Good Feelings in Chinese

含苞待放 (hánbāo dài fàng) Waiting to bloom

含苞待放 (hánbāo dài fàng) Camellia buds waiting to bloom


From the many holiday wishes that we have come across at this blog site, you already know that 快乐 (kuàilè happy) and 愉快 (yúkuài joyful, cheerful) are happy feelings. Another common expression for feeling happy is 开心 (kāixīn).

明天詹姆士要来看我, 真开心.
Míngtiān Zhānmǔshì yào lái kàn wǒ, zhēn kāixīn.
James is coming to see me tomorrow; I’m so delighted.

有好感 (yǒu hǎogǎn) means to have a favorable impression or opinion of someone. 欣赏 (xīnshǎng) is to appreciate or admire someone. You would also use this word for appreciation of art or music.

我欣赏她的才能.
Wǒ xīnshǎng tā de cáinéng.
I admire her talents and abilities.

佩服 (pèifú) means to admire someone’s abilities or good qualities. 敬佩 (jìngpèi) is to admire and hold in high esteem. Same with 仰慕 (yǎngmù). The word means to look up to. At the highest level is 崇拜 (chóngbài), which means to adore or worship.

我佩服你的勇气.
Wǒ pèifú nǐ de yǒngqì.
I admire your courage.

兴致 (xìngzhì) is the mood for enjoying something.

今天爷爷兴致大, 多玩了几圈麻将.
Jīntiān yéye xìngzhì dà, duō wán le jǐquān májiàng.
Grandpa was in a good mood today and played a few extra rounds of mahjong.

兴奋 (xīngfèn) means to be excited about something, usually in a happy sense.

得意 (déyì) means to be pleased with oneself, or to have things going one’s way.

他升了两级, 得意洋洋.
Tā shēng le liǎng jí, deyìyángyáng.
He went up two ranks and was elated.

自豪 (zìháo) means to be proud of oneself.

这是他引以自豪的一篇文章.
Zhè shì tā yǐn yǐ zìháo de yīpiān wénzhāng.
This is an article of his that he is proud of.

中意 (zhòngyì) and 合意 (héyì) both mean “to one’s liking”, while 满意 (mǎnyì) means to be pleased or satisfied.

轻松 (qīngsōng) means to feel relaxed. 轻松的心情 (qīngsōng de xīnqíng) is a relaxed mood. 轻松的工作 (qīngsōng de gōngzuò) means a light task or an easy job.

自在 (zìzai) means to feel at ease and comfortable with one’s surroundings.

放心 (fàngxīn) means to be relieved of concerns or worries.

你放心, 我不会告诉他.
Nǐ fàngxīn, wǒ bùhuì gàosù tā.
Rest assured, I won’t tell him.

安心 (ānxīn) means to have peace of mind and not feel troubled.

你安心睡吧.
Nǐ ānxīn shuì ba.
Don’t worry; sleep well.

幸福 (xìngfú) means one’s well-being, or a feeling of being favored by good fortune.

祝你们永远幸福.
Zhù nǐmen yǒngyuǎn xìngfú.
Hope you will always be happy.

Finally, happy is the heart that is filled with hope, or 希望 (xīwàng). Hope confers additional pupose to life. Like a bud waiting to blossom, or 含苞待放 (hánbāo dài fàng), hope gives us something to look forward to.

我心中充满了希望.
Wǒ xīn zhōng chōngmǎn xīwàng.
My heart is filled with hope.

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Happy Moon Festival


It’s that time of the year again – to visit with your family for 中秋节 (Zhōngqiūjié the Mid-Autumn Festival) and savor the 月饼 (yuèbǐng moon cakes). Moon cakes are typically of two varieties, the firm baked pastry moon cakes and the pliable ones made from steamed glutinous rice dough. How to make them? Be forewarned that it’s a time-consuming process (even if you purchase most of the ingredients in packaged, canned or bottled form) then read Christine’s write-up on Traditional Mooncakes. As a bonus, take a look at her Chinese version of the same recipe and try to figure out the Chinese terms with the help of the English version. If you don’t have the special mold for making moon cakes, you could use your palm to pat down the filled moon cake balls so they’re about the size and shape of a typical moon cake. If you have a cookie stamp handy, you could use it to imprint some patterns on the moon cakes before baking.

For those who are far away from their family, the occasion of the Mid-Autumn Festival may deepen the feeling of homesickness and nostalgia. This sentiment is best captured in a composition by one of the most talented literary giants in ancient China, 苏轼 (Sū Shì) of the Sung Dynasty. Following is the line from this composition that has been quoted so often that it has become a cliché:

但愿人长久,
Dànyuàn rén chángjiǔ,
Hope you and I will stay alive and well,

千里共婵娟.
qiānlǐ gòng chánjuān.
so we may continue to share this beautiful moon though we are far apart.

但愿 (dànyuàn) means “I only wish that …” or “I wish …”. You could also say 希望 (xīwàng I hope), or 只希望 (zhǐ xīwàng I only hope).

长久 (chángjiǔ) means for a long time.

千里 (qiānlǐ) indicates a very long distance. 千里眼 (qiānlǐyǎn) is clairvoyance.

(gòng) is to share or to do something together, or to have something in common. This word can also be used as an adverb that means “altogether”.

他们两个共喝了五瓶啤酒.
Tāmen liǎnggè gòng hē le wǔ píng píjiǔ.
The two drank five bottles of beer in all.

(chán) and (juān) both mean beautiful and graceful. 婵娟 (chánjuān) refers to the moon, or the beautiful fairy, 嫦娥 (Chángé), who is believed to live on the moon with her pet rabbit.

As a matter of fact, the expression 但愿人长久 (Dànyuàn rén chángjiǔ) is imbedded in the song titled 月满西楼 (Yuè mǎn xī lóu) – Click on this link to hear the song. The verses were written by the very popular romance writer 琼瑶 (Qióngyáo). The music was composed by 刘家昌 (Liú Jiāchāng). The performing artist is 甄妮 (Zhēn Nī). Click here for the lyrics in Simplified Chinese characters.

(mǎn) means full or to be filled with. It also means to be satisfied or conceited. 西 (xī) is the west side. (lóu) is a multi-storied building, or one of its stories. The (yuè moon) in the title of this song refers to the moonlight that shines on and fills the western pavilion.

正是 (zhèngshì) means “precisely”. The setting for this song is right at the time when the flowers are blooming and the moon is full and round.

(lù) is the dew, and 湿 (shī) means wet or to dampen.
胭脂 (yānzhi) is rouge. It refers to the reddish color of the flowers. (chū) means initial or initially. (tòu) means to seep through or penetrate. Therefore, the second line of the verses describes how the dew is moistening the flowers that are just starting to blush.

殷勤 (yīnqín) means to be attentive to someone. 相守 (xiāng shǒu) means to stay close together with someone. (mò) is the formal word for “don’t”. It means the same as 不要 (bùyào). (ràng) means to let, to allow, or to yield to. 消瘦 (xiāoshòu) is to waste away. So, if you love the flowers, then stay by their side and don’t let them wither away.

(yuán) means “round”.

(xī) is to cherish, as in 爱惜 (àixī), or to have pity on, as in 可惜 (kěxī). There is an error in the printed lyrics for the line: 惜月且殷勤相守 (Xī yuè qiě yīnqín xiāng shǒu). The sun is mentioned instead of the moon.

溜走 (liùzǒu) means to slip away.

(sì) is the formal word for “like”, “appear to be”, or “similar.” 这般 (zhèbān) means “such” or “like this”. 似这般 (sì zhèbān) translates to 像这样的 (xiàng zhèyàng de) in everyday speech. Some artists, like 甄妮 (Zhēn Nī), sing this line with 是这般 (shì zhèbān).

In the last line of the lyrics the second character is missing from 但愿 (dànyuàn).

良辰美景 (liángchénměijǐng) means a wonderful time in a beautiful setting. 蜜意绸缪 (mì yì chóumóu) describes how the lovers are sentimentally attached to each other. This brings us to the ending of the song:

“Oh! Such wonderful ambiance! Such sweet and tender feelings! May the flowers keep blooming, the moon stay full, and we be here forever to enjoy them!”

中秋节快乐!
Zhōngqiūjié kuàilè.
Have a happy Moon Festival!

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