Stuff you might be hearing – Restaurants

As I do my little things, I can tell I’m always hearing the same stuff over and over again. But even though I get the message, it’s always too fast to distinguish what’s really being said. So, I asked for help and nailed down some of those common phrases at restaurants.

  • Literal, word by word translations appear in [brackets].
  • Optional words appear in (parentheses)
  • Notes appear with an asterisk (*in parentheses)
  • Measure words are translated in {curly brackets}.
  • Alternative translations are separated by a slash (/)

First words

huānyíng guānglín 欢迎光临= welcome (*formal)

jǐ wèi? 几位?= how many people? [how many {polite measure word for people}]

Good bye

nín màn zǒu 您慢走= Go safely [you (*polite) slowly go]

xièxie guānglín màn zǒu 谢谢光临,慢走= Thanks for coming, go safely [thanks attend slowly go]

zǒu hǎo 走好= good bye (*polite) / go well

xià cì zài lái 下次再来= come back and see us again [next time again come]

huānyíng zài lái 欢迎再来= you’re welcome to come again [welcome again come]

See also Stuff you might be hearing – Shopping

3 Replies to “Stuff you might be hearing – Restaurants”

  1. Hi! I’ve just started a blog of my own about my own experiences in China, and stuff related, and other stuff not related. I find yours very interesting and informative and hope you don’t mind if I link yours to mine.


  2. Hi there,I’ve been here for a year now, am slowly learning Chinese and going through fits and starts of enjoyment and frustration. Your blog looks like it’s going to be a useful resource.

    Of course I hear the phrases you’ve mentioned in this post everyday but didn’t know the literal translations!

    Keep up the good work.

    All the best,


  3. nin2 (qing3) man4 yong4 = Help ourselves.

    When all the dishes have been served, waiters will say “nin2 (qing3) man4 yong4” or “ni3 men2 (qing3) man4 yong4”.

    PS: nin2 (to one person)
    nin2 men—-is a wrong word. You can’t say “nin2 men” if you mean more than two persons. Use “ni3 men” instead.

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