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Chinese Terms for Psychological and Emotional States

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Language is a key that opens doors to understanding not only culture but also the emotional and psychological nuance of a society. When learning Chinese, you’ll find rich vocabulary that describes a variety of emotional and psychological states. Here are some common terms that you’ll find helpful in expressing feelings and mental states in Chinese.

开心 (kāi xīn)
This term means happy or joyful. It is a state of happiness and satisfaction.

他今天过生日,看上去特别开心。
(He looks especially happy today because it’s his birthday.)

难过 (nán guò)
This translates to feeling sad or sorrowful. It is an emotional response to distressing situations.

听到这个噩耗,我们都非常难过。
(We were all very sad to hear this terrible news.)

紧张 (jǐn zhāng)
This means tense or nervous, often used in situations where there’s pressure or anxiety.

考试前,学生们都显得很紧张。
(Students seem very nervous before the exam.)

失望 (shī wàng)
To be disappointed, often when something doesn’t meet expectations.

他的表现没有达到我 们的期望,让我们感到失望。
(His performance did not meet our expectations, which was disappointing to us.)

愤怒 (fèn nù)
Angry or indignant, this word describes a strong feeling of displeasure or hostility.

他被不公平的待遇激怒了。
(He was angered by the unfair treatment.)

郁闷 (yù mèn)
This term refers to being depressed or in low spirits. It’s often used to describe a general feeling of discontent or dullness.

这段时间他一直郁闷,可能是工作压力太大了。
(He has been depressed recently, probably due to too much work pressure.)

焦虑 (jiāo lǜ)
Anxiety or anxiousness, a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome.

面对将来的不确定性,他感到非常焦虑。
(Faced with the uncertainty of the future, he feels very anxious.)

感动 (gǎn dòng)
Moved or touched emotionally, often caused by acts of kindness or sentimentality.

这部电影的结局太感人了,让我很感动。
(The ending of this movie was so touching that it moved me deeply.)

疑惑 (yí huò)
Confused or puzzled, this word describes a state of being uncertain about something or not understanding.

他对新的规则感到很疑惑,不知道如何是好。
(He is confused about the new rules and doesn’t know what to do.)

自豪 (zì háo)
Pride or proud, it’s a feeling of deep satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, or the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated.

她的孩子在学校里表现优秀,让她感到非常自豪。
(Her child’s excellent performance at school makes her feel very proud.)

怀念 (huái niàn)
To miss or reminisce about, this term is used when fondly remembering someone or something from the past.

离开故乡多年,他依然怀念那里的生活。
(After leaving his hometown for many years, he still misses the life there.)

Learning to express emotional and psychological states in Chinese will not only enrich your vocabulary but also help you connect more deeply with Chinese speakers. By understanding and using these terms, you can better communicate your feelings and comprehend the emotional context of conversations.

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