This is a very interesting question. I am sure you can understand that even in English there are tons of ways to greet one single friend. It also differs from regions. Below I am listing some of the typical/common ways we greet people.
People you've just met:
很高兴认识你！ = very glad to meet you.
你好吗？= how are you doing?
This does happen every now and then. It is just a way of expressing enthusiasm to see you.
And from experience it won't go on forever, usually just a second time, but sometimes people will say "你好, 你好" or even "你好, 你好, 你好" in a row.
Think of it as a handshake, it is not going to go on until it is awkward, just showing some enthusiasm with a couple of extra ...
From the accepted answer at Baidu:
Both are words of greeting. Nowadays people generally use “早上好”. “早安”
will give a feeling of before 民国 (the Republic of China (1912-1949)),
or a literary feeling (it's common in literature).
Other people think 早安 has a warmer feeling.
Of course this is the perspective of mainland people.
In Taiwan 早安 is used much ...
In Chinese culture, politeness is never too much only except for between really intimate friends or lovers. Especially when getting along with an elderly person, it's a good idea to keep being formal and polite until you're completely certain that it's not necessary.
This link explains the conventions very well. To cite the essence of it,
Here are a selection that I have received via email from friends and family:
一切顺利 Yīqiè shùnlì - Wish everything goes smoothly
一切平安 Yīqiè píng'ān - Wish every thing is peaceful
一切好 Yīqiè hǎo - Wish everything is good
回头再聊 Huítóu zài liáo - Talk to you next time
祝你一路平安 Zhù nǐ yīlù píng'ān - (For those going on travel) Wish your trip goes smoothly / ...
Normally we use the verb "点"
Nei5 dim2 aa3?
leih dim a?
English: What's up? (less formal)
Nei5 dim2 jeung5 aa3?
leih dim yeung a?
English: How are you doing? (more formal)
Nei5 gan6 paai4 dim2 aa3?
leih gan pai dim a?
English: How have you been doing?
Nei5 ni1 paai4 dim2 aa3?
leih li pai dim a?
means glad to see you. It's usually used if you know (or heard of) someone for a long time, but haven't seen him/her for sometime(first time in case of heard of). For example, you would use 很高兴见到您 to greet someone you know from the internet. It's a bit weird to say 很高兴见到您 to someone you know very well or see everyday.
If it's the first time you ...
I can't even imagine this scenario - but supposing they say 你好, and you replied that is where it should end.
If they went on to say 你好吗？ You could obviously reply 我很好，你呢？ or words to that effect, but that should really be the end of any 你好 exchanges.
I've never had a never ending 你好 exchange, and I'd be pretty confident in saying it isn't common.
Yes it's in actual use.
But you need use it carefully, because "你们好" is always used when famous people meeting their fans, or teacher meet there students. If you are meeting elders or in honorific expression, you should use "您好" to each person, even if there are many people at the same time.
Yes there are. Such language in Chinese is referred to as 回回话 Huíhui huà.
Thanks to user xiaohouzi79 for pointing out the book Muslim Chinese: Ethnic Nationalism in the People's Republic By Dru C. Gladney, which is partly viewable on Google Books.
This book contains a large appendix, A Select Glossary of Hui Chinese Islamic Terms on pages 393 to 421.
Yes, "亲爱的" does indeed has a slightly different connotation to the English "Dear". It is not used as liberally in Chinese letters and emails. "亲爱的" expresses a closer relationship than "Dear" does. The following are situations where you may or may not use it:
When is it definitely OK:
you writing to your spouse
you writing to your lover
you writing to your ...
Yes. 新年=New Year, while it does not specify whether it's the new year of the Chinese calendar(农历) or the Gregorian calendar(公历).
So it's ok to say 新年快乐 in both cases. And normally we'll interpret it based on the context. If you wish to be more specific, you can use 元旦 for 公历新年 and 春节 for 农历新年.
My personal opinion about the usage of 快乐 in greetings (...
This is not a complete answer, but will probably supplement others you get.
While working in Beijing I always heard colleagues greeting each other in the morning with just 早 (zǎo) instead of the full 早上好 (zǎo shang hǎo).
This is quite similar to what we do in English, using "morning!" as a greeting instead of "good morning!"
晚安 is the standard phrase for "good night"
晚安安 is an incorrect usage of reduplication. Please don't use it.
安安 is also an incorrect usage of reduplication. Not to mention it sounds like a 'baby take' (omitted 晚 and reduplicate 安) Please don't use it to any adult.
晚安啦 is just 晚安 adding a final particle after it. Depend on the tone and pitch, it adds ...
You can search "蛇年祝福语" online, but most of the results are artificial and aren't as classy as the 龙 ones. If you look up for Chengyu's that contain 蛇, you'll see the majority of them are negative, due to snake's symbolic meaning in Chinese culture. Even novelists complained that it's very difficult to come up with greeting lines with 蛇.
The last link ...
恭喜发财 may not be the best greeting word from student to teacher, but it's not awkward - the intention is always good.
For example, parents usually wish children with good health, striving and studying. If a parent greets children with wealth, you may find them funny, fashionable or friend-like, but definitely not mammonish or evil.
In old Chinese ...
Slightly off-topic, an alternative to 早安 in Taiwan is "吃飯了沒有？", literally ＂have you eaten， yet? " . You may hear this more among older folks who experienced lean times in their youth, and also reflects generosity of the speaker.
晚安 has no emotion.
晚安安 is indeed an incorrect usage of reduplication.
but 安安 is not an incorrect usage of reduplication. A girl can use this when she talks with her boyfriend to show intimacy. Yes, it sounds like a baby but that is how people show intimacy in China (maybe some Chinese, including my ex and ex-ex... girlfriend).
晚安啦 indeed adds casual or ...
It is maybe more common to say 你吃了么? or even simply 吃了么?.
And it is not necessarily rice, but any meal (except breakfast).
So the translation to English should be Have you eaten?
This is used more commonly during the time period after lunch or after dinner.
There are jokes about this, e.g. two guys met near toilet but asking each other 吃了么?...
很高兴认识你 is usually used when FIRST meeting with someone, while 认识你，我很高兴。is more used after knowing each other for a while, could be just minutes, hours, and even days or months, to express the feeling that "I'm really happy to have a friend like you"
Another good one could be: 认识你真好 at first meet，literally it means to get to know you is really good.
恭喜发财 is a customary New Year's greeting... I would think it's generally understood to be said during these times. She may just have an issue because you wrote it to her... Usually this is a spoken term, followed by "红包拿来" ("Red Envelope, please!")... but it's usually just kids that get the red envelops...
To answer you question, the difference between 早 and 早晨 is
早 means early by itself, however, in this case 早 means early part of the day, which is morning! In Chinese it is rare to use just one character to convey an idea, so 早上 (upper part of the daytime) is used to mean morning.
早晨 means the time between early morning (凌晨 00:00-06:00) and morning (早上06:...
Yes, mainlanders say this. At the very least, my wife says this to other mainlanders and she is from 黑龙江. She seems to vary between 春节快乐 and 新年快乐.
Mainland expats at my work have been saying 新年快乐 to me all day too, but I haven't heard a 春节快乐 yet :-)