Good Luck in Chinese

Wish Someone Good Luck in Chinese

This article will show you how to say good luck in Chinese, and also provide you with some mp3 audio to listen to, allowing you to imitate a perfect good luck in Mandarin. Plus some added notes about Chinese culture and how to most appropriately wish someone good luck as a native speaker would, ought to give you a leg up on other phrasebook-carrying novices.


zhù nǐ hǎo yùn


The first part of this phrase, “zhù” means “wish you”. You can also find this phrase in Chinese New Year's greetings, where you say “Wish you a happy new year.”

The second part: “hǎo yùn ” means “good luck”

If you're talking about luck, in general, you would use the word “yùnqi” (运气). So if you wanted to make the statement “you have good luck,” you would say “nǐde yùnqi hǎo.” (你的运气好) But when saying good luck in Chinese, you want to say the four character phrase.

zhù nǐ hǎo yùn

Be More Culturally Appropriate

There is another common Chinese phrase that is very close in meaning to 'good luck' in Chinese, and you may find it even more suitable in many situations. And that is to wish someone success:

zhù nǐ chéng gōng


Here, “chéng gōng” is 'success' in Chinese. If someone is undertaking some kind of enterprise or project, this would be more culturally appropriate, and you would, in turn, sound more native-like if you used it, as opposed to the good luck in Mandarin.

You could also just as well use “zhù nǐ chéng gōng” and wish someone success on a one time performance, such as a speech or a sports match, etc.

All in all, I find this Mandarin phrase to be more useful than the literal 'good luck' phrase. You may find this so, also. It just is culturally more suitable in most situations. Just like in American culture, in the culture of China, 'luck' seems to be something out of our immediate control, whereas 'success' is often the result of our own efforts.

So, give a good listen to Audrey repeat both of these Chinese phrases at varied speeds, below, and we “zhù nǐ chéng gōng” in your efforts to use either of these phrases with your Chinese-speaking friends and associates!

zhù nǐ hǎo yùn (mp3 repeated at varied speeds)


zhù nǐ chéng gōng (mp3 repeated at varied speeds)


Luck in Chinese Culture

In Chinese culture, traditionally speaking, 'luck' definitely holds an important place. But the notion maybe slightly different than in other cultures. The English word that captures the Chinese notion of luck a bit more accurately is the word 'auspicious'.

For example, there are 'auspicious dates' for important events such as a birth, a marriage, the opening of a business, and so forth. You could have a number that is 'auspicious'. The auspicious number could relate to dates, but such an auspicious number could also be the floor number in your apartment building, or a license plate number, or something else.

There are also auspicious names. The number of brush strokes in a character in your name, in conjunction with a birthdate may determine how 'lucky' your name is.

I suppose it is a subtle difference between 'lucky' and 'auspicious', and in many ways they are interchangeable. Auspicious dates set the stage for good fortune. It seems to me that if something is deemed to be 'auspicious', there is some reason behind it, even if many people might consider that reasoning to be superstition. Luck, on the other hand, could have no cause other than randomness, as in someone 'just getting lucky.'

The Chinese character for auspicious, by the way, is (xiáng).

Whatever the case, you can be sure that whether you wish success or good luck in Chinese to your Chinese friends, and with good pronunciation like in the mp3 audio recorded by Audrey, your friends will be very uplifted by your kind wish, and certainly impressed that you know some Chinese.