Let’s be honest, not all of us are studying Chinese to join an international symposium on quantum physics or to have discussions regarding the economic situation in Shanghai. Some of us want to learn the Chinese that you won’t be taught in school; the phrases necessary to have conversations with your best mates or lover. For this blog post, we’re delving into the sexier side of Mandarin and teaching you what you need to know in order to flirt with someone at a bar and hopefully seal the deal.
Step One: Let’s hit the club!
So, this is how it begins: 这周末我没事，我们去北京玩儿吧？｜｜Xià zhōumò wǒ méi shì, wǒmen qù běijīng wánr ba? | I’m not busy this weekend. How about we have some fun in Beijing?
Your friends have suggested a weekend in Beijing and you already know the drill– this trip won’t just be about shopping and eating 北京烤鸭 | Běijīng kǎoyā | Peking Duck. There is going to be drinks, clubbing, and people on the prowl. Regardless of where you are in the world, you’re guaranteed to encounter the 色狼 | sèláng | womanizer or 花花公子| huāhuā gōngzǐ | player that’ll surely cause you some 心碎|xīn suì | heartbreak — so be on the lookout! And heartbreakers is gender-neutral: In the words of Jay-Z, “ladies is pimps too”, so be wary of the 色女| sè nǚ (femme fatale. That being said, there’s a saying that goes 女人小坏，男人疼爱｜Nǚrén xiǎo huài, nánrén téng’ài | A man loves a naughty woman).
Even though Beijing is a big city, you’re bound to run into the same night owls. With that, round one in the club usually starts with these complaints and warnings:
Oh no (damnit!)! It’s that pervert. I really don’t like him. He makes me want to throw up.
糟了！就是那个色狼。真的很讨厌他。让我想吐 | Zāole! Jiùshì nàgè sèláng. Zhēn de hěn tǎoyàn tā. Ràng wǒ xiǎng tǔ
She hooked up with my best friend shortly after we broke up. She’s very promiscuous.
她跟我分手后，快跟我好朋友搭上了。她就是个色女 | Tā gēn wǒ fēnshǒu hòu, kuài gēn wǒ hǎo péngyǒu dāshàng le. Tā jiùshì gè sè nǚ
Step Two: Target Acquired
After you’ve settled on who to stay away from, you set your sights on someone that piques your interest. Although looks can be deceiving, sometimes it’s all you have to go by. Tell your friends:
Wow! Look at that hot guy/ hot girl!
哇塞！你看那个帅哥/辣妹！| Wasāi! Nǐ kàn nàgè shuàigē/làmèi!
I wanna talk to her.
我想和她谈谈｜Wǒ xiǎng hé tā tán tán.
To which your friends will probably respond:
I know! He/she is fine!
知道啊！*倍儿棒！| Zhīdào a! Bèi er bàng!
*NOTE: 倍儿棒| Bèi er bang means really awesome, and is used in Northern China, generally in reference to the person’s body
Step Three: Flirting
Your game may be good in your mother tongue, but it is not going to be easy flirting with the opposite sex using Mandarin. These phrases may help you out though:
Do you believe in destiny?
你相信命运吗？｜Nǐ xiāngxìn mìngyùn ma?
Hi, can we be friends?
你好，可以交个朋友吗？| Nǐ hǎo, kěyǐ jiāo gè péngyǒu ma?
Note: He/She may roll their eyes. I mean come on, clearly you don’t want to just be friends.
I feel like I’ve seen you somewhere before.
我好像在那儿见过你 | Wǒ hǎoxiàng zài nǎ’er jiànguò nǐ
I like this one because it gets you thinking, “Do I actually know this person from somewhere?” You may end up talking until you think you’ll figure it out. Well done getting the conversation rolling.
None of these seem to be working for you? Well, everyone loves a good compliment. Hit ‘em with one of these:
You’re something (very) special.
你很特别 | Nǐ hěn tèbié
Are you a model?
你是模特儿吗？| Nǐ shì mótè ér ma?
Note: This one may get you a hefty eye-roll.
Want some more Mandarin pickup lines? Check out this funny video on YouTube for other ideas to help you get your flirt on: Pick-Up Lines in Mandarin
Step Four: Seal the Deal
Alright, you’ve had a go at flirting and it seems to be working in your favour. Now it’s time to take this a step further. These phrases will (hopefully) help you seal the deal:
Hello beautiful. You are so beautiful, so smart, and so curvy. Do you like red wine? I have a bottle of French red wine at my place, it’s very famous. Would you like to taste it?
你好美女。你这么漂亮，这么聪明，这么丰满. 你喜欢红葡萄酒吗? 我家有一瓶法国的红葡萄酒，很有名的。你想尝一尝吗？
Nǐ hǎo měinǚ, nǐ zhème piàoliang, zhème cōngmíng, zhème fēngmǎn. Nǐ xǐhuān hóng pútáojiǔ ma? Wǒjiā yǒuyī píng fàguó de hóng pútáojiǔ, hěn yǒumíng de. Nǐ xiǎng cháng yī cháng ma?
Honestly, after a line like that, how could one resist?
Let’s go to dinner, my treat.
一起吃饭，我请客 | Yīqǐ chīfàn, wǒ qǐngkè
Your friends see you trying and failing, so they mention:
If you feel there’s a spark (between you two), why don’t you just give that hottie your phone number?
如果你感觉来电，就给那个帅哥你的电话号码吧？| Rúguǒ nǐ gǎnjué láidiàn, jiù gěi nàgè shuàigē nǐ de diànhuà hàomǎ ba?
*Note: 来电 | láidiàn literally means incoming call, but it’s also slang for ‘a romantic spark’ or ‘attraction to someone’.
Step Five: Walk of Shame… or Success!
It’s the morning after and you’ve either been dealt a sorrowful rejection of are gearing up for a walk of shame (or success!) These phrases will cover these three situations:
I asked him/her out for a bite, but she refused.
我请她去吃饭，但是她被我拒絕了 | Wǒ qǐng tā qù chīfàn, dànshì tā bèi wǒ jùjuéle
Walk of Shame
In the club he/she was awesome, the next day he/she just seems vacuous.
在酒吧她好像很棒，第二天她就像一个花瓶。| Zài jiǔbā tā hǎoxiàng hěn bàng, dì èr tiān tā jiù xiàng yīgè huāpíng.
He and I are going on a date to a restaurant tomorrow.
我和他约会好了，明天去饭店 | Wǒ hé tā yuēhuì hǎole, míngtiān qù fàndiàn.
I have a date with him/her next Saturday.
我下个星期六跟她有个约会。Wǒ xià gè xīngqí liù gēn tā yǒu gè yuēhuì.
Alright we have walked you through the four steps of getting lucky at the bar. But wait! There’s one more thing: never forget who will always have your back.
Once you find a boyfriend/girlfriend, you forget your friends.
有异性，没人性 | Yǒu yìxìng, méi rénxìng.
Note: this phrase literally means that when you date someone of the opposite gender, you lose your humanity. Can you say dramatic?!
I hope you learned a little something that will help you break the ice with that hottie. There are more pickup lines out there, and you can always change the words around to suit your personal style. Try some out and see what happens. Good luck!
Would you like to learn other phrases to keep the conversation going? Take advantage of our exclusive ChinesePod blog offer by clicking the button below!
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