Ten Ritual Sentences to Entertain Guests

1. 欢迎光临,有失远迎。
  huān yíng guāng lín yǒu shīyuǎn yíng

It is a traditional Chinese greeting, usually for formal occasions. The literal translation is “Welcome (to my home), and (sorry for) not going out to welcome you.” Another formulaic expression “大驾光临,有失远迎,恕罪恕罪” may be used on very formal occasions.

2. 您的到来真是让我们蓬荜生辉啊。
   nín de dào láizhēn shì ràng wǒ men péng bìshēng huīa

The literal translation is “Your presence brings light to my humble dwelling”. It is a traditional way to express the host’s pleasure to welcome the guests, also for formal occasions.

Difference in Chinese and English can be seen in the use of personal pronouns. Chinese has two second-person pronouns, i.e. “你” and “您” with the latter being more polite, whereas English has only one form, i.e. “you”.

3. 你能来真是太好了。
nǐ néng láizhēn shì tài hǎo le

Literal translation: I’m really glad that you could come.
It is a common casual way to welcome people.

4. 在我这儿别见外。
zài wǒ zhèr bié jiàn wài

” 见外” means “to regard somebody as an outsider”. The literal translation is “please don’t regard yourself as an outsider when you are here”. Its English equivalent is “Please make yourself at home.”

5. 你想喝点儿什么?
nǐ xiǎng hē diǎnr shén me
What would you like to drink?
Chinese tea is the most common drink that can be served on such occasions, but the younger generation usually prefers coffee, beer or plain water.

6. 请随意。
  qǐng suí yì
  Please help yourself.

7. 再多吃点吧。
  zài duōchī diǎn ba
  Have some more, please.

It is a very typical Chinese way of entertaining guests. Chinese often express their hospitality by persuading guests to eat more and drink more.

8. 失陪一会儿。
Shī péi yī huìr
Excuse me for a moment.

9. 再呆会儿吧,这么早就走吗?
zài dāi huìr ba,zhè me zǎo jiù zǒu ma
Why not stay a little bit longer? Must you leave so soon?

It is hard to say goodbye. Chinese people usually persuade guests to stay for a bit longer to show that they enjoy their company. And often, they do it a few times.

10. 慢走,下次再来啊。
màn zǒu xià cì zài lái ā

Take care. Please visit us again!