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 Mumsnet phrases into characters, pinyin (the characters spelt out in the Latin alphabet) and phonetics. Have a go!

Share this on Facebook

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

不" 是一个完成的句子

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

Cheers/bottoms up


Pinyin: Gan bei

Phonetic: Gan bay

Liked this? Try these:

Family-friendly Chinese recipes

What's your Chinese Zodiac sign?

Healthy recipes for Chinese New Year


Last updated: 5 months ago