Funny Mistakes made by Students Learning Chinese

Funny mistakes learning Chinese

Make mistakes - it's how we learn

Make mistakes – it’s how we learn

When learning to speak a language it is important that we immerse ourselves in the environment. We have to take a deep breath and brave the streets and try and communicate with the locals.

However, it is inevitable that we will make some mistakes and some of these mistakes may cause them to burst into fits of laughter.

Here are a list of some of the more common mistakes made by students learning Chinese. Learn from others mistakes but never be scared to make your own. If we learn from them, we can all improve!

1. Qǐng wèn : means to ask. – Qīn wěn : means kiss

Getting these muddled could lead to obvious problems…

– Wǒ kě yǐ wèn nǐ ma ? Can I ask you a question?

-Wǒ kě yǐ wěn nǐ ma ? Can I kiss you?

Or worse,…

– Zhòngyào de shì wǒ wèn nǐ māmā. It’s very important I ask your mum.

– Zhòngyào de shì wǒ wěn nǐ māmā. It’s very important I kiss your mum.

Not knowing your tones could leave you shortchanged

2. Shì : to be (v) – Shí : 10

– Zhèi ge shì qī kuài. This is 7 kuai

– Zhèi ge shí qī kuài . This is 17 kuai

Luckily 10 kuài is about £1 or 1.2€ so it shouldn’t break the bank.

3. Yào diàn: Pharmacy – Yè diàn : Bar (the type where you drink alcohol).

– Tā bìng le, yīng gāi qù yào diàn. He is ill, he should go to the pharmacy.

– Tā bìng le, yīng gāi qù yè diàn. He is ill, he should go to the bar.

Getting them mixed up could make you look like you have a problem,

– Míngtiān zǎoshang dì yī jiàn shì shì, wǒ yīdìng yào qù yàodiàn. First thing tomorrow morning, I must go to the pharmacy.

– Míngtiān zǎoshang dì yī jiàn shì shì, wǒ yīdìng yào qù yèdiàn. First thing tomorrow morning, I must go to the bar.

4. Lǎobǎn: boss – Lǎobàn: wife

I don’t think it’s too bad to refer to your wife as the boss, it may even be true, but I don’t think it’s good to introduce your boss as your wife.

– Wǒ zhēn de bù xǐhuan wǒ de lǎobǎn, Wǒ yào huàn yīgè xīn de. I really don’t like my boss, I want a new one.

– Wǒ zhēn de bù xǐhuan wǒ de lǎobàn, Wǒ yào huàn yīgè xīn de. I really don’t like my wife, I want a new one.

You can make some funny mistakes mixing up either word,

– Wǒ xǐhuan zài wǒ lǎobàn shēnbiān xǐng lái. I love waking up next to my wife.

– Wǒ xǐhuan zài wǒ lǎobǎn shēnbiān xǐng lái. I love waking up next to my boss.

5. Kǒuzhào: facemask (the type doctors wear/you wear for pollution) – Kǒujiāo: oral sex

I don’t have to tell you how this could be a BAD mistake to make!

– Duìbùqǐ, Wǒ xiǎng mǎi kǒuzhào? Excuse me, I want to buy a face-mask.

– Duìbùqǐ, Wǒ xiǎng mǎi kǒujiāo? Excuse me, I want to buy oral sex.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these fun examples and please feel free to comment and leave any of your own. If you want to try and avoid making these rather embarrassing mistakes, then why not work on your tones and vocabulary by learning Chinese in China with LTL.

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