Build Connections At Work With These Mandarin Business Terms

For anyone keen on doing business in China or any other Mandarin-speaking country, enrolling in a Chinese course in Singapore can prove helpful. Not only will you be able to address your fellow businessmen and potential clients in their native language, but it will also greatly benefit your company and create great working relationships.

By showing that you’ve made an effort to memorise a few key phrases, you will impress your business partners and show them great respect. If you aren’t sure where to get started, then here a few business phrases to help you out!


When you meet with the CEO of a company, it is crucial to address them in the right manner. You can show them respect by calling the person in question using sir (xiānsheng) or ma’am (nǚshì). It also shows good manners to introduce yourself formally by adding “Glad to meet you.” (Hěn gāoxìng rènshi nín). Instead of saying “Hi” and “Bye”, you can use another formal means of greeting by saying “Good morning” (zǎo shàng hǎo) and “Good afternoon” (xià wǔ hǎo).

At a meeting, it is common for other businessmen or businesswomen to ask you about your educational past. Ensure that you know how to discuss your past education, such as where you studied and what you majored in. While studying in a Mandarin course, you should ask your tutor to introduce business phrases throughout to help you get used to talking formally.

Specific Titles And Departments

When visiting different warehouses and offices, you will need to know your way around the space. When you are not sure of where to go and who to look for, it could leave you wandering around and even arrive late to important business meetings.

Always ensure that when you learn Mandarin, you seek to memorise the different job titles and departments so that you can navigate your way around. Here are a few vocabulary terms you should add to your repertoire:

  • CEO
  • Manager
  • Buyer
  • Investor
  • Consultant
  • Supplier
  • Manufacturer

The different departments within the business you should memorise are:

  • Accounting
  • Administration
  • IT Department
  • Marketing and Sales
  • Human Resources

Understand Key Contract Terms

If there is one thing you should focus on, it is the contract, negotiation, or any agreement that you will sign, or are looking to get signed. It is vital to ensure that you are able to understand or explain all the terms and conditions of the contract fully. In most situations, the contract will be in both English and Mandarin. In some cases, there might be a clause stating that the Mandarin version contract gets legal priority in any dispute. Thus, it is vital to understand all the finer details in Mandarin.

Finally, it will help during negotiations to have specific phrases that pose concern or that can help you agree to certain terms. Phrases such as “I don’t feel optimistic about…” or “I wish us a pleasant cooperation” are great ways to show professionalism while negotiating.

If you are unable to fully learn Chinese, don’t fret! Begin simple with the phrases you need most, and you can gain confidence to acquire more fluency in time to come!

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