With this simple question: 你好吗? ni hao ma?, how are you?, we can learn the differences between China and foreign countries.
Even if you understand Chinese that does not mean that you necessarily will understand what the person is really thinking or what he/she really wants to say. That’s why foreigners think Chinese is one of the hardest languages in the world.
你好吗 is the most basic question you will learn if you begin to learn Chinese. You can also say 你怎么样？ Ni zen me yang? That means how are you doing?
Why do the Chinese rarely use 你好吗?
Chinese people often ask你吃饭了吗? ni chi fan le ma? Have you eaten?. When a foreigner hears this, he/she will think the Chinese person is trying to invite them to eat something but in fact he is just trying to say Hello and to be nice.In most cases, Chinese people will just answer 是的，我吃了 , shi de, wo chi le， yes I ate or 不， 还没有, bu, hai mei you, no, not yet.
Sometimes you will be asked 你吃饭吗？while you are eating. This is quite common, do not be confused and just say yes!
Learning a language is not only learning sentences but also learning the culture of the other country.
To be a good Mandarin teacher or a good Mandarin student you have to learn and understand cultural differences.
In Miracle Mandarin, we encourage our students to learn and be aware of cultural differences.
Want more info? Do not hesitate to contact us!
Phone: 400-636-0171/ (86-21)-6247-6388
Address: 21F, 319 Changde Road (corner of West Beijing Road)
Closest metro: Line 2/7 Jing’an Temple, Exit 3/10,
A 5 min walk away
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