Monday, 11 February 2013

Xin Nian Kuai Le 新年快樂

Chinese Symbol for Happy New Year (新年快樂)

Happy New Year!

Traditional Chinese: 新年快樂; Simplified: 新年快乐.

Xin Nian (新年) is New Year. Xin is new and Nian is year.

Kuai le (快樂) is happiness, joy, delight, or rejoicings.

So "Happy New Year" in English is "New Year Happy" in Chinese: Xin Nian Kuai Le.

A more common way for business people to greet each other at the beginning of the Chinese New Year is: Gong Xi Fa Cai.

Chinese Symbol for Happy Chinese New Year (恭禧發財)

Happy Chinese New Year!

How to say Happy Chinese New Year in Chinese?

The most common Chinese ways of saying Happy New Year are Gong Xi Fa Cai (Mandarin) and Gong Hey Fat Choy (Cantonese). Even though the pronunciations are a little different, both are written the same way.

Traditional Chinese: 恭禧發財; Simplified: 恭禧发财.

Gong Xi (恭禧) is congratulations or respectfully wishing one joy.

Fa Cai (發財) is to become rich or to make money.

Thus, Gong Xi Fa Cai means wishing you to be prosperous in the coming year.

A fun way to respond to someone who greets you with Gong Xi Fa Cai is Hong Bao Na Lai, "Red envelope please!"

What to Say to Gong Hey Fat Choy (恭禧發財)?

Hong Bao Na Lai!


When people greet you with Gong Hey Fat Choy (Cantonese) or Gong Xi Fa Cai (Mandarin) during the Chinese New Year, what do you say?

Simply respond with the same phrase they used. It means "Wishing you a prosperous year, too."

Or, to a close friend or colleague you can say, "Hong Bao Na Lai," (紅包拿來) which is "May I have the red envelope, please!"

How do you write Hong Bao Na Lai in Chinese?

Traditional Chinese: 紅包拿來; Simplified: 红包拿来.

Hong Bao (紅包) is a red envelope. Red is the luckiest color in China. During Chinese New Year, Chinese parents give cash gifts in red envelopes to their children. So hong bao is lucky money or cash gift. It can also be used to mean bribe money.

Na Lei (拿來) means "Bring it to me."

So here's your Chinese lesson of the day:

Person A: Gong Xi Fa Cai. May you become rich!

Person B: Hong Bao Na Lei. Red envelope, please. Let me start to become rich by getting money from you.