Nálǐ nálǐ is a phrase used to deflect praise. Chinese people always make an effort to avoid appearing pretentious. These days is more common to hear “méiyǒu méi yǒu”. Both expressions, have the interesting effect that the originator of the praise is forced to insist, … which results in more praise. Nálǐ means “where?” and indicates that the recipient has no idea where these qualities are.
It is fun to use Nálǐ nálǐwith a smile, showing that you understand the social protocol and you are aware of its earlier form. This is very useful when you are making new friends because they will respect you more for understanding their culture.
|Guy||Nǐ de zhōngwén tǐng bàng||你的中文挺棒||Your Mandarin is awesome.|
|Gal||Nálǐ nálǐ!||哪里哪里！||Where, where!|
|哪里哪里！||Nálǐ nálǐ!||Where, where!|