When making small talk in Chinese, some questions are better left unasked.
(No, I’m not talking about political and controversial ones. But yes, give those a miss.)
Watch the video below and guess why the questions you hear may seem annoying or inappropriate...
A Quick Note On Making Small Talk In Chinese
Small talk is a great way to break the ice with Chinese speakers that you don't know well!
When done right...
It can help you get to know people and make them feel comfortable around you.
But questions that might make someone feel pressured, self-conscious or judged usually don't work so well 🙂
And that's why it's a good idea to skip these in favour of "safer" conversation starters.
Full Breakdown Of The Questions In The Video
nǐ chī ɡǒu ròu mɑ? nǐ chī chónɡ zi mɑ?
Do you eat dog meat？ Do you eat bugs?
nǐ zhǎnɡ pànɡ le. nǐ yǒu shuānɡ xià bā. nǐ tǐ zhònɡ duō shǎo ya?
You’ve gained weight. You have a double chin. What’s your weight?
wèi shén me nǐ de pí fū zhè me hēi? nǐ zěn me zhǎng dòu dòu le?
Why is your skin so dark? How come you’ve got pimples?
nǐ hěn lèi mɑ? nǐ bìnɡ le mɑ? nǐ de liǎn sè bù hǎo!
Are you tired? Are you sick? You look bad.
nǐ huì ɡōnɡ fū mɑ? nǐ huì dǎ tài jí mɑ?
Can you do Kung fu? Can you do Tai Chi?
nǐ yí ɡè yuè ɡōnɡ zī duō shǎo qián a? nǐ yí ɡè yuè nénɡ cún duō shǎo qián a?
What’s your monthly salary? How much can you save in a month?
nǐ de fáng zi shì zū de hái shì mǎi de? zū jīn duō shǎo qián a? nǐ de fáng zi mǎi le duō shǎo qián?
Do you rent or own your apartment / house? How much is the rent? How much did you pay for your apartment / house?
nǐ jié hūn le mɑ? shén me shí hòu yào xiǎo hái? shén me shí hòu shēnɡ èr tāi?
Are you married？ When are you going to have kids? When are you going to have a second child?