10 unique Chinese terms
of the first term you will learn in China is Guanxi or
whether business or social, are a important aspect of life in
China, in order to get things done. In fact, your social
and business status in China is measured by not who you are
but whom you know and what you can connect to!
not as important as it was when China was under strick communist
rule, it is still important enough in modern China to make a
difference if things get done or if things can be done quickly.
Do not be surprised if your Chinese friend or associate boast
about his/her guanxi.
Guanxi is a common feature across Chinese societies throughout the world
but particularly so in Mainland China.
very unique aspect of China is the concept of Mianzhi. One of
the first thing you will need to know when interacting with
the Chinese is the concept of "giving face" or Gei
means that you must give the right respect to the right person.
For example, if you are bringing gifts as a gesture to your business
partners in China, make sure that the more senior people get
a better gift. This is but one aspect of "giving
face" and it
will be something that you will need to grasp as you mix more
with the Chinese.
cultural aspect of MianZhi is common across all Chinese societies
cross the world.
a red packet that contain cash and is very common in Chinese
societies across the world. HongBao is given
away in festive seasons such as Chinese New Year, birthdays,
weddings or anniversaries
as a token of caring
and sharing. Red also symbolizes prosperity and good luck;
both of which are auspicious in Chinese culture.
China, handing over cash directly is not common. Cash is
usually put into a red packet or hongbao before
it is given. Given
a Hongbao can also be used as a form of
appreciation for good work, loyalty
or appreciation. If you have no time to get a present or
do not know what to get, then, giving Hongbao with cash inside
is considered a perfect substitute.
love to drink and they love to 'bottoms up'. You will hear Ganbei very
commonly during a banquet or dinner. If someone toast you ganbei,
it means bottoms-up and it would be an offence if you decline
to finish the glass after toasting to a ganbei!
Chinese wheat and sorghum-based liquor that is very high in alcohol
content and very, very popular during banquets and drinking sessions.
Maotai will probably be your first and very
fiery introduction to Chinese liquor. Avoid it at all cost if
you are not a drinker.
Maotai is common only in Mainland China and to a smaller extent, Taiwan.
are hundred of local dialects in China which are very difficult
if not impossible even for the Chinese to understand. Hence,
the common dialect for the entire country is PutongHua or Common
Dialect. PutongHua is also known as Mandarin or Huayu
outside of China. PutongHua is the offical dialect
of China and it is the dialect that officials and business people
to interact with one another.
you need ever to learn decide between Cantonese or Mandarin (Putonghua)
to learn before coming to China, make sure you learn Mandarin.
Cantonese will only be useful in Hong kong or Guaangzhou while
Mandarin will be used throughout China, Taiwan, Malaysia and
of it's socialist background, many jobs in China are very secured
with little chance of being one being terminated or laid off.
Hence TieFanWan literally
Iron Rice Bowl.
course, with the economy of China opening up, the concept and
opportunity of TieFanWan are
lessening by the day. However, many of the older generation
still identify with the concept of an iron rice bowl.
term is usually applicable in Mainland China only.
by the back door or HouMen.
China, sometimes people tend to cut corners or go through their
guanzi, to get a job done instead of
going through the proper channel. Such act of going through the back
door or going through one's contacts is known as ZouHouMen.
this is still a relatively common concept in China. This is one
area where there are frequent arguments when foreign and Chinese
parties are involved in a common project.
working office is known as the Danwei or working
unit. Knowing where you work is important as many official documents
require your working unit name and address.
more such interesting insights and information about the Chinese
culture and people, check out this interesting China
Book. Or email
for further information.