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Thread: 你好 (nihao)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    你好 (nihao)

    Is 你好 exactly equivalent to Hello?
    My feeling is it's like a combination of hello and how do you do. coz we don't say it to people who we see every day.
    I'm trying to tell western coworkers not to say nihao to me and my chinese friends every morning. zao shang hao is more appropriate i think.
    Do you guys agree with me?

  2. #2
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    Re: 你好 nihao

    As a foreigner, you'll see/hear "nihao" more often, and it's certainly shorter and more handy than "zaoshanghao".
    The other thing is, although Chinese people don't often say "nihao" among themselves, there is some kind of expectation of this from foreigners. Therefore, as a foreigner you tend to behave like a foreigner, don't you?

    By the way, I'm not advocating using "nihao", just trying to explain why it's so commonly used by foreigners.
    Last edited by xiaolijie; 17th June 2013 at 7:25 PM.

  3. #3
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    Re: 你好 nihao

    Quote Originally Posted by xiaolijie View Post
    As a foreigner, you'll see/hear "nihao" more often, and it's certainly shorter and more handy than "zaoshanghao".
    The other thing is, although Chinese people don't often say "nihao" among themselves, there is some kind of expectation of this from foreigners. That is, as a foreigner you tend to behave like a foreigner does, don't you?
    I think you have made a good point.In China,'nihao'is usually used when you meet somebody for the first time or you are still not so familiar with the one you speak to.So as a foreigner,you may use 'nihao'more frequently than 'zaoshanghao'.While both are good words of courtsey,for every greetings,I think Winnie's idea of using'zaoshanghao' instead of 'nihao'to send greetings to his colleagues as well as his friends is terribly reasonable.It sounds much amiable and sweet.
    Alternatively,it seems say hello is also okay and I guess just like a smile,you can say it to everyone and they will totally get it,of course,only if people there know only even little about English.

  4. #4
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    Re: 你好 nihao

    I don't say zaoshanghao, I just say "zao".
    "Ĉokolado". Do you know how to say "chócoleit" in "Espanis"?

  5. #5
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    Re: 你好 nihao

    Quote Originally Posted by Youngfun View Post
    I don't say zaoshanghao, I just say "zao".
    Then you're obviously not a foreigner, aren't you?
    Your reply actually illustrates my point earlier very well: it takes competence, judgement and confidence to say "zao!".
    And on hearing "zao", the other party would respond with something similar in tone, which may stump new learners who may even not know what it means, let alone respond.

  6. #6
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    Jun 2011
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    Beijing/Hong Kong
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    Re: 你好 nihao

    I don't usually say "hello" to acquaintance, I say "hi" or "morning"...
    Correct my Chinglish please!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Re: 你好 nihao

    Thank you guys!

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