Learn Chinese | Letter Writing – Invitation HSK 3- HSK 5

Inviting friends, family, or business associates in Chinese requires understanding the language and the cultural nuances that make such invitations warm and genuine. If you want to write an invitation in Chinese, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a guide to writing an invitation letter in Chinese:

Addressing the Recipient

Chinese traditionally place great importance on titles and respectful forms of address. Depending on the formality of your invitation, start with:

  • 亲爱的 (qīn’ài de) – “Dear”
  • For more formal settings, you might use the recipient’s title, such as 张先生 (Zhāng xiānsheng) for ” Mr. Zhang” or 张女士 (Zhāng nǚshì) for ” Ms. Zhang.”

Introduction and Purpose

Clearly state the reason for your invitation:

  • 我想邀请你… (wǒ xiǎng yāoqǐng nǐ…) – “I would like to invite you…””

For specific events:

  • 参加我的生日派对 (cānjiā wǒ de shēngrì pàiduì) – “to attend my birthday party.”
  • 参加我们的婚礼 (cānjiā wǒmen de hūnlǐ) – “to attend our wedding.”

Details of the Event

Ensure that you provide all necessary information about the event:

  • Date: 日期 (rìqī)
  • Time: 时间 (shíjiān)
  • Venue: 地点 (dìdiǎn)
  • Dress code (if any): 着装要求 (zhuózhuāng yāoqiú)

For example:

这个派对将在10月10日,下午5点,在北京大酒店举行。(Zhège pàiduì jiāng zài 10 yuè 10 rì, xiàwǔ 5 diǎn, zài Běijīng dà jiǔdiàn jǔxíng.) – “The party will be held on October 10th at 5:00 PM at the Beijing Grand Hotel.”

Polite Expressions

You can include polite phrases to express your hope that they can come:

  • 希望你能参加 (xīwàng nǐ néng cānjiā) – “I hope you can attend.”
  • 期待你的出席 (qīdài nǐ de chūxí) – “Looking forward to your presence.””

Closing

Traditionally, Chinese invitations end with a note of humility and politeness:

  • 如有打扰,敬请谅解。(rú yǒu dǎrǎo, jìng qǐng liàngjiě.) – “Please forgive any inconvenience.”
  • 敬请赐复。(jìng qǐng cì fù.) – “Kindly RSVP.”

Signature

End with your name or the name of the family extending the invitation.

Cultural Tips

  1. In traditional Chinese culture, red is considered an auspicious color. For events like weddings or Lunar New Year celebrations, using red-colored paper or envelopes is regarded as good luck.
  2. Avoid using the number ”4” (四, sì) in dates or times, as it’s considered unlucky because it sounds like ”death” (死, sǐ).
  3. Following up with a phone call after sending an invitation is polite, especially for important events.

In conclusion

writing an invitation letter in Chinese is about translation and understanding the cultural significance behind the words. With a mix of proper language and genuine intent, your invitation will convey warmth and respect to your guests.

FAQ

Q1: Why is the color red considered auspicious in Chinese culture?

Chinese culture traditionally sees red as a symbol of luck, prosperity, and happiness. It’s especially prominent in celebrations like weddings and the Lunar New Year.

Q2: Why should I avoid the number ”4” in my invitations?

The number’ number’ 4” (四, sì) sounds similar to the word for ”death” (死, sǐ) in Chinese. Thus, it’s considered unlucky and is often avoided in various contexts, including dates and times in formal settings.

Q3: Is it customary to follow up with a phone call after sending an invitation?

Yes, especially for significant events, it’s polite in Chinese culture to give a follow-up call to ensure the recipient received the invitation and to express your hope for their attendance further.

Q4: Do I always need to send my invitation in writing, or can I use digital platforms?

While written invitations have traditional value, with the growth of technology, digital invitations have become increasingly popular, especially among the younger generation. Always consider the preferences of your recipient and the nature of the event.

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