Travel Magazine

How to Bargain/haggle in China - Basic Mandarin Phrases

By Momoduh
How to bargain/haggle in China - basic Mandarin phrases
You are tempted to get your fingers on the bargaining. Pick a small stall, choose a strategy and try the phrases down below. You might observe what the natives are doing before making the first move. Put a smile on your face and summon your mighty force. 
Spend some time learning the pinyin rules. They are a bit challenging in the beginning but I promise you will get into it. You can read some notes on pinyin pronunciation and rules at the end of the post:

Useful questions:

1. How much is that (....)? - (...) Duō shǎo qián?

      2. Can you lower the price a little bit? - Néng piányi yīdiănr ma?                     3. Can you give me a discount - Nǐ kěyǐ gěi wǒ piányì yìdiǎn ma? 

Key points:

1. It’s too expensive - Tài guì le

2. I want two (of these) - Wǒ yào liǎng gè3. I am just looking - Wǒ zhǐshì kànkan4. I'll buy this one - Wǒ yào zhè gè

Learn the Basics: 


How to bargain/haggle in China - basic Mandarin phrases

Hand gestures for Chinese numbers             image source

One - yī

Two – èrThree - sānFour - sìFive - wǔSix - liùSeven - qīEight – bāNine - jiǔTen - shí

You will be tempted to use the good old fingering system to indicate how many bracelets you want to buy. Bear in mind the Chinese are using different hand gestures for the numbers; take a look at the image on the right. 
Hello (How are you?) - Nǐ hǎo? 

I want - Wǒ yàoI don’t want - Wǒ bú yào Good - Hǎo Thank you - Xièxiè This / That (one) - Zhè gè / Nà gè 

Combine with your chosen strategies or just improvise. Remember practice makes perfect. Good luck!

Note on Pinyin. Deciphering the code: 

There are 4 tones in Mandarin Chinese, distinguished by the raising or lowering of the pitch on certain syllables. The first one is high level, second - rising, third – falling rising, fourth - falling.For more information and correct transcription refer to this Pinyin chart or make a quick search online. Try to find audio files as well so that you can mimic the original voice. Many people are focussed on the oddly shaped Chinese characters but grasping the correct tones is not less challenging. 

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