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Chinglish - A Popular Alternative to English

Popularity 25Viewed 7050 times 2014-3-12 03:33 |System category:News| English

So, for those of you who don't know the meaning, Chinglish is the combination of spoken Chinese and English. Okay, okay,  I know what you are going to say. Chinglish is not an acceptable alternative to proper spoken or written Chinese or English. However, I find that it is, in fact, a great learning tool, and can encourage students who may feel too shy about practicing speaking English out loud in a more uninhibited way.  

A few things I forbid my students to say is "My English is poor," and "I am too shy." I tell them to leave their shyness at the door in my Oral English class. Li Yang, the guy who promoted and taught "Crazy English," once said "You must enjoy losing face."  I couldn't agree more. Since I am studying Chinese, I also make lots of mistakes, but I can't let embarrassment get in the way of learning. Yeah, people might laugh at me when I ask in Chinese for fish smelling shoes (xié zǐ)  instead of eggplant (qié zi) in Chinese, but it doesn't matter. Now I know why waiters and waitresses looked at me funny when I ordered this dish. [imgid=0]So, I have to be willing to put my money where my mouth is, and if I want my students to not feel shy or embarrassed, I also have to do the same thing, and be willing to lose face too. 

Also, regarding the use of Chinglish, it is just a mixture of Chinese and English, and although you can't use it to pass exams, it is useful for opening up and not feeling too shy. It is a confidence builder. So, I support the use of Chinglish![imgid=0]

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Reply Report MissBarbara 2014-3-12 17:15
Desperado_: Thanks for your understanding,lovely granny ! Every time when I try to express my feelings or points,I find that I just can't speak them out confident ...
It's my pleasure, my dear. I think the whole point of language is communication, so whatever works, use it!
Reply Report MissBarbara 2014-3-12 17:15
phylliss: yes,enjoying losing my face and  I will do better
Yes, me too, my dear Phyliss.
Reply Report MissBarbara 2014-3-12 17:16
tedbrent: kai huang qiang?  uh, Open yellow gun?

  I think you are utterly wrong about the true meaning of  kai huang qiang. The Chinese use this expression ka ...
Well, my Chinese friends are who taught me that phrase and the meaning, and thank you for your comments...
Reply Report MissBarbara 2014-3-12 17:18
remitrom: I LOVE CHINGLISH !!  however my chinese is so poor I know it more in the written form.  So many people wear shirts with english/chinglish  and they do ...
Yes, so we also have to be careful when we wear t-shirts with Chinese characters on them unless we know what they say. Thanks.
Reply Report voice_cd 2014-3-12 17:39
Thanks for sharing your story here! We have highlighted your story to the homepage.
Reply Report Desperado_ 2014-3-12 18:17
Thanks,I will.
Reply Report Léoni 2014-3-12 20:43
But you know, Chinese people always care their face. So as an English major student, I put myself in an embarrassing position. On the one hand, I try to learn English well. But actually it's language and you have to speak out. On the other, I'm just afraid to speak out so as to avoid making mistakes.  
Reply Report tedbrent 2014-3-12 20:53
That's okay. Such slang terms can be found in many Chinese cities. I wouldn't call it formal usage. Actually, I suggest that you shy away from  uttering such Chinese slang terms , what with such slang terms have different meanings in other Chinese cities.


On top of that,  even the Chinese are told to use decent words when talking to each other,  unless we are talking about private conversations between you and your chums living in Chongqing, under the circumstances. It would be wise not to use such slang terms in other Chinese cities, where people use their own impenetrable  slang terms or expressions like kai huang qiang have different  meanings in the local dialect.

  Just a thought.
Reply Report laoren1234 2014-3-13 02:45
Didn't "Long time no see" originate from Chinglish?
Reply Report MissBarbara 2014-3-13 05:32
laoren1234: Didn't "Long time no see" originate from Chinglish?
I don't know, I have said it all my life.
Reply Report 千载难逢 2014-3-13 08:17
For some learners,maybe Chinglish is funny,but as far as I'm concerned,we should take the studying of it seriously,as well as knowing some of it.If you choose the second language to study,Losing face is pretty significant,you could be motivated to go further, and then you will make more progress.I truly believe 'practice makes perfect'!
Reply Report MissBarbara 2014-3-13 09:03
千载难逢: For some learners,maybe Chinglish is funny,but as far as I'm concerned,we should take the studying of it seriously,as well as knowing some of it.If yo ...
Yes, my feelings exactly!
Reply Report MissBarbara 2014-3-13 09:04
voice_cd: Thanks for sharing your story here! We have highlighted your story to the homepage.
Thank you. I appreciate that.
Reply Report MissBarbara 2014-3-13 09:06
Léoni: But you know, Chinese people always care their face. So as an English major student, I put myself in an embarrassing position. On the one hand, I try  ...
Don't be afraid. It is by making mistakes that we learn. I do know how you feel, though, I feel afraid too to make mistakes in Chinese, but in the long run, does it really matter if we make some mistakes? Isn't it all about communication, after all?
Reply Report MissBarbara 2014-3-13 09:06
tedbrent: That's okay. Such slang terms can be found in many Chinese cities. I wouldn't call it formal usage. Actually, I suggest that you shy away from  utteri ...
ha ha, you are probably right.
Reply Report MissBarbara 2014-3-13 09:07
千载难逢: For some learners,maybe Chinglish is funny,but as far as I'm concerned,we should take the studying of it seriously,as well as knowing some of it.If yo ...
well said!
Reply Report MissBarbara 2014-3-13 17:06
tedbrent: That's okay. Such slang terms can be found in many Chinese cities. I wouldn't call it formal usage. Actually, I suggest that you shy away from  utteri ...
Yes, well, this is Sichuan hua. Thanks for your comment. I appreciate them. It is all part of my education, and I won't necessarily use these terms, but it is good to know them.
Reply Report Wanwann 2014-3-13 17:36
ColinSpeakman: Tell us some examples of your favorite Chinglish   
i'd like to show you a classic example–whenever the situation is,the answer of the question"how are you?"would never change"fine,thank you,and you"
Reply Report ColinSpeakman 2014-3-13 18:14
haha! Good one. When somebody asks How are you? The last thing they want to hear is how you actually are!
Reply Report ALICE1234 2014-3-13 19:03
MissBarbara: uh, Open yellow gun, it means you think you are the expert but in fact what you said is totally wrong in that area. In Chinese or rather pinyiin, it i ...
funny    hahahaha

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  • Saying Goodbye to China 2017-8-20 20:43

    Sad that you are returning to the USA. I moved here fulltime in 2012 after spending 3 months of ever year from 2001. China is my chosen home for the rest of my life since I retired in 2012. Safe,beautiful people, friendly,helpful,kind,polite and I love China. Of course I love my Chinese wife,her friends,family and my students make my life beautiful here. Thanks for all you did while in China.I know your students love you and will miss you.

  • Chinglish - A Popular Alternative to English 2017-8-10 13:30

    Well said.Good job.

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