For example when someone jumps the queue, I might tell them they lack good manners / human quality, what's the word in Chinese (Mandarin)?

  • 3
    Mainland and Taiwan use "素质/素質", Hong Kong uses "質素". For a polite remind for those people, you can say "请注意素质".
    – Stan
    Nov 16, 2013 at 10:15
  • In which Chinese Dialect Mandarin, Hakka, Hokkien, Cantonese, ect.. or if your looking for written are you looking for simplified or traditional? What have you come across so far?
    – 50-3
    Nov 16, 2013 at 10:36
  • I was looking for mandarin. I knew it was something with su zhi! Thanks!
    – möter
    Nov 16, 2013 at 11:24
  • 人品 could be the word for human quality.
    – 杨以轩
    Nov 18, 2013 at 3:27
  • do you mean人品? I don't think this is a人性problem. When we are talking about人性, it should always be very serious matter, maybe killing, but not just those minors like break into queue
    – gcd0318
    Nov 19, 2013 at 18:54

6 Answers 6


Literally translating from "human quality" is 素质 (su4 zhi4), and it is also the term we use for people who jump the queue.

In north China, it is more common thto at just say the word 素质 to complain, but it is also considered rude; 请注意素质 can be used in most Mandarin speaking areas, and it is more polite and can show your anger as well.

Importantly, if you just complain about the guy's human quality it usually won't change anything, the best way is to tell them directly "this is my place, please queue (这儿是我的位置,请排队 zhe'er4 shi4 wo3 de1 wei4 zhi4, qing3 pai2 dui4)"


You could try:


...in a nice way of course

  • Would you that is more idiomatic than 素质?
    – möter
    Nov 16, 2013 at 17:25
  • @möter: this one is a milder admonishment than those containing the word "素质". We Chinese people think "素质" is very important, so if you tell somebody "你真没素质", it will be a severe criticism and if that man is rude he would probably fight with you.
    – Stan
    Nov 17, 2013 at 2:14

I would use one of the following 不文明 (uncivilized) or 不礼貌 (impolite).

Also note there is a cultural difference here and people don't like being told they are inhuman. The idea of queuing in a Chinese city is different to a western country. In most cases people will ignore you, if you want to make a point of it you are going to stand out because you are a Chinese speaking foreigner. If Chinese is your second language just be careful which battles you decide to pick. Look at @Stan's comment on @rhughes answer.


I'm unfamiliar with the use of "human quality" for lack of manners; to me it's similar to "humanity", the lack of which describes a very severe condition.

In this sense, it translates literally to 人性:

◎ 人性 rénxìng

(1) [humanity]∶指在一定的社会制度和历史条件下形成的人的品性

(2) [normal human feeling nature]∶人所具有的正常的感情和理智

Although it is often used to describe "human nature", when you say someone lacks it, it takes on the "humanity" definition. That is, you would describe war criminals or sociopaths as lacking humanity (没有人性).

If you just want to describe courtesy, you can use 素质 or 礼貌.


As stan says, 素质 is probably the closest. Colloquially, "没文化" is also fairly appropriate for your example. It would be fairly unusual for a Chinese person to say that to someone directly though... I think they'd be more likely to say it to a friend, loud enough for the accused to hear! If you wanted to say this to someone directly you could say something like "你能不能礼貌一点?" or something like that. That still sounds pretty rude though!


As a very famous Chinese saying online:人品(Pronunciation in Chinese:Ren Pin),shortened fixed phrase is: RP

Chinese usually have jokes with others:




2)Sometimes it may mean a general, abstract meaning of the whole people's number, male Vs female's birth rate……ect.


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