Things Chinese People Would Say No To


Every culture has its unique features, and people from different cultural backgrounds have different understandings of etiquette and manners. Nevertheless, the nuances in the understanding of etiquette and manners often have a direct impact on people’s daily life, which means people from different countries have their own definition of something being “acceptable” or “unacceptable”. Today we will have a look at five things, to which Chinese people would say no. You also can join our school and learn more about traditional culture.

1. Second-hand? No.

Most Chinese people would say no to second-hand stuff. Their preference to new stuff could be explained by the stereotype that Chinese people think owning second-hand things more or less lowers their social status. Moreover, people in China have a passion for luxury products. A brand new Gucci purse could be something ideal for Chinese girls to boast about in front of their friends.

2. Straight-forward? No.

Many Chinese people, especially at work, tend to use euphemistic expressions when stating their purposes of doing something. Being too straight-forward with your colleagues and the elderly is considered indecent in the Chinese culture. Besides, it also often happens in a love relationship, where the girl tries to be ambiguous about what she really wants from her boyfriend.

3. Disrespectful to the elderly? No.

In the Chinese culture, respecting the elderly has always been highly valued and is something young people must bear in mind all the time. Giving up your seat to the elderly, or helping aged people cross the street is regarded as a norm in the traditional Chinese culture. Unfortunately, nowadays the young generation of China seems to be a bit frivolous and doesn’t really pay attention to their social behavior.

4. “Want to receive a clock as a present?” No.

This is one of the most well-known superstitions in the Chinese culture. In Chinese, “give a clock as a present” sounds like “送钟 sòng zhōng”, which is exactly the same as “送终sòng zhōng”. However, the latter means “pay last respects”, sounds a bit creepy, doesn’t it? Therefore, in China, nobody would like to receive a clock as a present on their birthday or other special occasions.

5. Stay alone? No.+

Chinese people would love to spend time with their friends. A joyful get-together in a cozy restaurant is one of the favorite things that Chinese people love to do on Friday evenings. Besides, it’s very common in China for people to go to their neighbor’s house for a visit without giving any notice, and the purpose of doing that is just to have a chat.

Share your opinion in comments below – or tweet us at @thatsmandarin!

Related Posts

About Us

That’s Mandarin Blog offers tips and advice on living and studying Mandarin in China, and explores the stark cultural differences between the East, the West – and everything in between.

Powered by That’s Mandarin Language School

Follow Us

Popular Posts

Why Learn Chinese Online?
That's MandarinFebruary 12, 2020
Chinese Internet Slang 2018-part-1
Chinese Internet Slang 2018, Part II
redhairmasaApril 23, 2019
Rent Apartment in China
That's MandarinOctober 21, 2020



January 2021
« Dec