I had a few business meetings with people from China. English is my second language and it’s also their second language.

In the follow up email, they said the meeting and our product were OK. They wanted us to give another demo with their executive team.

In our culture, when we say something is OK, it means less than ideal or average. Basically, it has a negative feeling when we say “it’s OK”

I know that in some cultures, it’s OK means it’s good.

I wonder what “it’s OK” means for people in China.

P.S. I asked this question to understand the actual meaning of this statement. By no mean that I wanted to be rude or discriminate against Chinese people

  • Interestingly enough, in my experience (Mandarin and English speaker), OK in China/Taiwan does mean something is "good" or even "very good" rather than "just alright" as in English.
    – myacorn
    Dec 27, 2021 at 6:23
  • 4
    I'm not sure this is an English Language Learning question. If "OK" is a word used in Chinese (as a borrowing from English) perhaps Chinese Language is a better place. While there is an Indian dialect of English (albeit a nonstandard one, and one which has low status) Is there a Chinese dialect of English, or is a use of Okay to mean "very good" just a "mistake". So What is your culture?
    – James K
    Dec 27, 2021 at 7:51
  • Going to depend on who the folks have learned English from. And context in the email. Maybe ask them?
    – Dan
    Dec 28, 2021 at 0:02
  • 1
    This question is ok
    – dkamins
    Dec 28, 2021 at 3:52

1 Answer 1


Average. Or good. Ok as in “还好” will mean not too good and not too bad. So it is either average or good.

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