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Podcast:Do You Really Understand What Chinese People Say?


A foreign friend said to me the other day, “Chinese is too difficult!” However, I would tell you that what is really difficult is not learning Chinese but getting along with Chinese people. Learning Chinese will be just a piece of cake, as long as you can really understand what Chinese people say.



Today, I’d like to present you a word that is frequently used by Chinese people.


Suàn le


Forget it


在中国人口中,算了只是一句“Forget it”这么简单吗?


Is “算了” simply equivalent to “Forget it”?



It may imply the following connotation:


1. Never mind!

   A : Bù hǎo yì siwǒ wàng jì bǎ nǐ de zá zhì huán gěi nǐ le

E.g. A:不好意思,我忘记把你的杂志还给你了!

        Sorry, I have forgot to give the magazine back to you.

   B: Suàn lesòng gěi nǐ ba


Never mind. Just keep it.



as well as:

2. I can not do it! I give up

   A: Nǐ bú jì xù zuò fàn ma

E.g. A: 你不继续做饭吗?

       Why don’t you continue with your cooking?

   B: Tài nán lesuàn le ba … …

   B: 太难了,算了吧……

      It’s too difficult. I give up…



When you hear the word from your girlfriend, it may mean

3. I feel disappointed.

A: Duì bù qǐwǒ wàng le nǐ de shēng rì

E.g. A: 对不起,我忘了你的生日!

Sorry, I have forgot your birthday!

   B: Suàn le suàn le … …

   B: 算了算了……

     Stop it…



One may also say the word , when he or she has lost the patience:

4. I don’t want to do it anymore!

A: Nǐ zhěng lǐ le yì tiān fáng jiānwèi shén me bù zhěng lǐ wán ne

E.g. A:你整理了一天房间,为什么不整理完呢?

   You have been tidying up the room today. Why don’t you just finish it?

   BSuàn lejiù zhè yàng ba


      Just call it quits.



Have you ever met with any word puzzling you in your communication with Chinese people? If any, leave a message to us.



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