Learning to communicate with Chinese people better is the best way to make the most of a China travel experience, but what phrases are most useful? Previously, we described an easy way to start a conversation, but what if you want to end a converstation that isn't going anywhere? Just remember these three syllables: ni, hao, fan.
This phrase in Chinese, "你好烦!” ("Nǐ hǎo fán!", pronounced "knee how fahn!") means "You are so boring!" and is widely used by Chinese people. Stiff and succinct, the phrase will not win you a new friend, but it may allow you to move on to a more fruitful conversation elsewhere, especially if the person talking to you is trying to sell you something! Using this phrase shows a general intolerance and lack of interest in the current activity and makes it clear that you do not want the other person to continue his or her behavior.
As with all of our cultural cues, our aim is to give foreigners tools so they can communicate with Chinese people naturally. Some daily phrases are necessary and they can shorten the distance between foreigners and Chinese people. However, learning to use these tools properly is key, so first give this phrase a try on your guide and then quickly explain that you are just practicing! After that, see what responses you get when you use this bit of local jargon!