“5 Drinking Chengyu You Can Use to Impress Your Friends at a Chinese Drinking Party,” published at Universia Study Abroad Blogs on Apr. 1, 2013
The consumption of alcohol between friends and business partners has a special place in Chinese culture. Chinese people drink to make deals and strengthen friendships, and they have for thousands of years. They have many traditional phrases or idioms, called chengyu (??), to describe topics related to drinking. If you, as a foreigner, can bust out some drinking chengyu with your Chinese friends, you will be the star of the party.
Here is an introduction to some of the most important phrases to describe drinking.
Alcohol doesn’t get you drunk, you yourself are drunk. (????????.)
If someone thinks you are drunk, you can always tell them, “No, alcohol doesn’t get people drunk…” The phrase describes how people often act drunk of their own volition just to have fun, or to say that people should take responsibility for controlling themselves, but it also comes in hand to describe your own epic drinking capacity. Modify it to say, “Alcohol doesn’t get me drunk…” and you are bragging about how much you can drink. It will have your Chinese friends laughing on the table.
Pinyin: Jiu bu zui ren, ren zi zui.
Feature photo by Flickr user llee_wu, used under Creative Commons License.