To your health!

Let’s remove the two carbuncles from the “sick” radical, (nè), and make it a benign radical that is used in such words as wellness and celebration.

So, (kāng) and 健康 (jiànkāng) mean well-being and good health. 小康之家 (xiǎokāng zhī jiā) refers to a family that is relatively well-off.

When you make a toast, you’d usually say “Cheers!” or “To your health!”. The Chinese may wish you happiness and/or wellness when they give you their regards at the end of a letter or email message, but they would normally not wish you happiness or health with a toast unless it happens to be your birthday. Instead, when they raise the glass, they might say one of the following:

请! 请!
Qǐng! Qǐng! (Sounds familiar? Chin-chin!)
Please! Please! (Have a drink, a seat, a meal, etc; come in; this way.)

Wǒ jìng nín yī bēi.
I’m respectively giving you a toast.

来! 我们好好儿喝几杯!
Lái! Wǒmen hǎohǎor hē jǐ bēi.
Come! Let’s have a few hearty drinks!
Bottoms up! (Empty the glass.)

This goes to show that a verbatim literal translation of English to Chinese will often not work. And as Jacob Rhoden noted in his blog posts, even though people in both halves of the world have similar daily routines, they may not go about them with the same mentality.

(qìng) and 庆祝 (qìngzhù) mean celebration or to celebrate.

Wǒmen yītóng qìngzhù Jímǐ de shēngrì.
We celebrate together Jimmy’s birthday.

(chuáng) is a bed. (zuò), or 座位 (zuòwèi), is a seat. (xí) is a seat or a banquet. 出席 (chūxí) means to attend a meeting, or to be present.

Zuótiān tā méiyǒu chūxí.
Yesterday he was not present at the meeting.

(fǔ) is a government office, an official residence, or a district. (kù) is a warehouse. 车库 (chēkù) is a garage.

(tíng) is a courtyard. 家庭 (jiātíng) is a family. 法庭 (fǎtíng) is a court of law.

(zhuāng) is a village or manor. In older times, it also refers to a bank. (diàn) is a shop or a store. (miào) is a temple.

The Simplified Chinese character 广 (guǎng) means wide or extensive. Therefore, 广播 (guǎngbō) is to boradcast. 广泛 (guǎngfàn) and 广大 (guǎngdà) are commonly used words that mean vast, wide-spread or pervasive.

Zhè fāngfǎ yǒu guǎngfàn de yìngyòng jiàzhí.
This method has genearl applicability.

广场 (guǎngchǎng) is a large open venue, such as a public square.

广岛 (guǎngdǎo) is Hiroshima. 广东 (guǎngdōng) is the Guangdong Province in China.

Nín shuō guǎngdōnghuà ma?
Do you speak the Cantonese dialect?

(Liào) is a Chinese surname. This character may look complicated, but there is a fun rhyme in “Learn Chinese through Songs and Rhymes” that will help you easily remember how to write it.

Can you think of the name of an animal that makes use of the 广 (guǎng) radical?

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. East Asia Student
    Mar 08, 2012 @ 20:17:30

    So does “ching ching” in English come from Chinese?


    • likeabridge
      Mar 10, 2012 @ 01:10:52

      Yes, although I found out it’s officially spelled chin-chin. There are many other “English” words that came from Chinese. For example, ricksshaw came from 人力车, coolie came from 苦力, kowtow came from 磕头, and “Long time no see.” came from 好久不見. 🙂


  2. cheri
    Jul 19, 2015 @ 17:37:52

    In a new Behr commercial, the nina Simone song is played, color is a beautiful thing. Folks are debating what she is saying, sounds like Ching ching, which may actually be chin chin? Some say its a different racist slang. Have any thoughts on this?


    • likeabridge
      Jul 19, 2015 @ 19:50:15

      Hi Cheri,

      Thanks for introducing me to Nina Simone’s songs. Her pronunciation of Chinese and German is somewhat off. I cannot quite make out the Chinese lyrics.

      When one is ushering a guest into a house or to a dinner table, one would say, “请, 请.” (Qǐng, qǐng.) This is equivalent to saying, “This way please.” or “Be my guest.” In a different Romanization system, that would be spelled “Ching, ching.” I remember when I encountered some foreign strangers in my childhood, they would often say “ching-ching”. Depending on the tone used, it could be interpreted as a mocking remark. However, mostly they said it because that was the only Chinese expression they knew. 🙂

      I don’t see the relationship between this “请, 请.” (Qǐng, qǐng.) and the preceding sound of “一” (yī). No matter, I think she is just throwing in a few Chinese words to make the point that diversity is beautiful.

      Some people interpret the yī sound and the first qǐng sound to mean 易经(yìjīng), The Book of Changes. However, what I hear is qǐng rather than the jīng sound. When the song is used as a paint commercial, 易经(yìjīng) could come into play as it talks about 风水 (fēngshuǐ) and harmony in one’s living environment. Then that would leave us wondering what the remaining qǐng sound is supposed to mean.


  3. likeabridge
    Aug 12, 2015 @ 16:27:43

    My aunt introduced me to a set of hand exercises that are supposed to stimulate a number of acupressure points and promote health. Here is a link to the routine:

    After you have learned the exercises, you can do them with a music accompaniment:

    Now, your challenge is to also sing the song by following the Chinese lyrics on the screen. 🙂


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