Last week I was talking a Chinese teacher here, she was talking about the difference between the way Chinese and American greet each other.
One of her students who has been learning Chinese for a while in the states, he went to China for traveling and found that the way Chinese greet was different from what he learn in his textbook. In the book, they use “how are you 你好嗎?” for greeting, which is so formal that people in China seldom use that when greet with friends. He found that Chinese usually greet with each other by asking what they are doing. For example, if you saw your friend is writing something, then you will go “you writing 寫字啊? ” If you saw your neighbor is sweeping, you will go “you sweeping 掃地啊?”
As for people from Taiwan, we usually greet with each other by asking them if they had their lunch/ dinner. For example, if you saw your friend in Taiwan, you go ” have you eaten yet 吃過了嗎？”
It’s funny that today in Marketing class, the professor was also talking about the greeting thing. You know how American will ask “how are you?” so he said his favorite response is “perfect.” Other one is “better.” But you are not suppose to reply “better” because then people will wonder why “better”, was there something wrong? Then he will go like “no, just better than average!”