Chinese greeting: " Have you eaten already?"
Oct 18, 2007 23:25
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There are huge differences in greeting each other between Chinese people and Westerners. Westerners greet others by saying "Hi or Hello". In China, a popular greeting is "你吃了吗?" Ni (third tone) Chi(first) Le( First) Ma( third). It means "have you eaten already?" Does it sound awkward to you westerners? Why do you ask me if I have eaten or not? Perhaps, you will think “do you want to treat me to a dinner". Do you know any other Chinese greetings? Please share with us.
Oct 19, 2007 01:21
GUEST15558 In China if you greeting as:"Have you eaten already?" nobody will think"Do you want to treat me to a dinner." they just think you are care for him/her .they will be pleased.
We also greeting as"Where are you going" if meet a friend or someone we know
Oct 19, 2007 05:28
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Hey whats up,

Here in the west it would sound weird. Most greetings you get from strangers on the street or anywhere is "Hey how ya doing?" or "Hi" or my personal favorites (and use myself) are "Hey, hows it going?" or my signature "Hey whats up" but the latter is used amongst people you see all the the like at the gym but don't personally know them (I like it better because sometimes asking somebody how there doing just makes them talk about whats troubling them currently and it can get pretty awkward at times where as "whats up" is more positive,at least for me).

I explain a little because it is going to be really weird if a person was like "Have you eaten yet". I personally have had my white friends get bummed out when I tell them "LOL man there not asking you out to lunch or dinner". When I was much younger where I learned American culture before my own that If the question was asked, I thought they meant I was too skinny because I have not eaten much.

Nowadays I hear a lot of "Ne Ho Ma?"(How are you) or "Yo Chue Mun Guen Ne"(its been a long time) and "Ba Lao Mei Ho Ma?" (Hows Dad and Mom, usually from the elderly who greet the young)

Iceblue, Do you know of any Chinese goodbyes? I only know of one and its kind of wierd to say it kind of goes like this: "Hai Ca Cam Tho Wo"(I know its hard to figure out what it is) but it if I were to say it in English, It would be like this: "Ok that is all for now"

Oct 19, 2007 06:20
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when I started writing with my lao po, she always finished her e-mails "ok that is all for now"
I thought it was some kind of a copy from old Hollywood movies.

Nowadays she always asks "have You eaten dinner yet?" I have wondered what is the real meaning for that.

But what to answer to that? I have, thank You for Your care? Yes, I ate that and that? ???
Oct 19, 2007 14:12
  • GRIZ326
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I would enjoy seeing these greetings in Chinese characters. :-)
Oct 19, 2007 20:39
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Hey,Griz. In Chinese, we say 你吃过饭了吗?

Danny, It is hard for me to understand your words. They are not Pinyin. For Chinese goodbyes, we say 明天见 or 拜拜. In English, they are 'See you tomorrow.' and 'Byebye'.
Oct 21, 2007 04:22
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Actually, We do not use these sentences, “你吃过(饭)了吗?”or“吃饭了吗?”, as greeting words when seeing your friends or acquaintances at any time.

Generally, We use these greeting words before or atfer normal time for dinner.

For instance, in these times, 7:00 am to 9:00 am, 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, 5:00 pm to 7:00 or 8:00 pm, these greeting words are very good to use

If someone says these words to you, you may reply with "吃过了"(I had eaten),“没有,等会儿吃”(No, after a while),“没有,这就去”(No, I am going to eat now (probably, you are walking on the way to a restaurant)).

sorry for my poor english and hope you can understand what i mean.
Oct 21, 2007 08:25
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Apparently it is a bit of a 'hang over' from the days when people didn't always have a lot to eat so it was polite to ask if they had eaten or not. perhaps a meal may be offered to those more needy. That is one of the reasons I have heard.
Oct 22, 2007 09:30
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i heard that even within a city... in Xi'an the people living around the four gates of the city wall greet each other differently, residents in the western area greet themselves by asking if they have eaten. It appears that the ways of greetings tell much about the lifestyles of local people
Jun 29, 2009 06:48
GUESTMOTHER ... I should notify u about this.
Jul 24, 2009 00:26
GUESTDRUNK H... well.. it's like I knew!
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