speak chinese like a native


Posted by matt_c April 7, 2009 in the Group General Discussion .

Tags: survival, Guide, business, Trade, 广交会, Canton Fair

Welcome to the ChinesePod Canton Fair survival guide, created in order to help out big/small business operators coming to China for the fair to source new suppliers.

The Guangzhou Trade Fair aka Canton Fair (广交会 guǎngjiāohuì) is coming up in mid April. The Canton Fair is the largest trade fair in China and runs over 3x4 day phases from April 15th to May 6th.

The Pack includes:

1. The Canton Fair Survival Lesson set

2. Key Trade Phrases and Vocabulary (from Business Man Peter lesson set)

3. Tips for your foray into China

4. Links to Guangzhou Wiki pages, Canton Fair Site, Metro, Maps

5. Comments/discussion where users can exchange info and links to help each other their sourcing trips.




Click on the above link to access this Survival Lesson Set (Newbie level - free content). Below is a list of the lessons in this set.


Newbie - Finding a Taxi
Newbie - Taxi Destination
Newbie - Stopping the Taxi


Newbie - Key Card
Newbie - Finding a Cheap Hostel

Ordering Food  

Newbie - Being Seated in a Restaurant
Newbie - Ordering Noodles

Buying Stuff

Newbie - Intro 6: I want to buy this one
Newbie - Too expensive!


Newbie - Months
Newbie - Days of the week
Newbie - What's tomorrow?
Newbie - Working Hours

Simple Questions

Newbie - Asking for a Phone Number

Newbie - Where's the bathroom?

Newbie - Asking for Help

Newbie - Do you have...?
Newbie – How is the weather?


Newbie - Intro 1: Good morning
Newbie - Intro 2: What's your name?
Newbie - Intro 3: Where are you from?


From our Intermediate lesson series: 'Business Man Peter'.


销售 / 銷售 / sales / xiāoshòu /

合作 / 合作 / to cooperate / hézuò /

联系 / 聯繫 / to get in touch with / liánxì /

商量 / 商量 / to discuss / shāngliang /

下单 / 下單 / to place an order / xiàdān /

发货 / 發貨 / dispatch goods for delivery / fāhuò /

成本 / 成本 / cost / chéngběn /

样品 / 樣品 / sample / yàngpǐn /

展览馆 / 展覽館 / exhibition hall / zhǎnlǎn guǎn /

交易会 / 交易會 / trade show / jiāoyìhuì /

报价单 / 報價單 / quotation form / bàojià dān /

定货量 / 定貨量 / order quantity / dìnghuò liàng /

到岸价格 / 到岸價格 / CIF (cost insurance freight) price / dào àn jiàgé /

离岸价 / líānjià 报价 /  FOB (free on board) price / also known as  船上交货价 / 船上交貨價 /chuánshàng jiāohuò jià

報價 / quote / bàojià /

空运 / 空運 to transport by air / kōngyùn /

费用 / 費用 / cost / fèiyòng /

行程 / 行程 /itinerary / xíngchéng /

往返 / 往返 roundtrip; return / wǎngfǎn /

预付款 / 預付款 / advance payment / yùfùkuǎn /

信用证 / 信用證 / letter of credit / xìnyòngzhèng /

货款 / 貨款 / payment for goods / huòkuǎn /

运输 / 運輸 / shipping / yùnshū /

标签 / 標簽/ label / biāoqiān /



Nǐmen yǒu jùtǐ de chǎnpǐn jièshào shǒucè hé bàojià dān ma?

Do you have a detailed brouchure and price list?


Wèi,shì xiāoshòu bù lǐ jīnglǐ ma?wǒ xiǎng liǎojiě yīxià huòwù de jùtǐ qíngkuàng.

Hello? Is this the Sales Manager? I would like to learn the specific details of these products.


Wǒ xiǎng wèn yīxià nǐmen zuìdī dìnghuò liàng shì duōshao?

Could you please tell me what the minimum order quantity is?


Xiànzài wǒmen gōngsī xūyào yīxiē yàngpǐn. Nǐmen kěyǐ miǎnfèi tígōng ma?háishi xūyào wǒmen fùqián?

Now our company requires some samples to examine. Are able to provide these for free, or must we pay for them ourselves?

有钱大家赚,现在不是讲究双赢吗?Peter, 今天一定要给我个面子,一起吃顿饭。

Yǒuqián dàjiā zhuàn,xiànzài bùshi jiǎngjiu shuāngyíng ma?Peter, jīntiān yīdìng yào gěi wǒ ge miànzi, yīqǐ chī dùn fàn.

Let's get rich together, nowadays everyone wants a win-win outcome. Peter, today you absolutely must give me some face and allow me to take you to dinner.

来来来,Peter, 祝我们这次合作成功,以后有更多的合作!

Lái lai lái,Peter, zhù wǒmen zhècì hézuò chénggōng, yǐhòu yǒu gèngduō de hézuò!

Come, come, come. Peter, here's to our successful partnership! Let's work together more in the future!


Xièxie lǐ jīnglǐ, ràng wǒmen wèi chénggōng gānbēi!

Thank you (Manager) Li, let us toast to success!


Nǐmen yǒu duōshao yuángōng?

How many workers do you have?


3. TIPS (please add your helpful tips in the discussion/comments section)


- Don't forget to use both your hands when giving and recieving business cards!!! (thanks @xuchen)

- Chinese people can be quite vague about details and say things that will make you feel better rather than the truth. For example, if the car ride is one hour. The driver might so 'we'll be there very fast'. They are not maliciously lying to you. It is more a reflection of our non confrontational culture.

- There tends to be a merge of business and personal relationship in China. People want to do business with the people they know and like. So there is more effort spent building it. 

- Alcohol is a key part of Chinese culture. You might be eagerly urged by your counterparts to drink. It would be good to drink a bit but if you really can't drink, simply tell them that you are concerned about health. In recent years, there is a movement towards healthier lifestyle in China. A good trick is to say you really enjoy Chinese tea and your Chinese friends might order different types of tea for you to sample.

- Stay away from illegitimate taxis. Ask the driver to run the meter if he doesn't do so.

- Buy a local SIM card from China Mobile. They are available from many street vendors or the airport.

- Canton is a bustling city, and like any bustling city around the world, there is crime. Watch your belongings, don't put your wallet in your back pocket, be alert, be safe. Be alert when taking money out of Automatic teller machines.

4. LINKS (please add your helpful links in the discussion/comments section)

For genreal information on Guangzhou:
Map of Guangzhou (Chinese)
Map of Guangzhou (English - need better resource please link to a better one if you can)

The Canton Fair Website:

Map of outside of complex:

Info on Guangzhou Metro (cheapest way to get to the fair)


Take Line 2 (Blue line headng towards Pazhou).
Get off at Xin Gang Dong 新港东 (Xīn Gǎng Dōng) station.

Change from Line 1 to Line 2 at Gongyuanqian
Change from Line 3 to Line 2 at Kecun
Change from Line 4 to Line 2 at Wanshengwei (this Line 2 is heading towards Sanyuanli)

Hotel/Flight Bookings:

CTRIP (Choose English/Chinese)
Elong (Toggle En/简体中文 top left of screen)


The discussion/comments section is the perfect place to leave you useful stories, tips, info, links etc. I'll be monitoring, and will add useful contributions to the Post itself.

Thank you.

Matt Coleman
ChinesePod Product Manager.


Comments (7) RSS

loading... Updating ...

New lesson idea? Please contact us.