Author: kevin_smith

Do Chinese feel obliged to speak English with Westerners, even if the Westerner [Copy link] 中文

Rank: 4

Post time 2004-7-3 03:21:21 |Display all floors

seneca -- why are you in China?

Seems to me you don't like the Chinese that much, which is OK. You don't have to like us.

But, if I may ask, why did you stay in China for four years?? I would not if I had to be surrounded by "boors" all the time!

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Rank: 4

Post time 2004-7-3 15:57:14 |Display all floors

To Kevin...

Just use different languages for different occasions.

For example, for business, work, or when it serves your advantage, use Chinese or English, according to circumstances, otherwise switch to a third language to make friendships outside the frenzied world of these two languages.

Another fun thing I've done (though I admit I really shouldn't 'cause it's dishonest) is just pretend I'm a Xinjiangren and then give them a good tongue lashing in Chinese for a good five to ten minutes about why they say Nihao to the Han but say hello to you.  Then ask them if you're a foreigner cause you're white, and if they consider Xinjiangren as foreigners. Great fun, really!

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Rank: 6Rank: 6

Post time 2004-7-3 19:14:58 |Display all floors

Your hosts are trying to be polite, or ..

but if I were the host I would also speak to you in Chinese, because it's better you tolerate my crappy English..then I tolerate your crappy Chinese.
I must admit most westerners speak Chinese with such a horrible accent it is a torture to hear them talk. : )

But I believe it is because your hosts try to be polite. Also, many educated people actually know English, but can't speak it well perhaps. So just when you are using them as target practice, they are also doing the same to you.

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Rank: 6Rank: 6

Post time 2004-7-3 20:08:17 |Display all floors

Seneca, nobody is looking down on you unless you ask for it

Try to speak to the girl in the local lingo perhaps.

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Rank: 6Rank: 6

Post time 2004-7-4 16:45:22 |Display all floors

To jmcbride: did you have a good mandarin teacher ?

A brit used to ask me how long it will take to speak fluent mandarin. Fluent mandarin to mean at least can strike a simple conversation with proper pronunciation.

I said 6 months. And I don't see why not, unless you have an incompetent mandarin teacher or you are not interested in learning the language.

I used to teach this brit a word here and there for free (we are friends who meet up to socialise, not to teach each other languages) and he told me if I were his teacher, he would speak perfect mandarin in 3 months, because when I point out how a word should be used, or how a word should be pronounced, he commented that his mandarin language teacher never taught this way, and he was usually a blur trying to grasp exactly how to do it the right way.

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Rank: 1

Post time 2004-9-16 12:17:32 |Display all floors

Communicating in another language!

Why don't you just try to say to the other person, hey look, i am trying to learn Chinese here, and your shabby version of English just isn't going anywhere for either of us, so please quit the English stuff, and speak Chinese to me?  Well.....do you see how selfish you are in your quest?  You will have plenty of opportunities to speak fluent Chinese with those who really want to have deep conversations with you.  Remember that the only thing we should get out of language is the ability to understand what the other person is trying to say, no matter what language they say it in.  I went thru the same frustration when i lived in Japan and studied Japanese, and then the same thing in Korea when I studied Korean.  Another thing to remember is that you are different, and therefore you should expect to be treated differently.  Not to mention that Asian languages have several levels of communication within the communicating.  My mother in law just accepts the fact that I speak to her in a colloquial way when I should be honoring her in language, just for the fact that we can understand each other at all!  And believe me, that is one heck of an XXLarge sacrifice for her to make.   Last thing is that if they respond to you in english then try communicating back in English.  Eventually, the other party will get tired of speaking english and revert back to Chinese.

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Rank: 1

Post time 2004-9-17 19:06:57 |Display all floors

Kevin Smith

Personally anyway, it's not they are to blame but  ours  queer chinese intonations which they think will probably let both them and us pissed off.

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