Feel free to leave sentences with the vocabulary in our comments to help you self-study how to handle the awkward situation if you’re ever late to a party! If you’re not already in China learning through immersion, feel free check out our trial class for a one-on-one session to practice this and more!
Being Late to a Birthday Party
NIHAOCAFE LEVEL 2 HSK 1+
Have you ever been invited to a party at a friends’ house, but your taxi got stuck in traffic?
What would you tell your Chinese friends… and how would you ask them what to bring?
Discover all this and more in our today’s Story, as May hosts a birthday party for her husband Ray, and Li Ai & Wang Ming are arriving late.
Pick up new Chinese words you’ll need
Birthday-Related Chinese Vocabulary
First, let’s look at some Chinese words related to celebrating a birthday.
生日 (shēngrì) ∙ birthday
MEASURE WORD 个 (gè)
🥳 过生日 (guò shēngrì) ∙ to celebrate a birthday
🎉 生日派对 (shēngrì pàiduì) ∙ birthday party
🎁 生日礼物 (shēngrì lǐwù) ∙ birthday present
🎂 生日蛋糕 (shēngrì dàngāo) ∙ birthday cake
Party-Related Chinese Vocabulary
Now, let’s look at some Chinese words related to parties and throwing one.
派对 (pàiduì) ∙ a party
MEASURE WORD 个 (gè)
🎉 开派对 (kāi pàiduì) ∙ to throw a party
🤫 惊喜派对 (jīngxǐ pàiduì) ∙ a surprise party
Birthday Wishes & Phrases in Chinese
Now let’s take a look at some Chinese words you might need if you’re celebrating someone’s birthday.
Zhù nǐ shēngrì kuàilè!
Wish you a Happy Birthday!
Xǔ gè yuàn ba!
Make a wish!
Excuses for Being Late in Chinese
Now let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you might be late to a party in Chinese.
在路上堵着 (zài lùshang dǔ zhe) ∙ to be stuck in traffic on the way
迷路 (mílù) ∙ to get lost (on one’s way)
加班 (jiābān) ∙ to work overtime/late
A conversation about being late to a birthday party
李爱 • Li Ai
May: Hēi, pàiduì jiù yào kāishǐ le! Nǐmen rén zài nǎr ne? Zěnme hái méi dào?
May: Hey, the party is about to begin! Where are you guys? Why aren’t you here yet?
Lǐ Ài: Wǒmen zhèng zài lùshang dǔ zhe ne.
Li Ai: We are stuck in traffic.
May: Tiān a! Dǔchē! Hái yào duō cháng shíjiān kěyǐ dào?
May: Oh no! In traffic! How long will it take you to get here?
Lǐ Ài: Ng… bàn gè xiǎoshí ba. Hái xūyào mǎi shénme ma?
Li Ai: Around half an hour I think. Is there anything we can buy?
May: No need! Just hurry up to come here.
Lǐ Ài: Ok, yīhuìr jiàn!
Li Ai: Ok, see you soon!
May: Ng, báibái!
May: Ok, bye!
A video about being late to a birthday party in China
Let’s bring the dialogue to life!
Watch May call Li Ai and ask her where she and Wang Ming are.
To watch the rest of this video, discuss it with a teacher and learn more birthday-related vocabulary, book a free trial class with us 👇