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How Can We Use the Modern and New Chinese Word — 安利 (Ānlì)?

May. 31, 2019

HSK 3 quiz

We live in a time where buying something without a recommendation is uncommon. Consumerism has fueled large corporations to supply the increasing demand for their products, with various ranges. Many times it can be hard to determine whether or not the product or service will actually live up to its claims. The social shopping scene is alive and thriving, for sure.

Video Lesson: 购物 (Gòuwù) Shopping

In Chinese, there was even a buzzword created for the act of being advertised to, before purchasing something. “安利 (Ānlì) ” means to recommend, or suggest a product, or advertise to someone. The Chinese to English translation for “安 (ān)” is “safe”, while “利 ()” means “benefit”. You might be wondering how such simple words could become a modern buzzword. Furthermore, the term “安利 (ānlì)” was actually created from the Chinese translation of “Amway”, a large consumer goods manufacturer, and distributor in the United States, which is the source for this newly coined word.

The term “安利 (ānlì)” is widely used in China, and typically fits well into the context of recommending something to someone, as a helpful, friendly gesture. The term is a new, popular and great example of how two common words — “安 (ān)” and “利 ()” can be joined together to create one interesting and new buzzword.

Let’s look into the literal meaning of each character of “安利 (ānlì)”.

The term “安利 (ānlì)” means to recommend or advertise. You’ll be at ease to know that this new buzzword is widely used and easily understood in China. But, do you know the meaning of each character of “安利 (ānlì)”?

安 (Ān)

The term “安 (ān)” is often used in Mandarin Chinese, meaning quiet, calm or safe. This usage of the character in “安利 (ānlì)” is a proof that reliability and assurance are essential to a recommendation. The word “安 (ān)” also gives emphasis to the “safe” factor, that advertisements at least should be conveyed in that way.

利 ()

The term “利 ()” in Chinese, means to benefit or profit. Using the term “安利 (ānlì)” solidifies the benefit of being safe, with the “利 ()” emphasizing “to profit” or “have an advantage”.

安利 (Ānlì)

“安利 (Ānlì)” is a useful word that can be used to help someone, by suggesting something to him or her. Perhaps, a product that you have used already, something you can vouch for. The security of a friend’s recommendation and all the pleasures that come with modern shopping might be exactly why this buzzword is as popular as it is.

Though “安利 (ānlì)” is extremely popular, this doesn’t mean there aren’t other words and phrases in Chinese which can be used to express suggestions or recommendations. One common word used in Chinese is “介绍 (jièshào)”, which means the common way to recommend, introduce or brief. Another commonly used word being very similar to the way that “安利 (ānlì)” is used in Chinese is “建议 (jiànyì)”, which means to propose, suggest or advise. “介绍 (Jièshào)” and “建议 (jiànyì)” are two popular words, but nowhere near as “hip” and modern as “安利 (ānlì)”.

The newfound popularity and use of “安利 (ānlì)” in Chinese is a prime example of how the Chinese language continues to develop. The buzzword is extremely useful and coincides with the popular sport of shopping. It’s interesting to see how buzzwords are created and naturally come into popularity by way of ordinary cultural and language evolvement. Although “安利 (ānlì)” is typically reserved for casual chit chat, and not professional or business conversations, perhaps “安利 (ānlì)” may be an official Chinese dictionary word in the future, which by the way would be quite remarkable!

Here are some useful examples of how “安利 (ānlì)” is used in sentences in Chinese:

Wǒ qiángliè ānlì Gōngbǎojīdīng, zhè dào cài fēicháng kěkǒu.
我强烈安利宫保鸡丁,这道菜非常可口。
I strongly recommend Kung Pao Chicken. It’s delicious.

What Does the Word “家常菜(Jiāchángcài)” Mean?

Bié zài ānlì nǐ de ǒuxiàng le.
别再安利你的偶像了。
Stop advertising every single about your idol.

In the examples above, we recommend friends to try a good dish — Kung pao Chicken. We can also recommend something else, such as our favorite idols, books and so on. So do you have any recommendations for good foods, books, or other things? And can you recommend to me something that you are interested in, or like? Now, you can practice the new word “安利 (ānlì)” we learnt today, and give me some recommendations by leaving your messages after this post.

HSK 3 quiz
1. Please read the dialogue then choose the best option to make it complete.

Xiǎo Lǐ: Wǒ xiǎng qù lǚyóu, kěshì bù zhīdào qù nǎlǐ hǎo.
小李:我想去旅游,可是不知道去哪里好。

Xiǎo Wáng: Wǒ qiángliè (   ) Yúnnán, nàr tài měi le.
小王:我强烈(   )云南,那儿太美了。

A. 安慰 (Ānwèi)

B. 安置 (Ānzhì)

C. 安利 (Ānlì)

2. What does “我安利这道菜给你 (Wǒ ānlì zhè dào cài gěi nǐ)” mean?

A. I love this dish very much.
B. I would like to have your dish.
C. I miss this dish a lot.
D. I recommend this dish.

See Answer Analysis

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