12 Different Ways to Say ‘Thank You’ in Chinese

6 minute read
Thank You in Chinese

Think of a moment when you feel the waves of gratitude washing over your mind. What are the words you automatically utter when someone helps you or gives you something you asked for? Daily News reported that we say thank you around 2,000 times in a year and most of the times without actually meaning it. Every language has its variants of expressing gratitude but English is perhaps the only one that allows us to do this with just a single phrase that can be used in multiple situations. There are numerous languages in which ways of saying ‘thank you’ change as per the situation. One such interesting language is Chinese which offers a varied number of phrases for expressing gratitude. Through this blog, we will take you on an exciting journey of learning the different ways you can say ‘thank you’ in Chinese.

Credits: Morley College London

1. ‘Xiè xiè’ – Thanks in Chinese

‘xiè xiè’ is the most common and widely used phrase for saying ‘thanks’ in Chinese language. It can be used while a casual encounter with a friend on the street or while accepting a gift from your someone you know quite well. Generally, the native speakers of Chinese use this phrase in informal spaces like with friends and family.

2. ‘Xièxiè nǐ’- Thank You in Chinese

‘Xièxiè nǐ’ is a rather formal way to say ‘Thank you’ to anyone in Chinese. You can use it in situations where you wish to express your gratitude. You can use it on semi-formal occasions like office parties, discussions, etc. 

3. ‘Duō xiè’ – Thanks a Lot in Chinese

Literally translated as ‘thanks a lot in English, ‘duō xiè’ is usually used in professional working spaces, formal emails and invites. It can be also said during casual conversations but the right appropriate way to use it is in offices or with your colleagues and seniors.

4. ‘Fēi cháng gǎn xiè nǐ’ -Thank You Very Much in Chinese

A rather longer phrase to say ‘thank you’ in Chinese, ‘fēi cháng gǎn xiè nǐ’ can be used to show extreme and genuine gratitude to someone on semi-formal occasions. For example, if your neighbour offers to buy groceries for you while going to the market, ‘fēi cháng gǎn xiè nǐ’ will be the right way to thank them for their kind gesture.

5. ‘Nǎ li nǎ li’- You’re Flattering me in Chinese

Mainly applied to situations when someone compliments you, ‘nǎ li nǎ li’ can literally translated as ‘you are too kind’ or ‘you flatter me’. It can be used to say ‘thank you’ in Chinese in the context of both formal as well as casual conversations and commonly as a reply to words of appreciation and praise.

6. ‘Nǐ tài hǎo la’ – You are the Best in Chinese

Another informal way of saying ‘thank you’ in Chinese, ‘nǐ tài hǎo la’ is commonly used to show extreme gratitude to a family member, friend or someone close to you. It is widely used in casual conversations to thank someone while trying to convey that you care about them and appreciate their presence in your life.

7. ‘Xiè xiè dà jiā’ – Thank you all in Chinese

‘xiè xiè dà jiā’ means ‘thank you all’ in English which clearly states that the phrase is said in large gatherings to address a huge number of people at once. Whether you want to say, ‘thank you for paying attention’ or ‘thank you for coming here’, ‘xiè xiè dà jiā’ is well-suited for both these situations regardless of the formal or informal nature of the event.

8. ‘Má fan nǐ le!’ – Sorry for the trouble!

While ‘má fan nǐ le!’ iss not a proper formal apology, you can still say it to someone who has gone out of their way to do something for you or help you when you really needed it. A lot of times people or our friends do us a favour or did something for you which was not quite inconvenient for them but the fact that they still did, you must grace it with ‘má fan nǐ le’ – sorry for the trouble! It is sweet and a different way of saying thank you. 

9. ‘Xièxiè nǐ de kā fēi!’ – Thank you for the coffee in Chinese

Ever thought about what to reply to a friend or colleague who takes you out for coffee when you are new in the country? ‘Xièxiè nǐ de kā fēi’ is the accurate way for saying, thank you for the coffee. After all, who doesn’t like a good cuppa! 

10. ‘Xièxiè nǐ de zhōngwén shíwù’- Thank You for the Food in Chinese

Whether you are invited to your friend’s house for a meal or just trying to be polite on the dinner table around Chinese people, saying this is the way to go. ‘Xièxiè nǐ de zhōngwén shíwù’ is very polite and expresses heartfelt gratitude towards the host. 

11. ‘Wǒ hěn hǎo xièxiè’- I am Fine Thank You in Chinese

Now, think if anyone asks how are you doing? But in Chinese. Here, you can use ‘Wǒ hěn hǎo xièxiè’. This would mean that you are doing well and thanking the person for asking you. A very formal manner of chat is the best place to use this. 

12. Xièxiè, wǒ de péngyǒu- Thank You My Friend in Chinese

So, you made a Chinese friend, and wish to show them your gratitude. Go for ‘Xièxiè, wǒ de péngyǒu’. This is a very humble and kind gesture towards your friend and they will surely appreciate that you are trying to learn Chinese to communicate with them. 

Reply to Thank You in Chinese

Credits: Howcast

Now that you know how to say ‘Thank you’ in Chinese for different occassions, let’s see the ways you can respond to someone’s thank you in Chinese

‘Bù kèqì’ – You’re welcome!

While thank you is the most used phrase everywhere, let alone in China, or in the Chinese language, you must know what to say when someone says ‘thank you’ to you. You can always reply to ‘thank you’ with a sweet ‘bù kèqì’. It is a simple way of saying, don’t mention it! After all, we all can go out of the way for each other, that is what friends are for! 

Bù, bù‘- No No

Now that you know the varied phrases for ‘thank you’ in Chinese, you should also know about a special phrase ‘bù, bù’ which is used to deflect an unwanted comment or compliment someone in a modest way. Staying humble is one of the key features of the Chinese language, thus you will find a sophisticated way of rejecting compliments as well!

Isn’t Chinese a wonderful language? No wonder, why there are about 1 billion speakers of this language, despite it being the toughest one. Do you want to ‘duō xiè’ or ‘nǐ tài hǎo la‘ us, for enlightening you with the different multiple uses of ‘thank you’ in Chinese? 

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