Christmas is no doubt one of the biggest holidays in most western countries. Now it has become a holiday that many other countries in the world also celebrate. Since Christmas is so popular everywhere, how could we not learn the Christmas must-know vocabulary in Chinese? Let’s learn those words together!
圣诞快乐 聖誕快樂 Shèngdàn kuàilè, Merry Christmas
This one is pretty easy! If you know how to say “Happy birthday,” you can simply apply the same format. Merry and happy have similar definitions. We translate both of them as “快乐 kuàilè” in Chinese. So Merry Christmas is 圣诞快乐 Shèngdàn kuàilè. You may see some people say 耶诞快乐 yedàn kuàilè. They are the same.
圣诞节 聖誕節 shèngdàn jié, Christmas
These three words mean “holy,” “birth,” and “holiday.” Many people believe that Christmas was the day that Jesus was born and He is the holy one. Therefore Christmas in Mandarin Chinese is called “圣诞节 shèngdàn jié.” There is another name we use quite often, which is “耶诞节 ye dàn jié.” This translation is even more straightforward. The first word “耶 ye” is short for “耶稣 yēsū,” which means Jesus in Chinese.
圣诞夜 聖誕夜 shèngdàn yè, Christmas Eve
“夜 yè” means night, evening. This one is pretty simple once you know the one above! Also the same idea applies, you can also say “耶诞夜 yedàn yè.”
圣诞树 聖誕樹 shèngdàn shù, Christmas tree
树 shù is tree in Chinese.
圣诞贺卡 聖誕賀卡 shèngdàn hèkǎ, Christmas card
卡 kǎ means card. But when we use 卡 kǎ in Chinese, if it refers to something you would like to cheer or celebrate, we will usually say “贺卡 hèkǎ.” “贺 hè” means “congrats.” For example, birthday card can be “生日贺卡 shēngrì hèkǎ.”
雪人 xuěrén, Snowman
“雪 xuě” means snow, while “人 rén” means man!
礼物 禮物 lǐwù, Gift, present
拐杖糖 guǎizhàng táng, Candy cane
“拐杖 guǎizhàng” means cane.
姜饼人 薑餅人 jiāng bǐng rén, Gingerbread man
“姜 jiāng” means ginger, and “饼 bǐng” means “cookies, bread.”
姜饼屋 薑餅屋 jiāng bǐng wū, Gingerbread house
袜子 襪子 wàzi, Socks
手套 手套 shǒutào, Mittens
圣诞老人 聖誕老人 shèngdàn lǎorén, Santa
The way we say Santa in Chinese is interesting! I believe you already know “圣诞 shèngdàn” is Christmas. But do you know “老人 lǎorén” means “old person?” So the literal meaning of “圣诞老人 shèngdàn lǎorén” is actually “Christmas old person!”
天使 tiānshǐ, Angel
热可可 熱可可 rè kěkě, Hot cocoa
One of the best drinks during cold weather! “热 rè” means hot, and “可可 kěkě” is a similar pronunciation as cocoa. You can also say “热巧克力 rè qiǎokèlì,” which means hot chocolate!
雪橇 xuěqiāo, Sledge
“雪 xuě” means snow. “橇 qiāo” means sled, sledge.
烟囱 煙囪 yāncōng, Chimney
“烟 yān” means smoke. 囱 cōng itself means chimney.
麋鹿 mílù, Reindeer
鹿 lù means deer.
A fun face that does not necessarily relate to Christmas. It just occurred to me while I am writing this. We have another phrase that is pronounced exactly the same, which is 迷路 mílù, which means getting lost (related to direction).
铃铛 鈴鐺 língdāng, Bells
Both characters have 金 jīn as their radical. “金 jīn” means gold or something that is made of metal.