How to give thanks in Chinese?

For those of us who are robust and healthy, let us give thanks and rejoice. For those of us who are not so well, let us be grateful that we can still survive with medical help and self-help. Whether we are strong or weak, smart or not so smart, handsome or homely, each of us has his or her own blessings. As the Chinese say, each blade of grass receives a drop of dew. For this, we are thankful.

一枝草, 一点露.
Yī zhī cǎo, yī diǎn lù.

Following are a few ways to express gratitude in Chinese:

Xièxiè nǐ.
Thank you.

Duōxiè nǐ de bāngzhù.
Thanks for your help.

Wǒmén fēicháng gǎnxiè nín de zhāodài.
We are very thankful for your hospitality.

为了这个缘故, 我很感激他.
Wèile zhègè yuángù, wǒ hěn gǎnjī tā.
For this reason, I am grateful to him.

谢天谢地, 她的病已经好了.
Xiètiānxièdì, tā de bìng yǐjīng hǎo le.
Thank heavens, she has already recovered from the illness.

To respond to someone’s appreciation of your kindness or assistance, simply say 不谢. (bùxiè You’re welcome.) or 不用谢. (bùyòngxiè Don’t mention it.)

When you are greatly indebted to someone, you will regard that person as your benefactor, or 恩人 (ēnrén). The kindness or favor rendered is called 恩惠 (ēnhuì favor or benefaction) or 恩德 (ēndé kindness or grace). 感恩 (gǎnēn Thanksigiving) is the concatenation of 感谢 (gǎnxiè) and 恩德 (ēndé).

On the other hand, hatred is called 仇恨 (chóuhèn), and the person who did you wrong is called 仇人 (chóurén a personal foe).

报答 (bàodá) is to repay a favor, while 报恩 (bàoēn) is to requite a life-saving favor. 报仇 (bàochóu) is to take revenge.

Normally, one would repay kindness with the same. However, it’s not unheard of that kindness is sometimes paid back with hostility. This is called 恩将仇报 (ēnjiāngchóubào).

There are also people who treat their enemies with kindness. This is called 以德报怨 (yǐdébàoyuàn).

“The Count of Monte Cristo”, a novel written by Alexandre Dumas, tells the story of a man who was wrongly imprisoned and who took revenge big time after escaping from the prison. The fortune he had accidentally acquired allowed him to indulge in 以牙还牙 (yǐyáhuányá A tooth for a tooth.). Yet, in the end, it was only through mercy and forgiveness that he was able to find peace for his soul. The name of this book in Chinese is 基度山伯爵恩仇记 (Jīdùshān Bójuéjì Ēn Chóu Jì).

Let’s think of everyone who loves us, everyone we love and everything we enjoy, and be thankful.

Gǎnēn jié kuàilè!
Happy Thanksgiving!


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Anthony Bogadek
    Nov 21, 2012 @ 13:55:37

    Dear Miss Lin,
    Happy Thanksgiving Day. My grateful thanks to you for allowing me the free use of your website. God bless.
    A. Bogadek


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