My Favourite Chinese Mandarin Phrase

Posted by Charlie @ Discovering Mandarin Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Whilst going over my first couple of lessons again tonight, I revisited some of the first things I learnt, and laughed when I realised my favourite Mandarin Phrase to say (so far) is the following, fairly menial sentence. The reason for it being my favourite is that it just flows nicely and sounds wonderful. This is my (anticlimatic, but) favourite spoken phrase in Mandarin.

zhè gè nánháizǐ zài chī miànbāo

This boy is eating bread

For me; 在吃面包 (zài chī miànbāo) just rolls of the tongue fairly easily. So I must apologise if you ever hear someone walking around talking about 'eating bread'. It is probably me, getting excited about Mandarin, having not learnt enough other phrases to be excited about.

I thought I would share this funny little insight into my learning process.

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  1. Puerhan Says:
  2. Each to their own! ;-)

    On a kind of related note, you may like to know that when you get to Beijing you'll probably see lots of little vans zipping around - they are called 面包车. :-) Guess they look like small loaves!

  3. It just me laugh at how silly it really is, that I like that sentence so much.

    Bread cars? haha. seems rather strange, though maybe their original use? Interesting, and also amuses me.

    Thanks :)

  4. Anonymous Says:
  5. Ha ha ha... You may wish to replace 吃面包 to 吃包子 in China too!

  6. My Mandarin clearly isn't so fluent.... I translate that something like...

    eating someones child?
    *raises eyebrow*

    I must be wrong. :D

  7. Joe Says:
  8. I believe 包子 are the steamed rice buns or something along those lines. No kids... At least that I know of.

  9. That makes much more sense. :D


  10. TaKat Says:
  11. This is very cute. Made me laugh (not at you, just at the cuteness, haha).

    Good luck on continuing to learn Mandarin. It is a hard language, isn't it?

    Writing away about my latest 3 week adventure through China at

  12. Hi Takat,

    Thanks for dropping by my blog. I thought it may raise a smile or two.

    I find Mandarin is hard in certain aspects, and I am sure when I get my head around certain things that I will get along with it. But for about 6 weeks of learning, I really feel that I have come a long way.

    I love the language, and I love the support running a blog like this has brought.

    Thanks again for your comment.


  13. Matthew Says:
  14. I think my favorite phrase was the one I used whenever people tried handing me flyers to sign up for the gym (twice a day when I walked through the area). I said, "ni kuzi de lalian kai le." (your fly is open)

  15. @Matthew, that is awesome. :)


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