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你好 (nihao)

Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by 维尼爱蜂蜜, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. 维尼爱蜂蜜 Junior Member

    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. xiaolijie

    xiaolijie MOD

    English (UK)
    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: Jun 17, 2013
  3. rerelapse New Member

    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.:eek:
  4. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Pekino, Ĉinujo
    Chinese/Italian - bilingual
    I don't say zaoshanghao, I just say "zao". :p
  5. xiaolijie

    xiaolijie MOD

    English (UK)
    Then you're obviously not a foreigner, aren't you? :D
    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. SuperXW Senior Member

    I don't usually say "hello" to acquaintance, I say "hi" or "morning"...
  7. 维尼爱蜂蜜 Junior Member

    Thank you guys!

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