It is time to Express yourself! Before we get started, treat yourself and click the play button below:

Now that were feeling good, let’s learn how to communicate your emotional state in Mandarin

If someone asks you ‘Nǐ hǎo ma?’ this means ‘How are you?’. It literally translates to ‘You good?’.

You can respond by saying ‘Wǒ…’ (I am…):

Mandarin Pinyin English
激动 jī dònɡ excited
快乐 kuài lè happy
轻松 qīnɡ sōnɡ relaxed
惊讶 jīng yà surprised
满意 mǎn yì satisfied
喜悦 xǐ yuè joy
热情 rè qínɡ passion/enthusiasm
舒服 shū fu comfortable
幸福 xìnɡ fú happy
喜欢 xǐ huɑn like
高兴 ɡāo xìnɡ happy/exciting

But some days are better than others, so let’s take it down a notch. We need to get in the mood for the next group of words. Click play below:

Mandarin Pinyin English
不好 bù hǎo not good
沉默 chén mò silent
妒忌 dù jì Jealous
担心 dān xīn be worry about
害怕 hài pà afraid/frightened
lèi tired
马虎 mǎ hu careless
难过 nán ɡuò sad
生气 shēnɡ qì angry
着急 zháo jí anxious
nán hard/difficult
抑郁 yì yù depressed

Rember to be polite and ask them how they are. ‘And you?’ ‘nǐ ne’.

Be aware even though many foreigners first learn ‘Ni Hao Ma ?’ Many Chinese people would not actually say this. They may say ‘Ni chi guo le ma ?’ (Have you eaten already?) From what I’ve read it seems in years gone by a good meal was few and far between, hence the need to talk about it daily. This may sound weird but think about this, Brits usually talk about the weather when they first meet, which stems more from custom rather than interest for the weather.

My favourite expression/word is mǎmǎhūhū (马马虎虎) which means so-so. The characters mean “horse horse tiger tiger”, basically it’s neither one nor the other – it’s so-so. To me this is the best sounding word ever. When I was cruising around YouTube, I went down a Youtube rabbit hole, watching video after video… then I found this gem! Enjoy!