Photo: Martin Dougiamas on flickr
Some simple Mandarin phrases that you might need to know
Noteworthy for: Shouting 'server' or 'Fuyuan'r' at the waiters in a restaurant is the norm, and often needed if you plan to be taken notice of.
Word to the wise: Most people don't speak English in Beijing but if you get really stuck, your best bet is to ask someone who looks between 20 and 30.
Beijingers love it when a foreigner makes the effort to speak Mandarin, and you'll feel like a superstar when you see the overblown response a simple 'ni hao' gets. Why not try out these useful phrases:
Hello - 'ni hao' 你好
Goodbye - 'zai jian' 再见
Thank you - 'xie xie' 谢谢
No thank you - 'bu yao' 不要
Sorry - 对不起 'duibuqi'，不好意思 'bu hao yi si'
How much does this cost? - 'zhe/zhei ge duo shao qian' 这个多少钱
Beautiful - 'piaoliang' 漂亮
Awesome - 'niu bi' 牛逼
Good/okay - 'hao' 好
Not good - 'bu hao' 不好
Toilet - 'ce suo' 厕所
Water - 'shui' 水
Rice - 'mi fan' 米饭
Napkins - 'zhi jin' 纸巾
Beer - 'pi jiu' 啤酒
Mineral water - 'kuang quan shui' 矿泉水
Receipt - 'jie zhang' 结帐