Here are a few of the common words and phrases in Chinese that I find really beautiful and thus would like to share them with you.

1, 青春 [Qīngchūn]: “youth”

[Qīng] means the color “green”, “blue” or “grass” and it refers to “young” here.

春[Chūn], meaning “spring”, as in 春天[Chūntiān] “springtime”. 

Used together, they compose a phrase that means “youth”. It’s often used in a poetic way. I feel that both characters describe “youth” very well.

Example: 青春片[Qīngchūn piàn] “Teen film”、青春電影 / 电影 (Simplified Chinese) [Qīngchūn diànyǐng] “Teen Movie”

我特別喜歡看美國青春電影。(Traditional Chinese)

我特别喜欢看美国青春电影。(Simplified Chinese)

Wǒ tèbié xǐhuān kàn Měiguó qīngchūn diànyǐng.

I especially like watching American teen movies.

Here’s a song lyric of the popular Taiwanese band 老王樂隊(Your Woman Sleep with Others): 

我在青春的邊緣掙扎(Traditional Chinese)

我在青春的边缘挣扎(Simplified Chinese)

Wǒ zài qīngchūn de biānyuán zhēngzhá

I struggle on the edge of youth.

2, 回憶 / 回忆 (Simplified Chinese) [Huíyì] : “memories”

回[Huí], meaning “to return” or “to go back”. 

憶 / 忆 [] means “to remember”, “to miss”.

回憶 / 回忆[Huíyì]: more common as a noun, but also used as a verb.


去年夏天的那場旅行是我最美好的回憶。(Traditional Chinese)

去年夏天的那场旅行是我最美好的回忆。(Simplified Chinese)

Qùnián xiàtiān dì nà chǎng lǚxíng shì wǒ zuì měihǎo de huíyì.

The trip last summer was my most beautiful memory.

他喜歡回憶過去。(Traditional Chinese)

他喜欢回忆过去。(Simplified Chinese)

Tā xǐhuān huíyì guòqù

He likes to recall the past.

3, 漂泊[Piāobó] : “to wander, lead a vagabond life”

As a person who loves to travel and wander around, I really like this word. 漂泊[Piāobó] combines 漂[piāo] “to float, drift” and 泊[] “lake or to stop, stay for a time” to make a word that expresses leading a wandering life. Picture the scene—a boat drifting at sea, just like the word’s meaning. Isn’t it beautiful and poetic? 


他這幾年來四處漂泊,不曾回家鄉。(Traditional Chinese)

他这几年来四处漂泊,不曾回家乡。(Simplified Chinese)

Tā zhè jǐnián lái sìchù piāobó, bùcéng huí jiāxiāng.

He has been wandering around in the past few years and has never returned home.

4, 漫步[Mànbù] : “to ramble, stroll”

漫[màn], meaning “free, casual”. 

步[], meaning “step” or “to walk”.

Used together, 漫步[Mànbù] means going for a leisurely stroll. It sounds more romantic than 散步[Sànbù] “taking a walk”. 


我喜歡在日落時沿著海邊漫步。(Traditional Chinese)

我喜欢在日落时沿着海边漫步。(Simplified Chinese)

Wǒ xǐhuān zài rìluò shí yánzhe hǎibiān mànbù.

I like to stroll along the beach at sunset.

5, 捨不得 / 舍不得(Simplified Chinese) [Shěbùdé

This phrase doesn’t seem to have an English Equivalent. When you look it up in a dictionary, it says “to hate to do sth” or “reluctant to do sth”. Well, what does it mean exactly? 

捨 / 舍 [Shě] means “to give up” or “to abandon”.

不得[bùdé] means “cannot, must not”.

So when you hear someone says “我捨不得離開這裡。” [Wǒ shěbùdé líkāi zhèlǐ. ] “I can't bear to leave here.” It means that they are being emotional as they really like this place or feel connected to this place and hate to leave. 

For example, there is a song called 《地球上最浪漫的一首歌》[Dìqiú shàng zuì làngmàn de yī shǒu gē] “The Most Romantic Song On Earth” by pop singer Alien Huang:

依依不捨 捨不得 地球上最浪漫的一首歌(Traditional Chinese)

依依不舍 舍不得 地球上最浪漫的一首歌(Simplified Chinese)

Yīyībùshě shěbùdé dìqiú shàng zuì làngmàn de yī shǒu gē

Can’t bear to part(with you). the most romantic song on Earth