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How do you say "Hello" in Chinese?   [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2011-11-22 16:27:10 |Display all floors
Well, I know "Ni Hao" is totally fine, but someone actually told me there is another way, "Chi Le Mei?", like "Have you eaten yet?".

Seriously...

We are all prisoners of our own device.

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Post time 2011-11-22 19:46:17 |Display all floors
"Chi Le Mei" used to be a popular greeting some 20-30 years ago. We don't say it often nowadays.  However if you say it it's Ok. People will smile at you and say "Chi Le. Xie Xie!" (yes I have eaten, thank you.)

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Post time 2011-11-22 20:03:45 |Display all floors
This post was edited by NE_Tigress at 2011-11-22 20:07

Btw, usually it's not an invitation to a meal, but just a greeting.  Normally, no matter if we have eaten or not we would still say "Chi Le, Chi Le, Xie Xie Ni!" (Yes, yes I have eaten, thank you!) to avoid embarrassment.

If you do say "Hai Mei Ne" (not yet) or "Hai Mei Chi Ne"(haven't eaten yet), normally the other person would say "Kuai Qu Chi Ba, Bie Yi Hu'er E La" (you better eat soon, or you'll feel hungry).  

It may sound strange to foreigners, but it was a habitual way of greeting between Chinese some time ago.

But don't worry, it is no longer used often now. "Ni Hao" is perfect. {:soso_e181:}

In China, if somebody wants to invite you to a meal, he/she would insist even if you are not hungry. In this case, if you really don't want to accept the invitation, just make an excuse, such as "my gf is waiting for me now. If I'm late she will dump me" .

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Post time 2011-11-22 20:23:12 |Display all floors
NE_Tigress Post time: 2011-11-22 20:03
Btw, usually it's not an invitation to a meal, but just a greeting.  Normally, no matter if we have  ...

also somebody  needs to add that she is very rich and I do not want to lose her
I really    love China,半个 中国 人

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Post time 2011-11-22 20:23:32 |Display all floors
NE_Tigress Post time: 2011-11-22 20:03
Btw, usually it's not an invitation to a meal, but just a greeting.  Normally, no matter if we have  ...

Thanks for all the information.

Very enlightening.
We are all prisoners of our own device.

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Post time 2011-11-22 20:23:46 |Display all floors
NE_Tigress Post time: 2011-11-22 20:03
Btw, usually it's not an invitation to a meal, but just a greeting.  Normally, no matter if we have  ...

thank you for the lesson.Really useful to me
I really    love China,半个 中国 人

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Post time 2011-11-22 20:28:05 |Display all floors
xilaren Post time: 2011-11-22 20:23
also somebody  needs to add that she is very rich and I do not want to lose her

  That's more convincing.

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