Luck has a huge role in Chinese culture. Wishing people good luck in Chinese surely means sounding like native speakers as they genuinely believe in luck and fortune. There are different ways to wish people good luck in Chinese depending on the situation.
Whether someone passed an examination, got a new job, or is about to get married, wishing good luck holds great importance because it is like you are sending good fortune to the person.
In fact, learning how to wish someone good luck in Chinese can help you sound like native Chinese speakers, boosting your confidence to speak Chinese in public. There are several other similar phrases such as thank you in Chinese and Chinese New Year greetings that can help you build positive relationships with people.
Here are some of the common and interesting ways to wish good luck in Chinese depending on the nature of the situation.
Saying good luck in Chinese depends upon the situation and audience but, there are some ways that fit in almost every daily life situation that you can come across. For example:
祝你好运！ (zhù nǐ hǎo yùn!) — (I wish you) Good luck!
As you can notice this is a literal translation of “good luck.” The verb 祝 (zhù) means “to wish,” 你 (nǐ) means “you,” 好 (hǎo) is “good” and 运 (yùn) is “luck.
It is a straightforward method but is not mostly used because it seems way too translated. Native speakers prefer to use different phrases to wish someone luck, each one tailored to a specific situation.
For example, if you want to wish someone good luck on a test, you can say:
好好儿考啊！ (hǎo hǎo er kǎo a!) — Have a good exam/Do well on this exam!
If you want to wish someone good luck with any kind of job, you can say:
好好儿干啊！ (hǎo hǎo er gàn a!) — Do well on this job!
There is another phrase that is widely used to encourage people i.e. 加油 (jiā yóu), which means “come on, let’s go!”
For example, you can say something like:
我为你加油！ (wǒ wèi nǐ jiā yóu!) — I am cheering for you!
我给你加油！ (wǒ gěi nǐ jiā yóu!) — I will cheer for you!
There are several generic phrases to send good wishes to the newlywed couple. Some of them are:
祝你们幸福。(zhù nǐ men xìng fú) — I wish you happiness.
祝你们百年好合。(zhù nǐ men bǎi nián hǎo hé) — I wish you a long life together. (Literally, “I wish you all the best for the next 100 years together.”)
祝你们幸福美满。 (zhù nǐ men xìng fú měi mǎn) — I wish you happiness and bliss.
祝你们新婚愉快。(zhù nǐ men xīn hūn yú kuài) — I wish you a happy marriage/wedding.
Most examples above (except for the first) can be spoken without 祝你们 (zhù nǐ men), since they are expressions on their own. Additionally, it is a given that you are extending the wish to the couple.
So, it is perfectly fine to say 新婚愉快 (xīn hūn yú kuài), but we included 祝你们 (zhù nǐ men) for the sake of demonstrating sentence structure.
If you have a close relationship with the couple, you can use the following phrases as well:
白头偕老 (bái tóu xié lǎo) — May you grow old together (Literally, “Live together until your hair goes white with old age”)
多子多孙 (duō zi duō sūn) — May you have many children and grandchildren
举案齐眉 (jǔ àn qí méi) — May you have mutual respect in marriage (Literally, “Lift the tray to eyebrow level”)
互敬互爱 (hù jìng hù ài) — May you have mutual respect and love
激情永在 (jī qíng yǒng zài) — May you have the everlasting passion (Literally, “Passion is always there”)
早生贵子 (zǎo shēng guì zǐ) — May you give birth to a child soon.
Because the original meaning of the last wedding wish is to give birth to a son, it’s best to save the last wedding wish for traditional Chinese couples and families. Alternatively, you could use any of the other idioms.
Birthdays are another time when you can wish people good luck. Other than saying “Happy Birthday,” which is 生日快乐 (shēng rì kuài lè) in Chinese, you can share the following phrases with the person celebrating the birthday:
For the children:
希望你健康快乐地长大！(xī wàng nǐ jiàn kāng kuài lè dì zhǎng dà!) — I hope you grow up happy and healthy!
祝你天天快乐，心想事成。(zhù nǐ tiān tiān kuài lè, xīn xiǎng shì chéng.) — I wish that you’re happy every day and that all your wishes come true.
For elderly people:
长命百岁 (cháng mìng bǎi suì) — May you live for 100 years
寿比南山, 福如东海 (shòu bǐ nán shān, fú rú dōng hǎi) — May you live as long as Southern Mountain and your fortune be as boundless as the Eastern Sea.
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If your loved one just got hired for a new job, you can use the phrase:
财源广进 (cái yuán guǎng jìn) — May you have an abundant source of income, wealth, and fortune
平步青云 (píng bù qīng yún) — May you get promoted quickly (Literally, “Skyrocket”)
马到成功 (mǎ dào chéng gōng) — May you immediately meet with success
步步高升 (bù bù gāo shēng) — May you continuously get promoted (Literally, “Rise step by step”)
On the occasion of New Year, you can say:
恭喜发财 (gōng xǐ fā cái) — Happy New Year/May you be prosperous.
To wish someone happiness in daily life situations, you can say:
祝福你！(zhù fú nǐ!) — Bless you! (Literally, “I wish happiness/good fortune on you!”)
If you are wishing someone a goodbye, you can say:
保重！(bǎo zhòng!) — Take care!
一路顺风！ (yī lù shùn fēng) — Bon Voyage! (Literally, “May the wind be with you!”)
This list should be more than enough to impress your Chinese-speaking friends and family. When you use these expressions to wish people luck, you’ll sound like a native!
To learn even more common phrases in Mandarin, immerse yourself in authentic Chinese media by reading Chinese blogs or watching videos with native Mandarin speakers. Original Chinese videos show native speakers using common phrases like those listed above in a variety of contexts.
By watching Chinese media, you can also highlight several Chinese words in English that will increase your command of the language and will give you the confidence required to speak this foreign language in public.