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Mei Wenti - No Problem

Mandarin Phrase Section 2 Lesson 7: No Problem Chinese


‘Mei wenti’ in Chinese means no problem.

While this is a phrase used frequently in daily conversations, it has some unusual role to play in the Chinese business culture.

The phrase meiwenti consists of three characters: 没问题.  The last two characters 'wenti' 问题 are the keywords which mean 'problem'. Mei, on the other hand, means 'no'. When we add the three characters together, the phrase means 'no problem'. 

For example,


'Meiwenti' -- 'No Problem' may not be really no problem

Although meiwenti is common enough, you will have to see the deeper meanings in it during business discussions. This is because when Chinese says ‘no problem’, it may not really mean ‘no problem’.  Chinese like to preserve harmony in conversation, so even when there are problems, they'd prefer to say meiwenti – no problem -- under most circumstances.  This will help them to maintain guanxi, which means relationship or connnection; and mianzi,  which means face keeping.

So when you hear the phrase 'no problem' being said, you'll have to take other factors into consideration before a conclusion is made.  Rather than simply interpret it as having no problem.  It could be that there will be some problem, but basically there is no problem ... Sound confusing, right?


Wenti buda - No Big Problem

When you go round China, another common phrase that you'd hear -- especially among business people -- is wenti budaWenti means 'problem', buda means 'not big'.  So, literally the phrase means 'no big problem'.

When Chinese says wenti buda -- which means 'no big problem' -- it does not mean that there is 'no problem'.  They're just saying that there are no major issues, let's talk about details in due course.  In some cases, it is just a way to keep the conversation going with no significant meaning. 


Video Tutorial: Mei Wenti - No Problem


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