Guest Post: Learn Chinese with phrases of love and affection

A while back I started a Friday column of my own titled Mandarin Love, covering how to express your love in Chinese with some special Chinese idioms. (My Mandarin Love post on Chinese phrases on love and destiny is one of the 10 most popular posts on this site.)

So I was thrilled to receive this guest post from Yang of Learn Mandarin Now, who offered to revive my Mandarin Love series with an entry of his own. 

Do you have a few good Chinese phrases or a great story to share on Speaking of China? Check out the submit a post page to learn how you can have your guest post published here.


Learn Mandarin Now_1Firstly, sincere thanks to Jocelyn for inviting us from Learn Mandarin Now to write a guest blog post.

Following on with Jocelyn’s own theme of phrases and of love and affection in Mandarin Chinese, we’d like to highlight several more very well known Chinese phrases dealing with matters of the heart and highlighting the yearning and passion lovers can have for each other…

One of our favourites is:

Jin Yu Liang Yuan (金玉良缘, jīnyù liángyuán) which literally means: a perfect couple, with a shining, ideal future.

This phrase often appears with reference to Chinese weddings and refers to   the prospects for a good marriage. It is originally from the Dream of the Red Chamber(红楼梦), one of China’s Four Great Classical Novels. This novel was written sometime in the middle of the 18th century during the Qing Dynasty and is considered to be a masterpiece of Chinese literature.

With its inferences for a good future and a successful marriage, Jin Yu Liang Yuan is also a popular name for many TV shows and dramas in China.

Then there is Fei Cheng Wu Rao (非诚勿扰, fēichéngwùrǎo) which literally means: “If you are not sincere, don’t bother me.”

There are two main reasons this phrase is so popular in China, and both relate to the cinema and TV.

The first reason relates to the name for the popular love story/romantic comedy movie, from 2008: ”If You Are The One” which starred two famous Chinese movie stars, Shu Qi(舒淇) and Ge You(葛优), and was also directed by one of China’s best known directors, Feng Xaiogang(冯小刚).

The other reason is that Fei Cheng Wu Rao is also the name of a TV show produced by the Jiang Su television station and is the Chinese version of the well known dating TV show “Take Me Out”. This Chinese version is hosted by famous TV host Meng Fei(孟非) although, in fact, in recent years, more and more single foreigners, including overseas Chinese, have also joined the show, and some of them have even found the right partner.

Learn Mandarin Now_2

Another very popular expression (shown below) literally means “Once, true love was placed before me, but I didn’t cherish it. After I lost it, I regretted it. This was the most painful thing in the world and if heaven could give me another chance, I would say to that girl three words, “I love you.” If I had to place a time limit on this love, I hope it would be 10,000 years.”


This expression originated from a Stephen Chow (one of Hong Kong’s most famous film stars who combines kung-fu style action with comedy) movie and most Chinese growing up at the time this movie was released know this line well. Although not so popular at first in Hong Kong, the movie finally became well known in Mainland China and became recognised as one of the best movies made by Stephen Chow—especially for these classic lines.

Of course, there are many other Chinese phrases which convey the feelings of cherished love and you can find some more of them with a little research or, if you simply wish to brush up on your Mandarin, take a look at our site Learn Mandarin Now

Yang is a serial web entrepreneur whose latest website is He is passionate about learning new languages and cultures. Yang is currently working on researching the preferred ways 50 international bloggers learn Chinese, and will share the results in his blog shortly.


Speaking of China is always on the lookout for outstanding guest posts! If you have something you’d like us to feature, visit the submit a post page for details — and then submit yours today.

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11 thoughts on “Guest Post: Learn Chinese with phrases of love and affection

  • April 3, 2015 at 8:13 am

    My favorite is 非诚勿扰. I will try say it to my bf and see what happens ehehehe!

  • April 3, 2015 at 11:24 am

    Like the series, any chance some can be in Cantonese? Thanks!

  • April 3, 2015 at 12:07 pm


    that phrase 非诚勿扰 is used for first-time dating. Unless you are hinting to your bf “come hither, big boy”, it would not be remotely useful. Well it would puzzle any boyfriend how you would mean by that phrase since you are already a couple. If you do mean come here, I suggest 還不快來 hai-bu-kwai-lai, (why still not quickly come to me), with an endearment 老公 (lau-gong) or 死鬼 (ss-gway) added in the front. 老公 is old grandfather (meaning husband) and 死鬼 is dead ghost (meaning my disgusting dearest). It maybe puzzling why the Chinese use such negative phrases to mean endearment. It may be like good friends using foul language to each other to show that they are tight buddies.

    • April 3, 2015 at 1:32 pm

      Thank you for the clarification Herman!

      I actually think my bf finds me speaking Chinese so funny that whatever I say to him in Chinese he is just delighted. It is such a pity we don’t really use Mandarin in our relationship.

  • April 3, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    It doesn’t have to do with the topic but because 非诚勿扰 was mentioned I have to say something about that tv show… it is all fake! The people joining are actors!! A French guy in my office has been there several times xDD And just last week I was asked to join!! When I said “But I already have a boyfriend”, the reply was “Don’t worry, there is a script, what you see on the show is not real”. 骗人的啊!!!

  • April 3, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    Is chinese even a language? I just hear them say ching chong ling long all day long. Their written words are pictorial based, how backward can they be? That is only one step removed from cavemen and their guttural growls and scratches on cave surfaces.

    • April 4, 2015 at 3:44 am

      There is no ching chong ling long in Chinese but you are hearing it. That indicates auditory dysfunction. A trip to an ENT doctor or staying away from Moonshine should help.

  • April 5, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    As someone who has never been to China, I am curious to know why some of you choose to live in China? Everyone knows that they don’t have human rights and their population is oppressed and live miserably. I always wondered why the US doesn’t impose greater sanctions on China or else instigate revolution to bring down the communist government or even bomb China so we can turn the place into a paradise.

    • April 5, 2015 at 7:12 pm

      As someone who has never been to China, how do you know they are oppressed and live miserable?

      • April 5, 2015 at 10:00 pm

        Our unbiased and objective western press tell us that daily. I never believe the propaganda spouted by Chinese news agencies since everything is censored and journalists who don’t toe the commies lie get tortured just like medieval times. They are the only state in the world that uses torture and intimidation as official tools to rule the country. Luckily I live in a free world where I can do whatever I want and criticise anyone I like.

        I don’t think chinese people understand freedom since they have never lived in such an environment, which is why I can’t use them as a source of information. Besides, most of them are deluded and insecure souls who like to defend their own nation and think we are racist towards them. Why can’t they just accept that USA and the western world is the greatest place in the entire world to live in and commie china is at the bottom of the list. Hence, the question which puzzles me would be why anyone who has lived in a society which protects human rights move to communist china? Are you commies in disguise?

        • April 7, 2015 at 6:01 am

          For the unbiased self-righteous men. Behold.

          Matthews 7:1 – 7:5

          Judge not, that ye be not judged.

          For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

          And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

          Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam [is] in thine own eye?

          Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.


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