Chinese is one of the most difficult languages in the world. Not only is it a tonal language, but it is also character-based, which makes it even harder. 

I know your pain and I am here to help. Here are six phrases you can say with only numbers.

  1. 1 Dying of hunger? Use 526.

    Girl eating donutThe number 526 in Chinese is 五二六 (Wǔ èr liù) and it sounds very similar to 我饿了 (Wǒ è le, I’m hungry). This will be the perfect text to send to your friend for a late-night food adventure.

  2. 2 Want to be rescued? Use 995.

    TeamworkThe number 995 in Chinese is 九九五 (Jiǔ jiǔ wǔ). To ask someone to help you is 救救我 (Jiù jiù wǒ). 

    These three numbers can be used seriously or playfully. For example, if you are stuck at work in a boring meeting, shoot someone a text telling them to “995” from boredom.

  3. 3 Express love in a more efficient way by using 520.

    I love youThese three numbers have to be the most popular number combination in China. 520 (Wǔ èr líng) in Chinese sounds extremely similar to 我爱你 (Wǒ ài nǐ) or “I love you.” 

    This is also why May 20 is also considered a second Valentine’s Day in China.

  4. 4 Thinking of someone? Use 530.

    Text 530 to your bae to shower them with love. 530 (Wǔ sān líng) sounds like 我想你 (Wǒ xiǎng nǐ, I miss you). 

    You will be sure to light up someone’s day. Just make sure to tell them what 530 means!

  5. 5 Compliment someone by using 666.

    You are awesome666 (Liù liù liù) sounds like 溜溜溜 (Liū liū liū) or 牛牛牛 (niú niú niú). Both are internet phrases

    These two phrases are used to describe someone who is awesome, skillful, cool or impressive. You would use 666 when someone wins a game or they show a skill that surprised you.

  6. 6 Until next time? Use 88.

    Bye ByeWhen you are too tired to type out “bye” or “goodbye,” use the number 88 (Bā bā) instead. It sounds like the phrase 拜拜 (Bài bài), which is used to say goodbye in Chinese. 

    88!


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Amie Lin

Amie Lin is currently attending Hunter College double majoring in Mandarin and Media Studies. She is such a foodie and loves Chinese dramas.
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