Nali nali

Nali nali

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.

 

Dialog

PinyinHanziEnglish
GuyNǐ de zhōngwén tǐng bàng你的中文挺棒Your Mandarin is awesome.
GalNálǐ nálǐ!哪里哪里!Where, where!

 

Vocabulary

HanziPinyinEnglish
哪里哪里!Nálǐ nálǐ!Where, where!
你的NǐdeYour
中文ZhōngwénChinese language
tǐngEspecially
bàngAwesome.