but my dad is now dating someone who will likely be coming with us. They aren't married, so I'm not sure what word to use to introduce them. If I say something like, "这位是我爸爸,和我爸爸的女朋友", would that cause confusion? Is there another word for this, or would something like this be uncommon in China?

  • The character 女 in 女朋友 means female, it would be used for all ages, not like that the word girl in girlfriend in English is used for young ladies only. A female friend is called 女性朋友 in Chinese. – 賈可 Jacky Jul 24 at 4:37
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Using archaic phrases like 红颜知己 or 忘年之交 is a bad suggestion, these phrases come straight from dated Chinese movies. No modern human talk like this in real life. It is like saying " She is my father's fair lady" or " she is my dad's dear confidant." in English.

If they are very close, saying she is 女朋友 (girl friend) is perfectly fine in today's open minded society.

The safest option is to call her your dad's 朋友 (friend). or 好朋友 (good friend) if you are not sure they are officially a couple or not.

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This is an interesting question. I think the answer depends on who you will meet (a well-educated relative, a college classmate, or an aunt who lives in the backward countryside) or even depends on whether that girlfriend is a Chinese or a white woman. I think it even depends on the extent you are westernized. I think if I am introducing a relative (such as my 60-year old uncle)'s "girlfriend" in a similar situation like yours, I would say: 这是黄阿姨,我叔叔的朋友 (This is Aunt Huang, my uncle's friend). And let others guess their relationship (they may easily find out according to the circumstances).

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Do not say 红颜知己 or 忘年之交 if you're not from Chinese Costume dramas.I think it's perfect to say 女朋友.It seems to me that the meaning of 女朋友 came from English girlfriend

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女朋友 is girlfriend in English, but in Chinese, it also implies these two people that are dating, are also sexually interacting, regardless of their age. If that is the case, then you can introduce her as your dad's 女朋友. but if they are only dating, and not sexually interacting, then please use 红颜知己 which means a very beautiful woman that is getting to know your dad. Or more commonly, you can use 女伴,a female that is dating your dad. On the other hand, if your dad is dating a much younger woman, you need to introduce her as his 忘年之交, which means ageless true love, or people may think that she is into your dad's money.

Also in some situation, 女朋友 and 女伴 could both means bitch or hoe, so to be safe use 红颜知己 if they are similar age, and 忘年之交 if one is older.

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    女朋友 and 女伴 could both means bitch or hoe, No, 女朋友 just means "girl friend", 女伴 just means "female companion" . neither has " bitch" or "whore" meaning. – Tang Ho Aug 13 '16 at 5:02
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    女朋友 is girlfriend in English, but in Chinese, it also implies these two people that are dating, are also sexually interacting, regardless of their age. That's totally false!! – Tang Ho Aug 13 '16 at 5:05
  • If it is 同居女友, which means a woman lives with someone, but not married to him, then you can presume they have a sexual relationship like a married couple would have. – Tang Ho Aug 13 '16 at 5:15
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Use 女朋友 will be fine if they are dating. But that indeed raise some attention. The person you're meeting might have thoughts in mind like "are your dad divorced" and they may or may not ask.

Depending on who you're meeting, if you don't like him/her to know about the divorce you can just say she's a friend of your dad's.

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I agree that you can use “女朋友/女友” if your father is dating her exclusively now :)

You can also say “这是我爸现在的另一半(the other half)/伴侣 (companion)”. People may still guess their legal relationship (married/ not married)if you say this but if the people really care about it you can further explain it: “只是女朋友而已/还没结婚”。 (Also, if they are married you will probably introduce her as your “后妈”. So by saying “另一半/伴侣” instead of “后妈” people will probably know that they have not married)

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Most young people in the cities you'll meet will understand the word "partner". "这是我爸爸现在的partner", sounds the most accurate introduction to me.

Using 女朋友 is also fine, but it leaves a slightest doubt that this is an extramarital relationship, and you might need to explain more.

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