How to Say Thank You in Shanghainese

Expressing gratitude is an essential part of any culture and learning how to say thank you is a wonderful way to connect with locals during your visit to Shanghai. Shanghainese, also known as Shanghainese Wu, is a dialect spoken by the people of Shanghai, China. While Mandarin Chinese is the official language, knowing a few phrases in the local dialect can make a big difference in connecting with the community. In this guide, we will explore various ways to say thank you in Shanghainese, including formal and informal expressions, as well as some regional variations. So, let’s dive in!

Formal Expressions:

When it comes to formal situations, it’s important to use the appropriate level of politeness. In Shanghainese, the term “thank you” is commonly rendered as “nong ho” (浓好).

Tips: When using formal expressions in Shanghainese, maintain a respectful and polite tone. Pronounce the words clearly and with proper intonation to convey sincerity.

Here are some examples of formal ways to say thank you in Shanghainese:

  1. Nong ho (浓好) – This is the most commonly used formal expression for thank you in Shanghainese.
  2. Ngaan do nong (艮都浓) – Adding “do” after “ngaan” intensifies the gratitude and adds emphasis. Use this when you want to express deep appreciation.
  3. Hoe hee juh nong (好喜欢浓) – This expression combines “hao xi huan” (like) with “nong,” effectively saying “I like it very much.”

Informal Expressions:

When interacting with friends, family, or in casual settings, you can use more informal expressions to express your gratitude. Here are a few examples:

Tips: Informal expressions are suitable for friendly conversations, but it’s essential to consider the context and relationship with the individual you are speaking to. Always use appropriate body language and tone to convey your sincerity.

Here are some examples of informal ways to say thank you in Shanghainese:

  1. Ng goi (唔该) – This expression is similar to the Mandarin “bu yong xie” and is commonly used in casual situations.
  2. Ng goi la (唔该啦) – Adding “la” at the end adds a touch of informality and translates to “Thanks, man” or “Thanks, buddy.”
  3. Ho hoi (好会) – This expression combines “hao” (good) with “hui” (can), expressing appreciation for someone’s capabilities.

Regional Variations:

Shanghainese itself has regional variations, and certain areas within Shanghai may have their unique phrases or pronunciation. While most locals will understand the common expressions mentioned above, it can be interesting to note a few regional variations:

  1. In some areas of Shanghai, instead of “nong ho” (浓好), you may hear “nong ga” (浓家) or “nong lou” (浓楼) used as a more regional variation of thank you.
  2. Another regional variation is the phrase “nen ben” (恁本), which is often used in the outskirts of Shanghai.

Remember, these variations are not widely known, so it’s generally best to stick to the common expressions mentioned earlier.

Now that you have learned some formal, informal, and regional variations of saying thank you in Shanghainese, take some time to practice your pronunciation. It’s often the effort that counts the most, so even if you don’t have perfect pronunciation, the locals will appreciate your attempt to connect with their culture and language.

As with any language, the key to mastering Shanghainese is practice and immersion. Don’t be afraid to engage with locals, ask for help, or strike up casual conversations. Your genuine interest in learning their language will open up doors and create lasting memories during your time in Shanghai.

Enjoy your journey of learning Shanghainese, and don’t forget to say “nong ho” to express your gratitude to everyone who helps you along the way!

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