Can anyone explain how to express congratulations in Chinese? Someone in my building was getting married last week, and when I saw them go past all I could say was “很好！” because I didn’t know how else to congratulate them or wish them well. Any tips would be appreciated - not just for a wedding, but also wishing well for someone going on a trip, or who just had a baby, or bought a house, etc.
[Sorry if this has been posted already - I did a search and nothing turned up]
Usually, you can say 恭喜, 恭喜! gong1xi3, gong1xi3, which is Congratulations!
I was about to also forward the handy dandy MDGB.net link to you so that you can figure out these things for yourself at your convenience, but it turns out that the MDGB dictionary didn’t have the definition you wanted for “congratulations”. D’oh!
Great question! Saying the right phrase for the right situation is actually quite an art.
First off, let’s start with the basics. Pretzellogic is absolutely right in saying 恭喜 gong1 xi3. This is a great piece of vocab that can be used in most situations.
Now, let’s look at more specific situations such as a weddings, new born babies, graduations, going on a trip, Chinese New Year…etc.
The first thing you need to know is that we have specific 成語/成语 （4 character idioms) that will relate to those specific situations. There are usually tons of cheng2yu3 成语s that relate to these situations so you can pick the one that you think is most fun or easiest to memorise. I’ll give a couple of examples later on.
You can find these cheng2yu3 成语s or 祝福語 ／ 祝福语s （words of blessings or good wishes）by searching for XXX situation + 成語 or 吉祥話. For Chinese New Year idioms you can search for 吉祥話 ／ 吉祥话.
Now why can’t I just say 恭喜 gong1 xi3? Well, some of these phrases are just hella fun. Secondly, for a lot of these occasions will require you to give a red envelop and you’ll need to write something nice on them. Finally, you’ll just sound so cool saying them.
You can congratulate someone or a group of people by just saying 恭喜. Or you could personalise your well wishes by adding a name or 妳、你們。恭喜妳is usually followed by whatever event you are offering your congratulations for. 恭喜你大學畢業。恭喜你訂婚。恭喜妳買房子。哇，你酒量真不錯，喝不過你呀，恭喜恭喜，我認輸！
祝賀 is also another way of saying congratulations. It is also a noun(M個）. 祝賀你們倆結了婚！向你說個熱烈的祝賀。恭喜恭喜
祝福 is used to wish someone well (like a blessing), but more commonly used when parting company or setting out on a new direction for the future, like saying 以後想要你過得好。好，我們分手吧！祝福你！哼！
祝 is more commonly used by itself when wishing others well with whatever they are going to do. 祝你旅程愉快，祝你新工作成功。祝你一切順利。
A British colleague recently wished me good luck “祝你好運”. As a British
born Taiwanese, I’ve never heard that term before. So how would the Chinese wish good
luck, especially in a work context eg “good luck with that project/pitch/performance/fixing that bug”?
Would really love to see this lesson about congratulations, it is so easy to say something out of place.