5 Common Hobbies in Chinese

by | Aug 9, 2022 | Chinese Language

5 Common Hobbies in Chinese

The Most Common Hobbies in Chinese

Everybody has some hobbies 爱好 (àihào), and it’s important for people to develop some hobbies so that they can “spice up” their daily lives a bit with something they enjoy doing. In China, talking about hobbies is what Chinese people often do during a joyful get-together with their friends. Well, you might also be interested in learning to express some popular hobbies in Chinese. Let’s take a look at what Chinese people like doing in their spare.

1. Singing

Singing | 5 Common Hobbies in Chinese

chàng gē
to sing

When it comes to Chinese people’s hobbies, what must be mentioned is 唱歌 (chàng gē), which means “to sing”. In this word, 唱 (chàng) means “to sing”, and 歌 (gē) means “song”. Chinese girls are passionate about singing, and numerous KTVs can be found across China. Many expats wonder what kind of place a KTV refers to. In fact, it can be considered as a venue containing quite a few private rooms for people to have fun with their friends “through singing”.


Tā huì chàng Yīngwén gē.
He can sing English songs.

2. Dancing

Dancing | 5 Common Hobbies in Chinese

tiào wǔ
to dance

Since we’ve just learnt 唱歌 (chàng gē), 跳舞 (tiào wǔ) is the next word you’re supposed to learn in that these two words often “work in a pair”. In general, Chinese people are not fond of dancing. However, if you’ve lived in China before, you must have a rough idea of what 广场舞 (guǎngchǎngwǔ) – “square dancing” is. Many middle-aged and old people in China treat square dancing as an ideal way to kill time.


Yīxiē Zhōngguó rén xǐhuān tiào guǎngchǎng wǔ.
Some Chinese people like to participate in square dancing.

3. Reading

Reading | 5 Common Hobbies in Chinese

kàn shū
to read a book

Some Chinese people are proud of calling themselves “bookworms” to show how much they love reading. Indeed, reading is considered a good hobby. Chinese students are often advised to do a bit of reading on a daily basis to widen their horizons. 看 (kàn) means “to look/watch”, and 书 (shū) means “book”.


Jason měitiān dōu kàn shū.
Jason reads books every day.


kàn bàozhǐ
to read newspaper

kàn diànshì
to watch TV

kàn diànyǐng
to watch a movie

4. Playing Mahjong

Mahjong | 5 Common Hobbies in Chinese

dǎ májiàng
to play mahjong

You can easily tell that this phrase means “to play mahjong” based on its pronunciation. Mahjong is a traditional board game that is extremely popular across China. In addition, mahjong rules vary in different areas and people of different age groups find it enjoyable to play mahjong in a relaxed atmosphere.


Dǎ májiàng bù nán.
It’s not hard to play mahjong.

5. Playing on the Phone

Phone | 5 Common Hobbies in Chinese

wán shǒujī
to play on the phone

This phrase means to “play on one’s phone”, in which 玩 (wán) means “to play”, and 手机 (shǒujī) means “cell phone”. Despite that fact that it’s not a hobby that people should develop, young people in China spend hours playing on their phones every day. Chinese people need to deal with pressure at work and have to work overtime regularly, therefore, it’s understandable that many of them are addicted to their phones after work. Meanwhile, students are also passionate about playing on their phones because of the availability of various cell phone games.


Hěn duō xuéshēng xǐhuān xià kè hòu wán shǒujī.
Many students like playing on their phones after class.

To find out more interesting and useful Chinese vocabulary, check out one of our blog posts 10 Popular Types of Sports in Chinese: Takeouts, Dine-in and More


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