Career Magazine

226: How to Talk About Success in Mandarin Chinese

By Learnmandarinnow

Success can mean different things to different people. To some it’s all about getting ahead in your career, getting a high salary and becoming a leader at work. To others it’s more to do with having a family, preferably a son and a daughter, and being able to take care of them and see them grow… maybe have a think about your own aspirations!

In this Podcast, you will learn:

1) How to talk about achieving success in life

2) To discuss making work-life balance decisions


Two colleagues are in a restaurant:


(Zài cān tīng)

(in the restaurant)

B: 听说你最近又加薪了?

B: Tīng shuō nǐ zuì jìn yòu jiā xīn le?

I heard that you got a salary increase again recently, right?

A: 是啊。

A: Shì a.



B: Gōng xǐ gōng xǐ a. Ér nǚ shuāng quán, shì yè yòu hǎo, zhēn shi rén shēng yíng jiā a.

Congratulations! You have both a son and a daughter, and a good career. You are such a winner in life.

A: 唉,可是工作量也增加了,没时间照顾孩子。对女人来说还是家庭的成功更重要啊。

A: Āi, kě shì gōng zuò liàng yě zēng jiā le, méi shí jiān zhào gù hái zi. Duì nǚ rén lái shuō hái shì jiā tíng de chéng gōng gèng zhòng yào a.

Alas, but the workload has also been increased. I have no time to take care of the children. For most women success in the family is more important than work.

Chinese words and phrases mentioned in this Podcast:

听说:hear about



加薪:get a salary increase


儿女:son and daughter

双全:have both

儿女双全:have both son and daughter


人生赢家 winner in life, have it all




对……来说:as for

还是:after all


照顾:take care of






Cultural/Grammar notes:

(1) From the Chinese traditional point of view, for women, their family is more important than a career. Today, this value is changing but still Chinese women are generally more family oriented than looking for a long term career

(2) From this year, an only child policy has been cancelled in China and more and more families are planning to have their second child. To have both a son and a daughter is a major wish for many parents in China.

Mandarin Chinese learning resources we recommend

Using Italki, a unique system of learning Mandarin Chinese where you interact with real teachers, is widely recognised as an effective way to learn a new language! You’ll make more progress and learn how native Chinese speakers really speak. Plus, Italki is more affordable than offline tutors, offline schools and software, and is convenient to use at your own pace and place!

Keats Chinese School
Keats Chinese School, which was founded in 2004, is one of the top Mandarin Chinese language schools in China, offering both one-on-one immersion Mandarin courses and small group Chinese classes. Located in Kunming, Keats develops personalised exercises and materials for students to meet their learning goals and requirements and can arrange a student visa for its 16 week course.

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