Dec 25, 2023

10 Must-Know Chinese Phrases for Your New Year’s Resolutions

New Year is a golden opportunity for fresh starts and dreaming big. It’s the season where many craft resolutions, outlining their aspirations for the coming months.

In this post, we’ve rounded up ten Chinese phrases to enrich your New Year’s resolutions for 2024.

These aren’t just phrases; they’re words of wisdom that may become your go-to words as you embark on a new year’s journey.

So come along and let those Chinese phrases inspire your 2024 with a fresh perspective and a vibrant start.

New Year’s resolutions 新年計畫 / 新年计划

New Year's resolutions in Chinese

As we prepare to welcome a brand new year, it’s the perfect time to think about our New Year‘s resolutions.

In Chinese, we use 新年計畫 in traditional characters or 新年计划 in simplified characters, pronounced as “xīn nián jì huà.”

Let’s break it down: 新 (xīn) means “new,” 年 (nián) means “year,” and 計畫/计划 (jì huà) means “plan.” So, when you say 新年計畫/新年计划, you are literally saying “New Year plan.”

Want to make it personal? Add 我的 (wǒ de) — which means “my” — at the beginning. Like this: 我的新年計畫 (in traditional Chinese) or 我的新年计划 (in simplified Chinese).

Read more 多讀書/多读书

read more in Chinese

As book lovers, one of our favorite resolutions is to read more each year.

In Chinese, we say 多讀書/多读书, and it’s pronounced as “duō dú shū.”

Here’s a closer look: 多 (duō) translates to “many” or “much,” while 讀書/读书 (dú shū) literally means “read book,” or just “to read,” considered as a verb phrase in Chinese grammar.

Combining them, 多讀書/多读书, gives us the encouraging resolution to “read more.”

Exercise more 多運動 / 多运动

exercise more in Chinese

The promise of better health and vitality often leads many of us to resolve to exercise more with the arrival of the new year.

The Chinese phrase for “exercise more” is 多運動/多运动, pronounced “duō yùn dòng.”

We’ve already touched on the word 多 (duō), which means “many” or “much.” The term 運動/运动 (yùn dòng) translates to “to exercise” or “to work out.”

Here’s a fun observation: The Chinese structure places the frequency, in this case, 多, before the activity. So, just like in 多讀書/多读书, in 多運動/多运动, we first mention “more” and then the action, e.g. to read or to exercise.

A unique point of the language that’s worth remembering!

Spend time with loved ones 多陪家人

spend time with loved ones in Chinese

As the clock ticks into the new year, many of us cherish the moments with those dear to our hearts and aim to spend more quality time with them.

In Chinese, this heartfelt resolution is expressed as 多陪家人, pronounced “duō péi jiā rén.”

Recall the word 多 (duō; many/much). Here, 陪 (péi) signifies “to accompany” or “to be with,” and 家人 (jiā rén) denotes “family” or “loved ones.”

Similar to the word order in our earlier phrases, we begin with the frequency (多), then the action 陪 (to accompany), and finally specify who we’re spending time with (家人).

Here are some alternatives of the people you might like to spend time with:

  • parents: 父母 (fù mǔ)
  • child/children: 孩子 (hái zi)
  • husband: 老公 (lǎo gōng)
  • wife: 老婆 (lǎo pó)

Learn new skills 學新技能/学新技能

learn new skills in Chinese

Every new year sparks a desire in many of us to pick up something new, whether it’s a hobby, an art, or a useful skill.

In Chinese, the phrase for “learn new skills” is 學新技能/学新技能, pronounced “xué xīn jì néng.”

The verb 學/学 (xué) means “to learn.” Combined with 新技能 (xīn jì néng), which translates to “new skill,” the phrase encapsulates the spirit of embracing new experiences and expanding our horizons.

Learn Chinese 學中文/学中文

learn Chinese in Chinese

Embarking on acquiring a new language is always a remarkable resolution. For instance, learning Chinese can be challenging and rewarding, giving you a gateway into one of the world’s oldest cultures.

In Chinese, “learn Chinese” is expressed as 學中文/学中文, pronounced “xué zhōng wén.”

Starting with the verb 學/学 (xué; to learn) again, then specify the language you’re interested in, e.g. 中文 (zhōng wén), which translates to “Chinese language.”

If you’re eager to explore other languages, here’s how you’d say them in Chinese:

  • French: 法文 (fǎ wén)
  • German: 德文 (dé wén)
  • Spanish: 西班牙文 (xī bān yá wén)

Travel somewhere 去旅行

travel somewhere in Chinese

There’s a famous Chinese saying: 讀萬卷書,不如行萬里路/读万卷书,不如行万里路. (dú wàn juǎn shū, bù rú xíng wàn lǐ lù). It translates to, “Traveling a long way can teach you more than reading lots of books.”

Traveling is like stepping into a new world. We see new things, meet new people, and sometimes face challenges that make us grow.

If you’re thinking about travelling more in the new year, you can use the Chinese phrase 去旅行, pronounced “qù lǚ xíng.” 去 (qù) means “to go” and 旅行 (lǚ xíng) is “to travel.”

So together, 去旅行 describes the intention to “travel somewhere.”

Buy a house 買房/买房

buy a house in Chinese

Are you thinking of planting roots and getting a place of your own in the coming year? Buying a house is a significant step!

In Chinese, it’s put as 買房/买房, pronounced “mǎi fáng.” 買/买 (mǎi) translates to “to buy,” and 房 (fáng) stands for “house.”

Whether you’re eyeing a standalone house, an apartment, or even a villa, 買房/买房 is your go-to phrase to convey the idea of home-buying in Chinese.

Spend less time on the phone 少滑手機/少滑手机

spend less time on the phone in Chinese

Are you looking to be more present in the real world and reduce screen time? It’s a common wish for many, especially in this digital age where our phones seem to rule our lives.

In Chinese, it’s easy to say this: 少滑手機/少滑手机, pronounced “shǎo huá shǒu jī.”

Here’s a quick breakdown: 少 (shǎo) means “less,” 滑 (huá) is “to swipe” or “to scroll” in this context, and 手機/手机 (shǒu jī) is “mobile phone.” So, when you put them together, 少滑手機/少滑手机 is all about swiping less on your phone.

Whether it’s scrolling less on social media, cutting down on games, or resisting binge-watching, this phrase captures the essence of unplugging a bit more.

I want 我要

To emphasize your determination and intent, you can lead with 我要 (wǒ yào), which translates to “I want” in English. This straightforward prefix adds weight to your New Year’s resolutions.

For instance:
I want to exercise more.
Pinyin: wǒ yào duō yùn dòng.
Literally: I + want + more + to exercise

I want to spend less time on the phone.
Pinyin: wǒ yào shǎo huá shǒu jī.
Literally: I + want + less + to scroll + mobile phone

Now, craft more sentences like these that resonate with your personal goals and show your determination!

As you pen down your New Year’s resolutions (新年計畫/新年计划), we encourage you to sprinkle in the Chinese phrases you’ve learned today.

Not only will it add a cultural flair to your list, but consistently using these terms will make them second nature to you. Remember, familiarity comes with practice.

So, every time you revisit your goals, let these Chinese expressions serve as both a reminder of your resolutions and a testament to your expanding Chinese vocabulary.

Here’s to a year of growth and new learning!

By Chineasy | A Super Chineasian

Learn Chinese with easy! We are committed to helping make learning Chinese fun and easy by adding exciting content and new learning materials for you.

Tell your Chineasy stories

Want to write for the Talk Chineasy blog? Share stories about China, its language, or its culture with those who share your passion!

Apply Now