How to Say “Accessories” in Mandarin Chinese

If you’re looking for a case for your mobile phone, or some new headphones for your iPod then this word will come in handy.

配件(配件)

Pinyin: pèi jiàn
English: accessories; fittings

Here you can see the word in use at a mobile phone accessories stand in Taiwan:

Mobile Phone Accessories

The sign reads 瑞驛(瑞驿 ruì yì)which is the name of the shop, followed by 手機(手机 shǒu jī )”mobile phone”, and then lastly 配件(pèi jiàn)”accessories”.

Here it is again in use on the Apple website:

iPod Accessories

Just like the English “accessories”, 配件 can be used for all sorts of things, such as 電腦配件(电脑配件 diànnǎo pèijiàn)”computer accessories”, 衣服配件(yīfú pèijiàn) “clothing accessories”, 汽車配件(汽车配件 qìchē pèijiàn)”car accessories”, so it’s clearly a very useful word.

3 responses to “How to Say “Accessories” in Mandarin Chinese

  1. When I lived in Taiwan in the 90s I think I often heard “配” used in “配合” (pèi hé) meaning “to match” or “to compliment”… but I think 配 can also be used by itself to mean the same thing, if I remember correctly? It’s interesting to see the radical “酒” (jiǔ) in 配 — I’m guessing that 配 originally was used to describe alcohol or wine that accompanied a food dish?

    1. Hi, Gary!

      I think you’re right! I looked up my dictionary and found that in ancient China, a single character 配 can mean the gloss of wine as a norm, so it is really associated with alcohol.

      However, in Taiwan today we almost never use a single character 配 as a norm. We usually use 配 to form a verb. As we all know, 配合 is the basic usage meaning something like “match” or “adjust yourself for someone/something”. We can also say that some food can “配酒”, meaning that the food is good to eat with beer or wine.

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