Talking about Jobs in Chinese


how to ask someone’s jobs

If you have already started to learn Chinese, you might have noticed, that many Chinese language learning books teach you how to ask Are you busy?” (你忙吗? – Nǐ máng ma?) even before you are able to introduce yourself. Wondering why? Chinese people are often quite busy. If you consider that most people only have 5 paid days off per year, it’s not surprising, that talking about your job is a very important part of the small talk in China.

For most people “working” is more than just doing their job. We need jobs because it gives us safety because it enables us to earn money to cover our essential necessities to be physical and psychologically healthy. Most important of all, work gives us a sense of personal reward and the possibility to fulfill our dreams.

Today we will give you a quick briefing on how to ask about others’ occupation in Chinese language and some first job translations.


Interested in Business Chinese? If you would love to know to talk about business related topics, or how to introduce yourself while using the right job title, sign up for a FREE 1-on-1 trial class and download our app. Our professional tutors will offer you more detailed lecture to learn Mandarin! And best of all, you will get a free learning resources package after signing up! Don’t waste your time, give it a try!


Let’s start with some basic dialogs.


Chinese Conversation A:

Andy:(Qǐng wèn)Nǐ zuò shénme gōngzuò?


             (May I ask) What’s your job?


Will: Wǒ zài xuéxiào jiào zhōng wén. Nǐ shì zuò shénme de?


             I am teaching Chinese at a school. What do you do?


Andy: Wǒ shì yī shēng.

              我是医生 。         

               I am a doctor.


Chinese Conversation B


Hanna:  Nǐ de zhíyè shì shénme?


            What’s your occupation?


Ben:   Wǒ zài A gōngsī fùzé xiāoshòu. Nǐ zài nǎlǐ gōngzuò?


             I’m responsible for sales at a company A. Where do you work?


Hanna:  (Wǒ) zài shǐguǎn.

                  (我) 在使馆。

                   (I) work in the embassy.


Chinese Conversation C


Jane:   Nǐ Shì lǎoshī ma?

              你是老师 吗?

              Are you a teacher?


Peter:  Wǒ shì. Nǐ ne?


              Yes, I am. And you?


Jane:  Wǒ shì yī míng xuéshēng.


              I’m a student.


These are different ways to ask “What do you do?“.


Chinese Characters Pinyin
你做什么工作? Nǐ zuò shénme gōngzuò?
你是做什么的? Nǐ shì zuò shénme de?
你的职业是什么? Nǐ de zhíyè shì shénme?
你是 (occupation/ identity) 吗?   Nǐ shì (occupation/ identity) ma?


More vocabs


Chinese Characters Pinyin English
máng To be busy
工作 gōngzuò job
学校 xuéxiào school
医生 yī shēng doctor
职业 zhíyè occupation
公司 gōngsī company
负责 fùzé to be responsible for
老师 lǎoshī teacher
学生 xuéshēng student

Practice makes perfect! We hope you have no difficulty to give people an idea of your job! We also wish you a great 2017 with a brilliant performance on your job!

 Sign up our free trial to learn Mandarin and download the Chinese App for more Chinese language materials and to learn Mandarin online.


Facebook Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.