282 Be Late

Do you feel it is important to be on time? What does your culture consider being late, is it over 5 minutes after the agreed time, or after 15 minutes, or more? Josh Edbrooke from Transition and ShaoLan discuss the way to describe being late in Chinese, as well as how you are supposed to deal with the situation of being late in a Chinese business context. Sometimes being late is unavoidable so ShaoLan teaches how to apologise for arriving late, but interestingly, it is also important to apologise if you arrive early!

In Chinese, the way to describe being late is 遲到/迟到. The first character 遲/迟 means “to delay” and 到 means to “arrive,” so when you have a “delayed arrival” then you are “late” 遲到/迟到.

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Be late
遲到 / 迟到
chí dào
Have arrived
dào le
Have you arrived?
到了嗎?/ 到了吗?
dào le ma?
遲 / 迟
I am late.
我遲到了 / 我迟到了
wǒ chí dào le
對不起 / 对不起
duì bu qǐ
You're late.
你遲到了 / 你迟到了
nǐ chí dào le
Arrive early
zǎo dào
It doesn't matter; it's ok
沒關係 or 沒事 / 没关系 or 没事
méi guān xi or méi shì

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