Today, February 24th, marks the end of the official Chinese New Year holiday. But, the party doesn’t have to stop. In fact, my friends at the Detroit Chinese Business Association are throwing a belated Chinese New Year Gala this coming Friday, February 27th, at Motor City Casino. Lucky for you, I have three quick CNY tips that you can use to impress your Chinese guests.
1. The many ways to say “Happy New Year!”
There is an assortment of Chinese phrases used to express Happy New Year. Here are a few:
新年快乐 (Pinyin： Xīnnián kuàilè!; prounounced: shin -NEEan – kwai – le）- This is the most basic, traditional “Happy New Year” greeting.
全家幸福（Pinyin：Quánjiā xìngfú；pronounced: Chew-enn Jia Shing-Foo) – Here you are wishing their entire family good fortune.
万事如意（Pinyin：Wànshì rúyì；pronounced: Wan-SHH ROO-EE)- Ok, this will REALLY impress them. It is a very traditional phrase meaning “Good luck and may all your wishes come true.”
If you can’t remember them, you can always download Google translate (iPhone, Android). Make sure you are translating from CHINESE TO ENGLISH, and then paste the Chinese characters I wrote above into the translation window. You can click on the little speaker next to the phrase and the phone will pronounce it in Chinese for you. Pretty slick.
2. Download WeChat
If you’re doing business in China and you or someone at your office doesn’t have WeChat yet on your smartphone, GET IT NOW! WeChat is used prolifically in business, and according to statista.com, there are now over 438 million active monthly users. It is by far the best way for you to keep communication with your business partners in China, and new friends you will make at this year’s gala.
Trust me, your Chinese guests will be really impressed when right after you meet them you say “Hey, can I add your Wechat?” You can read in Forbes about how WeChat was used across China during this Chinese New Year.
3. Gan Bei! Cheers!
Drinking is a huge part of the Chinese New Year tradition. So you can survive, and thrive, at this year’s Chinese New Year Gala, you need to remember the phrase for cheers in Chinese, “Gan Bei” (pronounced GAAN-BAY). Critically, make a point to cheers everyone INDIVIDUALLY at your table, and if you’re up for it, everyone around the room. Don’t be lazy! Clinking glasses with everyone for a personal toast is very important, and it should be fun. If you can remember to add one of my Happy New Year phrases above, you get bonus points!
I hope you enjoy your time at the gala and that you find these tips useful. If you do happen to use them, I would love to hear about it! You can write me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @DanRedford. Gan Bei!