This page is from "Wife and Hasband". Here I rewrited to be legible without chinese fonts installed.

"Wife" and "Husband"
Altair -
"tai tai" and is equally good to me.
In Japan, rather mean 'fat fat'. seems to have good meaning in China

I can imagine if a foreigner introduced his wife to me, and say "it's my ", how impressed I'd be.

Here are some more you can learn, but just take it for fun.
Lover---- A common word that once refered to wife or husband in modern china, but i really doubt its popularity today.

Woman ---- Some still use it to refer to his wife, though it's quite weird. Don't forget to add "" before it.

Could someone expand a little bit about the common equivalents for "wife," "husband," "woman," and "man." The numerous Chinese words for these have always driven me crazy.

What are the differences among these words for "wife"?:

qi~zi; ; ai ren; lao po; [] fu fu~ren; etc.
In Japan, means very old woman.

How about these words for "husband"?:

xia~nsheng; zhangfu; [-] ai ren; fu

How about these words for "woman"?:

nu:ren; nu:de; po n?xing; [] fu

and these words for "man"?:

nanren; nande; nanxing

Quest -

ok, I will do it. Come back from those hot topics and answer some questions people!

: ancient term for wife. also, today's official and formal term for a man's wife. I like this word, most beautiful way to say "wife" imo.
In Japan, means "wife and children.

: married woman. polite way to address a married woman. It can mean wife.

: formal way to address your wife/husband in front of other people (usually strangers or not so close friends), but some people (e.g. me) find it very (what is meat linen ?). and belong here, too.

: this one you should know, very casual way of calling your wife in front of friends, or people you know well.

[]: literary term for women or females, usually older ones, not girls.

: same as , but it's an older usage, it's almost classical chinese.
In Japan is the typical.

: mister/man/husband/teacher/knowledgeable person

: see

: see

: noun. woman: adjective (no equivalent in English? feminine?)
: old woman
: female

and these words for "man"?:

: see
: see
: see

Yau -
: mister/man/husband/teacher/knowledgeable person

I've asked the woman "????" and she replied "Well..i've graduated for a long time".
He asked if the hasband at home. but the wife took as "teacher".

perhaps for avoiding confusion, is least common to refer a husband today.

Yau -

For making these titles more complicated ,
you can also learn these terms too.

: classical way to refer to your own wife only.
: same as the above, but more euphemistical and highly humble.
: classical way to refer to others' wives.

Some more here: (In Japan, it is an old word indicating legitimate wife)AAA.....considering the structure of old chinese family, it isn't hard to imagine that there may be 100 ways to refer a wife.

roddy -
Here in Beijing, the most common one I hear for your own husband or wife (when talking to third parties) is (In Japan, is lover other than wife). If you are talking about someone else's, , or / are all used. I've never heard or to refer to a spouse (I have never heard at all, I think).

Another way of distinguishing the genders is / - I'd originally thought this was for students only, but people have told me I won't like a book or a film because I'm a , and it seems to be used where English might have 'some guy' or 'a girl', when the person in question is fairly young. There's also a karaoke classic along the lines of '?, . . .' which I'm sure many of us have heard.

PS. Of course, if you are annoyed with them, there's always ?. Don't let them hear you though.

BeijingSlacker -
To Roddy

You are right. its primarily for students, but some people use it anyways. Its ok, especially for girls.However, I would still suggest you not use .

It depents on your personality and style. I've read some of the Chinese you wrote, and I think you have reached the point where you should develop your personaly language style. There are many commonly used phrases that you would not want to use. One big group is girlish talking.

is not massively girlish, but I personally would not use them.I would just say or .

skylee -
In Hong Kong, and are commonly used to refer to one's own or other people's spouse.

JoH -
How about if you are directly addressing someone's wife? For instance, if I meet my teacher's wife, and I know her surname is Zhang, what is the best (polite) way to address her?

Thanks, Jo

skylee -
If the teacher's name is Zhang, then his wife is Zhang taitai (/). Or perhaps you may call her .

JoH -
Thanks Skylee. Do you know if that holds all over the country (bearing in mind Roddy's comment above)?