Wanna learn how to say the word friend 朋友 (péngyǒu) in Chinese? Well, there are lots of Chinese words for friend that you can learn once you read this comprehensive guide. Let’s begin!!
Muhammad Ali once said, “Friendship is the hardest thing to explain. You don’t learn about it in school, but if you don’t know what it means, you haven’t really learned anything.” With this, we cannot deny the importance of friendship or having a friend in our lives. In life, we have different kinds of friends. We have a best friend, a close friend, a childhood friend, or an old friend. Sometimes, we also treat our business partner or colleague as close friends. It is a very common word, but it has a broad meaning. So today, we will learn different Chinese words for “friend.”
Common Chinese Words For Friend
There are different ways to say “friend” in the Chinese language. In this part of the article, you’ll discover different ways to refer to your friend in a specific way.
Friend – 朋友 (Péngyǒu)
The Chinese word 朋友 (péng yǒu) is the most basic and most popular way to say “friend” in Mandarin. This word is composed of two words, 朋 (gōng) which means “companion,” and 友 (zuò) means “friend”. Take note that the word 友 (zuò) is rarely used in conversations. Combining these two words illustrates the concept of “friend,” which can be used for one friend or many.
Pro tip: This word can also be used to talk about things that aren’t people but are your friends.
Best Friend – 最好的朋友 (Zuìhǎo De Péngyǒu)
Like Sarah Dessen said, “If you don’t have a best friend, life is ugly and terrible.” We are lucky if we have best friends that we can count on in our lives. So, the next important word that we will discuss is 最好的朋友 (zuìhǎo de péngyǒu) which means “best friend” in English. This is the direct translation of best friend in Mandarin Chinese.
Old Friend – 老朋友 (Lǎo Péngyǒu)
When we call old friends after a long time, we feel a joy that can’t be explained. In Chinese, you can call someone you’ve known for a long time 老朋友 (lǎo péngyǒu). In writing formal Chinese, 老朋友 (lǎo péngyǒu) is often shortened to 老友 (lǎo yǒu). So, if you’re familiar with the American hit sitcom “Friends,” it is 老友记 (lǎo yǒu jì), which literally means “Old Friends Chronicles.”
Childhood Friend – 发小 (Fàxiǎo)
Childhood friends, or 发小 (Fàxiǎo) in Mandarin Chinese, are people you might not see very often, but when you do, it’s like you just saw them yesterday. Childhood friends are one of the friends that we cherish. No matter where we go or what we do, our lives are based on them. They will always be there to pick you up and take you where you belong.
Good Friend – 好朋友 (Hǎo Péngyǒu)
Having a good friend, or 好朋友 (hǎo péngyǒu) in Mandarin Chinese, is much better than having many friends that are not true. Good friends are connections to life — links to the past, paths to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world.
A Friend Of Mine – 我的一个朋友 (Wǒ De Yí Gè Péngyǒu)
If you wanna sound more sincere, you can say 我的一个朋友 (wǒ de yí gè péngyou) or “a friend of mine” in Chinese Mandarin. But in a romantic setting, the phrase can also mean a boyfriend/girlfriend or partner. There are a few ways to introduce a friend to someone else in Chinese without making them feel uncomfortable.
My Friend – 我的朋友 (Wǒ De Péngyǒu)
The Chinese phrase 我的朋友 (wǒ de péngyǒu) is basically 朋友 (Péngyǒu) with the Chinese character 我的 or “my.” But keep in mind that this word isn’t usually used as a friendly greeting in China. It is usually used when you describe friends, talk about a friend, or introduce them to someone else.
Male Friend – 男性朋友 (Nánxìng Péngyǒu)
In Mandarin Chinese, there is a specific way to call your male friends or a close male friend, and that is 男性朋友 (nánxìng péngyǒu). The Chinese word 男 (nán) means “male,” 性 (xìng) means “gender,” and 朋友 (péngyǒu). So, when you combine them together, you have 男性朋友 (nánxìng péngyǒu).
Female Friend – 女性朋友 (Nǚxìng Péngyǒu)
On the other hand, we have 女性朋友 (nǚxìng péngyǒu), which means “female friend/female friends.” The Chinese word 女 (nǚ) means “female,” so 女性朋友 (nǚxìng péngyǒu) literally means “female gender friend.”
Boyfriend – 男朋友 (Nánpéngyou)
You can also learn other words related to friends, such as boyfriends or girlfriends. It is a different relationship than just a friend. The Chinese word for boyfriend is 男朋友 (nánpéngyou). You can also just say 男友 (nányǒu), which means the same thing.
Girlfriend – 女朋友 (Nǚpéngyou)
Girlfriend, on the other hand, is 女朋友 (nǚpéngyou). Similarly, you can also say 女友 (nǚyǒu) to mean girlfriend in Chinese.
Intimate Female Friend – 闺蜜 (Guīmì)
The word 闺蜜 Guīmì refers to a woman’s closest friends, the ones she can talk to about her feelings or with whom she can talk about love, marriage, and men. This word, ” gum,” has a long past and is still used today. It used to mean a room where unmarried women lived together.
The Chinese characters that make up the phrase are 闺 guī, which means “chamber” or “boudoir,” and 蜜 mì, which means “honey” or “sweet.” It is only used by women today to talk about a close woman/female friend with whom they share their secrets. It means “girlfriend” or “bestie” in Chinese, but not an intimate partner.
Other Ways To Say Friend In Chinese
|best friend, BFF||死党||sǐdǎng|
|(a woman’s) bosom friend||闺蜜||guīmì|
|friend, bro, dude||哥们儿||gē menr|
|buddy, bro |
(very informal slang – outdated)
|good buddy |
(very informal slang)
|Pal, mate (in movies)||忘年交||wàngniánjiāo|
|pal, mate (in movies)||伙计||huǒji|
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