Is it natural to say that somebody is ‘a newbie in English/Chinese’, or any other language?

  • 1
    It sounds fine to me. Most people these days are familiar with the word "newbie" meaning "beginner".
    – SarahT
    Apr 9, 2020 at 2:32

1 Answer 1


I would avoid it.

The word "newbie" doesn't have the same connotation as "beginner". It is generally used to mean "a new member of a community". And implies that the person is learning the etiquette and conventions of that community.

If you say "a newbie in Chinese" it isn't clear what community you are new to. Is there a community of Chinese language learners? It surely doesn't mean the community of Chinese people.

Presumably what you actually want to say is that you have recently started learning the language, and "beginner" is the perfect word for that.

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