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"hello" expression other than "hello"

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HashiriKata
I think "No complaints." sounds a little depressed.

"I'm doing great" or "I'm Great" or "Great" sound *to me* a bit over the top.

Since English is the mother tongue of people in many countries and there are phrases that are common in some places but not in others. Therefore, if you're from a region where some phrases are not commonly used, you tend to look at them more analytically and literally, rather than just as part of a greeting ritual.

When I first moved to Northern Ireland (where "I'm great" and "No complaints" are very commonly used), I had the same feeling as the quoted above; but just a few years later, I always came out quite naturally with "I'm great" or "No complaints" and saw no difference between the two. On hearing either of these, if you still think it sounds funny, you're probably not part of the local community. On the other hand, you may want to use what the local people use just to identify yourself as part of them. "I'm fine, thank you" may sound then just a bit too stand-offish! The problem is of course, when you move to another country but still carry with you the same habit of saying "I'm great", you may sound a bit over the top to others.

Looks like everyone knows it. I actually have never used "你好吗” as greeting in my life.

Some phrases are more often used by foreigners (or to foreigners by native speakers) than by native speakers among themselves. I suspect it is the case with this phrase because it matches well with "How are you?" and the like (Of course, we shouldn't discount regional and individual variations even among native speakers.)

This reminds me of "Sayonara" in Japanese. Although commonly used by foreigners, Japanese only use it to foreigners (as they think this is what foregners expect, or understand more easily). They only use it among themselves very rarely and on fairly special occasions (eg. for a long and formal farewell)

What about 马马虎虎? Is that uncommon in China? That's common in Taiwan.

I guess this may be an import from Japan (given the fact that it's only common in Taiwan and that young Taiwanese are very fond of things Japanese). The Japanese word is just "ma ma" (まあまあ) and has many meanings, including that of "so so, not too bad". (The Japanese version is never written in kanji and the "horse tiger" thing is purely a Chinese innovation.)

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BeijingSlacker
I think "No complaints." sounds a little depressed.

"I'm doing great" or "I'm Great" or "Great" sound *to me* a bit over the top.

The above are just typos.

"How goes it (with you)?" and "How's things?"

For these two, I did mean "How goes" and "How things"

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BeijingSlacker
guess this may be an import from Japan (given the fact that it's only common in Taiwan and that young Taiwanese are very fond of things Japanese). The Japanese word is just "ma ma" (まあまあ) and has many meanings, including that of "so so, not too bad". (The Japanese version is never written in kanji and the "horse tiger" thing is purely a Chinese innovation.)

If I recall correctly, it's from Manchu, not Japanese.

We do use 马马虎虎 in Beijing, but not nearly as often as Chinese learners do. Among the people I know, the most often used are "还成" "还行" "凑活" or "还那样儿吧"。

A line from Cuijian's song 混子:

白天出门忙活 晚上出门转悠

碰见熟人打招呼“怎么样”“咳, 凑合”

Quote:

I actually have never used "你好吗”as greeting in my life.

This is quite extreme. I use it from time to time.

In Mandarin or Cantonese?

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skylee

In Cantonese, to people whom I have not spoken to or met for a long time.

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yonglan
I think "No complaints." sounds a little depressed.

"I'm doing great" or "I'm Great" or "Great" sound *to me* a bit over the top.

Since English is the mother tongue of people in many countries and there are phrases that are common in some places but not in others. Therefore' date=' if you're from a region where some phrases are not commonly used, you tend to look at them more analytically and literally, rather than just as part of a greeting ritual.

When I first moved to Northern Ireland (where "I'm great" and "No complaints" are very commonly used), I had the same feeling as the quoted above; but just a few years later, I always came out quite naturally with "I'm great" or "No complaints" and saw no difference between the two. On hearing either of these, if you still think it sounds funny, you're probably not part of the local community. On the other hand, you may want to use what the local people use just to identify yourself as part of them. [/quote']

You know what happens when we assume? Both "No complaints" and "I'm Great" are very common in the US, where I'm from. So, your analysis should be applied elsewhere, methinks. And anyway, I was very clear about making a discalimer at the beginning of my post to try (unsuccesfully, it would seem) to fend off bickering. You could simply disagree :D

Quote:

Looks like everyone knows it. I actually have never used "你好吗” as greeting in my life.

Some phrases are more often used by foreigners (or to foreigners by native speakers) than by native speakers among themselves. I suspect it is the case with this phrase because it matches well with "How are you?" and the like (Of course, we shouldn't discount regional and individual variations even among native speakers.)

This reminds me of "Sayonara" in Japanese. Although commonly used by foreigners, Japanese only use it to foreigners (as they think this is what foregners expect, or understand more easily). They only use it among themselves very rarely and on fairly special occasions (eg. for a long and formal farewell)

Again, please see my post. Taiwanese occasionally use it amongst themselves -- and actually have not used it with me (as far as I can recall).

Quote:

What about 马马虎虎? Is that uncommon in China? That's common in Taiwan.

I guess this may be an import from Japan (given the fact that it's only common in Taiwan and that young Taiwanese are very fond of things Japanese). The Japanese word is just "ma ma" (まあまあ) and has many meanings, including that of "so so, not too bad". (The Japanese version is never written in kanji and the "horse tiger" thing is purely a Chinese innovation.)

Ugh :mrgreen:

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yonglan
Quote:

"How goes it (with you)?" and "How's things?"

For these two' date=' I did mean "How goes" and "How things"[/quote']

In Canada, eh? Ask some Canadians. I've known plenty, and I think those two (above) are also typos.

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yonglan

Where is Lu (who was on this thread) or another Taiwanese? I want to know why they occasionally say 'ni hao ma'. The most common Taiwanese dialect greeting seems to be 'lee-huh' (which is ni hao). Can some Taiwanese explain this, please?

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HashiriKata

Yonglan,

Please just say what you'd like to say and in the same way let others say what they want to say. Why do you have to see what people say as somehow directly connected to you personally and then tell them what to do? The world doesn't have to go round with you in the centre, does it? When I was writing my earlier post, I had no particular person in mind, so do take it easy!

(I'm referring to your 3rd post above this one)

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yonglan

Please look at your post again, which I've even quoted for you again. You quoted me, and only me, directly. You then proceeded to make a very condescending commentary, plainly suggesting (stating, really) that I am judging phrases that aren't common where I live. Those are common phrases where I live. You could simply say that you don't find it that way.

I think "No complaints." sounds a little depressed.

"I'm doing great" or "I'm Great" or "Great" sound *to me* a bit over the top.

Since English is the mother tongue of people in many countries and there are phrases that are common in some places but not in others. Therefore, if you're from a region where some phrases are not commonly used, you tend to look at them more analytically and literally, rather than just as part of a greeting ritual.

When I first moved to Northern Ireland (where "I'm great" and "No complaints" are very commonly used), I had the same feeling as the quoted above; but just a few years later, I always came out quite naturally with "I'm great" or "No complaints" and saw no difference between the two. On hearing either of these, if you still think it sounds funny, you're probably not part of the local community. On the other hand, you may want to use what the local people use just to identify yourself as part of them. "I'm fine, thank you" may sound then just a bit too stand-offish! The problem is of course, when you move to another country but still carry with you the same habit of saying "I'm great", you may sound a bit over the top to others.

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HashiriKata

I had my say and I suppose it's your prerogative to interpret things whichever way you choose.

Cheers,

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roddy

I didn't find Hashirikata's reply condescending. Maybe I'm not trying hard enough :conf

Roddy

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