15 votes
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How should I introduce my wife?

When you introduce your wife both 太太 and 老婆 are acceptable, depending on whether it's a formal occasion. 太太 is more formal while 老婆 is more casual. Both are socially appropriate. From 汉语词典: 太太: (名)...
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  • 889
12 votes
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What is the formal/polite way to begin and end an email in Chinese?

The traditional Chinese letter is very complex.It has many honorifics that vary greatly for different receivers. But today,most people's traditional education is insufficient to write these letter. ...
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  • 5,902
11 votes
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Politeness in referring to a recent death

TL;DR The most general euphemism for "die" in Chinese is 去世 Literally means "leave the world". Similar to the English expression "pass on/away". It would be polite enough to address anyone's ...
11 votes

Why in Chinese Bible (和合本), "you" was translated as "你" instead of "您"?

"I thought 您 is more polite and honorific and thus should be used when address Jehovah. Why was "you" translated as "你" instead of "您"?" 你 is, in fact, the ...
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  • 5,313
9 votes

What is a polite or neutral way to ask for someone to step out of your way?

The most polite way is to use: 借过 excuse me -ABC If you want to sound politer you can add a 一下 on the end: 借过一下. 让 is not super polite, with or without a 一下 but you could still get away using ...
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9 votes

What is the formal/polite way to begin and end an email in Chinese?

I will give you a example, explanation in the brackets, see if it's useful to you. this is a email I sent to my client, I think this format is kind of formal 孔经理:(he's a manager, and his family ...
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8 votes
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Is it polite to answer a question asked by a senior by starting with "回...的話"?

starting a reply with 回 is too subservient in modern Chinese conversation. You only hear people use "回 + title" in period drama nowadays In olden time, people would use "回 + title" to replay to ...
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6 votes

How should I introduce my wife?

太太 and 老婆 are probably the most used two. Don't worry, 太太、老婆、妻子 are all socially appropriate. My wife is 27, that is the way I refer to her in most social occasions. 老婆 is used even in younger ...
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6 votes

Is 同性恋 considered a slur?

The expression of “同性恋” in Chinese, I think, is too formal and is hardly used in Chinese spoken language. In Chinese slang, some may use "同志"(which originally means comrade or like-minded or congenial ...
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  • 69
5 votes
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What is the polite way to respond to a sneeze in Chinese?

From Wikipedia: [which funnily enough has a Responses To Sneezing page] Usual Responses and Notes 多喝点水 (Duō hē diǎn shuǐ), 一百岁 (yì bǎi suì), 保佑你 (bǎo yòu nǐ) or 长命百岁 (chánɡ mìnɡ bǎi suì); ...
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5 votes
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What is the polite/proper way to address elderly whom I am not familiar with?

For an elderly woman, 大妈,大娘,大婶,阿婆,老奶奶 -- what's best really depends on what they are using locally and the age difference between you and the person. You can always just say: 您好, if you are not sure ...
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  • 451
5 votes

Is 同性恋 considered a slur?

Basically, "同性恋" is the direct meaning of homosexual. However, it is quite difficult for Chinese people to say this directly. There is an old saying in Chinese, called "不孝有三,无后为大". Here, it says that ...
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  • 169
5 votes

Why in Chinese Bible (和合本), "you" was translated as "你" instead of "您"?

In my opinion, this question is not specific in Chinese. In fact, many languages use the singular form of the second person to address God. Here is a quote from Wikipedia's article "thou". ...
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4 votes

How do you politely ask for things in Mandarin?

I am surprised nobody has brought up the use of 麻烦. The term 麻烦 could be loosely translated to "could I perhaps trouble you to..." (in the context of politeness of course). It is used to politely ...
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  • 516
4 votes

How should I introduce my wife?

You can also say "牽手" Qian1 Shou3 (literally means "holding-hand" ) if you're in Taiwan
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  • 41
4 votes

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

老奶 and 老爸 is improper. 老奶 is not used at all. It should be 老奶奶(for elder female, typically old enough to be a grandma, because 奶奶 means grandma). 老爸 is usually refering to your father, I think it work ...
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  • 402
4 votes

What is a polite way to ask to 打包 (dǎbāo) "take away" my meal? Is 我想打包 acceptable?

You could say any of the following: 麻煩打包,謝謝。 我要打包,麻煩(你)幫我拿盒子,謝謝。 Usually I get asked whether I will be packing the leftovers. Me: (indicate I’m ready for the bill) Waiter: 好的,要打包嗎? Me: 要,謝謝。
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  • 508
3 votes
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How appropriate is "拜拜"?

拜拜 is not casualness and/or childishness,it is a more friendly way to express goodbye ,and majority use between people who have good relation,or see somebody for the first time and build a friendship ...
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  • 186
3 votes

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

I think a general response would be "保重" (take care). Never heard anyone saying things like: "一百岁 (yì bǎi suì), 保佑你 (bǎo yòu nǐ) or 长命百岁 (chánɡ mìnɡ bǎi suì);", that would be really creepy if I heard ...
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3 votes

What is a polite or neutral way to ask for someone to step out of your way?

In most cases "劳驾" is the proper way: polite, effective and simple. If it doesn't attract the target's attention, you just need to repeat it louder. "让" certainly is impolite. "请让" could be much ...
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3 votes

How to introduce "Husband" in social occasions?

老公 is more for casual conversation. e.g. 這是我老公 先生 can be used in a more formal situation. e.g. 這是我先生 In a even more formal situation, you can use 外子. e.g. 這是外子
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3 votes

How should I introduce my wife?

I have heard this used in modern TV shows -- usually face-to-face (husband to wife) -- as 情爱的 。。。I suppose it works just as well when you are introducing someone by saying 。。。这是我的情爱的。。。literally: This ...
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3 votes
Accepted

Prefacing questions with 请问

Before I want to ask a stranger, I will try to get their attention first. Saying 您好/你好 (Hello/Hi) before starting my question, then 对不起打扰了,请问 or just 请问 (Excuse Me) and followed by the question. 您好,...
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3 votes

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

The most polite/proper way varies among different regions, as shown in each of the other answers. Here are some tips that I know of: If you know the dialect in that region, it would be best to ...
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  • 3,247
3 votes

How do I translate 'do well on your test' into Chinese?

I basically agree with what Itux just said. But I would prefer to say “祝你考试顺利” instead of “祝你测试顺利”. In your context, “考试” would be the word you look for when you want to translate "test" or "exam". ...
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  • 31
3 votes
Accepted

Why did she choose 姐姐?

She identify herself as 姐姐 to show she is “powerful” or “knowledgeable” in doing whatever you don’t know how to do. Sometimes you call a female 姐姐 for showing respect. Even for people younger than you,...
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