Learning Chinese is tough for a lot of reasons.
Pinyin doesn’t sound the way you expect it to.
Failure to use accurate tones can derail a conversation at any moment.
And don’t get me started on Chinese characters.
On top of that, we still have to do learn vocab like anyone learning any other language.
Here’s a simple hack for learning vocab faster: themed Chinese vocabulary word lists.
Why Chinese Vocabulary Word Lists?
A themed Chinese vocab word list is basically a list of words about a certain theme, along with their English translation. Themed Chinese vocab lists can be extremely powerful because:
- you immediately understand the word through the context
- your understanding of words is strengthened through their connection to other words in the list
In fact, FluentU as a language learning program offers many audios, videos and flashcard decks to help you learn vocabulary related to a variety of topics.
FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
Further, we’ve written a lot of such vocabulary list posts, and we’ve consolidated them all here for your convenience.
As we continue to write more posts, we’ll keep adding them here as well.
Hope you enjoy! Now, without further ado…
The Ultimate List of Chinese Vocabulary Word Lists
Common Words and Phrases You’ll Use Every Day
6 Ways to Say Hello in Chinese Like A Native
Did you know that “nǐ hǎo” is actually not how people usually say hello in Mandarin Chinese? Here are 6 ways that Chinese people actually do say hello.
9 Useful Ways to Say Goodbye in Chinese
Learn how to say goodbye in Chinese. Beginners and advanced learners alike will find new, useful ways to say goodbye in Chinese.
5 Ways to Say “Excuse Me” in Chinese
Learn 5 Ways to Say “Excuse Me” in Chinese. Even if you’re an intermediate learner, you may be surprised to discover something new!
6 Classy Ways to Say Thank You in Chinese for Any Situation
Thank you in Chinese is as simple as saying 谢谢 (xiè xiè) and bowing. Or is it? Click here to master 6 important different ways to say “thank you” in Chinese in a…
Apology Accepted: 6 Ways to Say Sorry in Mandarin Chinese (and 4 Ways to Respond)
Arm yourself against accidental cultural faux pas with six ways to say sorry in Chinese. Learn when to use which phrase and how to respond when you’re the recipient of the…
Beyond the Basics: All the Different Ways to Say “And” in Chinese
和 (hé) might be your go-to translation for “and,” but did you know that there’s more than one way to express “and” in Chinese? Find out all the different ways to say…
Just Say No! How to Say No in Chinese
Saying no in Chinese is harder than English. Here’s how to say no in Chinese in a variety of contexts and situations.
Congratulations in Chinese: How to Shower Praise like a Supportive Native Speaker
Learning how to say congratulations in Chinese is a simple, yet important lesson. Offering praise, encouragement and support for others is a part of daily life, especially…
30 Ways to Wish Someone Success and Good Luck in Chinese
Tests, weddings, new jobs… there are so many occasions to wish "good luck." In Chinese, there are different ways for each one. Here are 30 you need to know.
To Have or Have Not? The Ultimate Guide to Mei You (没有) in Chinese
You might have learned that 不 (bù) means “no” in Chinese. But how do you say that you haven’t or didn’t yet do something? You’ll need 没有 (méi yǒu). Learn how and…
How’s the Weather? 20+ Chinese Weather Words and Phrases You Need to Know
These Chinese weather words, phrases and questions are your key to opening a conversation with any native Mandarin speaker.
Feel It Out! 20 Chinese Feelings and How to Express Those Emotions Like a Native Speaker
Learn to express your English feelings as Chinese feelings in this sentimental guide to emotions. Aside from learning 20 new words for both positive and negative emotions,…
33 Everyday Chinese Phrases That You Need To Know
Knowing these 33 everyday Chinese words and phrases will put you well on your way to making great friends and lasting memories while on your trip!
The Survivor’s Backpocket List of Useful Chinese Phrases to Start Any Conversation
Are you a smooth-talking social butterfly or a total introvert? Either way, these great Mandarin Chinese phrases are super useful for starting any conversation.
250+ Useful Chinese Words to Survive and Thrive in Chinese-speaking Countries
These 250+ Chinese vocabulary words are the most useful, practical ones to learn first, whether you’re starting to learn Mandarin Chinese or preparing for an upcoming…
Core Vocabulary: Words Everyone Should Know
Shades of Chinese: The Mega List of 100+ Chinese Colors, Colorful Idioms and Cultural Notes
What’s your favorite color? Your favorite shade? Talk about any shade of any color with this Mandarin Chinese mega list of diverse, vibrant color vocabulary.
Beyond the Farm: 50 Symbolic Animals in Chinese
Go beyond just learning the names of animals in Chinese and learn all the fascinating symbolism that the Chinese people have attached to dozens of animals. This list of 50…
Body Parts in Chinese: A Holistic List of Over 60 Essential Body-related Words
Let’s go beyond head, shoulders, knees and toes! This definitive list of over 60 words for body parts in Chinese will take your vocabulary from preschool level to full-on…
The 4 Seasons in Chinese: The Words and Weather You Need to Know
Learn the seasons in Chinese, and discover important Chinese vocabulary associated with each one. We’ve also included a year-round guide to the weather in China and will…
20 Vegetables in Chinese for the Vocabulary-hungry Learner
We’re serving up 20 delicious vegetables in Chinese for learners who are looking to add some essential vocab to their diet! Learn how to say the most common vegetables in…
Chinese Numbers: A No-nonsense Guide to Counting from 1 to 1,000 and Beyond!
Are Chinese numbers giving you a headache? Check out this simple guide to counting in Chinese, which includes Chinese numbers zero to a billion, as well as tips for…
Beyond the Basics: How to Tell Time in Mandarin Chinese Like a True Native
Wondering how to tell time in Mandarin Chinese? We’ve got you covered round the clock. Day or night, you’ll know how to read the clock, tell the time and more!
TGIF! Counting Down the Days of the Week in Chinese
Curious about how to say the days of the week in Chinese? We’ll teach you all three ways to say the days in Chinese (including how to pronounce them!), as well as…
Save the Date! Learn the Months in Chinese and Discover Chinese Holidays
Discover the months in Chinese, and learn about Chinese holidays! We’ll also teach you about the Chinese lunar calendar, as well as how to talk about dates in Chinese.…
50+ Essential Chinese Medical Terms for When You’re Feeling Under the Weather
A hospital is a scary place. It’s even worse when you don’t speak the language. Learn these 50+ Chinese medical terms and you’ll feel a little better about your next…
Who’s Who in a Chinese Family? 38 Vocab Words for Learners
Family is one of the first subjects Chinese learners should be fluent in! Here are 38 essential vocab words for navigating family and friend relationships.
The Ultimate Vocabulary Guide to Family Introductions in Chinese
Are you introducing your Chinese friend to your family? Or maybe you’re meeting your Chinese friend’s parents. Here are all the vocab and phrases you need for family…
Pastime Paradise: Discuss Your Hobbies in Chinese with 20+ Words and Phrases!
Learn how to talk about your hobbies in Chinese with this list of 20 common vocabulary words for various pastimes and interests. Plus, we’ll teach you some Chinese words…
The Ultimate Chinese Vocabulary List For Soccer/Football & the World Cup
Learning Chinese and love soccer/football? Look no further – here’s the ultimate guide to Chinese vocabulary for football/soccer & the World Cup.
Fun in the Sun: Common Chinese Phrases for Summer Activities
Summer is an excellent time of year to travel China and learn Chinese. Everyone’s outside having fun, and you can be too! Learn these awesome Chinese phrases.
Doing Business: Formal Words for Business Interactions
Business Chinese Vocabulary List: Job titles and positions
For you business moguls out there, our business Chinese vocabulary list covers job titles and positions. You’ve come to the right place.
Business Chinese Vocabulary List: Foreign Companies in Chinese
Are you looking for a business Chinese vocabulary list for foreign companies in Chinese? You’ve come to the right place.
Business Chinese Vocabulary Word List: Email Lingo
Looking for a business Chinese vocabulary word list about email? Our post has you covered.
The Business Chinese Vocabulary List for Consultants
Do you know how to say “online marketing” in Mandarin Chinese? Our business Chinese vocabulary list for consultants has you covered – enjoy!
Suit and Tie Chinese: 26 Essential Chinese Vocabulary Words You Need for Business
Chinese is a must-have language for international business. Learn these 26 important and practical Chinese vocabulary words today!
Cha-ching! Money in Chinese and How to Talk About It
Money is an integral part of our lives, therefore it only makes sense to learn how to talk about money in Chinese. Your pocketbook will be full of practical money…
How You Doin’? Chinese Slang for All Occasions
Chinese Euphemisms: The Advanced Phrases You Need for Smooth Sailing Through 15 Delicate Topics
Want to show cultural sensitivity when talking about delicate topics in Chinese? Here are the advanced phrases you’ll need for the most important euphemisms!
The Beginner’s Guide to Chinese Internet Slang
Want to chat online like Chinese natives? Here’s your complete beginner’s guide to Chinese internet slang!
Inside the Weird World of Chinese Number Slang
Chinese number slang is a major part of Chinese internet slang, so it’s worth any Mandarin learner’s time. Check out our guide to become proficient in numbers!
12 Essential American Slang in Mandarin Chinese
Want to talk like a native by learning some Mandarin Chinese slang? Here are 12 essential American slang terms and their Mandarin Chinese counterparts!
15 Cool Mandarin Slang Words for the Beginning Chinese Learner
Think you’re not advanced enough for Mandarin slang? Think again! Here are 15 cool Chinese slang words that beginners will love learning!
Eat, Drink and Be Merry: Food and Drink Vocab
Chinese Food Vocabulary: 15 Famous Dimsum Dishes You Oughta Know
Are you learning some Chinese food vocabulary? Check out these 15 famous dimsum dishes that you should know!
Bottoms Up! A Chinese Vocabulary Word List for Alcoholics
Want to really impress your Chinese friends? Next time you go out, order a mojito in Mandarin Chinese. Our Chinese Vocabulary Word List is just what you need.
The Essential Chinese Vocabulary Word List for Drinks
To make sure you’re never thirsty in China, we’ve put together a comprehensive Chinese vocabulary word list for drinks and beverages.
Top 5 Phrases Used While Wining and Dining
We all know the simple 干杯 and 买单. However, the next time you out with a bunch of Chinese friends, try these top 5 phrases that come in handy during eating. You…
Chinese Food Vocabulary Word List – Shanghai Cuisine
Chinese vocabulary word list for Shanghai cuisine and other Chinese food. Read on for definitions, pronunciations, and PICTURES of every dish!
Food Me! The Most Important Chinese Restaurant Phrases for Hungry Students
Our key Chinese restaurant phrases will help you eat your way through China, from street food to fine dining. Order, eat and pay like a native Chinese speaker!
How to Order Coffee in Chinese Like a Local
Want that caffeine fix quick? Better learn how to order coffee in Chinese like the locals do. Here’s your guide to ordering drinks, sizes, add-ons and more.
How to Order Food in Mandarin and Never Go Hungry Again!
Need to learn how to order food in Mandarin? We’ve got you covered with this thorough 5-step guide to Chinese restaurant paradise!
A Saying for Every Occasion: Useful Chinese Idioms and Proverbs
Chinese Idioms Like a Boss: 15 Common and Useful Chinese Idioms
Do Chengyu, aka Chinese idioms have you stumped? Our post on Chinese idioms will have you using them like a boss in no time.
Play It Cool with Chengyu: 10 Slick Chinese Idioms You Oughta Know
Want to learn some chengyu, which are Chinese idioms made of four characters? Here are 10 useful chengyu that you should know!
10 Inspiring Chinese Proverbs for Chinese Learners
Want to learn about Chinese proverbs? Here are detailed explanations of 10 Chinese proverbs that will inspire you.
15 Chinese Proverbs About Love for the Romantic Learner
Discover the meanings behind 15 Chinese proverbs about love and romance while adding some new words to your vocabulary list. We’ll break down both the literal and…
9 Funny Chinese Words and Phrases You’ve Gotta Learn
Want to hear some hilarious Mandarin expressions? These 9 funny Chinese slang words and phrases will help you achieve fluency faster!
7 Awesome Chinese Idioms with Dragons
Do you know what the dragon symbolizes for Chinese people? Learn that and more with our 7 awesome Chinese idioms with dragons.
Play n’ Chill: Learn Chinese Phrases for All Your Weekend Plans
Do you have plans for the weekend yet? Learn these Mandarin Chinese phrases for eating, drinking, partying, shopping, dating and hanging out with friends!
Let’s Hit the Mall: Shopping Vocabulary
15 Essential Mandarin Chinese Phrases for Shopping in China
Going shopping in China? For the best bargains, arm yourself with these must-know Mandarin Chinese shopping phrases!
15 Chinese Brand Names That Smart Shoppers Must Know
Many international brands have entered the Chinese market—and succeeded. Here’s how they’ve translated their brand names into powerful Chinese names. Cool!
Ultimate Chinese Vocabulary Word List for Clothing
Do you know how to say “pants” in Chinese? How about “cufflinks”? If you’re curious, we’ve got that and more in this Chinese vocabulary word list for clothing
Celebrations Galore: Words for Holidays and Special Occasions
Top 8 Valentine’s Day Phrases List
Well, whether all these hearts, chocolate and flowers are making you smile and excited or ready to curl into bed with some ice cream, you can’t be caught without these…
14 Chinese Words and Phrases for Valentine’s Day Using the Word Heart
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, here are 14 useful Chinese vocabulary words and phrases using the word “heart”!
Top 10 Chinese Vocabulary Words for the Ghost Month
Do you know about the Chinese ghost month? Here are 10 Chinese vocabulary words about the ghost month, which is the seventh month of the lunar calendar.
Top 8 Words for Qingming Festival, the Tomb Sweeping Holiday in China
The Tomb Sweeping Qingming Festival is one of the biggest holidays in China! Learn the top 8 vocabulary words for the Qingming Festival.
Giving Thanks with Thanksgiving Vocab
Lunar New Year Phrases
Essential Chinese New Year Traditions and 25 Fun Chinese New Year Greetings
Chinese New Year vocabulary, traditions and greetings all in one place! Learn these 25 greetings and customs that go along with them.
Western New Years and Christmas Cheer
Chinese vocab word list | Christmas and New Year’s
Complete Chinese vocab word list for Christmas and New Year’s – everything from Santa to eggnog! Just one of our many Chinese vocabulary word lists!
8 Christmas Words For Your List
You can’t have Christmas without knowing these phrases. Grab some eggnog, here goes!
Merry Christmas and More! 10 Warm Chinese Christmas Greetings and Traditions
Learn 10 of the most popular Chinese Christmas greetings and traditions (cultural context included), and prepare to spread holiday cheer through Chinese language and…
More Causes for Celebration
8 Must-know Phrases for Chinese Father’s Day
Want to celebrate Father’s Day in China? The celebrations are a bit different, so here are 8 handy Chinese phrases that’ll make the day a success!
Chinese Birthdays 101: “Happy Birthday” in Mandarin and More
Need to learn “happy birthday” in Mandarin Chinese? We’ll cover that, the birthday song and everything else you need to save yourself from being a b-day fool!
Getting Around: Hot Words for Transportation and Travel
15 Useful Chinese Travel Phrases Every Traveler Should Learn
Are you traveling to China? Here are 15 useful Chinese travel phrases you should know!
30 Chinese Travel Phrases for Going There and Back Again
These 30 Chinese travel phrases are perfect for giving and receiving directions. Get help from any native Chinese speaker you meet with this essential list.
Directions in Chinese: The Ultimate Vocabulary Road Map to Find Your Way
Learn how to find your way by asking for directions in Chinese. We’ve put together a complete vocabulary road map to help you navigate like a local and improve your…
Phrases for Relationships, Romance and Love
The Subtle Art of the Mandarin Chinese Pick Up Line
Mandarin Chinese pick up lines don’t really exist. Instead, picking someone up in Chinese is a subtle, delicate art. Here’s how to do pick up lines in Chinese.
Love Beyond Language Barriers: How to Flirt in Chinese
A language barrier can be most frustrating when you’re trying to cross it for love. Here are 20+ phrases plus key cultural context for flirting in Chinese.
Silly Melon! A Charming Guide to Chinese Terms of Endearment
Use Chinese terms of endearment to feel closer to Chinese speakers! Here are some sweet, interesting and downright silly nicknames to show someone you care.
“I Love You” in Mandarin + Why You Might Not Want to Say It (Necessarily)
Saying “I love you” in Mandarin may be more complicated than you think. Here’s how to say it directly, and 4 recommended alternatives for showing your feelings.
Chinese Vocabulary | Responding to compliments
If you speak Chinese and have been to China, you probably know that Chinese people love to compliment foreigners on their Chinese. Next time you get complimented, instead…
More Useful Chinese Vocabulary!
13 Beautiful Chinese Words with Fascinating Hidden Meanings
Learn 13 beautiful Chinese words with unexpected origins! When you break down the characters of these simple Chinese words, you’ll find surprising and beautiful hidden…
The Hardest Chinese Words to Pronounce and How to Master Them
Sun, skirt, taxi… These words may be simple in English, but translated into Chinese, they’re some of the most difficult words for beginners to pronounce! Here are the 10…
Surprise! 27 Chinese Words Used in English That You Already Know
Chinese has influenced English quite a bit! From dog breeds to delicious food items, you’ll find Chinese everywhere in modern English.
22 Chinese Animal Sounds You’ve Gotta Try Saying
Do you know how to bark in Chinese? Here are 22 Chinese animal sounds you’ll love learning and saying!
10 Common Types of Chinese Onomatopoeia You’ll Love Saying
Zing! Boom! Tic toc! Can you buzz and tweet in Chinese? Here are 10 main types of Chinese onomatopoeia that you’ll have fun saying!
10 Major Mandarin Measure Words for Confident Counting in Chinese
Cigarettes. Pants. People. Beers. Learn how to count anything correctly in Mandarin by using the right measure words.