How Do Chinese People Greet Each Other in Daily Life？
Learning Chinese, I bet the first word you are taught in class or textbook is “你好(nǐ hǎo)”, which is the standard “Hello”. I acknowledge that Chinese people use “你好(nǐ hǎo)” a lot, but it is often used to greet strangers, you can't use it to greet your friends or other people you already know well because it's too distant and polite. In another word, to greet different people, you should use different words. Here we sort out the Chinese basic greetings (both formal and informal are included), hope it helps you with learning Chinese.
These above greetings are normally used in formal occasions, such as to have a business meeting, an interview or meeting a stranger. To greet acquaintances, like family members, friends, colleagues, and classmates, we often use the following informal greetings.
1.Say hello to a friend in a very casual way.
2.Call someone's name, surname, or “surname + title”, such as:
3.When you run into someone you know, you can say the following greetings.
4. When you meet or telephone someone whom you haven't met or contacted for a period, you can greet by saying:
5. Greet someone by asking an obvious behavior, the greeted people will give a smile or say “嗯(ňg)” to acknowledge and agree.
6. Say “早(zǎo)” to someone you are familiar with.
When you meet someone you know well in the morning, you can just say “早(zǎo)” instead of “你好(nǐ hǎo)” or “早上好 (zǎo shang hǎo)” because the two phrases are a little bit formal.
7.Say “喂(wéi)” when you answer a phone.
Say “喂(wéi)+address” when you answer a phone from someone you know, which means “Hello, XXX?” (Informal greeting)
However, if you answer a phone from a customer at work, you should politely say “你好(Nǐ hǎo)” or “喂，你好(Wéi, nǐ hǎo)”. (Informal greeting)
More Greetings in Chinese
Address Someone in China
How to properly address someone in China? It depends on your level of familiarity with the person and the formality of the occasion. Here we list the common ways of address for different people in Chinese with several examples.