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Dawei3

How do you express that it was nice to meet someone?

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Dawei3

 I’m asking this question because there are different opinions on when to use 很高兴认识你/hen gaoxing renshi ni.

 

The comment section on John Pasden’s Sinoplice briefly discussed this.  One commenter implies you should never use “hen gaoxing renshi ni and several suggest using only 幸会 (xing hui). http://www.sinosplice.com/life/archives/2011/09/29/a-greeting-with-training-wheels

 

However, the 3 Chinese friends I’ve asked so far disagree.  They use hen gaoxing renshi ni AND xing hui xing hui.  They noted that xing hui xing hui is slightly more formal.  They noted the most formal is jiu yang da ming 久仰大名 or jiu yang jiu yang.

 

Pleco gives an expressive definition of jiu yang:  “Polite expression.  I’ve heard about you for a long time. Or I’ve long been looking forward to meeting you.  Or I’m very pleased to meet you.” 

 

In discussing this with Chinese friends, I realized we tend to convey the above in American English with variations in the intonation of “nice to meet you.” 

1) When you initially meet someone who isn’t important, “nice to meet you” can be said casually without any word emphasis (and mean very little).

2)  When you meet someone who is important or someone you’ve been wanting to meet , you can say it with stronger emphasis & feeling and possibly with an extra word "It is SO nice to meet you."

3) Similarly, when you are leaving a meeting or situation in which you made a nice connection with someone, you can warmly say “It was NICE to meet you.” 

 

In a previous discussion on Chinese-forums, it was recommended the best approach for answering these kinds of questions is to listen to others.  I agree.  However, I value your perspectives as well.  What do you hear?  What do people use with you?  How do people tell you they we happy to meet you?   And what do you say to them?

 

(I wrote much of the above with pinyin since this is a phrase likely familiar to new learners). 

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VocabSplitter

I am trying my best to answer. It's only from my personal opinion:

 

1 hour ago, Dawei3 said:

1) When you initially meet someone who isn’t important, “nice to meet you” can be said casually without any word emphasis (and mean very little).

To express that, we can just say "你好!“.

 

1 hour ago, Dawei3 said:

2)  When you meet someone who is important or someone you’ve been wanting to meet , you can say it with stronger emphasis & feeling and possibly with an extra word "It is SO nice to meet you."

We can say "很早就想认识你了,今天终于见到了!"

 

1 hour ago, Dawei3 said:

3) Similarly, when you are leaving a meeting or situation in which you made a nice connection with someone, you can warmly say “It was NICE to meet you.” 

We can say "今天能认识你,真是太好了!"

 

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imron
1 hour ago, Dawei3 said:

What do you hear?

A double 你好 e.g. 你好你好

 

1 hour ago, Dawei3 said:

 And what do you say to them?

The same double 你好 because I try to use what I hear other people use.

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abcdefg
3 hours ago, Dawei3 said:

In a previous discussion on Chinese-forums, it was recommended the best approach for answering these kinds of questions is to listen to others.  I agree.  However, I value your perspectives as well.  What do you hear?  What do people use with you?  How do people tell you they we happy to meet you?   And what do you say to them?

 

Learn one way and use it a lot. Over time refine when and how you use it. Over time learn other ways to say the same thing. 

 

My suggestion is to make the simplest and most common way the one you start with. (很高兴认识你。) 

 

If you overthink it at the outset, you will get stuck being one of those people who knows a whole lot but cannot carry on a simple conversation. 

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Dawei3

After posting the above, I asked a friend from Dali who lives in Beijing.  She's very eloquent.   When I asked her about the different words, she pointed out that different regions can have different traditions in terms of what they say. 

 

In regards to her, she laughed and said she ALWAYS uses 很高兴认识你。I asked her about 幸会 and she said it was too cold, too formal (despite that she works in a professional setting).  However, she noted that teachers always teach "foreign friends" to say 幸会.  And that Chinese will be happy with whatever a foreign friend says 哈哈。 She's a warm friendly person, so her word choice in part reflects this.  (her use of  the term "foreign friends" when speaking English makes me laugh).  

 

Thanks to your post above.  I'm very comfortable using 很高兴认识你。The posts gave me some new ideas on what to say.  In particular, Vocabsplitter gave me some new things to think about.  

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DavyJonesLocker
3 hours ago, abcdefg said:

If you overthink it at the outset, you will get stuck being one of those people who knows a whole lot but cannot carry on a simple conversation. 

 

This is  very good point, you need to cement in a default repsonse and over time the more natural ways will creep in automatically

 

I always used to use 认识你很高兴 but now its more 你好, hi etc  depending in the formality of the situation,  

 

A hard part when learning appropiate responses is trying to decifer what is appropiate behaviour and language for them and for us. You often see fairwells at a train station or airport whereby to foreigners it may seem a little stuffy or awkward. A pretty standard good bye might be just 嗯 ... 拜拜 and just walk away, even with very close relationships. A hug good bye  is a rare sight when comparing to south Europe. Its usually cautiously patting in the arm or hand here. Of course I am broadly speaking  here but a kiss on each cheek like the french would be very embarressing for many

 

“”One commenter implies you should never use “hen gaoxing renshi ni and several suggest using only 幸会 (xinghui). http://www.sinosplice.com/life/archives/2011/09/29/a-greeting-with-training-wheels"

 

 

this I don't agree with, several chinese have said that to me (including at a new years dinner a few days ago) however I would add  that its not as common as we foreigners might assume it is. Just my limited experience. Actually on this point I have never heard once any Chinese every saying 马马虎虎, so how foreigners managed to pick that up I am not quite sure)

 

Edited by DavyJonesLocker
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