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Chinese

Xiao Ka's Firefly Pinyinary

I am a browncoat

我是褐上衣人 listen
wo3 shi4 he4 shang4 yi1 ren2
oo'oh shr heh shang ee ren

Serenity

寧靜 listen
ning2 jing4
ning jing

The Signal

電波 (electric wave) listen 
dian4 bo1
dee'en boh

You can't stop the Signal

你不能把電波減掉了 (you cannot cut the signal) listen
ni3 bu4 neng6 ba3 dian4 bo1 jian3 diao4 le
nee boo nung ba dee'en boh jee'en dee'ao luh

Live life with Blue Sun

靠藍日過日子 (depend on blue sun to live/pass the days) listen
kao1 lan2 ri4 guo4 ri4 zi
kao lan r guo r dz
跟藍日過日子 (live/pass the days with blue sun) listen
gen1 lan2 ri4 guo4 ri4 zi
gen lan r guo r dz

You're listening to the Signal

你在聽著電波 listen
ni3 zai4 ting1 zhe3 dian4 bo1
nee dzai ting jeh dee'en boh

Congratulations

恭喜 (usually said twice) listen
gong1 xi3
goh'ng shee

You look nice

好帥 (so handsome) listen
hao3 shuai4
hao shoo'ai
真漂亮 (so pretty) listen
zhen1 piao4 liang4
jen pee'ao liang

Please

求求你啊 (as in "please, I'm begging you") listen
qiu2 qiu2 ni3 a (the 'a' is just the sound at the end to make it sound better ... can put lo, a, lei ... whatever you feel like kinda depending on your tone of voice)
cheeou cheeou nee ah
拜托 (as in "pu-leeaase" or "come-ON, you gotta be kidding me" but also as in requesting someone to do something) listen
bai4 tuo1
bai too'oh
請 + verb (as in please sit down, please come in, please etc. ... invitational please) listen
qing3
ching
請你 ... (can/will you please ... ) listen
qing3 ni3
ching nee

Thank you

謝謝 (thanks) listen
xie4 xie4
shee'eh shee'eh
多謝 (lots of thanks) listen
duo1 xie4
doo'oh shee'eh

Excuse me

對不起 (sorry) listen
dui4 bu4 qi3
doo'ei boo chee
借過 (excuse me ... as in please let me past/get through) listen
jie4 guo4
gee'eh goo'oh
請問 (excuse me ... as in may I ask a question?) listen
qing3 wen4
ching oo'en
不好意思 (sorry ... as in 'I'm embarrassed' I cannot do something, I need something etc. etc.) listen
bu4 hao3 yi4 si1
boo ha'oo ee suh

May I?

(我)可以 ... 嗎 listen
ke3 yi3
keh ee

Long time no see

好久不見 listen
hao3 jiu3 bu4 jian4
ha'oo gee'ou boo gee'en

How are you?

你還好嗎 (this means "are you ok" or "are you so-so" literally ... used more when someone looks like they might not be doing so well or you know they've been having a rough time etc.) listen
ni3 hai2 hao3 ma
nee hai hao ma

Let's go

走吧/了 listen or listen
zou3 ba or zou3 le
dzou ba or dzou luh

I'm leaving

我(先)走了 (if you add the 2nd character it's literal meaning is I'm leaving first ... but it's common to say it as a more polite yet casual way) listen
wo3 (xian1) zou3 le
woh (shee'en) dzou luh

Eat!

吃啊/吧 (more of a nudge, depending on the situation can be rude) listen or listen
chi1 a/ba
chr ah/bah
慢慢吃 (means eat slowly ... but common to say to start the meal off) listen
man4 man4 chi1
mah'n mah'n chr

Really?

真的嗎/啊 (ma and a can both be used ... ma makes it more of a question, while a makes it more of a statement) listen or listen
zhen1 de ma/a
jen duh mah/ah

How come / why?

為甚麼? listen
Wei4 shen me
Oo'ei shemmeh

Who is it?

是誰 listen
shi4 shei2
shr shei

Whose is it?

是誰的 listen
shi4 shei2 de
shr shei duh

Well, in that case

那, (subj + 就 + verb + 啊) listen
na4, (subj + jiu4 + verb + a)
nah, (subj + gee'ou + verb + ah)

No problem

沒關係 (it's ok, no problem) listen
mei2 guan1 xi4
mei guan shee
沒問題 (no problem) listen
mei2 wen4 ti2
mei oo'en tee

Hello

你好 listen
ni3 hao3
nee hao

Goodbye

再見 listen
zai4 jian4
dzai gee'en

See you (time, e.g. tomorrow)

(明天)見 listen
ming2 tian1) jian4
(ming tee'en) gee'en

Shiny

爽 (slang for sweet ... actually means feels good amongst other things) listen
shuang3
shoo'ang

How to Speak Chinese

For more phrases and examples found in Firefly, Serenity and the comics listen to our series "How to Speak Chinese", found on various episodes of the Signal.

How to Speak Chinese series page


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