Give a Compliment at the Office: How to Address Colleagues with Respect!

Chinese General Compliment

Business relationships can be just as influential as personal ones in our daily lives, if you spend a lot of time at work. My fellow teachers and I are constantly interacting with one another, and this makes our lives richer and more fun, and it makes us better teachers! If you work in an office, or have any role in a company (where Mandarin is spoken), and are cultivating relationships, this is a great word to know:
“资深 (zīshēn)”

Particularly in the business field, you can use “资深 (zīshēn)” to compliment your partners who have rich work experience in any specific field. I use this with teachers who are older, wiser and have more experience than me. It has helped to closen our relationship and cultivate a deeper friendship. They feel respect every time I use it.
So what does it mean, exactly?
资深 (zīshēn): adj. senior; elder.

Example 1:

Jack shì yì míng zīshēn de dǎoyǎn.
Jack  是  一 名    资深   的   导演.
Jack is a senior director.

Example 2:

Ann shì yí gè fēicháng zīshēn de wàikē yīshēng.
Ann  是 一 个   非常     资深   的   外科    医生.
Ann is a quite senior surgeon.

But what’s the real meaning of these characters, when broken down?
资 (zī): n.

资 (zī) also can be expressed with “资历 (zīlì)” here which means qualifications and record of service, seniority.
深 (shēn): adj. deep, far.

Do you see how this is a great compliment when you’re working side by side with someone, day in and day out, at the office?
But you don’t just have to use this in an office setting. When it comes to daily life, we also use “资深 (zīshēn)” to describe some positions in different companies or fields, like:
Zīshēn yuángōng.
资深       员工。
Senior staff.

Zīshēn shòuhuòyuán.
资深         售货员。
Senior sales.

Zīshēn píngmiàn shèjìshī.
资深       平面       设计师。
Senior Graphic Designer.

Zīshēn yǎnyuán.
资深      演员。
Senior actor.

Sometimes, we also use this word to play jokes with some friends who love to eat now and then, like:
Nǐ zhēn shì yí gè zīshēn de chīhuò ā!
你  真    是 一 个  资深   的  吃货  啊!
What an “experienced” foodie you are!

Do you have any ideas of how to use this word in a sentence? Let us know in the comments below!

HSK 3 quiz

1. Annie is a “资深 (zīshēn)” staff member in the Apple company. Which of the following statements is correct, in relation to this sentence?
A. Annie has worked for a long time in the Apple company and has good work experience.
B. Annie has worked for a long time in the Apple company but has poor work experience.
C. Annie is a seller in the Apple company.
D. Annie is not a seller in the Apple company.

—Written by Jennifer Zhu—

Jennifer Zhu is a professional Chinese teacher from eChineseLearning. She has many years of Chinese language teaching experience and received her B.A. and M.A. in “Teaching Chinese as a Second Language.”

General Chinese (Beginner Level)
General Chinese (Intermediate Level)

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