点菜diǎncài-How to Order Food in Chinese Restaurants

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Lily MaInglese
13 agosto 2018
45
4 minuti

点菜diǎncài: Order food.

  In China, ordering food can be a real cultural experience, and there are no English speaking staff to help often or even English menus, and certainly no numbers. This page is designed to give you some tips and useful phrases for ordering food in China.
Reading Menus
读菜单dú càidān
 菜单, cài dān, /tseye-dan/:Menu
一份, yí fèn, /ee fnn/:One portion
When arriving in a restaurant, after sitting down at the table, and the customary pot of tea has been served, the next thing that will arrive is the menu (菜单 caidan /tseye-dan/).If the menu has pictures you are in luck as this offers an easy way to order. Just point to what you want and say yífèn (一份 /ee fnn/ 'one portion'). In northern China 'one portion' is pronounced yífènr (一份儿 /ee frrh/). You could also do the same if you see someone else eating something you would like by pointing at their food. However, although people will usually excuse you for being foreign, this is a little impolite and bizarre.

Ordering Verbally:

有没有···? yǒu méi yǒu···?, /yoh may yoh/:Do you have ...? 
有yǒu /yoh/:Have
没有méiyǒu /may yoh/:No;don't have
You could use the list below or any other food names that you have learnt in Mandarin. A useful phrase is yǒu méi yǒu (有没有 /yoh-may-yoh/ 'Do you have ...?'). If the restaurant has it the reply will be yǒu (yes), if not then méi yǒu (no) .

Common phrases
Phrase Chinese Pinyin
I don't want chilies. 我不要辣。 Wǒ búyào là.
I don't want it too salty. 我不要太咸。 Wǒ búyào tàixián.
I don't want MSG. 我不要味精。 Wǒ búyào wèijìng.
How Many Dishes to Order — Avoid 4 and 7
Typically one more dish is ordered than there are people eating, but this often leaves food spare. The Chinese custom is always to order too much to show generosity and hospitality. A dish per person is usually enough. (There is a Chinese superstition about the number 4, as it sounds like the word for death in Chinese, so four dishes are seldom ordered. Likewise in the Canton area seven dishes are seldom ordered as it is a custom there to eat seven dishes the day after a funeral. Largely such customs are ignored now apart from on special occasions, and Westerners would certainly not be expected to follow them.)
What to order — Try Different Dishes
汤 tāng /tung:Soup/broth 
     饺子 jiǎozi /jyaoww-dzrr/:Dumplings 
     甜点 tiándiǎn:Dessert
     沙拉 shālā:Salad
About Ordering Dumplings:Chinese dumplings (饺子jiǎozi /jyaoww-dzrr/) are a favorite with Westerners and some restaurants specialize in just dumplings. About 20 or 30 is usually enough for a meal, 40 if you're really hungry. Dumplings are ordered in (traditionally bamboo) trays called long of 10 or 20 dumplings. So you can say yī lóng (一笼 /ee-long/ 'one tray') followed by your choice of filling to order. Popular fillings include pork (猪肉zhūròu /joo-roh/), beef (牛肉niúròu /nyoh-roh/), cabbage (白菜báicài /beye-tseye/) and garlic chives/leek (韭菜jiǔcài /jyoh-tseye/).
Phrase  Chinese Pinyin
Chinese dumplings 饺子    jiǎo zi
One tray 一笼 yì lóng
A plate of 一盘 yì pán
Pork stuffing 猪肉馅 zhūròu xiàn
Beef stuffing 牛肉馅 niúròu xiàn
Cabbage stuffing 白菜馅 báicài xiàn
Garlic chives/leek stuffing 韭菜馅    jiǔcài xiàn
Useful words:服务员fúwùyuán:waiter;waitress
 买单mǎidān:pay the bill

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❤Hi everyone!I am Lily. A Master degree qualified with teaching Chinese as a second language,Welcome to book a trial lesson with me , let me help you improving Chinese in a short time.不管初级高级,想提高口语还是综合能力,我都能够帮助你高效地达成学习目标+Free materials ❤ ❤I’m currently teaching Chinese in international institute of Guangzhou University.I have more than three years teaching experience in large class and i have received much praise for my clear explanations on liguistic nuances. ❤As a professional Chinese teacher,i know what is the responsiblity that a teacher should have,my lessons are well prepared and efficient.The most important part of Learning lauguage is speak it out! So during my class,i usually push my students to speak more!The more you speak, the greater progress you make ♫Learning Chinese can be easy if you make it fun. I am experienced and innovative, you will feel very enjoyble while learning with me .With the scientific teaching methods ,I will help you get a great improvement in a short term. ♬I LOVE MY JOB.I enjoy teaching students from all over the world, and I take great satisfaction in seeing their improvement in speaking Mandarin! ❤Advantages of my lessons 1.Get customized, interactive and practical content 2.Have instant and clear explanations in Chinese/English without wasting time 3.Offer you plentiful materials 4.Offer homework with guidance or correction outside of the lesson ❤Before booking my lesson: Everyone is unique and everyone brings different needs, skills, personalities and goals. So before booking the lesson, send me a message with your Chinese level and learning goals in order to help me to build a personalized study plan based on your own individual needs. ▲▲▲ E-book ,flashcard ,PPTs and free materials available All kinds of sessions .I will send it to you before the class ❤The Electronic textbooks we may use 1、汉语口语速成Short term spoken Chinese 2、快乐汉语 Have Fun with Chinese 3、新实用汉语课本 New Practical Chinese 4、博雅汉语 Boya Chinese 5、HSK标准教程 ······ More learning materials on my wechat channel↓ Wechat official account : LilyChinese

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