Chinese pick-up lines might be the saving grace you’ve been looking for. With everything opening up outside again, including night clubs and cute date spots, you might be wondering how to get back into the swing of dating. This is especially true if you’re based in China and your Chinese is a little rusty. Don’t worry though – our team at NihaoCafe have compiled a list of the best 土味情话 (tǔ wèi qínghuà – cheesy chat up lines) for you!
Massive disclaimer: Pick-up lines are neither common nor exhibit a high success rate in China. Regardless of this point, it can be seen as endearing and clearly shows an understanding of Chinese. Even if it simply breaks the ice and makes your intended date laugh… it’s more interesting than a simple hello!
Do Chinese pick-up lines translate literally from English?
Yes… and no!
Given that they’re not typically used when courting someone, you have a bit of freedom to play around. If you really want to, you can simply translate popular English lines into Chinese. The cringe can easily transcend language barriers and have your intended partner laughing with / at you in no time. Here are a couple we recommend to get you started on this journey.
1. 你是不是累啊 / Aren’t you tired?
A: Nǐ shìbushì lèi a？
A: Aren’t you tired?
B: Bù shì, wèi shénme?
B: No, why?
A: Yīnwèi nǐ dōu zài wǒ nǎodai lǐ pǎole yī zhěng tiān le.
A: Because you’ve been running round my head all day.
2. 你有打火机吗 / Got a Lighter?
A: Nǐ yǒu dǎhuǒjī ma?
A: Do you have a lighter?
A: Nà nǐ shì zěnme diǎnrán wǒ de xīn de?
A: Then how did you ignite my heart?
3. 你相信一见钟情吗? / Do you believe in love at first sight?
A: Nǐ xiāngxìn yījiàn zhōngqíng ma?
A: Do you believe in love at first sight?
A: Huòzhě wǒ gāi zàicì cóng nǐ shēnbiān zǒuguò.
A: Or should I walk by you again.
4. 你是磁铁吗 / Are you a magnet?
A: Nǐ shì cítiě ma?
A: Are you a magnet?
A: Yàoburán wèishénme nǐ huì zhème xīyǐn wǒ.
A: Or why do you attract me so much.
Less Dangerous Lines
The previous 4 lines are guaranteed to get a response (although we can’t confirm if the response will be positive… please don’t blame us if it isn’t!) We do strongly advise you practise your tones and delivery though for maximum effect… why not book one of our totally free online trial classes to help you practise? Practising Chinese online could be the difference from you asking someone out and delivering a line of gibberish.
Or alternatively, you could attempt some real smooth one liners, such as:
Nǐ yǒu dìtú ma? Wǒ yǐ míshī zài nǐ de shuāngmóu lǐ.
Do you have a map? I’m lost in your eyes.
Alternatively, maybe you want to take your chat to the next level. Instead of basic translation, perhaps you would like your Chinese pick-up lines to make it clear you know a bit more about Chinese culture than others. If you’ve been in China for a while and understand how society works, it makes sense you’d like to display this to a suitor. Thus, why not work in your knowledge of popular apps or more common situations?
6. 可以借你十块钱吗 / Can I borrow 10 yuan?
Nǐ hǎo, wǒ wàngjì dài qián le, kěyǐ jiè nǐ shí kuài qián mǎi chēpiào ma? Wǒ yòng zhuǎnzhàng huán gěi nǐ.
Hello, I forgot to bring the money. Can I borrow ten yuan from you to buy a ticket? I will pay you back by transfer
7. 微信 / WeChat
Wǒ kěyǐ yǒu nǐ de Wéixìn ma?
Can I have your WeChat?
It’s not uncommon to borrow money through transfers – which is also a cheeky way to add someone on WeChat (THE Chinese web app to have). These phrases are a little more subtle, but also allow you to start up a conversation with someone that won’t just disappear after they walk away. Unless they block you of course.
Now, although Chinese pick-up lines aren’t common, this isn’t to say that suggestive phrases don’t exist. They do, they just don’t literally translate / correlate to what we commonly see.
8. 我请客 / It’s my treat
Yīqǐ chīfàn, wǒ qǐngkè.
Let’s have dinner together, I’ll treat.
9.暗恋 / A crush
Wǒ ànliàn nǐ.
I have a crush on you.
10. 我们见过 / We’ve met before
Wǒ hǎoxiàng zài nǎ(r) jiànguo nǐ.
I seem to have seen you somewhere.
11. Compliment the dress
Nǐ jīntiān de zhuózhuāng hěn yǒu qìzhí hěn shìhé nǐ, wǒ néng rènshí yīxià nǐ ma?
Your dress today is very temperamental and very suitable for you. Can I meet you?
Don’t forget to leave us a comment below or on our social media to let us know how it went! If you want to make your own line, send it to us and we’ll let you know if you need to make any adjustments. Alternatively, check out our amazing Chinese culture quiz to see if you’re ready to date in China at all!