Welcome in Chinese
Learning to say welcome in Chinese is easier than you think! (By the way, for those of you who are actually looking to say you are welcome in Chinese or say you’re welcome in Chinese, please see appropriate subheadings below).
To say welcome in Chinese, you can simply say, “Huān yíng.” The first character is pronounced “hwon” (or juan if you are familiar with Spanish). Notice that it is pronounced with the first tone which is a pitch slightly above your normal speaking voice (much like saying “ah” at the dentist’s office). For a better explanation of the tones, see Chinese tones.
The second character is pronounced “ing” as in sing, but starts with the normal speaking pitch and then rises slightly over time. Known as the second tone, it is often the most difficult for foreign speakers to pronounce correctly.
Commonly, when entering a restaurant or store, you will hear the phrase, “Huān yíng guān lín” which is a phrase that literally means “Welcome presence” as if to say “We welcome you to visit us and grace us with your presence.” From this phrase, you can see not only how polite certain phrases in Chinese can be, but also how adept many businesses are at their marketing campaign to solicit your business.
Say You Are Welcome in Chinese
In order to say you are welcome in Chinese, you must be very aware of the conversation surrounding this phrase because there are actually so many different ways to say you’re welcome in Chinese! (For those unfamiliar with how to pronounce the romanization system below, please see Chinese PinYin before continuing).
- First, you can say, “Bú yòng xiè” which more closely resembles “No need to thank” or “It’s impractical or useless to thank me.” Of course, translated properly this phrase would be you’re welcome, but notice that it has a slightly different connotation.
- Second, a simpler phrase to the one above is “Bú xiè” which is “no thanks” or “don’t thank.” This is the less formal version of the above.
- Third, you will notice “Bú kè qì” more literally means “no politeness” or “no niceties needed.” Here, the idea is that we are good friends and don’t need the formalities of please and thank you. However, that being said, this does not necessarily mean that one should not say the phrase. It simply means that the person who said “You’re welcome” is quite humble and kind.
- Fourth, the stronger phrase (but very similar to the phrase above) is “Bié kè qì.” In this case, the person is asking you (well, actually telling you) not to be so polite!
From these four phrases, you get a slightly different version (and a little different flavor) of you are welcome. With such great variety, you’ll never be at a loss on how to say you’re welcome!