Business Chinese: Resigning or Making a Speech

I was greatly encouraged to read in the news this morning that some Chinese reporter made the ol’ 2-syllable-mix-up mistake that’s been my Achilles heel these past 10+ years of speaking Mandarin.

I get bizarre looks when I ask a store clerk if they sell any “honeybees” (mì fēng 蜜蜂) when I really mean “honey” (fēng mì 蜂蜜), but this reporter apparently got suspended for mixing up:

  • cí zhí 辞职 = to resign
  • zhì cí 致词 = to make a speech

And it was about the current president of China! (He actually made a speech and did NOT resign, by the way.)

I’d also like to mention the grammar involved (as you can see from the screenshot in that news link) was:

zài cízhí zhōng shuō 在辞职中说 = “(The President), while resigning, said…”

I’ll write more in detail later about the different words for ending a job in Chinese, but just one final thought before rushing off to the office this morning. Look at how quirky English is: a hyphen can change a word into it’s opposite.

That’s almost as fun as the fact that the word “cleave” can mean “stick together” or “separate!”

Have a great day full of careful proof-reading!

2 Replies to “Business Chinese: Resigning or Making a Speech”

  1. Ending a job in Chinese can be:
    辞职(usually employee want to leave before the expiration of contract, boss doesn’t have to pay)
    跳槽, means go to another company, usually a better one. if you want to 跳槽, then you need to 辞职 first.
    解雇,formalboss fires employeeusually have to pay some money according to 《劳动法》
    spoken:被炒鱿鱼(a little cliche and out of date),被辞(get fired),被开(simple and popular recently) these are mean the sameget fired
    Useful sentences:
    我要辞职。(I want to quit my job
    阿尔伯特走了。(Albert has gone. you can say this to someone you work with, it’s very natrual
    阿尔伯特被开了!(Albert was fired!)

  2. Pingback: Mandarin Weekly #48 – Mandarin Weekly (每周中文)

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