Learning Business Chinese Vocabulary – Basic Definitions and Easy Explanations

2011 May 26
by Alena

经贸汉语

Learn Business Chinese – Part I

In 1979, after three decades of isolation, China instituted an open-door policy and launched the economic reforms that led from a centralized planned economy to a market-oriented one. Since then, China’s economy has developed rapidly, and remarkable changes have taken place in other areas. It is obvious that China has become one of the leading economic powers in the world in the past decades. Attracted by its vast market and great potential, most multinational corporations and medium and small companies have started operations and investments in the world’s most populous country.

That’s why now the question for most businesses is not “Should we move into China?” but “Can we afford not to go to China?” (Alan Donald, foreword to Doing Business in China, by Tim Ambler and Morgen Witzel [Routledge: London, 2000]). In these circumstances, it is no wonder that learning and teaching business Chinese at all levels is booming.

Hills Learning center is no exception. Here we would like to offer you the multi-part series on Chinese business idioms. Every week we will be covering 5 or 6 business idioms or expressions which can be useful for students of all levels: from beginning to advanced. They were selected from newspapers, textbooks, academic journals and the internet. Please read them carefully, memorize and try to use them under the right circumstances.

1) 市场经济 ( shi4chang3 jing1ji4) – market economy

Definition: An economy that operates by voluntary exchange in a free market and is not planned or controlled by a central authority; a capitalistic economy.

Example: 今年早些时候,乌克兰成为市场经济国家。

Meaning: Earlier this year Ukraine became a market economy.

2) 补偿损失 (bu3chang2 sun3shi1) – to compensate for a loss

Definition: To make a satisfactory payment or reparation to reimburse a loss

Example:  这家公司必须补偿我们的损失。

Meaning: This company will have to compensate us for its loss.

3) 基础设施 (ji1chu3 she4shi1) – infrastructure

Definition:  The basic systems and services, such as transportation and power supplies, that a country or organization uses in order to work effectively

Example: 我市积极推进基础设施建设计划。

Meaning: Our city actively pressed ahead with infrastructure development plan.

4)                  采取措施 (cai3qu3 cuo4shi1) – to take measures

Definition: To make preparations; to provide means.

Example:  政府采取措施稳定物价。

Meaning: The government took measures to stabilize prices.

5) 竞争能力 (jing4zheng1 neng2li4) – a competitive ability

Definition: Ability to compete: to exist, live longer, or work successfully with something or someone else.

Example:  我们公司在世界市场已失去其竞争能力。

Meaning:  Our firm has lost its competitive ability in world markets.

6)                  风险管理 (feng1xian3 guan3li3) – a risk management

Definition: The forecasting and evaluation of financial risks together with the identification of procedures to avoid or minimize their impact.

Example: 这个国家政府应该实施比较谨慎的风险管理。

Meaning: The government of this country should carry out very cautious risk management.

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