Business dinners are a mainstay of business life in China, and you really need to be on your best behaviour and be aware of certain aspects of cultural etiquette. Get ready to learn how to talk about matters such as seating arrangements and toasting, so you can impress your business colleagues next time you meet them!

In this Podcast, you will learn:

(i) How to help someone order a meal to their liking

(ii) To find out about certain do’s and don’ts when at a business meting

Dialogue:

Several business diners are ready to order their meal:

(在餐厅)

(zài cān tīng)

(at the restaurant)

A:来来来,大家看看菜单。

Lái lái lái, dà jiā kàn kan cài dān.

Come one everybody, take a look at the menu.

B:哇,这菜看起来都不错。

Wà, zhè cài kàn qǐ lái dōu bù cuò.

Wow, these dishes all look really nice.

A:想吃什么?海鲜?

Xiǎng chī shén me? Hǎi xiān?

What do you like to eat? Seafood?

B:我不吃海鲜,我对海鲜过敏。

Wǒ bù chī hǎi xiān, wǒ duì hǎi xiān guò mǐn.

I can’t eat seafood. I am allergic to it.

A:哦,那就不点海鲜。还有很多别的菜,想吃什么随便点,别客气。

Òu, nà jiù bù diǎn hǎi xiān. Hái yǒu hěn duō bié de cài, xiǎng chī shén me suí biàn diǎn, bié kè qi.

Oh, let’s not order seafood then. There are many other dishes. You are welcome to order whatever you want to eat.

B:好!

Hǎo!

Okay.

Chinese words and phrases mentioned in this Podcast:

餐厅:restaurant

来:come on

看看:take a look at

菜单:menu

菜:dish

看起来:looks

不错:nice

吃:eat

海鲜:seafood

过敏:allergy

对……过敏:be allergic to something

点:order

别的:other

想:want

随便:whatever

别客气:you are welcome

Cultural/Grammar notes:

In this Podcast, we introduce some Chinese business table manners: in general, the most important person should sit facing the door.

When toasting individuals at the table, you need to stand up and use both hands to hold the glass. Also, it is polite to put your glass at a lower level than the people older than you, or your boss.

There are also some other things to mention about ‘敬酒的顺序’ (the order of toasting). Usually, if you are not the main host of the event, you can’t make the first toast. You need to wait until after the main host and the guest make their toast.

Mandarin Chinese learning resources we recommend:

round-italki-logo-3d-01Using 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.

Yes! I’d like to learn Mandarin Chinese more effectively

Narrated by Song Liu

Our Podcast narrator, is a native Chinese speaker and is originally from Beijing, China and is keen to help you get ahead with learning. She graduated from San Francisco State University with a Master of Arts in Communication Studies. Song also hosted a Mandarin live call-in news and music radio show in the Bay Area.

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