How do you say "God willing" in Chinese?

For example, “God willing, I will become famous.”

Google Translate tells me 天意 (Tianyi), but some other translation tools say
上帝愿意 (shangdi yuanyi).

Do both Tian and Shangdi refer to the Abrahamic God? I know that Tian also means “heaven”.

Is there a similar expression to “God willing” that is more common?

Tian would be used to describe the Chinese idea of a heaven that embodies all things in the universe. The emperor of China is often refereed to as the son of Heaven as the rightful ruler of the middle kingdom. This is where the idea of mandate of heaven as the just ruler of China came from.

Shangdi would be mostly used for the Abrahamic God.

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If it is God’s will, then (something).


Which God are we talking about? Local Gods, the God father of Jesus, some other God?

Doesn’t it depend on the God? Like Matsu, or Buddha, or the local land God, or the fireplace God, or the God of the temple down the street, or…

And also doesn’t it depend on what you’re asking for as different Gods respond to different requests.

I will be back next week , god willing.


OP mentioned fame, in which case I believe you have to sell your soul to the devil. None of the Gods you mentioned will help his case.

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If the prostitutes can have a God, then surely, people that want to be famous can have a God.

  • God willing I will have a nice customer tonight and I’ll be safe and get a good tip.

The actors and actresses and wannabes go somewhere to pray.

  • God willing more people will know who I am.

Even the gangsters have a God.

So in Taiwan, “God willing” is probably more like “Gods willing” or “that God willing”.

If I knew someone famous I would ask :slight_smile:

Wow, some pretty advanced looking answers on this thread. Your pronunciation would want to be tip top if you are going to try these out. Otherwise you are going to be stared at like you are from outer space. Unless of course these are vernacular, which I have my suspicions they are not.

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That temple near Keelung is awesome late at night. You? Really? Wow. :eek:

And all the black Mercedes.

While we’re at it, someone once told me the Chinese equivalent of it’s Greek to me translates back as only God could understand it. Is there anything to that?

Surely the Hui and Chinese speaking Uighurs have some equivalent to this phrase.

I found this transliteration when looking up Hui Muslim phrases:
印善安拉 - inshallah

Maybe they just transliterate everything from Arabic?

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when most of c hinese people say a similar expression to “God willing”, they may not mean Abrahamic God.

I seem to remember hearing something similar as a Jewish saying (but I’m likely wrong).

Wikipedia has a list in various languages, actually.


Yes, 天書, or a book from heaven, referring to something so deep that mere mortals can’t understand it.


Gods willing

Don’t know, but the French equivalent is “It’s Chinese” (c’est du chinois)

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