Greg Rodgers is a freelance writer and photographer from Kentucky. He's been spanning all points Asia for because 2010.

You are watching: How do you say hello in cantonese

* / Ellie Yang

A small About Mandarin Chinese

Although there are several variations, Mandarin is the closest thing to a common, unified language in China. You will certainly encounter Mandarin while travel in Beijing, and because it is the "speech the officials," knowing how to speak hello in Mandarin is helpful everywhere you go. Mandarin serves as the indigenous language for approximately 1 billion people, and many an ext have learned come speak it.

First tone: level (means "mother")Second tone: climbing ( method "hemp")Third tone: fallout’s then rising ( way "horse")Fourth tone: falling ( method "scold")No tone: Ma v a neutral/no tone transforms a statement right into a question.

Words have tendency to be much shorter than in English (2 – 4 letters), so one word can have numerous different interpretations depending on the tone pronounced. Together the famous instance with (ma) over shows, using the dorn tones at the not correct times have the right to cause good confusion.

As because that reading and writing, don't feel negative if you're baffled when confronted with Chinese characters; world from various regions in China often have trouble connecting with each other! That's why we start by learning how to use Pinyin.

The Easiest means to say Hello in Chinese

Ni hao (pronounced "nee haow") is the basic, default greeting in Chinese. that is written as 你好 / nǐ hǎo. The literal meaning translation is "you ok/good," yet this is the easiest means to to speak "hello" in Chinese.

Although both native in Pinyin are significant as third tone (nǐ hǎo), the pronunciation changes a bit due to the fact that two consecutive 3rd tones occur ago to back. In this instance, the first word (nǐ) is pronounced through a second tone the rises in pitch instead. The second word (hǎo) keeps the 3rd tone and is pronounced with a "dip," a falling-then-rising tone.

Some people, an especially in Taiwan, pick to enhance the greeting by adding the ask "ma" to the end to type "ni hao ma?" Turning "you good" right into a question essentially alters the meaning to a familiar "how room you?" but this isn't supplied as regularly in Beijing together language guides seem come think the is. Once traveling mainland China, a simple ni hao will certainly suffice!

You will probably hear "hi" and also "hello" often when gift greeting as a Westerner in Beijing. You can reply through ni hao because that a little fun and also practice.

speak Hello in official Occasions

Following the ide of saving confront in Asia, elders and also those of greater social status should always be shown a tiny extra respect. Adding just one additional letter (ni becomes nin)will make her greeting a bit an ext formal. Useninhao(pronouned "neen haow") — a more polite variation of the traditional greeting — as soon as greeting older people. The an initial word (nin) is quiet a climbing tone.

You can likewise make nin hao right into "how are you?" by including the concern word ma to the finish for nin hao ma?

simple Responses in Chinese

You have the right to simply answer to being greeted by offering a ni hao in return, yet taking the greeting one step further is sure to gain a smile throughout the interaction. Regardless, you need to reply through something — no acknowledging someone's trusted ni hao is negative etiquette.

Hao: goodHen Hao: an extremely goodBu Hao: not good (bad)Xie Xie: give thanks to you (pronounced comparable to "zh-yeh zh-yeh" through two falling tones) is optional and also can be included to the end.Ni ne: and you? (pronounced "nee nuh")

just how to to speak Hello in Cantonese

Although it's similar to Mandarin, Cantonese, talked in Hong Kong and also southern parts of China, has actually a contempt modified greeting. Neih hou (pronounced "nay hoe") replace instead replace ni hao; both words have a rising tone.

Given Hong Kong's English history, you'll frequently hear "ha-lo" together a familiar hello! yet reserve "ha-lo" for casual and informal situations. All other times, you need to be saying neih hou.

need to I Bow once Saying Hello in Chinese?

No. Uneven in Japan wherein bowing is common, civilization tend to just bow in China throughout martial arts, as an apology, or to present deep respect in ~ funerals. Many Chinese people opt to shake hands, however don't suppose the normal firm, Western-style handshake. Eye contact and also a smile room important.

See more: If A Triangle Is Equilateral Then It Is Isosceles, The Converse Of Is

Although bowing in China is rare, make sure you return one if you receive a bow. As when bowing in Japan, keeping eye call as friend bow is seen as a martial art challenge!

how to to speak Cheers in Chinese

After saying hello in Chinese, you may end up making brand-new friends — specifically if at a banquet or in a drinking establishment. It is in prepared; there room some rules for appropriate drinking etiquette. Friend should absolutely know just how to say cheers in Chinese!

Along through knowing how to to speak hello in Chinese, finding out some valuable phrases in Mandarin prior to traveling in China is a an excellent idea.