Last week we learned all about the vocabulary you need to order Bubble Tea here in China. Have you gone outside into the big wide world and used your new-found language? Let me know in the comments below.
This week we’ll be learning how to order takeout food in Chinese, on the phone. This is something that a lot of my students struggle with. And, I can understand why. The person on the phone has no idea you’re not Chinese and therefore speakers super quickly, often in a crazy dialect, sometimes it’s hard to hear them over the phone or you stumble on your words.
Fear not my brave Chinese learners. Let’s get you ready to easily order Chinese takeout on the phone. You’ll never quiver at a phone ringing again, instead, you’ll confidently answer and respond with ease.
Go to the restaurant at least once and get a menu from that restaurant. Or download the menu from online if it’s available. If the restaurant won’t give you a menu, take pictures of the pages and print them off.
Have a co-worker or friend put the pinyin beside the characters for the menu items that you will likely order.
Know how to say your phone number in Chinese. Practice saying it again and again with fluency. When you’re sat on the toilet practice saying your mobile number. When you can’t sleep repeat your phone number over and over. Soon you’ll be able to ring off your number with ease.
Do the same with your address, in Chinese.
Now you’re ready to phone up the restaurant.
Write down these phrases. Repeat them out loud. Roleplay with a colleague or friend. Pretend they are the restaurant and you are ordering. Allow them to help you adjust your tones. Don’t get frustrated with them. They are only trying to help you. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
I want to order takeout.
wǒ yào diǎn wài mài
What do you want?
nǐ yào shén me ne
What would you like to order?
diǎn shén me ne
What’s your phone number?
diàn huà hào shì duō shǎo
How long until it arrives?
yào duō cháng shí jiān cái néng dào
There you have it. Four easy steps to ordering takeout on the phone in Chinese. Try this at home. Let me know how your ordering skills improve by commenting below or DM’ing me on Instagram.
Do you want to learn real Chinese?
The language that Chinese tutors don’t teach you, everyday phrases and words that actually help you manage day-to-day tasks? Well, my friends, you are in luck.
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