Has it been busy here lately?

Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by baosheng, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. baosheng Senior Member

    Canada, English

    I often go to a Chinese haircutter/hairdresser/hair stylist and wanted to ask them: "Has it been busy here lately?" (just making small talk.. ).

    When I first started learning Chinese years ago, somebody translated this for me as: "最近生意怎么样/最近生意好吗?" , but when I asked her this last time I went to her for a haircut, her reply was: ""我只是打工的,不是老板" (or something of the sort).

    Seeing as "最近生意怎么样" seems to be a question to ask the 老板, would there be a better way of asking this sort of question to someone at a business who doesn't own it?

    I think a literal translation: "你们最近忙吗?" may sound odd, right? Would there perhaps be a better way? (even if it does not have exactly the same meaning)

    Thanks in advance/谢谢!
  2. illihc New Member

    Your question wasn't wrong, but since she probably just works part time she doesn't really know if how the business was going. (Odd though, I would at least expect an answer of some sort since she works there.)
    A better way to ask your hairdresser would be: " 你们这里最近忙吗?" but of course she could easily repeat her last answer again, though it would be more obvious you just wanted to know if the place has been busy lately, and not how the business was going overall. (But then again there is a strong connection between the two :p)

    Hope this helps.
  3. xiaolijie

    xiaolijie MOD

    English (UK)
    Yes, this is a very clear question for what the OP wants to ask; and if the hairdresser could not reply, then it would be a hard job to try to improve on it (and it may be easier to find another hairdresser ;)).

    Welcome to the forum, illihc! :)
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  4. alejandro123 Junior Member

    最近工作忙吗? also seems to fit here. or 工作都顺利吗?
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  5. Victor Xin New Member

    Hangzhou, China
    “你们这里最近忙吗?” is a something that I usually ask when I just want a small talk, I think it's fine. If she works here lately, no matter she's the boss or just a employee, she would say yes or no, or I don't know.
  6. baosheng Senior Member

    Canada, English
    Thank you everyone for your replies! Ah, I think the addition of "你们这里" makes it a lot more clear. I guess the expression isn't so different in Chinese after all! (The 生意 question was probably originally proposed by the first person I asked because both the person to whom I was asking about the translation and the person to whom I was talking were both 老板 (many years ago))。 谢谢!

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