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Euphemism in Chinese Language

2016-08-12 11:21:43Share:

  (By Claudeckenni)


  Even though we are not Chinese, but there are some basic things we should know if we're going to live in China. One of the most important things is common courtesy or manners. Of course most of you maybe already know the basic courtesy such as presenting business card with both hands, stand when you are going to shake hands, etc etc. As a student who's studying Chinese language, I want to share with you some common courtesy in terms of language.


  When you first start studying Chinese, maybe your teacher will tell you that a Chinese word for toilet/restroom is 厕所 (Cèsuǒ, "toilet, lavatory"). But you know what? 厕所 is not a polite word to use in Chinese society, it sounds a little vulgar. So, the next time you want to excuse yourself to the toilet, you can say 洗手间 (Xǐshǒujiān, that means "washroom") or 卫生间 (Wèishēngjiān, that means "sanitary room") instead of 厕所. Your Chinese friend will respect you more. If you want to show off your Chinese ability, you can also say 我想去方便一下 (Wǒ xiǎng qù fāngbiàn yīxià - "I will go to washroom for a little bit"). Chinese often use this line to excuse themselves to go to the toilet. Remember, saying 我想去小便 (Wǒ xiǎng qù xiǎobiàn, "I want to pee") or 我想去大便 (Wǒ xiǎng qù dàbiàn, "I want to poo") is considered very rude in China.


  Marriage is a very important thing in China. You have to be careful if you gonna ask someone you just knew whether he/she is married or not because this one is a very sensitive issue, especially for a woman. You know, in China, if a woman is almost 30 and she is still unmarried, she will be considered as 剩女 (Shèng nǚ) aka leftover woman.


  So, if you want to ask someone whether he/she is married or not, you can use this line :


  "个人问题解决了吗?" (Gèrén wèntí jiějuéle ma? - "Have you solved your personal problems yet?")


  If you want to ask someone, when he/she is gonna get married, you can use this line :


  "什么时候请我吃你们的喜糖?" (Shénme shíhòu qǐng wǒ chī nǐmen de xǐtáng? - "When you will invite me to eat your wedding candy?")




  "什么时候请我喝你们的喜酒?" (Shénme shíhòu qǐng wǒ hē nǐmen de xǐjiǔ? - "When you will invite me to drink your wedding wine?")


  Last but not least, if someone died, you can't just say "她的妈妈死了" (Tā de māmā sǐle - Her mother died) because for Chinese, death is a very rude and unlucky thing to say. You can say something like this instead


  "她的妈妈去世了“ (Tā de māmā qùshìle - Her mother has left this world)


  "她的妈妈走了” (Tā de māmā zǒule - Her mother has passed away)


  "她的妈妈不在了" (Tā de māmā bùzàile - Her mother is not with us anymore)

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