Price ‘killing’ in Chinese – Essential Vocabulary

Bargaining is standard practice in a lot of Chinese and Taiwanese markets so it’s a skill you’ll have to learn if you are to visit these places (check out our post on Haggling in Chinese for some useful phrases). When refering to haggling or bargaining in Chinese you’d generally use the term 講價(讲价 jiǎng jià)which means ‘to talk about price’, but there’s a more fun way to say it that translates literally as ‘killing price’.

Killing Price in Chinese 殺價

殺價(杀价)

Pinyin:shā jià
English:to haggle a price down; to knock the price down; to kill 殺(杀)the price 價格(价格 jià gé)- similar to the English to ‘slash’ a price.

Killing or slashing a price is a lot more fun than simply ‘talking about price’, I’m sure you’ll agree!

The phrase is used by both sellers/advertisers to emphasise a cut price sale, and by consumers to express that the price was haggled down a lot. Here’s a few examples of how 殺價 can be used.

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The first picture says 大殺價(大杀价)which is like saying ‘big cuts in price’ or ‘huge sale’ etc.

Big Sale 殺價

The usage in the second picture is bit tricky since it’s a little bit of a play on words. While we can see 殺價 which is obviously supposed to be represent a reduced price, but 殺 can also mean something along the lines of ‘awesome’ or ‘best’, as in 最殺的價格(最杀的价格 zuì shā de jiàgé)”an awesome price”.

Awesome Price  殺價

Consumers

If you were on your way to buy a computer but wanted to see if you could haggle a better price you might say to your friend:

我想要買這台電腦,但我看一下能不能殺價

我想要买这台电脑,但我看一下能不能杀价

wǒ xiǎngyào mǎi zhè tái diànnǎo, dàn wǒ kànyīxià néngbùnéng shājià

I want to buy this computer, but let’s see if I can knock the price down a bit

Though if you weren’t any good at haggling you might say:

Traditional
我不太會殺價

Simplified
我不太會殺價

Pinyin
wǒ bú tài huì shājià

English
I’ve not really very good at haggling

Popular Media

A couple of years ago in Taiwan a television advertisement for an online game started off a meme using the word 殺(杀)and spawning a new language usage. 殺很大(杀很大) was the phrase used by online game 殺online in it’s 2009 advert, seen in this Youtube video:

(Youku video link for readers in China)

The phrase 殺很大 caught on in Taiwan and, as explained in the Chinese language Uncyclopedia, has many uses now – one of them being for haggling price:

Traditional
那個歐巴桑在菜市場買菜殺價殺很大

Simplified
那个欧巴桑在菜市场买菜杀价杀很大

Pinyin
nà gè ōubāsāng zài càishìchǎng mǎicài shājià shāhěndà

English
That woman was just haggling in the food market and knocked the price down loads

If you know of any other fun uses of Chinese then post them below!