The Ultimate Guide to Geography in Chinese || 104 Words & Phrases

From the Coast to the Mountains || 104 Words & Phrases to Learn

China is known for having some of the most beautiful landscapes and scenery, but did you ever wonder how to say them in Chinese?

Before you go exploring the local flora and fauna, it may be useful to brush up on your Chinese Geography Vocabulary skills.

Let’s learn our first word…

Geography in Chinese is 地理 dìlǐ

USEFUL VOCAB | When travelling, you may also find it useful to know in which direction you’re headed, which you can do by using a 指南针 zhǐnánzhēn (compass) and a 地图 dìtú (map), or as many people do, your 电话 diànhuà (phone).

If you ever wondered about the difference between Western and Chinese maps, then head over to our Chinese map blog post for interesting trivia!

In this post you will find all the need-to know key words for your Chinese Geography vocabulary from the coast to the mountains!

Chinese Geography Vocabulary || Directions

Chinese Geography Vocabulary || The Continents

Chinese Geography Vocabulary || Oceans, Seas & Lakes

Chinese Geography Vocabulary || The Coast

Chinese Geography Vocabulary || Nature

Chinese Geography Vocabulary || Mountains

Chinese Geography Vocabulary || FAQ’s

Discover more all important vocabulary in Mandarin

Chinese Geography Vocabulary || Directions

To start off, let’s figure out in which direction you’re headed.

Are you going North, South, East or West?

VocabularyCharacterPinyin
Direction方向fāng xiàng
Northběi
Eastdōng
Southnán
West西
Centrezhōng
Compass指南针 zhǐnánzhēn

Here are some useful phrases when asking for directions!

北方在哪里?- Where is North?

Běifāng zài nǎlǐ?

东北在哪里?- Where is North East?

dōngběi zài nǎlǐ?

TOP TIP | Did you notice how in Chinese East 东 comes first, and then North 北?

That’s because in Chinese directions are given as east-west and then north-south, rather than the English north-south followed by east-west.

So if you want to say South West in Chinese, all you have to do is simply switch South with West and you’ll get 西南 xīnán.

Here are some more important keywords about geography in Chinese.

VocabularyCharacterPinyin
Country国家guójiā
Countyxiàn
Provinceshěng
City城市chéngshì
Townzhèn
Suburb郊区jiāoqū
Village村庄cūnzhuāng
Border边界biānjiè

北京在上海的南边吗? Is Beijing south of Shanghai?

běijīng zài shànghǎi de nánbian ma?

不对,北京在上海的西北. No, Beijing is north-west of Shanghai.

bùduì, běijīng zài shànghǎi de xīběi

Chinese Geography Vocabulary || Continents

We know that there are 7 continents, but how do we say their names in Chinese?

Let’s check them out here:

VocabularyCharacterPinyin
Continent大洲dàzhōu 
Asia亚洲yàzhōu
Africa非洲fēizhōu
North America北美洲běiměizhōu
South America南美洲nánměizhōu 
Antarctica南极洲nán jízhōu
Europe欧洲ōuzhōu
Australia澳洲àozhōu

BONUS | If you’re curious about the names of the various countries within these continents, why not check out our guide to countries in Chinese?

Chinese Geography Vocabulary || Oceans, Seas, Lakes & More

Moving away from direction and continents it’s time to take a look at the various bodies of water on our planet.

Check out the vocabulary table below to learn about them:

VocabularyCharacterPinyin
Ocean海洋hǎiyáng
Pacific Ocean太平洋tàipíngyáng
Atlantic Ocean大西洋dàxīyáng
Indian Ocean印度洋yìndùyáng
Arctic Ocean北冰洋běibīngyáng
Southern Ocean南冰洋nánhǎiyáng
Canal运河yùnhé
Glacier冰川bīngchuān
Gulf海湾hǎiwān
Harbour港口gǎngkǒu
Lagoon泻湖xièhú
Lake
Pond池塘chítáng
River
Seahǎi

Are you interested in finding out what animals live in these bodies of water.

Check out our article about the different types of animals!

Chinese Geography Vocabulary || The Coast

DID YOU KNOW | China has the world’s 10th largest coastline in the world!

On that note, let’s learn some more similar and related words.

VocabularyCharacterPinyin
Coastline海岸线hǎi’ànxiàn
Beach海滩hǎitān
Cave洞穴dòngxué
Cliff悬崖xuányá
Dune沙丘shāqiū
Current海流hǎiliú
Landform地形dìxíng
Salt Marsh盐沼yánzhǎo
Wave海浪hǎilàng
Windfēng
Fjord峡湾xiáwān
Groyne防波堤fángbōdī
Estuary河口hékǒu
Delta三角洲sānjiǎozhōu

For more beach related vocabulary check out our beach in Chinese post!

Let's Hit the Seaside // All The Chinese Beach Vocabulary You Need Thumbnail

Let’s Hit the Seaside // All The Chinese Beach Vocabulary You Need

The ultimate guide to Chinese beach vocabulary! Let’s hit the beach in Chinese! Learn all our need-to-know words and phrases, and speak like a native.

Chinese Geography Vocabulary || Nature

DID YOU KNOW | China is one of the 17 mega-diverse countries, meaning that it has a vast amount of various different wildlife and plants!

Here is some vocabulary for talking about nature in Chinese!

VocabularyCharacterPinyin
Nature自然zìrán
Woods树木shùmù
Forest森林sēnlín
Jungle丛林cónglín
Treeshù
Bonsai盆景pénjǐng
Cactus仙人掌xiānrénzhǎng
Grasscǎo
Plant植物zhíwù
Flowerhuā
Branchzhī
Leaf叶子yèzi
Lichen地衣dìyī
Mosstái
Rock岩石yánshí
Shrub灌木guànmù
Palm Tree棕榈zōnglǘ
China Fir杉木shānmù
Plum Blossom梅花méihuā
Willow Tree柳树liǔshù
Pine Tree松树sōngshù
Oak Tree橡木xiàngmù
Maple Tree枫树fēngshù
Bamboo竹子zhúzi

BONUS | Check out our post about the stunning must-see nature scenery in China for interesting information!

Chinese Geography Vocabulary || Mountains

DID YOU KNOW | China is home to some of the tallest mountains in the world, including the Sacred Mountains of China, which are made up of The Five Great Mountains, The Four Sacred Mountains of Buddhism and the Four Sacred Mountains of Taoism.

These mountains have held great importance throughout history, especially as places of worship and pilgrimage, dating all the way back to the Qin Dynasty!

INTERESTING FACT | The Chinese expression for “pilgrimage” is 朝拜圣山 cháobài shèng shān, which literally translates to “worshiping the holy mountain”.

Some of these mountains are part of the World Heritage Sites, and you can find more fascinating information in our blog post about the most amazing 15 World Heritage Sites in China!

VocabularyCharacterPinyin
Mountainshān
Five Great Mountains五岳wǔyuè
Mount. Tai泰山tàishān
Mount. Hua华山huàshān
Mount. Heng (Hunan)衡山héngshān
Mount. Heng (Shanxi)恒山héngshān
Mount. Song嵩山sōngshān
The Four Sacred Mountains of Buddhism四大佛教名山sìdàfójiàomíngshān
Mount. Wutai五台山wǔtáishān
Mount. Emei峨嵋山éméishān
Mount. Jiuhua九华山jǐuhuáshān
Mount. Putuo普陀山pǔtuóshān
The Four Sacred Mountains
of Taoism
四大道教名山sìdàdàojiàomíngshān
Mount. Wudang武当山wǔdāngshān
Mount. Qiyun齐云山qíyúnshān
Mount. Longhu龙虎山lónghŭshān
Mount. Qingcheng青城山qīngchéngshān

That concludes our guide to some of the most useful words and phrases related to geography in Chinese.

Did we miss any out? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll be sure to add them.

Geography in Chinese || FAQs

How do you say Geography in Chinese?

Geography in Chinese is 地理 dìlǐ.

How do you say Ocean in Chinese?

Ocean in Chinese is 海洋 hǎiyáng.

What does 国家 mean?

国家 means country.

What does 大洲 mean?

大洲 means continent.

How do you say Pacific Ocean in Chinese?

Pacific Ocean in Chinese is 太平洋 (tàipíngyáng).

What mountains do the Sacred Mountains include?

The Five Great Mountains, The Four Sacred Mountains of Buddhism and the Four Sacred Mountains of Taoism!

When talking about directions in Chinese, do horizontal or vertical directions come first?

You would mention horizontal before, and then vertical.

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