萝卜白菜各有所爱 – luo2bo bai2cai4ge4you3suo3ai4
Literal translation – Turnip Chinese Cabbage each has actual love
Turnip, Cabbage everyone has their own preference
It basically means It means “Everybody has their own personal taste” or “Each persons likes and dislikes are different”
This is one of my MOST used expresssions. If you live in China then this is a MUST learn. Reason being I was sick and tired of going into restaurants and asking for dishes to be modified to the way I like them (i.e. don’t put any hot peppers in, as I don’t like spicey food). Too many times the waitress told me it was “impossible”. When I asked why was it “impossible” the answer was always “because it won’t taste good that way”. I have no idea where this logic possibly comes from and how it can be so common nationwide, but it is. So I was SO happy to stumble upon this idiom/phrase which basically throws a spanner in their logic using their own language. Now I don’t need to argue with the waitresses or explain to them that I have the right to decide what does and doesn’t taste good. Once I get any resistance from the staff regarding my desires to change the dishes to my liking I simply utter the proverb/saying above and they normally smile (surprised a foreigner knows how to use such an expression) and they get the point. Strange that such an expression exists in their language but yet they insists on telling others what does and doesn’t taste good.
Anyways, be sure to learn this as you will use it almost daily (or at least almost everytime you go to a restaurant).