Celebrate Chinese New Year with the Mumsnet Guide to Mandarin
Forget the phrasebooks: this Chinese New Year we bring you the Mandarin you really need. Want to tell someone they're being unreasonable AND order gin in the most widely spoken of languages? We've translated classic MN phrases into characters, pinyin (the characters spelt out in the Latin alphabet) and phonetics. Have a go!
Am I being unreasonable?
Pinyin: Wo shi bushi buke liyu?
Phonetic: Waw sher boo sher boo ker lee you?
You are being unreasonable
Pinyin: Ni shi buke liyu
Phonetic: Nee sher boo ker lee you
You are not being unreasonable
Pinyin: Ni bu shi buke liyu
Phonetic: Nee boo sher boo ker lee you
Did you mean to be so rude?
Pinyin: Ni chengxin zheme culu?
Phonetic: Nee cheng shin jer mer tsoo loo?
What's your favourite biscuit?
Pinyin: Ni zui xihuan de binggan shi shenme?
Phonetic: Nee zway shee huan de binggan sher shen mer?
Nest of vipers
Pinyin: Dushe de chaoxu
Phonetic: Do sher de chao shwer
Leave the bastard!
Pinyin: Likai nage hundan
Phonetic: Lee kye na ge hoondan
Won't somebody think of the children?
Pinyin: You mei you ren xiangguo haizi
Phonetic: Yo may yo ren tsiang guor high zi
"No" is a complete sentence
Pinyin: Bu shi yi ge wancheng de juzi
Phonetic: Boo sher ee ge wancheng der jew zi
Pinyin: Du song zi jiu
Phonetic: Do song zi jiew
Happy New Year!
Pinyin: Xin nian kuai le
Phonetic: Shin nian kwai ler
Pinyin: Gan bei
Phonetic: Gan bay
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Last updated: 5 months ago