I love to travel. Over the years traveling has taken on many different forms for me. From living as an expat in Hong Kong, backpacking around Asia and even being a tourist in my own country. I love to discover new places and cultures. So, as traveling is one of my passions, it seems particularly important to learn how to relay my interest to my Chinese speaking friends in Mandarin.
Traveling in Chinese 旅行 (lǚ xíng)
There are two main ways of saying ‘to travel’ in Mandarin. ‘lǚ xíng’ and ‘lǚ yóu’. This is interesting as there are two different meanings implied in these two phrases. ‘lǚ xíng’ (pronounced, loo shing) can be broken down into two components. 旅 (lǚ)– which means to walk, to go or to travel and 行 (xíng)– which is a combination of step and an adult man. This phrase implies that you are traveling for slightly longer and with purpose. ‘lǚ yóu’ (pronounced, loo yo) on the other hand suggests that you are traveling for pleasure and entertainment.
I have traveled for both ‘lǚ xíng’ and ‘lǚ yóu’. When I moved to Hong Kong to work, I was traveling for ‘lǚ xíng’ – with purpose. However, when I took a holiday to Thailand, I would say I was traveling for ‘lǚ yóu’– pleasure. However, there are certainly many crossovers in both instances. Even though I was in Hong Kong for work, I spent many weekends exploring the city as a tourist, from eating at the world’s cheapest Michelin Star restaurant to visiting the famous Big Buddha on Lantau island.
A Journey 旅途 (lǚ tú)
Another useful phrase is ‘lǚ tú’, which is used to describe a journey. When I was backpacking in China, I took many long train journeys across the country as I traveled from province to province. I can describe these journeys as ‘lǚ tú’.
Do you have friends who love to travel? Be sure to wish them well on their trip by saying ‘lǚ tú ping ān’! ‘Ping ān’ means safe, so together the phrase means ‘safe journey!’
We can use the word ‘lǚ kè’ to describe someone who travels, so ‘wǒ shì lǚ rén’ means ‘I am a traveller’. ‘Nǐ shì lǚ rén’ means ‘you are a traveler’.
Erick Tseng, Product Director at Facebook, shares with ShaoLan their aspiring traveling stories in Episode 68. From hosting a wedding in Antarctica to living with indigenous people in the Amazon! Learn all about traveling in Chinese!