Model Mandarin: New Year’s Resolution

Model MandarinTop Tip

Like making a speech at a wedding, going for your first job interview or moving to a new country to continue your career, things are often much easier than we imagine them to be. So this year when you make your New Year’s Resolution, make it to start learning more Chinese. It’s not as hard as you might think.

New Year’s Resolution

If you’ve never made a New Year’s Resolution and given up by February then you’ve probably never made a New Year’s Resolution. Like rules, they were made to be broken. Maybe a more fitting resolution is ‘to not break a new year’s resolution.’ But a few weeks of going to the gym, not smoking, eating better or being nicer to your children is better than no weeks. And who knows, maybe this is the year you stick to it. Have your Chinese friends and colleagues share the fun with the following language.

New Years Resolution
As there isn’t a similar tradition of making a New Year’s Resolution in modern Chinese culture, there are various different translations. The best is to simply say ‘New Year Plan.’

xīn // nián // jìhuà
new // year // plan

wǒ de // xīnnián jìhuà // shì …
my// New Year’s Resolution // is…

duō // duànliàn shēntǐ
more // exercise body

jièyān – quit smoking

nǐ de // xīnnián jìhuà // shì // shén me
your // New Year’s Resolution // is // what?

To someone not familiar with the term, saying ‘New Year’s Resolution’ could be confusing. Another way to express it is ‘this year I would like to…’ or ‘this year I will…’

jīnnián // wǒxiǎng…
this year // I would like to…

jīnnián // wǒhuì…
this year // I will…

The word huì (can – as in a learned ability) used in this sentence expresses the meaning of ‘will.’ It can be used whenever talking about something that you will do in the future.

wǒ // míngtiān // huì // huílái
I // tomorrow // will // come back

Finally, remember to encourage others to keep going!

búyào // fàngqì!
don’t // give up!

Happy New Year

Learn how to send a message of greetings to a Chinese friend or colleague.

model mandarin





The characters for new 新 (xīn), and year 年 (nián) combine to make new year.

The word for fast, 快 (kuài), is added to a one word character for happy, 乐 (lè) (not using the two commonly used words for happy: 开心 kāixīn, and 高兴 gāoxìng), to make the meaning ‘Happy or Merry.’

Together, the phrase means ‘Happy New Year.’