A lot of the time, Chinese people will respond to a foreigner speaking Chinese with "wow your Chinese is so good!" What is a polite way to respond without sounding rude or full of yourself? Especially when you have studied Chinese for multiple years and you would like to just have a normal conversation.

  • 1
    standard phrase: :不敢当! jukuu:You flatter me. 你过奖了。你太捧我啦。6. You flatter me. I wish I could deserve such compliments. 好说!好说! 您太夸奖了。 – user6065 Feb 1 '17 at 9:36
  • user6065's comment is a lot better than answers below – Mo. Feb 1 '17 at 11:01

是嗎? (or 有嗎? or 真的嗎?) 我覺得沒有很好吔。
Really? I do not think it's very good.
Really? I don't think my Chinese is very good.


No. Thank you.
Not at all. Thank you.

You don't have to worry about this. It's just like somebody asks a foreigner, "Where are you from?".

| improve this answer | |

There are many good suggestions in the answers, for example:

user6065 wrote:

standard phrase: :不敢当! jukuu:You flatter me. 你过奖了。你太捧我啦。6. You flatter me. I wish I could deserve such compliments. 好说!好说! 您太夸奖了。

But a slight drawback of using standard phrases is it makes you sound a little bit too formal and distant. If your Chinese is actually great, it would make your modest sounds false.

you would like to just have a normal conversation.

It can be done by simply say "謝謝"(thanks) or "过奖" (it is too high a praise)-- A short reply without too much emphasis. Then go on with the conversation.

Phrases to brush off compliments

A humble response should be brief and low key. Long phrase felt more like a speech.

Use of 過獎

過獎 =太過/過於( too much / overly) 褒獎 / 誇獎 ( greatly praise / overly praise) Usually, you use 過獎 as a polite/ humble respond to a great compliment

| improve this answer | |

The polite Chinese response to flattering comments is to deny them. 哪裏哪裏 (approximately: “'good', where?”) is a common phrase that can be used, or 不好 “not good”, or 還差得遠了 “far from it”, or 還要多學 “I have to study more”. A more literate phrase is 見笑 ("[people] laugh at [my skills]").

| improve this answer | |

You can say,真的吗?我的中文能得到一个中国人的表扬,太棒了! really? it is awesome that my chinese gets complimented by a chinese! he or she will be flattered.

| improve this answer | |

1 - If you say "谢谢", people will think you are rather proud 2 - If you say long sentences like: "真的吗?我的中文能得到一个中国人的表扬,太棒了!" people won't even listen until the end of such a long answer and will mainly think you are trying to show off and boast... 3 - Whatever the answer, it is not because you get a smile in return that people won't think u're rather arrogant. West and East react differently aka 直接 (zhíjiē) and 间接 (jiànjiē)

So what should you say then? Just: "哪里哪里!" is the simplest and the BEST option as it is exactly what the (Chinese) person who praised u is expecting you to answer :-)

| improve this answer | |

One common answer is “哪里哪里” which literally translates to "Where? Where?" But it is kind of a coy way to humbly accept the compliment.

| improve this answer | |

Well I know answers are well-meant, but I do not particularly recommend false modesty. If I were you (or as I am speaking as a L2 learner), I would probably say something like: "謝謝啦!口說還行,才學了一兩年。" (revise to fit your case) Or if you really want to show an air of modesty, consider: "您客氣了。中文博大精深,還要加強呢!"

| improve this answer | |

I like the "you flatter me" response but since I just learned the phrase here I say 不太好。It seems to work. And it's true!

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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