9 Ways To Say Happy New Year in Chinese
Are you confused with all the different Chinese greetings you receive during Chinese New Year? Hopefully, this article will help provide the necessary clarification.
Kung Hei Fat Choi, which is also spelled as Gong Hei Fat Choy, used to be the most common Chinese New Year greeting for me. I thought it meant “happy new year.” After some research, I found out that this phrase actually meant “wishing you great happiness and prosperity” or “congratulations and be prosperous.”
But a few weeks ago, I saw Gong Xi Fa Cai printed on posters in a hotel lobby. This week, I received an email with the subject “Kiong Hee Huat Tsai.” I know the two greetings were related to Chinese New Year events.
So what’s the diff?
Apparently, the three mean the same thing. Kung Hei Fat Choi is Cantonese which is very common in Hong Kong. Gong Xi Fa Cai is Mandarin, and Mandarin is the official language in China. Kiong Hee Huat Tsai is Hokkien, which is spoken by a lot of Filipino-Chinese, including my grandparents and great grandparents. It seems that a lot of the Filipino-Chinese here in Manila (and maybe in other parts of the country as well) are descendants of Chinese migrants from Amoy, also known as Xiamen, which is a sub-provincial city in southeastern Fujian Province, China.
Here are nine ways to say Happy Chinese New Year.
恭喜发财 WISHING YOU GREAT HAPPINESS AND PROSPERITY
1. Cantonese: Kung Hei Fat Choi or Gong Hei Fat Choy
2. Mandarin: Gong Xi Fa Cai or Gōng Xǐ Fā Cái
3. Hokkien: Kiong Hee Huat Tsai or Kiong-hí Huat-câi
新年好 HAPPY NEW YEAR (casual)
This is the closest direct translation of happy new year and often spoken to close friends. This is the popular and casual way of saying happy new year in Chinese.
4. Cantonese: San Nin Hou (Jyutping: san1 nin4 hou2)
5. Mandarin: Xin Nian Hao or Xīn Nián hǎo
6. Hokkien: Sin Ni Ho or Sin Nî Hó
新年快乐 HAPPY NEW YEAR (formal)
This is the formal way of saying happy new year, especially when greeting elders, new acquaintances or strangers.
7. Cantonese: Sun Nin Fai Lok (Jyutping: san1 nin4 faai3 lok6)
8. Mandarin: Xin Nian Kuai Le or Xīnnián Kuàilè
9. Hokkien: Sin Ni Kuai Lok or Sin-nî Khoài-lo̍k
Giles is with me in the YouTube video below to help you pronounce the nine Chinese New Year greetings.
Thanks for reading this article and I hope it helped. If it’s okay, please subscribe to my YouTube Channel: youtube.com/c/carlolorenzo .
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