吃饱了吗 (greeting)

Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by wishonatrish, Sep 14, 2013.

  1. wishonatrish Junior Member

    English
    "吃饱了吗?" is such a great all-time ice-breaker / silence-breaker, but how to you carry on from there especially if it's with someone you haven't met before, e.g. your new hairdresser's apprentice, or someone you're having to be in the same vicinity of ...for more than a couple minutes.......?

    How do you move on from "吃饱了吗?"
     
  2. tarlou Senior Member

    Chinese
    I don't think 吃饱了吗 is possible. I heard that foreigners are taught to use 你吃了吗 as greetings. But this is probably too old-fashioned, and note that 你吃饱了吗 is different from 你吃了吗. For close friends I may say 你干嘛去 as greeting. But I don't think such things are common for strangers.

    I think you can just talk about the same things as you do in English. The exact topics to talk about depends on the context, and different personalities may prefer to talk about different things.
     
  3. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    A traditional Beijing style greeting is "吃了嘛?"
    "吃饱了吗?" is similar.
    You can go on reply 吃了啊!/没呢!还早! and then 你最近怎么样啊? and then on and on.

    I would not worry too much about the reply, but the question itself.
    For sometimes it doesn't sound natural, for example...
    It's late at night;
    It's 4 o'clock in the afternoon;
    It's a skinny girl who eats very little;
    It's a fat lady who's on diet for the 10th time;
    ...

    In this cases, I advise you to modify the question a little bit, just change it into:
    晚上/中午吃得怎么样?
    or 你最近好吗?/最近怎么样? directly. Why not?
     
  4. xiaolijie

    xiaolijie MOD

    UK
    English (UK)
    The greeting itself is ok, but it's not appropriate for using towards strangers.
     
  5. stellari Senior Member

    Mandarin Chinese
    I wouldn't even consider 吃饱了吗 as a greeting. For me, it is a real question that you would ask only when you know someone just had a meal. Also, if you are not careful with the intonation/context, it might even be interpreted as "you don't seem to have much energy. Are you hungry or something?" If a stranger says that to me, I would feel rather weird.

    If you feel like talking about 'eating' as an ice-breaker, use 吃(过)了吗.
     
  6. wishonatrish Junior Member

    English
    Hm.....So when the apprentince drying my hair at the hairdresser's (who was Malaysian) asked me "吃饱了吗?" as the first thing he said when the absence of conversation needed to be broken, what was most likely the purpose of asking?

    Also, what are more versions of striking up small-talk with a stranger?
     
  7. Lucia_zwl

    Lucia_zwl Senior Member

    Agree.
    With the apprentice, for example, I would start with:
    你是新来的么?(--是的)我说我以前怎么没见过你呢!你家是哪里的呀?在这边生活/工作习惯么?……
    Are you new here? (--Yes) No wonder I haven't seen you before! Where are you from? How do you like living/working here?...

    Or you could talk about some universal topics like weather, hot news, or even the street music.:D
     
  8. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    Agreed...
     
  9. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    Malaysian Chinese may have their own talking style, so we are not sure. I think you can just answer 吃得挺饱. You don't even need follow-ups if you've nothing to say. Must we chat with the apprentice?? What's the purpose...

    Some people do talk with everybody. For example, with a apprentice in a salon, they start asking questions like: 你是哪里人啊?在这工作多久啦?最近生意好做吗? and so on.
     
  10. baosheng Senior Member

    Canada
    Canada, English
    Ah!! Exactly the "small talk" vocabulary I was looking for when I was in China, trying to talk to the hairdressers/people who wash your hair, etc. haha. well the ones who wanted to talk anyway.
    "你是哪里人啊?在这工作多久啦?最近生意好做吗?"

    Thanks!
     
  11. avlee

    avlee Senior Member

    Suzhou, China
    Chinese - P.R.C.
    For whatever help it is, I would never use 吃饱了吗 to strike up a small talk with a stranger. The usual expression is 吃了么.
    Talking above weather is another way to start up a talk with people you don't know.
     
  12. wishonatrish Junior Member

    English

    HAHAHAHA!!! Yeah! I didn't know how to follow up after saying, "嗯吃饱了。"Hahaha... :rolleyes:
     

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