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Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Chris (Mandarin_Student)

I think qi1zi is fine but tai4tai might be more high requency??

I had some feedback that ai4ren4 is a little old fashioned (from a Beijinger) which is a pity at it is easy to remember (literally love person) not sure about fu1ren4, I have only ever seen it in a dictionary.

Every scanned fine to me (the pinyin that is i haven't started properly with characters)

wo3 you3 san1 ge er2zi bet they keep you busy ;)


Chinese is my mother tongue though I'm only vaguely versed in it. In this case you would use qi1 zi3 or tai4 tai4. ai4 ren2 is indeed quite old fashioned and, in my impression, falling out of use. And despite living in a predominantly Chinese country, I cannot recall an instance where fu1 ren2 has been used in daily speech. The distinction between qi1 zi3 and tai4 tai4 is very small, it might even be an artificial distinction, though tai4 tai4 carries the very slight connotation of being middle-aged. I could be completely wrong about that, though - though it's for certain that either phrase is acceptable.


Go with 太太, its the most common. FYI, 老婆 (lao3po) is another common way to say wife.

Hope that helps.


tai4tai4 is the most correct term to use. It shows more affection and "closeness" than qi1zi3 does (which is a more formal word). Also, from what I know, ai4ren2 may have a different popular culture meaning... More like a "lover," meaning not one's girlfriend or wife, and not in a respectable way, either.

There is a common Chinese joke about the word tai4tai4, since it uses the same character for tai4, as in too, as in too much (i.e. tai4 gui4 le, too expensive). Basically, the joke boils down to the punch line that Chinese wives are called this because they use the word too much, in a nagging sense. Ni3 tai4 pang4 le, you're too fat! Ni3 tai4 lan3 le, you're too lazy! etc.


It depends on the situation.

夫人 fūrén - This is the most formal term and is more often used to refer to someone else's wife rather than your own.

妻子 qīzi - This is also formal and is more often used to refer to one's own wife.

太太 tàitai - As with any other Chinese words that has repeated syllables, this is an informal term and can be used to refer to one's own or someone else's wife. Generally you would only use it when conversing with people you know as it's more respectful to use 夫人 fūrén to refer to a stranger's wife.

爱人 àirén - This term was used for both husband and wife during the early communist era to stress gender equality. It is indeed a bit outdated to use to refer to one's spouse but I don't see anything wrong with using it to refer to one's "lover" as that is what it literally means.



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I think you have passed the entry level and moving to higher level, you need to stick with it and you will become bilingual one day, hopefully.

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Hi.. nice post. You have mentioned very helpful sentences for beginners. Keep it up


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