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The most useful Chinese terms for settling down in Taiwan - Common expressions & in restaurants

Updated: May 29, 2023


Photo by Jisun Han on Unsplash

As an expat in Taiwan, While mastering Chinese takes years of dedicated practice, you can actually pick up the basics pretty quickly. As a "laowai" (a slang for "foreigner") in Taiwan, knowing some basic Chinese terms can be helpful for daily communication and navigating your way around. Here are some useful Chinese terms for new comers:


Common Expressions


1. 你好 (nǐ hǎo) - Hello

2. 謝謝 (xiè xiè) - Thank you

3. 不好意思 (bù hǎo yì si) - Excuse me / Sorry

4. 請問 (qǐng wèn) - May I ask...?

5. 請 (qǐng) - Please

6. 是 (shì) - Yes

7. 不是 (bú shì) - No

8. 我聽不懂 (wǒ ting bù dǒng) - I don't understand

9. 我不會說中文 (wǒ bù huì shuō zhōng wén) - I can't speak Chinese

10. 英文 (yīng wén) - English



In restaurants


1. 餐廳 (cān tīng) - Restaurant

2. 桌子 (zhuō zi) - Table

3. 菜單 (cài dān) - Menu

4. 點菜 (diǎn cài) - To order food

5. 服務生 (fú wù sheng) - Waiter/Waitress

6. 請給我菜單 (qǐng gěi wǒ cài dān) - Please give me a menu.

7. 我要點這個 (wǒ yào diǎn zhè gè) - I want to order this.

8. 我要點餐 (wǒ yào diǎn cān) - I want to place an order.

9. 有英文菜單嗎?(yǒu yīng wén cài dān ma?) - Do you have an English menu?

10. 我對這個過敏 (wǒ duì zhè gè guò mǐn) - I am allergic to this.

11. 我要結帳 (wǒ yào jié zhàng) - Can I have the bill/check?

12. 服務費 (fú wù fèi) - Service charge


These are just a few basic terms to get you started. Learning more Chinese phrases and vocabulary will greatly enhance your ability to communicate and interact with locals in Taiwan.


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