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Elaine Chu
How are you? V.S Have you done your meal?

Does everyone here also feel a little embarrassed when your new friend ask you"How are you?"、"How's going?"、"What's up?"

Yes,I always feel a little awkward when a friend who I just meet once or twice asks me this question... ...

So~maybe I can just respond " I'm fine,thank you, and you?"

or the most simple one "I'm good~"

but that's so boring~maybe I need share someting interesting?

so I always feel headache when a new friend asks me"How are you?"

Do you have the same situation?haha~


In Taiwan,our greeting is "hi, have you done your meal? "

I think it's will be more easier to answer it~

I can just respond "Hi, Yes/No~I just ate... ..."


I think it's about our culture~what's the greeting in your language? 

Do you also have the same problem like me?

Sep 8, 2016 9:27 AM
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Comments · 11

You can be quite non-committal with your answer, so here are a few other options...

Not too bad.

Can't complain.

(As an answer to "What's up?") Not much.

I had a discussion last week with friends on a similar topic - they were from Korea, China and the Philippines. It turned out that "Have you eaten (rice)?" is a typical greeting in my friends' cultures.


A common greeting in Slovak is Kam ideš? (Where are you going?) I think the usual reply is Len tak (Just so)?

Here's a short sketch based on the phrase: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8_EdOdmWdk

Kam ideš? (Where are you going?)

Do kina. (To the cinema)

A čo tam dávajú?  (And what's playing there?)

Quo Vadis?  (Quo Vadis? [the film])

A čo to znamená? (And what does that mean?)

"Kam ideš?" ("Where are you going?")

Do kina.

A čo tam dávajú?

Quo Vadis?

A čo to znamená?

"Kam ideš?"

...and so on, and so on...

September 8, 2016

When strangers ask "What's new?"..."For you, every event in my life is new". The only answer I can come up with :-) 


If people I barely know ask me "How are you?" , I just answer as it is..."Tired" "I've been studying the whole day and looking forward to relax at home with cup of tea and movie" and similar answers. The simple things.  That way you're not boring and giving a bit of information since they are asking. I ,personally, don't like starting conversation after usual structure. Always better to try out some new ways of communication:-)  

September 8, 2016
Hi Elaine Chu - thank you for replying. Chatting ability is THE ability. A person with a high QI but who is not able to estabilish NEW human relationships, will hardly reach good results in life, being not able to cooperate. (I read David Goleman's "Emotional Intelligence").


September 8, 2016
Beijinger here. We say probably the same as yours. But it really depends on the relationship between you and the person you are talking to. We do greetings like "吃了吗您?" to our colleagues at the mealtime and "吃了吗" to our friends as well as relatives.
September 8, 2016

Hi~Andrea

yeah~it's a good way to start and keep your conversation with your friend~and I totally agree that just say hi and leave~or just share something maybe both of you interested~I think chatting ability is also a part of survival skills in this sociaty~

yes!In Mandarin we always ask people have you done your meal(rice),even what we don't eat rice on that meal~but we commonly think "meal" most of time equal "rice".
September 8, 2016
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Elaine Chu
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), Chinese (Taiwanese), English, Korean
Learning Language
English, Korean