Saying Sorry in Chinese

Here is a list of phrases used to express sorry in Chinese, together with the explanation and applicable situation where you can use these phrases. 1.  对不起 duì bù qǐ Sorry: This is the most common way to say sorry in Chinese. You can use it when you carelessly step on stranger’s foot. Or you can say it when you make your friends waiting for 10 minutes. 2.  真对不起了  zhēn duì…

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Sū Zhōu (苏州) – Handicraft Paradise

By principle you dislike big cities. They are crowded, noisy and polluted. You live in a small town in southeastern China and you’re very happy because of that. Once in a while however, you feel the need to see something more –  to see, so called ‘big world’. Weather it is out of curiosity, or simply to have an excuse that you haven’t spend your whole time in the middle…

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Chinese Gift-Giving: What Not to Give

Generally speaking, picking a gift is an acquired skill. This is especially true in Chinese culture. As a country carrying a long heritage of courtesy (礼lǐ), gift-giving in China is certainly a gesture of art. Presents, 礼物(lǐwù) in Chinese, literally means “a courtesy item”. While courtesy is a cultural construction, if one does not know what is considered inappropriate in the Chinese culture, it is easy to make mistakes and…

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When Valentine’s Day Meets Lantern Festival

Coincidentally this year’s Valentine’s Day is also the Chinese Lantern Festival. In Chinese we call it “yuán xiāo jié”(元宵节). It is on the fifteenth of the first month in the lunar calendar. “yuán” stands for the first month of the year, and “xiāo” means “night”, thus it is “The Night of the First Month”. Why is this night so special? Because the moon is at its fullest for the first time in the new…

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