How to Express Encouragement and Congratulations in Chinese

Impress and Move your Friends; Encouragement and Congratulations in Chinese (not just Jiayou!)

Building and maintaining social relationships is an important part of Chinese culture.

And in order to maintain a relationship, you’re going to want to show some encouragement and congratulations to your new Chinese friends, workmates, and colleagues!

Sometimes, though, Chinese you get from a textbook doesn’t quite cut it. Is it fitting for the occasion? Do people actually say it? What really fits here?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Chapter 1 – Guanxi & Mianzi, Why They Matter

Chapter 2 – Encouragement in Chinese

Chapter 3 – Congratulations in Chinese

BONUS – Take Our Quiz

Chapter 5 FAQs


Guanxi & Mianzi

Have you ever heard of 关系 (guān xì)?

“Guanxi” – one of the most important cultural and social concepts in China.

Translating literally to “relationship” it also refers to personal connections and social network.

Guanxi 关系 is a major societal concept in the Chinese culture, and having good or bad guanxi can influence your ability to get things done.

How to get “good guanxi” you might ask?

It is in fact very easy…

Well, it all comes down to meeting people, getting along, make friends, keep the relationship going, help each other out and most importantly: give face.

“Give face” … whaaaat is that?

Losing, gaining, giving face is another cultural concept one MUST know when in China.

In Chinese, the “face” concept is called 面子 (miàn zi) and is a rather complex aspect of the culture.

But to put it simple, it refers to one’s dignity.

“Face” – another complex Chinese cultural concept

Never, never make a Chinese person lose face, meaning do not make them feel humiliated or make them lose respect from others in any way.

Basically, losing face is equal to public disgrace, a very, very dreadful thing in China.

So if you can lose face, it would make sense to also be able to gain face as well, right?

Indeed dear readers, people congratulating you for an achievement, giving compliments, praising you, and encouraging you to succeed in any area of your life IS them making you gain face.

Basically, anything that can make you appear more successful, proud and respected in the eyes of society.

And if you can gain face, you can also give.

Now that you have a better understanding of 关系 and 面子, you can also give face to your Chinese friends, get good guanxi and strengthen your relationships.

The best way and easiest way to start would be to congratulate them or giving encouragement.

There are a number of occasions in China when offering someone warm encouragements or special wishes is not only recommended but may be seen as an essential way to maintain and strengthen personal and professional relationships.

Coming next in this blog post, the essential expressions of encouragement and congratulations in Chinese.

Not feeling so positive? Let your anger out with these!

Expressions of Encouragement in Chinese

  • 加油!jiāyóu – Come on!
  • 你行的!nǐ xíng de – You can do it!
  • 相信你自己! xiāngxìn nǐ zìjǐ – Believe in yourself!
  • 不要放弃!bù yào fàng qì – Don’t give up!
  • 不要灰心! bùyào huīxīn – Don’t lose heart!
  • 慢慢来! màn man lái – Take your time!
  • 你可以的! nǐ kěyǐ de – You can do it!
  • 我相信你可以的!wǒ xiāngxìn nǐ kěyǐ de – I believe you can do it
  • 坚持下去!jiānchí xiàqù – Keep it up!
  • 不错的尝试!bù cuò de cháng shì – Nice try!

And now that you know how to encourage someone in Chinese, once the goal is been achieved, you might need to express your congratulations in Chinese.


Congratulations in Chinese

If the person you are congratulating just got promoted, graduated or passed a test or got married, or had a baby, an appropriate way to express your happiness for his/her achievement is 恭喜!

恭喜!gōng xǐ – Congratulations!

Other ways to congratulate people are:

  • 恭喜你!gōng xǐ nǐ – Congratulations to you!
  • 我都替你高兴!wǒ dōu tì nǐ gāo xìng – I’m happy for you!
  • 我真为你高兴!wǒ zhēn wèi nǐ gāoxìng – I am so happy for you!
  • 干得好!gàn dé hǎo!- Well done!
  • 太棒了!tài bàng le!- Excellent!
  • 你真棒!nǐ zhēn bàng – You are awesome!
  • 了不起!liǎo bù qǐ!- Amazing!
  • 你太厉害了!tài lì hai le – You are so great!

And for specific occasions…

  • 向你取得的成绩表示祝贺!xiàng nǐ qǔdé de chéngjī biǎoshì zhùhè! – Congratulations on your achievements!
  • 祝贺你获得一个这么好的机会!zhù hè nǐ huò dé yī gè zhè me hǎo de jī huì – Congratulations on this amazing opportunity!
  • 我恭喜你毕业了! wǒ gōngxǐ nǐ bìyèle or 毕业快乐!/bìyè kuàilè – Congratulations on your graduation!
  • 恭喜您获得这个工作!gōngxǐ nín huòdé zhège gōngzuò – Congratulations on your new job!
  • 开业大吉!kāi yè dà jí or 开张大吉!kāi zhāng dà jí – Good luck in your new business!
  • 祝你新婚愉快!zhù nǐ xīn hūn yú kuài – Congratulations on your marriage!
  • 祝你结婚周年快乐!zhù nǐ jié hūn zhōu nián kuài lè – Congratulations on your wedding anniversary!
Congratulations in Chinese

There we have it. Lots of useful words to help those positive vibes flow.

Did you find this article useful? Or perhaps we missed out some obvious inclusions?

Why not drop us a comment below with your thought…

Encouragement and Congratulations – QUIZ

This quiz is no longer available.

Encouragement and Congratulations in Chinese – FAQs

What is Guanxi in China?

关系 (guān xì), translating by “relationships” refers to one’s personal connections and social network. Having “good guanxi” is extremely important in the Chinese culture, since it can influence your ability to get things done.

What is Losing Face?

Losing face in the Chinese culture is one of the most dreadful thing that could happen to someone. The “face” refers to one’s dignity, losing face in public is a great humiliation and also means losing other’s respect. You can lose face but also gain face, if someone praises you for example. Likewise, you can give face by giving compliments, congratulate or encourage people.

Why is offering encouragements and congratulations important in China?

Offering encouragement and congratulate people during big events of their life such as a wedding, graduation, the birth of a child strongly strengthen relationships and maintain a good guanxi in your personal as well a professional network.

How to say Congratulations in Chinese?

Congratulations in Chinese is 恭喜!gōng xǐ.

How to say Well Done in Chinese?

Well done in Chinese can be said 干得好!gàn dé hǎo.

How to say Believe in Yourself in Chinese?

Believe in yourself in Chinese is 相信你自己! xiāngxìn nǐ zìjǐ.

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    Alexander Krasnov , Student Advisor

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