As your Mandarin skills increase, you will inevitably receive compliments from Chinese friends. Chinese people appreciate modesty, so learning how to respond is a good idea.
The phrase nálǐ nálǐ? literally means “Where? where?”. It implies that you feel that the praise is unwarranted. It also gives your friend an opportunity to heap more praise on you.
The phrase “nǐ guòjiǎng le”. Is sure to bring a smile, because you are accusing your friend of exaggerating your skills.
You might also hear someone praise you by saying “Nǐde Zhōngwén hěn biāozhǔn”
It turns out that most Chinese people have fairly strong regional dialects. I remember a friend of mine once said every town has its own dialect, mostly due to the fact that historically, Chinese people were farmers. Like 99.9%.
This is good news for you, because it is actually easier to learn “standard” Mandarin, so you will be widely understood. On the downside, if you find yourself in a small city in China (say, less than 5 million) you may find it difficult to understand their dialect.
|你的中文很厉害。||Nǐ de Zhōngwén hěn lìhai.||Your Mandarin is amazing!|
|哪里哪里。||Nálǐ nálǐ?||Where, Where?|
|你真的很不错。||Nǐ zhēn de hěn bùcuò.||You are really good.|
|哈哈，你过奖了！||Hāhā, nǐ guòjiǎngle!||Haha, you exaggerate!|
|你的中文很标准.||Nǐde Zhōngwén hěn biāozhǔn||Your Chinese is right on.|