If you're looking for a way to impress your friends on Chinese New Year, why not dabble in some basic greetings in Mandarin and Cantonese?

January 31st marks this year's New Year (or Nónglì Xinnián) which falls on the first day of the first month of the Chinese calendar. This year also happens to be the year of the wooden horse, signifying unexpected adventure and surprising romance. Fancy.

But for those who don't celebrate the holiday, learning basic greetings like "Hello" and "Happy New Year" in two of China's most popular languages can help you show off your (basic) language skills and make you sound a little more authentic when you're wishing someone a happy holiday.

Here are six basic greetings for Chinese New Year in Mandarin and Cantonese. And since we're all here to learn from each other, share your other greetings or popular sayings in the comments below. Xie xie.

  • Happy New Year (Mandarin)
    Xin Nian Kuai Le, pronounced sheen nian kwai luh
  • Happy New Year (Cantonese)
    San Nin Fai Lok, pronounced san knee fy lock
  • Wishing You Great Happiness And Prosperity (Mandarin)
    Gong Xi Fa Cai, pronounced gong zee fah chai
  • Wishing You Great Happiness And Prosperity (Cantonese)
    Gong Hey Fat Choy, pronounced gung hey fah choy
  • Hello (Mandarin)
    Ni Hao, pronounced knee how
  • Hello (Cantonese)
    Lei Ho, pronounced lay ho
  • How Are You? (Mandarin)
    Ni Hai Ma, pronounced knee how ma
  • How Are You (Cantonese)
    Lay Ho Ma, pronounced lay ho ma
  • I'm Very Good (Mandarin)
    Wo Hen Hao, pronounced Woh hen how
  • I'm Very Good (Cantonese)
    Ngo Ho Ho, pronounced ngoh ho ho
  • Thank You (Mandarin)
    Xie Xie, pronounced sea-eh sea-eh
  • Thank You (Cantonese)
    Dwo Je, pronounced dwa jeah

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