As a Mandarin Chinese tutor, I work with students ranging from elementary school to graduate school. Their level of Chinese fluency might differ, but one question I always get is: “How do I introduce myself?”
That makes sense. Whether you are meeting new friends on the playground or interviewing for a job, one of the most basic yet important language skills to master is the introduction. In Chinese, a self-introduction is called "自我介绍 (zì wǒ jiè shào)."
Introducing yourself is usually the first step in starting a longer conversation, and you want to ensure that you are setting the best first impression right away. In this article, we cover the art of introducing yourself in Chinese in two different settings.
Introducing yourself casually
Chinese: 你好! 我叫 (XYZ). 很高兴认识你!
Pinyin: Nǐ hǎo! Wǒ jiào (XYZ). Hěn gāo xìng rèn shí nǐ!
Translation: Hello! My name is (XYZ). Very happy to meet you!
Please note: “我叫” (Wǒ jiào) literally translates to “I am called…”,
but is commonly used as a casual substitute for “my name is.”
The casual Chinese introduction is best used when meeting new peers. Maybe you are being introduced to a friend of a friend, or going on a first date. In general, sentences can be shorter (and therefore less formal), and the use of colloquial language is okay.
By the way, if you don't have a Chinese name yet, you can read our post on how to pick one: Choosing a Name in Chinese.
Long Introduction – meant to give the other person some background on yourself
Telling people where you are from:
- Chinese: 你好! 我叫 (XYZ). 我从北京来.
- Pinyin: Nǐ hǎo! Wǒ jiào (XYZ). Wǒ cóng běijīng lái.
- Translation: Hello! My name is (XYZ). I am from Beijing.
Telling people what your occupation is:
- Chinese: 我是北京大学的学生.
- Pinyin: Wǒ shì běijīng dà xué de xué shēng
- Translation: I am a student from Beijing University.
Telling people what you like to do:
- Chinese: 我喜欢…跳舞.
- Pinyin: Wǒ xǐ huān... tiào wǔ
- Translation: I like…dancing.
- Please note: you can substitute any other activity/hobby for “dancing,” as long as you have the “我喜欢 (Wǒ xǐ huān) - I like” in front.
Introducing yourself in a business setting
Introducing yourself in a business setting takes practice and finesse. You need to be more polite, which usually means using the formal version of words/phrases and using longer sentences.
- Chinese: 您好! 我的名字是 (XYZ). 很高兴见到您.
- Pinyin: Nín hǎo! Wǒ de míngzì shì (XYZ). Hěn gāoxìng jiàn dào nín
- Translation: Hello! My name is (XYZ). Very happy to see you.
- Please note: Here, we use the formal “you -您 (nín)”, rather than the casual “you - 你 (nǐ).”
Long Introduction – meant to introduce yourself at the beginning of a job interview, or to answer the popular question “tell me about yourself."
Telling people where you went to school:
- Chinese: 我于2005年毕业于北京大学.
- Pinyin: Wǒ yú 2005 nián bì yè yú běijīng dà xué
- Translation: I graduated from Beijing University in 2005.
Telling people what you studied:
- Chinese: 我的专业是…金融.
- Pinyin: Wǒ de zhuān yè shì… jīn róng
- Translation: My major is…finance.
Telling people where and how long you worked:
- Chinese: 我在 (XYZ)公司工作了五年.
- Pinyin: Wǒ zài (XYZ) gong sī gong zuò le wǔ nián
- Translation: I worked for five years at (XYZ) company.
Telling people your interests/hobbies
- Chinese: 我的兴趣包括…阅读和音乐
- Pinyin: Wǒ de xìng qù bāo kuò… yuè dú hé yīn yuè
- Translation: My interests include…reading and music
A Formal Self-Introduction in Chinese
Sometimes at a Chinese company, you will be required to introduce yourself formally via email or even in a speech in front of everyone. This message could been seen or heard by people in high level positions, so making sure you sound professional and qualified (yet humble) is a must! Below is an example:
我的名字是 [Chinese name]，来自 [place you are from], 是 [University Name] [Major]的毕业生。我非常高兴也非常荣幸的加入到 [Company Name]这个大家庭中来。加入[Company Name] 之前，我在 [Former Company Name]担任 [Position name, for example: 信息技术总监。]希望在今后的工作和生活中得到大家多多的指导和帮助，合作愉快！
Translation: My name is [Chinese name}, I am from [insert place], I graduated from [University name] as a  major. I'm happy and honored to join the big family that is [Company name]. Before this, I was at [Former company name] as [position name, for example: as the Director in the IT Department.] I hope that after today, I can count on everyone's support and assistance, and that we can work together happily!
Armed with the above sentence structures and vocabulary, you should feel confident about introducing yourself to new Chinese friends and coworkers. Best of luck, and be sure to get in plenty of practice!