Most students would like to have a list of the most common words in Chinese, but I have to say, if we are gonna make that complete list, this article could be as long as a tedious version of Harry Potter. To spare you the pain, let’s just start from four of the most common words.

 

1. The first one I’m gonna introduce is 打 (dǎ) if you would like to punch someone on his face (which is not nice and friendly), but it could be a different thing if it’s Malfoy. Let’s say:

 

赫敏朝马尔福的脸上打了一拳。

 

Hèmĭn cháo Mǎérfú de liǎn shang dǎ le yì quán.

 

Hermione punched Malfoy in the face.

 

As a common word, 打 is not always so violent. It also means to do some sports by your hands, not you, soccer.

 

For instance:

 

哈利以前从来没有打过魁地奇。

 

Hālì yǐqián cónglái méiyǒu dǎ guo Kuídìqí.

 

Harry had never played Quidditch before

 

2. The second common word is 吃 (chī), if you are a Chinese learner, of course, you will know it means to eat.

 

罗恩刚刚吃完第三份圣诞布丁。

 

Luóēn gānggāng chī wán dì sān fèn Shèngdàn bùdīng.

 

Ron had just finished his third helpings of Christmas pudding.

 

But apparently, you can also “eat” some surprise, just like 吃惊 (chī jīng), literally, it means to “eat your surprise”.

 

赫敏坐了下来,罗恩吃了一惊。

 

Hèmǐn zuò le xiàlai, Luóēn chī le yì jīng.

 

Hermione sat down. Ron looked taken aback.

 

Try to eat something else, like 吃苦 (chī kǔ), if you “eat bitter”, that means “suffer”.

 

多比在马尔福家吃了不少苦。

 

Duōbǐ zài Mǎérfú jiā chī le bù shǎo kǔ.

 

Dobby suffered a lot at the Malfoys’.

 

Besides “吃惊” and“吃苦”, of course, we can have something fragrant, just like “吃香”, “eat fragrance”? That means popular.

 

塞德里克是赫奇帕奇学院最吃香的学生。

 

Sàidélǐkè shì Hǎoqípàqí xuéyuàn zuì chī xiāng de xuésheng.

 

Cedric was the most popular student at Hufflepuff.

 

3. The third word we need to mention is definitely 玩 (wán).

 

It means “to play”:

 

罗恩和赫敏在玩一种叫做巫师棋的游戏。

 

Luóēn hé Hèmǐn zài wán yì zhǒng jiào zuò Wūshīqí de yóuxì.

 

Ron and Hermione played a game of wizard chess.

 

While “和朋友一起玩” doesn’t mean “play your friends”, it means “hang out”.

 

霍格沃茨的学生们经常在一起玩。

 

Huògéwòcí de xuéshengmen jīngcháng zài yìqǐ wán.

 

Students at Hogwarts often hang out together.

 

Another very popular phrase about 玩 is 开玩笑(kāi wánxiào), joke or make fun of.

 

大家总喜欢跟纳威开玩笑。

 

Dàjiā zǒng xǐhuan gēn Nàwēi kāi wánxiào.

 

People always liked to make fun of Neville.

 

4. The fourth one is a bit dark, it is “死” (sǐ) which means die or death.

 

No wonder Death Eaters being translated into “食死徒” (shí sǐ tú).

 

With this dark meaning, Chinese people don’t like to hear the sound of “sǐ”, which makes our number four is very awkward because four in Chinese is 四 (sì). Yes, even with a different tone, 四 is never being liked by us.

 

People try to avoid 四 in their daily lives, definitely, you won’t want a mobile phone number or a plate number with 四.

 

“嘿兄弟,你住几楼?"

 

“Hèi xiōngdì, nǐ zhù jǐ lóu?”

 

“Hey, dude, which floor do you live on?”

 

“我住四楼。”

 

“Wǒ zhù sì lóu.”

 

“On the fourth floor.”

 

“嗯……”

 

“En……”

 

“Mmmmm”

 

 

A funny thing is, 死了 “sǐ le” doesn’t always mean “dead”, it may also mean “extremely”.

 

伏地魔死了吗?

 

Fúdìmó sǐ le ma?

 

Is Voldemort dead?

 

伏地魔看起来丑死了。

 

Fúdìmó kànqǐlai chǒu sǐ le.

 

Voldemort looks so ugly.

 

Sometimes 死了 is even for love!

 

罗恩爱死巧克力蛙了!

 

Luóēn ài sǐ qiǎokèlì wā le!

 

Ron loves chocolate frogs!

 

赫敏喜欢死霍格沃茨的图书馆了!

 

Hèmĭn xǐhuan sǐ Huògéwòcí de túshūguǎn le!

 

Hermione loves the library of Hogwarts!

 

It’s not quite hard to think about the relationship between love and death, anyway, love is the death of duty.

 

Here are the four most common words I would like to represent today. Easy, useful, and very common to see, unfortunately, we only have “four” this today, try to love them!