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Survival and Travel Chinese Part 4: Eating and Ordering at a Restaurant

Once you have mastered part 3 of our Survival Chinese guide, let's learn some more words and characters to help you during your trip to China.

In this lesson, you'll learn some basic phrases when you eat and order at a restaurant.

PinyinEnglishChinese Character (simplified)Comments
fàndiànrestaurant饭店
càidānmenu菜单
mǎidānget the bill买单
yǒuhave
fúwùyuánwaiter/waitress服务员fúwùyuán is gender neutral
shuǐwater
bēi(zi)cup杯(子)bēi is a measure word for cup. Used as a measure word, there is no need to pronounce zi
shūcàivegetable蔬菜
càidish (type of food)
ròumeat
niúròubeef牛肉
zhūròupork猪肉
jīròuchicken鸡肉
maparticle for questionthis particle is used at the end for questions
chāzifork叉子
dāoziknife刀子
tāngchísoup spoon汤匙
kuàizichopstick筷子
yǐnliàobeverage饮料
shénmewhat什么
gānbēicheers干杯

Let's try some simple Mandarin phrases using the vocabulary above:

EnglishPinyinChinese Characters (simplified)
Waiter, can I get the bill?Fúwùyuán, mǎidān!服务员, 买单!
Waitress, I want one cup of waterFúwùyuán, wǒ yào yī bēi shuǐ服务员, 我要一杯水
Waiter, can I have the menu please?Fúwùyuán, wǒ yào càidān, xièxie服务员, 我要菜单, 谢谢
Does this dish have beef?Zhège cài yǒu niúròu ma?这个菜有牛肉吗?
Does this dish have vegetables?Zhège cài yǒu shūcài ma?这个菜有蔬菜吗?
Waitress, what type of dishes do you have?Fúwùyuán, nǐ yǒu shénme cài?服务员, 你有什么菜?
Waiter, what type of beverages do you have?Fúwùyuán, nǐ yǒu shénme yǐnliào?服务员, 你有什么饮料?
Waitress, I want chopsticks, thank you.Fúwùyuán, wǒ yào kuàizi, xièxiè服务员, 我要筷子,谢谢
Cheers!Gānbēi!干杯!

Congratulations! You have completed our surival guide series! Now you know some very basic Mandarin for getting around China!


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