Lost in translation of some Chinese words that sound too similar?
Not sure which word to choose in a certain context?
Looking for ways to improve your Chinese speaking and listening skills?
Start learning with Jorge and Mr. Li!
Jorge is a Chinese student who still has a lot to learn, and he makes mistakes and surprises his teacher Mr. Li every day. But as the saying goes, “Through hardships to the stars”!
1. 问 vs. 吻
Be careful when you want to ask someone a question – especially strangers!
Always pay attention to your tones.
问 (wèn) is a verb “to ask”.
You can 问路 (wèn lù), “ask the way” or 问一个问题 (wèn yī gè wèntí), “ask a question”.
吻 (wěn) means “to kiss” or “a kiss”, and it can be used both as a verb and as a noun. For example, 甜蜜的吻 (tiánmì de wěn) is a “sweet kiss”, and 吻掉眼泪 (wěndiào yǎnlèi) means to “kiss away someone’s tears”.
How many meanings does the phrase 没事 (méishì) have in Chinese?
You never know…
- 我没事 (wǒ méishì) / I’m all right ⠀
- 没事 (méishì) / No problem
- 我没事 (wǒ méishì) / I’m not busy
- 没事! (méishì) / No worries
- 你没事吧？(nǐ méishì ba?) / Are you crazy?
Make sure to try out these phrases with your Chinese friends!
Next time your car runs out of gas…you know what to do!
加油 (jiāyóu) means “to gas up”, and a gas station is 加油站 (jiāyóuzhàn).
他的飞机在日内瓦停降加油。(Tā de fēijī zài Rìnèiwǎ tíng jiàng jiāyóu.) / His plane stopped for refueling in Geneva.
加油 (jiāyóu) is also a phrase that’s commonly used to cheer for someone, meaning “You can do it!” or “Come on!”
Many Chinese words can look and sound confusing at first, but it’s a matter of practice. You can master them by practicing frequently – ideally, by chatting with native speakers online or in person. You can use the words from the videos in your daily life – this helps you remember the differences quickly.
Constant practice is the key to success!