Five Business Chinese Words You Must Remember 1


All the business people are busy. The executive managers like CEO, Marketing Director, Sales Director and business owners are involved in so many meetings and it is very hard for them to find time to learn Mandarin.

Two questions here:

  1. Do I need to learn Mandarin if I employ a Mandarin speaking staff?
  2. How can I learn Mandarin if I have so many other things to do?

Below are the answers:

A1: You need to learn some Mandarin phrases to sense the mood at a meeting

No matter if you have a Mandarin speaking staff or an interpreter, some Mandarin phrases can help you understand what is going on during a business meeting or a business discussion.

Many of us has the experience that you spoke 10 minutes but the interpreter only translated in 2 minutes; while they talked about 10 minutes and laughing together, the interpreter only  told you in 1 minute and you were totally confused.

An experienced business person can read the body languages during a meeting, but some useful business Mandarin phrases can definitely help you to see through more.

A2: Mandarin is not that hard, you only need to understand some phrases and it is fun to learn with us

Mandarin is hard to learn in the beginning, however, it is easier to use once you build up your first 100 vocabularies. This is because most of Chinese new vocabularies are from the existing Chinese character combinations.

To our knowledge, you only need 500 Chinese words for daily life.To sense the mood in a business meeting in Chinese, you only need to remember these 5 Mandarin words. We assume you already know how to say “Ni Hao” and “Xie Xie”.

  1. Bu: means “No”. Many people will tell you Chinese people do not say “No”. This is not true. They do not say “No”, but they often say “Bu” which means “No”. You can hear many “Bu” in a meeting. With “Bu’ before a verb, it becomes many important phrases. If you hear too many “Bu” during the meeting, you need to be alarmed.
  2. Dui: means “Right”. Another word that you will hear often at a meeting. When someone asked option, mostly to the boss, “Dui’ is a good answer you want to hear. Sometime, you also hear “Dui” “Dui” which means Yes, Yes. This is a good sign that the boss is happy. However, if you hear “Bu” “Dui” (1+2), then it means NOT right. “Bu Dui, Bu Dui” means “No, No”. Pick up “Bu” and “Dui” correctly, you will know the result of the discussion.
  3. Cuo: means “Wrong”. Normally you will hear “Cuo le” at the end of a sentence, which means something “is wrong”. For example, the price is wrong = “Jiage(price) Cuo le”.
  4. Mei: means “Not have”. It is often used with other words together. You need to remember two here. One is “Mei Shi Jian” which means no time; another means “Mei Ban Fa” which means “Can do nothing about it”. “Mei Shi Jian” means they do not want to spend more time with you while “Mei Ban Fa” means they can’t help any more. If you do  not care, you can say “Mei Guan Xi” – Never Mind. Hope this is not the result of the meeting.
  5. Some combinations of above:
    • Dui Bu Dui: means “right or not”. People will say “Du Bu Dui” after they expressed their points. If there are arguments at the meeting, you will hear many “Du Bu Dui”. The answer you would like to hear is “Dui”, if you hear too many “Bu Dui” then the meeting is in trouble.
    • “Bu Cuo” and “Mei Cuo”: These two phrases are very confusing. “Bu Cuo” means “Not bad”; “Mei Cuo” means “that is right”. It is a good sign if you hear these two phrases more at the meeting.
    • “Bu Dui” and “Bu Cuo”: Be careful of these two phrases. “Bu Dui” means “not right” and you do not want to hear it too often; “Bu Cuo” means “Not bad” and it is good to hear more often at a business meeting.

Now start practise above FIVE key Mandarin business words.

There are so many online resources and Apps can help you learn Chinese, you can spend time and learn by yourself. What we found is that it normally took you more time and money to learn Chinese online.

We know many students who learnt Mandarin online but couldn’t improve their Mandarin skills, so they joined our classes or take a private lesson with Lyrebird Language Centre.

For a busy executive, a private Mandarin lesson is the best way to learn basic Mandarin skills. It is also good to have some colleagues learn together as a small group.

We can tailor a company training course for your needs. See our company training page for details.

What to learn more Mandarin for China business for your next business meeting with Chinese clients? Please contact us.

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