Speaking Chinese at Work

Thanks to the global nature of many Chinese businesses today, speaking Chinese at work is quickly becoming a primary reason for people to learn Chinese. Whether you’re looking for a job in a Chinese-language location or just need to talk with coworkers there, you'll need to know some key words and phrases to help ease your way.

Equipment and supplies

Use the following words to describe typical office equipment and supplies.

bĭ (pen)
qiānbĭ (pencil)
zhuōzi (desk)
yĭzi (chair)
diànnăo (computer)
bàngōngshĭ (office)
bĭjìbĕn (notebook)
wăngzhàn (Web site)
wăngzhĭ (Web address)
diànzĭxinxiāng (e‑mail address)

Setting up meetings

You’ll need to know the following words when scheduling meetings.

yuēdìng (appointment)
fùjiàn (attachment)
huìyì (conference; meeting)
qīxiàn (deadline)
diànzĭyóujiàn (e‑mail)
tăolùn (to discuss)
jiĕjué (to solve)
xiūlĭ (to fix)

People at work

There are many ways to refer to other people you work with. One of the most common is by job title. The following words will come in handy in most business settings.

jīnglĭ (manager)
lăobăn (boss)
tóngshì (colleague)
mìshū (secretary)

Useful phrases

Try putting some of these terms together into some phrases that might come in handy at the office.

  • wŏ hé Zhāng yīsheng yuēdìng zài sāndiăn jiàn. (I have a 3:00 appointment with Dr. Zhang.)

  • qĭng shāo dĕng. (Wait here, please. [Formal])

  • qĭng zài zhèr dĕng. (Wait here, please. [Informal])

  • wŏmen liăngdiăn yào kāi yí gè diànhuà huìyì. (We’re going to have a conference call at 2 o’clock.)

  • huìyìshĭ zài nălĭ? (Where is the conference room?)

  • wŏ kĕyĭ jiè nĭde bĭ hé bĭjìbĕn ma? (May I borrow a pen and notebook?)

  • wŏmen kĕyĭ qĭng shìchăngbù zuò yí gè guănggào ma? (Can we have marketing create the ad?)

  • zhè tái dăyìnjī huàile. (The printer isn’t working.)

  • gĕi wŏ fā yì fēng diànzĭyóujiàn. (Send me an e-mail.)

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