How to say Super in Chinese – and when hen3 just won’t cut it

The first time I heard 超(chāo)”super” used to emphasise a statement I was in a curry house in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, when one of the delivery people came back into the restaurant from outside and said 外面超冷(wài miàn chāo lěng), which literally translates as “outside is super cold”. I don’t remember how cold it was, but since Kaohsiung is a sub-tropical climate it must have been bloody cold for someone to say that.

How to say Super in Chinese - and when hen3 just won't cut it


Pinyin: chāo jí
English: super; extremely

Generally, the usage of the word 超級 is the same as the English – it means “super”, the image above is a good example of this: 超級英雄(超级英雄 chāo jí yīng xióng)- “super hero”. Though in Chinese 超級, or just 超 is also used to express an extreme degree of a state. When in English we might just say “outside is very cold” or “outside is so cold”, in Chinese you can say 超級冷 “super cold”.

Though the use of this adjective isn’t limited to the weather, you can use this to express anything you want. You can say:

tā chāo jí bèn
He’s super (extremely) stupid


tā chāo jí là
She’s super (extremely) hot

* Note – 辣(là) means “spicy” but us also used to say a girl is “hot”

You can literally use this in any situation where “very” or 很 just won’t cut it. Worth noting, however, is that in some cases it might be considered a bit feminine to use 超 instead of 很 – though, as with a lot of words in Chinese, it’s often determined more with the tone of your voice than the words that you say. So if you’re a guy then gruff it up a bit.

Got any more useful language tips? Let us know in the comments below!

2 responses to “How to say Super in Chinese – and when hen3 just won’t cut it

  1. I just had to leave a comment, because my boyfriend’s name is 永超 which I think could be translated as forever super.

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