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Questions tagged [politeness]

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4answers
74 views

To express surprise with disappointment, if 卧槽 is vulgar, is 苦也 considered a decent alternative?

Many people say 卧槽 when something unpleasant happens surprisingly. However, this word is considered as vulgar. So how to express such feelings decently without using offensive words? Is 苦也 a good ...
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1answer
57 views

Meaning of 祝愿 as wishing or congratulating

I wrote 哇,祝愿碰运气,能碰上这个组啊. By this I meant I wish I can be lucky and end up in that group. I am worried it will be taken as congratulations on you being lucky ending up in that group (which sounds like "...
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2answers
203 views

Difference between 室友 and 同屋

I am very alarmed! At university, as far as I can remember, we learned 同屋 as “roommate” and 室友 as a synonym, particularly popular in southern China. Now this site claims that: 同屋" usually refers ...
2
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2answers
152 views

Asking the Parents of Small Children to be Quiet in Public Areas [closed]

I have three very lovely, yet very loud Chinese children living next door to me in my condominium. Two of the children are quite young, and I do realize children by their very nature are loud; ...
7
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1answer
264 views

Politeness in referring to a recent death

Some people in the US normally avoid saying a person has "died." They say the person "passed on," or "has left us." Are there similar, gentle ways in Chinese to avoid saying a person died? Would it ...
1
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1answer
104 views

Comparing forms of humble self reference

Because of one of the languages I grew up with, I have a strong desire to avoid using 我, especially when something follows that could constitute praise. I am always conscious that my language skill ...
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4answers
1k views

What is the polite/proper way to address elderly whom I am not familiar with?

I was wondering what is the polite way to address elderlies I do not know. Take the following context for example. Perhaps I visit a store and there is an elderly woman running the register and I ...
4
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3answers
563 views

“吃飽了” versus “ 吃好了”

One friend advised that after a meal it is more polite for a guest to say "我吃好了" than "我吃飽了." That makes sense but I suppose it could depend on context. Searching the two phrases on Google I see ...
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4answers
321 views

Prefacing questions with 请问

When I ask a stranger for directions or other information I begin with 请问. It is especially important for me to use some opening phrase since people do not expect a foreigner to speak Chinese to them,...
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4answers
231 views

How appropriate is “拜拜”?

How appropriate, in terms of casualness and/or childishness, is "拜拜"? Is it as childish as "Bye-bye" would be in English, or is it more acceptable? In case location matters, I'm mainly interested in ...
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4answers
10k views

What is the polite way to respond to a sneeze in Chinese?

In English, one might say "bless you" or "gesundheit" in response to a friend sneezing. Is there a Chinese equivalent? If so, what is it?
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7answers
3k views

Correct/Polite way of asking “Can we speak in chinese?”

I would like to preface this by saying I'm Australian and speak with an Australian accent when I'm speaking English which can be hard to digest for a lot of people new to Australia. A lot of 1st gen ...
7
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6answers
605 views

Using 老头 / 老头子 when speaking to others

I'm trying to get some clarification on whether or not it is impolite to use 老头 / 老头子 when speaking outside a group of friends when referring to a third party. From my understanding 老头 is quite ...
3
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3answers
2k views

Politeness in Mandarin

I like to say please sometimes when I want to be polite to someone when asking them for something. Is this customary in Mandarin? For example, if I wanted to ask for some water, I might ask my ...
5
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4answers
4k views

How to politely ask someone to please be quiet

There are particularly loud Chinese fellows working together in the university study room I'm working in. How do I politely ask them to quiet down? I found a literal translation on Google Translate (...
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4answers
6k views

What is a polite way to ask “may I ask who is speaking?”

A man I don't know calls me and starts talking to me in Chinese. All is fine, except I don't know who he is. I sense I'm not the person he's looking for. How do I ask who he is without being too blunt:...
8
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4answers
2k views

Effective and polite way to end a phone conversation

What are some ways that I can let the other speaker know I want to finish a phone conversation and am going to hang up. I frequently come across as too abrupt. Usually something along the lines of ...
8
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2answers
597 views

Where is the correct place to use 您 when addressing others?

Almost every foreign text book I've seen mentions 您 as a polite or formal address to others, however I rarely hear it said and rarely see it written except when addressing customers and occasionally ...