Pinyin : The official system to transcribe Chinese characters into the Roman alphabet.  There is another system that you’ve most likely seen (Wade-Giles) that, in my opinion is slightly more phonetic for someone who isn’t studying Chinese.  However, now that I have learned the pronunciation rules for pinyin, I personally hate when I come across old books that have Wade-Giles style romanization and have a really hard time reading it.


Wades Giles vs. Pinyin

  • ch’iang vs. qiang
  • hsien vs. xian
  • ts’ung vs. cong

When you want to type on the computer, you use a program that when you type in pinyin, a list of available characters for that pinyin shows up and you choose the character you wanted.

小笼包 xiǎo lóng bāo : Steamed soup dumplings

辣 là : spicy, hot

麻烦 máfan : Annoying, troublesome

嗳呀 àiyā : Kind of like a big sigh or an expression of exasperation

踢踏舞 tītàwǔ : tap dance

建力士 Jiànlìshì : Guinness…FUN note on this one, if anyone knows the history of Guinness advertising, “Guinness for strength” was one of them.  The literal translation of Jiànlìshì is 建 jiàn (to build/construct) 力士 lìshì (a strong man)

爱尔兰 ài’ěrlán : Ireland

师 shī : teacher

帅 shuài : handsome

市 shì : city

布 bù : cloth

蓝 lán : blue

盐 yán : salt

篮 lán : basket, goal

晚上 wánshang : night

网上 wángshàng : online

知道 zhīdào : to know

直到 zhídào : up until

幸福 xìngfú – blessed, happiness

辛苦 xīnkǔ – hard, with difficulty

热 rè : hot

出去 chūqu : to go out

冰淇淋 bīngqílín : Ice Cream

风 fēng : wind; can also mean news, style or custom

飕  Sōu : the sound of wind

名字 Míngzi : Name

中文名字 Zhōngwén Míngzi : Chinese Name

何舒 Hé Shū : My Chinese name was given to me by my Chinese professor in College.

互相学习 Hùxiāng Xuéxí: Learning from one another

老家 Lǎojiā : Hometown

大学 Dàxué : College

专业 Zhuānyè : Major

工作 Gōngzuò : Job

爱好 Àihào: Hobbies

ZJG : Zhangjiagang


3 responses to “Glossary

  1. Pingback: A little background on my background in Chinese… | peeps in china

  2. Pingback: Excitement for this, nerves for that | peeps in china

  3. Pingback: Food Highlights | peeps in china


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