English-Chinese Homophones (2)

Today we will look at a few more one-syllable English words that sound like Chinese. For each of these English words, there are many additional Chinese homophones that are not included here. Also, if you utter the English word using a different “tone”, then it will correspond to a different list of Chinese homophones. In any case, I hope that this list will help you remember a few Chinese words by phonic association.

Fun (fàn cooked rice, meal) (fàn peddler, resell)

我每天吃饭.
Wǒ měitiān chīfàn.
I have rice every day.
(Mnemonic: I have fun everyday.)

那儿有个卖面的摊贩.
Nàr yǒu gè màimiàn de tānfàn.
Over there there’s a noodle peddler.

Go (gòu sufficient, enough) (gòu purchase)

这样够了.
Zhèyàng gòu le.
This is sufficient. (This is plenty.)

那一个购物中心.
Nà shì yī gè gòuwùzhōngxīn.
That is a shopping center.

Goo (gù old, incident, cause) (gù solid, firm) (gù look, look after)

我喜欢听故事.
Wǒ xǐhuān tīng gùshi.
I like to listen to stories (literally, past events).

他很顽固.
Tā hěn wángù.
He is very stubborn.

我们应该照顾年老的父母.
Wǒmen yīnggāi zhàogu niánlǎo de fùmǔ.
We should look after our elderly parents.

Hoe (hòu time, season, to wait) (hòu behind, after)

他什么时候来?
Tā shénme shíhòu lái?
What time is he coming?

他后天来.
Tā hòutiān lái.
He is coming the day after tomorrow.

In (yīn overcase, obscure) (yīn sound, tone, news)

今天是阴天.
Jīntiān shì yīntiān.
It’s a cloudy day today.

你喜欢听哪一种音乐?
Nǐ xǐhuān tīng nǎ yī zhǒng yīnyuè?
What type of music do you enjoy listening to?

Joe (jiù rescue) (jiù mother’s brother)

救命呀!
Jiùmìng ya!
Save my life! (Help!)

他是我的舅舅.
Tā shì wǒ de jiùjiù.
He is my uncle.

Knee (nì contrary,to go against) (nì to drown,to be addicted to)

忠言逆耳.
Zhōng yán nì ěr.
Earnest advice grate on the ear. (Chinese adage.)

不要溺爱子女.
Bùyào nì’ài zǐnǚ.
Don’t spoil the children.

Lay (lèi tired) (lèi tears)

我累了.
Wǒ lèi le.
I’m tired.

她流了不少眼泪.
Tā liú le bùshǎo yǎnlèi.
She shed a lot of tears.

Lee? (lí pears) (lí to leave)

你喜欢吃梨子吗?
Nǐ xǐhuān chī lízi ma?
Do you like to eat pears?

分离是痛苦的事.
Parting is a painful event.

Low (lòu to leak, to leave out) (lòu plain, ugly)

屋顶漏水了.
Wūdǐng lòu shuǐ le.
The roof is leaking.

这房屋很简陋.
Zhè fángwū hěn jiǎnlòu.
This house is crudely built.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. East Asia Student
    Oct 19, 2011 @ 02:12:07

    You might also be interested in Chinese and English words that not only sound similar but also have similar meanings. Google around for “mandarin english coincidences”

    Reply

    • likeabridge
      Oct 19, 2011 @ 21:22:05

      I have sometimes marveled at a few such coincidences.

      Doesn’t 大狗 (dà gǒu big dog) sound somewhat like “dog”?

      And how about interjections like: 好美呀! (Hǎo měi yā! How beautiful!)

      By the way, one way to say “coincidental” in Chinese is 巧 (qiǎo), which sounds quite like the Italian greeting, “Ciao!”

      Reply

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