15

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)旧社会中通称官吏的妻子。 (名)旧时官僚地主人家的仆人等称女主人。 (名)对已婚妇女的尊称(带丈夫的姓)。 (名)旧时称某人的妻子或丈夫对人称自己的妻子。 Although dictionary says it's used in past (旧时) , people are actually using ...


14

There are several ways to say it: Polite: 请问,你是哪位? Qǐng wèn (May I ask), nǐ shì (you are) nǎ (which) wèi (identifier for people/position) May I ask, who is this? 您好, 您找谁? Nín hǎo (hello), nín (polite form of you) zhǎo (looking) sheí (who)? Hello, whom are you looking for? 喂,请问您是谁? Wei ("hi"- typical way people answer the phone), qǐng wèn nín shì ...


11

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. For email,people tend to write simply and practicably。 Habitual formation。 example: 周老师: 您好! ...


11

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 death and is commonly used in speaking and writing. So if you don't know which word is the best, just use this one – in only a few cases would it sound ...


11

"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 correct translation, not only linguistically; but theologically as well. Because God is Father, the familiar form of the second person is appropriate. A little ...


10

The counterpart of 老太太 could be 老先生. It has a sense of showing respect. You can also say 老奶奶 (female) and 老爷爷 (male), which is more neutral. Personally I feel 老头 is impolite, especially when combined with "一个" as in "一个老头". I'd rather use 老人 to say 我今天看到一个老人在喂鸽子, of course, this doesn't imply the gender of the old person. 老头子 is more commonly found in how ...


9

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 it. A simple 不好意思 would also suffice but is not as polite as 借过.


8

In eastern asian languages, hints are very important, thus, if you have already said "你会说汉语吗?", it has included an indication of "让我们说汉语吧" and the part you are asking for is actually an unnecessary part of the communication. You can just switch to your Chinese mode after that sentence as a notice. It is the same case in English. When you say "Can we speak ...


8

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 name is Kong, it's impolite to call somebody's name in a formal letter) blablabla 此致(this word means "I finish my word here" or "this is the end of this ...


8

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 authority e.g. 回皇上, 回大人 They didn't even normally talk like that to their father or teacher (they are in higher status and position, but they are also close to ...


7

Politeness in Mandarin is expressed by using different politeness elements, which include politeness characters, wording or manner of speaking. Usualy one element is enough in one sentence, because using 2+ elements in the same sentence may sound too polite, causing a feeling of distance. Would you please pour me some water? 请给我倒些水好吗? Note: it is different ...


7

Well, avoid the exclamation mark. 請保持安靜! Please keep quiet! 安靜! Quiet! 小聲點! Lower your voice! 請小聲點! Please lower your voice! These from the above are a little commanding in tone, especially the second and third. You may change the tone by switching to a request rather than a command. 能否請你安靜 is relatively better. I usually go with ...


6

Betty's answer is great. Here's some complement: Since almost every Chinese can understand these words, we use them in spoken lang occasionally, usually expressing some kind of mood or feelings. For example, if someone adopts an arrogant and impolite attitude to you, you can use one of the honorifics to express a scatching satire to strike back. And ...


6

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 generation, a teenage boy might call his girlfriend "老婆". 妻子 is kinda formal though.


6

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 people in China)to euphemistically refer to homosexual persons. In reality, influenced by English, we youngsters in China directly use gay or lesbian more ...


5

They are not used in spoken language any more. They are quite common in novels, films and TV shows about ancient times. Most people can understand them without difficulty. Novels, films and TV shows about ancient times are very popular in China.


5

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); frequently, listeners do not comment on the sneeze. meaning: "Drink more water","May you live for a hundred years.", "bless you." or "May you live to one hundred ...


5

In a polite way: 请让一下, or 麻烦让一下 In an impolite way: 让开!


5

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 having no children is the worst thing for a person. If you have no children, then it's impossible for you to show filial obedience to your parents. Since it ...


5

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". Early English translations of the Bible used the familiar singular form of the second person, which mirrors common usage trends in other languages. The familiar ...


4

Actually, it is correct when you point and say "这个", but Chinese speakers often use "一份" instead of "一个". The complete sentence may look like "我想要一份XXX" or “我要这个”. Hope this may help you.


4

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 request things. For example, 麻烦您下班之前把那些代码发给我 ("Could I trouble you to send me the code before we get off work?")


4

To be honest, although you could use 学弟, 学妹, etc. to address other students, the most natural way of addressing them (especially when you interact face to face) is by full name. Full names retain a reasonable amount of respect without making it sound too formal. Adding a suffix would only make it overly formal and consequently awkward. For example, full name ...


4

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


4

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 what word to use.


4

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。


3

I think 敬爱的X老师 is good. 亲爱的 is mostly used to family member in China. 敬爱的 means 受人尊敬和喜爱的 and it is good for teacher and professor.


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