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Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
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Suits Offline
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Post: #101
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
(05-12-2014 10:03 PM)BadWolf Wrote:  BTW, Chinese DONT LIKE IT when you speak to them in their language. They think its cute that you know a few words but when you speak it fluently, you are a danger to their business dealings. Back talking, especially about foreigners, is what Chinese do best and you are depriving them of that. Dashan is long forgotten among the current adult population but he would be the goto guy for all things language learning.

BadWolf, while your efforts to contribute are certainly appreciated, you've gotta stop with the "Chinese don't like it when you speak to them in their language" talk.

This just simply isn't true. I haven't spent much time at all where you are at in Guangzhou, but I have spent significant time in three Chinese cities, both in the north and south of China, as well as travel elsewhere, and I have no idea where you got this idea.

To me, it sounds like the many justifications that foreigners use to explain their lack of ambition and downright laziness when it comes to learning Chinese.

I speak functionally fluent Chinese. Despite major vocabulary gaps, I'm able to communicate on a very effective level and can rent my own apartments, buy furniture and appliances for my apartment, make travel arrangements, discuss some current events, take girls (who speak no English) out, etc.

Even this basic level of functionality has extremely high utility.

But most importantly, it means that I can handle my own affairs and don't need to rely on a Chinese person to do everything for me like a three year old.

At the end of the day, who even cares whether Chinese want you to learn Chinese? If they'd prefer that you don't, then why not do it just to piss them off?

I totally disagree with your belief in this matter, however. Every time a Chinese person discovers that we can understand each other just fine, they are absolutely thrilled.

In fact, I live in Beijing and most Chinese people aren't even shocked when I can talk to them. They don't make reference to the fact that I'm a foreigner and just treat me like they seem to treat everyone else.

I've never met a single foreigner who has learned Chinese and regretted it. I only meet lazy individuals who can't be bothered to try and develop a whole list of excuses to explain their lack of adaptability.

I don't consider you part of this category, because you do speak several languages fluently, so I have no problem with your personal decision not to learn Chinese. Whatever floats your boat.

But, please stop suggesting that there is a downside to learning enough Chinese to actually function like an adult in China, rather depending on a wife or girlfriend to do everything for you.

I'm the King of Beijing!
05-14-2014 07:23 PM
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Sargon of Akkad Offline
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Post: #102
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
I second Suits comment. I can't understand where you got the impression that the Chinese don't like it when foreigners speak their language. Almost every, single time I converse with a Chinese person -- either in China or with Chinese expats living abroad -- for the first time, they immediately open up to you. This is even when you say only a few phrases, but especially when you demonstrate that you can speak it proficiently.

Also one should never underestimate the utility of being able to speak the local language in a country like China or Japan, where practically no one speaks English beyond the standard "Hello", "How are you?" "I'm fine thank you." One severely limits oneself when one doesn't make an effort to learn and speak the language.

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05-14-2014 10:19 PM
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Post: #103
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
they like it
05-16-2014 10:00 AM
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Post: #104
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
Does anyone have any experience with Rosetta Stone for learning Mandarin? I got it as a Christmas gift a year back and have finished the first unit, it seems pretty legit, and I like how they almost make you re-learn language by showing pictures. I have to restart however, because I didn't turn the "characters" option on, so I was reading the sounds that were made, but not the Chinese words haha.

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(This post was last modified: 05-16-2014 10:03 AM by TheFinalEpic.)
05-16-2014 10:03 AM
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clever alias Offline
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Post: #105
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
i wasnt impressed. but thats just me. i dont think the rosetta stone system works very well
05-16-2014 10:08 AM
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Arado Offline
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Post: #106
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
Rosetta stone can get functional sentences but it's not great for conversational skills. There's tons of language exchange websites out there though. Try and start with memorizing some basic get to know you phrases.
05-17-2014 08:46 AM
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Alpharius Offline
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Post: #107
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
Rosetta Stone helped me with reinforcing basic vocabulary and was a good fallback for when I was getting tired of my usual language routine.

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05-17-2014 10:13 AM
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Post: #108
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
(05-16-2014 10:03 AM)TheFinalEpic Wrote:  Does anyone have any experience with Rosetta Stone for learning Mandarin?

I know a high-school kid who swears by it. Started when he was in Grade 6 or something, now it's 6 years later. He used it to get an introduction into the language, but he became conversant with a language tutor <--> practicing (as is true for anyone learning a language)

I personally prefer the Pimsleur audio program for starting out, but that just goes to show you that everyone prefers different methods.

Try it out, you might love it.
05-17-2014 08:26 PM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
anything that gives pre packaged phrases is nit a stand alone system
05-17-2014 08:34 PM
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BadWolf Offline
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
I have quite a few friends who speak fluent Cantonese and we still get the stink eye when trying to get directions or buy something. Some people just wave you away. I will order food in Cantonese at Mcdonalds and people will still go "Huh?" or speak English back to me. Listen, I speak Portuguese and Spanish from my days in Brazil and Mexico, their people are more open to conversing with you but as far as China is concerned, nobody is going to give you an award or pat you on the back for speaking their local language, the days of Dashan are done.

Most people who speak to foreigners are looking for free English time. If you've ever been invited out to a nice dinner you'll notice that everyone is sort of annoyed when you are trying to speak Chinese. I've had more than one guy at a formal dinner just completely shut down and ignore me infront of everyone after telling me how nice it was to meet a 'foreigner' in English. I dunno about where you guys are but people down south have no interest in speaking Cantonese with a foreigner. Usually if they are taking you out, its to to give them face and you are expected to do the monkey dance, speak in english and let them have a laugh at you in Cantonese. Usually when I bring my wife to these kinds of places, they all start going off in Cantonese (my wife only speaks mandarin). Last night we were at a computer place picking up some headphones. A sales woman leans over and says "is this your boyfriend?" to which my wife replies "no, he's my husband". The woman's eyes go wide and she says "How could your parents allow that?" (Mandarin). She turns to this other guy and starts speaking Cantonese and he gives us the stink eye before walking away.

Suits, I would agree with you, outside of Guangdong. I suppose I've been here too long, the rich, arrogant culture is starting to get to me. Actually, no you are right, in Wuhan the people were fairly nice and my wife is from the North also and she's an extremely decent person. In Xiangyang we went to nightclubs all the time and I never had any problems with racism. Come down here and I think you'll find the culture is like night and day. That being said, I also know a guy here that I work with and the two bosses we've worked for in different places in the city are both heavily annoyed when they find out he can speak Chinese. He is immedeately treated differently and not better, more of a 'be careful what you say around him' way. They certainly don't try and fvck him over as much as they do the other people. I guess cause you guys don't work here, people who come to Guangzhou are usually not the friendliest anyway. All of the Chinese that do live around here pretend they are locals, it pisses my wife off to no end.

Sargon: Japan and China are not the samething and anyone who manages to leave this country is probably a little more worldly and polite than the average joe. I've yet to meet anyone who has decided to make this there permanent resting place.

Since you guys feel I'm not adding anything useful to this thread, I'll just leave it at this.

I tried a bunch of different methods. The Rosetta stone is so far the best software I've used. Learning out of books only works for the very dedicated individual. All the guys I know who are fluent are also married to the mob. Unless you are intent on marrying Chinese, they think foreigners are 'losers that couldn't get a job in their own country'. I've been qouted that at least 40 or more times in 2 years.
(This post was last modified: 05-17-2014 09:23 PM by BadWolf.)
05-17-2014 08:59 PM
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Suits Offline
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Post: #111
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
(05-17-2014 08:59 PM)BadWolf Wrote:  Suits, I would agree with you, outside of Guangdong. I suppose I've been here too long, the rich, arrogant culture is starting to get to me. Actually, no you are right, in Wuhan the people were fairly nice and my wife is from the North also and she's an extremely decent person. In Xiangyang we went to nightclubs all the time and I never had any problems with racism. Come down here and I think you'll find the culture is like night and day. That being said, I also know a guy here that I work with and the two bosses we've worked for in different places in the city are both heavily annoyed when they find out he can speak Chinese. He is immedeately treated differently and not better, more of a 'be careful what you say around him' way. They certainly don't try and fvck him over as much as they do the other people. I guess cause you guys don't work here, people who come to Guangzhou are usually not the friendliest anyway. All of the Chinese that do live around here pretend they are locals, it pisses my wife off to no end.

It would be of absolutely no surprise that there are places in China where the locals would prefer that you did not speak their language. This could very much be the case in Guangzhou. I certainly wouldn't know one way or another, as I don't speak Cantonese.

Let's just make sure that we offer those reading our posts clarity on exactly which part of Chinese we are talking about.

As far as I'm concerned, north of Shanghai, the only part of China I'm very familiar with, speaking Mandarin is a huge advantage and will be responded to with warmth and appreciation.

But the Cantonese have a very different culture, so it would make sense if they had a different attitude.

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05-18-2014 07:45 AM
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Arado Offline
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Post: #112
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
I'm confused - is the reaction in Guangzhou different depending on if you are speaking Mandarin or Cantonese? A lot more foreigners speak Mandarin then before so I'm not surprised that the locals don't care about it as much anymore.

What about areas like Shenzhen where Mandarin is the main language, or other nearby cities? Is the migrant population friendlier to foreigners speaking Mandarin?
05-18-2014 08:15 AM
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BadWolf Offline
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Post: #113
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
I thought SZ was all Cantonese? If thats the case, the wife and I are leaving for SZ tommorow. My wife doesn't like the Cantonese very much, they really keep to their own. Infact people born in Guangzhou, I'm told have a serious superiority complex, they think that GZ is China and everything outside is a wasteland... which really is partially true. Most tier 1 people never wander farther than the city limits, its no different from Toronto people at home thinking Canada ends at the 401.
05-18-2014 09:56 AM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
(05-17-2014 08:59 PM)BadWolf Wrote:  Sargon: Japan and China are not the samething and anyone who manages to leave this country is probably a little more worldly and polite than the average joe. I've yet to meet anyone who has decided to make this there permanent resting place.

I wasn't referring to Chinese people living in Japan. I'm talking about my time studying in Beijing and Northeastern China. There, people will immediately open up to you when you show you can speak Chinese/Mandarin. I can fathom where you could possibly be getting this, and I've never met a single person who's experienced anything like what you say. I'm not trying to dismiss your experiences, but I strongly suspect your case to be an anomoly (unless, of course, this is something unique to Cantonese speakers). How do you know this isn't just do to you mispronuncing the language?

Disclamer: I am not the Sargon of Akkad from Youtube and I have no relation whatsoever to that person...also, I don't give a shit about videogames.
(This post was last modified: 05-18-2014 10:19 AM by Sargon of Akkad.)
05-18-2014 10:18 AM
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BadWolf Offline
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
All friends and colleagues say the samething, I have alot of them. I have found that teachers who used to be students, start out with an optimistic outlook but that's always gone by the 5th or 6th month.
Quote:There, people will immediately open up to you when you show you can speak Chinese/Mandarin.

I may not know the language perfectly but I do know quite a bit about the culture and having married a northerner and spent a considerable amount of time in Xinjiang and Nanjing, I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt, a Chinese will never open up to a foreigner. It's all a show, they used to call it 'automatic bestfriend' in Korea... asians are VERY good at hiding themselves and their true opinions from foreigners. Every Chinese person I have ever met and thats including friends, relatives (I have a chinese aunt), wife, and students have always told me, never ever trust Chinese until you REALLY get to know them well.

It's accepted among Chinese that foreginers treat strangers very well, while Chinese only treat their family well. Think about it for a second, if someone was overly nice to you in America because you spoke English, you'd suspect they were trying to sell you something or there was a 'catch'. It's no different in China, they always have a hidden motivation... talk to them long enough and their true feelings or ideas will come out in the form of a proposition of some sort. Maybe its just that you give them face and they enjoy showing others that they have a foreigner friend but don't think for a second they want to be around you soley because you are a 'good guy', that concept doesn't exist here.

One of the expat sales guys I talk to in Dashadi put it to me like this: If you treat them like tigers, they'll treat you like a dog. If you treat them like dogs, they'll treat you like a tiger. It's not nice but its the way things work in China. As I said in other threads, we are not allowed to post the stuff that would make you run from this place screaming.

Anyway sorry, please carry on with your language learning. I would suggest to the people that most want to learn, hook up with the other forum members and skype in Chinese. Being a language teacher I can tell you what works for learning English really well and maybe you can apply it to pick up mandarin faster.

The smartest and fastest kids and adults that speak English flawlessly inundate themselves into American culture. They watch ONLY american tvshows, they play XBOX and PS3 Games only in English and they play a ton of online MMOs and free stuff like DOTA and LOL on English servers where they get to practice their language free, in real time, for something they are interested in. Also listen and sing to as much Chinese pop music as you can find, all my students know every single american/canadian band and pop culture icon around... christ, I must get asked about Justin Bieber and various basketball stars at least once a week. Chinese people love basketball so if you know how to play that, then they will be overjoyed to sit and shoot hoops with you, especially if you are BLACK, to them its more 'authentic'. Books are mostly crap and lessons are garbage aswell, schools exist for one thing and one thing ONLY, to make $$$. Sending your kid to school instead of buying him the latest english game or movie is like forcing you to learn multiplication by counting on your fingers. For those people knocking videogames as a waste of time, if you want to pick up languages, they are the best tools around.

The number 1 most used English phrase I hear throughout my day is "FIRE IN THE HOLE" followed by a throwing gesture. I know one teen that can recite every single word in full metal jacket from start to finish. If you have an interest in war or military, China has COUNTLESS movies made about war also loads of garbagey 3 Kingdoms spin offs. You want to get interested in 3 Kingdoms stuff? Play Dynasty Warriors. The main characters all hail from the 3 main cities in China. The one guy who used to beat the sh1t out of my brother and I on the ps3, well my wife is his direct discendent. Alot of 20+ y\o Chinese like 3 Kingdoms stuff, and they have a special cardgame that they all play... I don't know the exact name of it in English but its based off the rules of BANG! II think you can look it up at qqgame.qq.com

You want free Chinese lessons, pull this game out in a crowd of 30 y.o men and listen to the insults fly. Another learning tool\game that is sweeping this nation is MAGIC THE GATHERING. There is a store at every station and 100's of nerds playing this. You can get several decks just in Chinese and practice using and reading it over and over again during tournament nights. My wife owns her own Krenko deck and after you learn the initial rules, you can see the same characters printed over and over again. The key to any language learning is simply repition and you need to find a way that interests you in repeating the same sh1t over and over again.

I won't lie to you, I learned alot of my Chinese from watching a popular dating show. Its actually my favorite show on CCTV and if its on, I'm glued to the TV. It has some long ass name, there used to be a bald guy with glasses that hosted it and there is a panel of about 30 single RICH women. One guy stands in the middle and starts giving his sob story and trying to impress the women, at the end they post all the QQs of both the girls and the guy. Its hilarious seeing the over 25 women try and pull the rich or young men. There are alot of Chinese, chinglish catch phrases that they use, the most popular being 'Common baby', its from a yogurt commercial and all Chinese will cackle if you say it correctly and in the right context.

Also you want to make women laugh like hell, get them to translate this joke exactly:

How do you make a turtle fly? Feed him a flying bean.

Don't ask, I don't know but it cracks up my adult classes every single time. Also the women all like to read the little joke books called FUNNY SCHOOL. My wife and her friends will sit for hours in the library telling me poo jokes from this book, Chinese really like poo for some reason.
(This post was last modified: 05-18-2014 11:56 AM by BadWolf.)
05-18-2014 11:08 AM
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Post: #116
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
To weigh in as a two year SZ veteran (almost), I'll tell you. There are a decent number of Cantonese in Shenzhen. Of course there are There are also large numbers of Chouzhou, Hunan, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Hubei and other people in SZ, and the primary language of the city is, by far, Mandarin, not Cantonese. There were only 300,000 people in SZ when Deng Xiaoping designated it for electronics, and while a decent portion of the now 10,000,000 emigrated in-province (Guangdong, meaning Cantonese, Chouzhou or Hakka people), a majority are from somewhere else. Its somewhat neighborhood dependent, but its from all over. For example, Luohu district has a Xinjiang neighborhood, complete with the BBQ places serving northwestern style lamb dishes. I regularly meet people from 10 or so provinces that have emigrated to SZ (adding in Hebei, Anhui, Henan, and Guanxi as well).

BW, you definitely seem to have worn out your interest in GZ, which is by all means a Cantonese dominated city. They don't like it when people speak Mandarin there, period, whether its spoken by Chinese or foreigners, any more than native HK people like it. I'll admit in SZ that sometimes people ignore foreigners speaking Mandarin to them, but its only some of the time, and theres an equal amount of positive reaction among people, even when I just walk around with a Chinese lesson book or say a few words to a shopkeeper. Bystanders will smile and comment to each other or start a conversation with me - does it make them my best friend? No, of course not, but its far from what you're experiencing in GZ. I'd venture to say that the problem you experience would be pretty bad in many smaller cities in Guangdong that haven't had any influx of people from other parts of China.

SZ doesn't have the fatty problem I've seen popping up more and more in Beijing and Shanghai when I visit. I'll admit, I don't spend much time in GZ, and I'm not a huge fan of Cantonese people, on either side of the HK/China "border." They do only care about their families, and thats absolutely their culture.

I'll add one last thing - the black mold is common anywhere with this kind of humid weather, and your neighbors, who sound awful, may be to blame for noise, garbage, jianglang (cockroaches) and other problems, but the black mold is not from them being dirty. Buy a dehumidifier or run your A/C if you have it, both will help limit the mold.

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05-18-2014 12:56 PM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
(05-18-2014 11:08 AM)BadWolf Wrote:  
Quote:There, people will immediately open up to you when you show you can speak Chinese/Mandarin.

I may not know the language perfectly but I do know quite a bit about the culture and having married a northerner and spent a considerable amount of time in Xinjiang and Nanjing, I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt, a Chinese will never open up to a foreigner. It's all a show, they used to call it 'automatic bestfriend' in Korea... asians are VERY good at hiding themselves and their true opinions from foreigners. Every Chinese person I have ever met and thats including friends, relatives (I have a chinese aunt), wife, and students have always told me, never ever trust Chinese until you REALLY get to know them well.

It's accepted among Chinese that foreginers treat strangers very well, while Chinese only treat their family well. Think about it for a second, if someone was overly nice to you in America because you spoke English, you'd suspect they were trying to sell you something or there was a 'catch'. It's no different in China, they always have a hidden motivation... talk to them long enough and their true feelings or ideas will come out in the form of a proposition of some sort. Maybe its just that you give them face and they enjoy showing others that they have a foreigner friend but don't think for a second they want to be around you soley because you are a 'good guy', that concept doesn't exist here.

I think you misunderstood what I meant by "open up". By "open up" I simply meant they react very positively when you speak to them in Mandarin. This is the case with most Chinese, whether in or outside of China. That people will try to bullshit you both in China and other parts of Asia and will always keep foreigners at an arms length socially (i.e. now matter how much you fit in you'll always be somewhat of an outsider) is easy to realise pretty quickly.

I still can't see how one could come to the conclusion that the Chinese are bothered when foreigners speak their language. Maybe this is the case in Guangzhou, Hongkong, or other parts of the Canto-sphere, but it is certainly not representative of the whole of China, at least not the northern parts.

Disclamer: I am not the Sargon of Akkad from Youtube and I have no relation whatsoever to that person...also, I don't give a shit about videogames.
05-18-2014 09:14 PM
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Post: #118
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
[/quote]

I think you misunderstood what I meant by "open up". By "open up" I simply meant they react very positively when you speak to them in Mandarin. This is the case with most Chinese, whether in or outside of China. That people will try to bullshit you both in China and other parts of Asia and will always keep foreigners at an arms length socially (i.e. now matter how much you fit in you'll always be somewhat of an outsider) is easy to realise pretty quickly.

[/quote]

even this is somewhat questionable. I like to think I had actually been accepted by a few people (not in the DANCE, FOREIGN MONKEY, DANCE sense either, but actually had genuinely good platonic relationships)

EDIT: I suck at formatting
(This post was last modified: 05-19-2014 01:54 AM by clever alias.)
05-19-2014 01:54 AM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
(05-19-2014 01:54 AM)clever alias Wrote:  
Quote:I think you misunderstood what I meant by "open up". By "open up" I simply meant they react very positively when you speak to them in Mandarin. This is the case with most Chinese, whether in or outside of China. That people will try to bullshit you both in China and other parts of Asia and will always keep foreigners at an arms length socially (i.e. now matter how much you fit in you'll always be somewhat of an outsider) is easy to realise pretty quickly.

even this is somewhat questionable. I like to think I had actually been accepted by a few people (not in the DANCE, FOREIGN MONKEY, DANCE sense either, but actually had genuinely good platonic relationships)

EDIT: I suck at formatting

Yeah, sure. I think it depends a lot on the people and social circles you interact with. As with describing the mentalities and habits of any group of people, you have to make generalisations, and what we say will always apply more with some individuals and less with others.

Disclamer: I am not the Sargon of Akkad from Youtube and I have no relation whatsoever to that person...also, I don't give a shit about videogames.
(This post was last modified: 05-19-2014 03:23 AM by Sargon of Akkad.)
05-19-2014 03:22 AM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
Mmmm I should also keep in mind that I'm an ESL teacher and peddling conversations for cash so I experience a heightened level of fakery for free stuff.

As students or visitors, you guys are probably infront of Chinese alot less than I am. I teach both kids and adults and I have to put up with all sorts of bvllsh1t to make nice at my workplaces. One of the main things I get is invited out to is expensive dinners only to be paraded around as the 'talking dog'. Once the talking dog has opinion to express, its off to Advanced Chinese language land for the rest of the group. Its kind of like when Chinese ask "have you eaten yet?"... I hate that saying, I use to reply "no I haven't would you like to" and they would walk away mid sentance because its really a throw away greeting, like "whats up", except they don't care "whats up". If you guys haven't experienced the random "hellos" from passers by, you're extremely lucky. They don't care to actually talk to you, they are just shouting garbage at you they learned from a movie... I also often get 'FUCK YOU' from children, they don't mean it, infact most have no idea what they are saying. One 16 y.o girl used to say 'I WANT TO FUCK YOU' infront of the entire class and my wife. When I told her what it meant, her entire face went RED.

Pay attention to when Chinese talk to you, you'll know if someone is actually interested in being your friend if they are listening to what you are saying and responding to it in real time with ideas of their own. They'll show up at your place with items from previous conversations or cool 'RELEVANT' places for you two to hang out at. Chinese that are just hanging around with you for language practice can be identified by taking you to a sports game (BASKETBALL) for which you've indicated no interest or them cueing up unrelated topic material or trying to switch topics or constantly inquiring about you without sharing anything about their own life.
A favorite identifier of mine is "So tell me about you".

Chinese will want to take you out to sample 'GOOD Chinese food' even after you've made mention that you don't like Chinese food, this is just another ploy to get free English time. You'll notice that Chinese are hardly EVER banging down the doors of non-english speakers or africans whom they avoid totally and often racistly report 'Smell funny'. You'll almost never see a Chinese sitting down to an expensive dinner with a Black guy at the head of the table... lets be honest here, English is 300 to 500 RMB per hour at a school so when they hear English (read: free $$$) pouring out of your mouth of course they are thrilled to engage you. My own niece cried and hid in my spare bedroom when she first met me because I was the first white person she'd ever met. My mother in law had seen a white guy in a movie once but when I first met her, she wouldn't even speak to me. The family used to refer to me over the phone as 'white monster', 'white devil' or 'white demon' until they actually met me. (They are all small town northerners).

The Chinese that have alot of foreign friends, we call these people 'English groupies'. I had one guy who claimed ' to be my GOOD friend' and sort of followed me by phone throughout 4 provinces in China. He would never phone to tell me about a guy I should meet or a business deal, he would phone to hear me ask him questions. When I suggested we WECHAT because I didn't have enough time to talk over the phone, he became irrate and accussed me of not being 'his friend'. This is a northerner. Also a more recent employer 'forgot' to pay me for the 4th week in a row and when I threatened her for my money, she threw a fit and told me she thought I was her friend. I also had a student who used to follow me around the school trying to talk to me about business deals that I could do with him to help HIM make money and of course I would just supplement my time for free because I was such a decent person? I think Chinese get the word 'friend' mixed up with 'Guanxi' all too often. I often wonder how many Chinese have actual friends and how many are just 'trade' relationships.

In all honesty, I tend to forget that really my students are my clients and really not my friends at all. I made that mistake a couple years ago, started hanging out with my students after class to play Star Craft and one day I found out those same guys that I had been playing games with for a few months were talking 'major' sh1t behind my back. They were always incredibly nice to my face but my wife overheard a student discussion and 'asshole' came up more than once, I'd never been anything but nice to them. This has actually happened on a few occassions. The thing about most Chinese, especially successful Chinese is they mostly just like hearing themselves talk about how wonderful they and their country are.

If women show an interest in you, its one of two things, they want free english lessons or they want to fvk. With my wife it was the possiblity to get free english time, luckily for her I also wanted to fvk. Big Grin
My wife is really only one of THREE chinese people that I would count as genuine friends, the other is also a language teacher that used to work with me. I know they are my friends because they never exhibited the 'automatic bestfriend' traits. My wife never wanted to marry white and my friend told me he flat out didn't like foreigners until I started talking to him during our classes. When the foreign novelty wears off, you'll find alot of 'friends' drop off aswell. My wife stood by my side while I was dying in the hospital and didn't sleep for 48 hours, I barfed down her shoulder a couple times when she carried me to the hospital, and changed my bedpan after I sh1t my pants, she IS my friend. (Low Potassium)

sh1t my roof is leaking again. What is a good brand of dehumidifier?
(This post was last modified: 05-19-2014 06:52 AM by BadWolf.)
05-19-2014 06:45 AM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
(05-19-2014 06:45 AM)BadWolf Wrote:  Mmmm I should also keep in mind that I'm an ESL teacher and peddling conversations for cash so I experience a heightened level of fakery for free stuff.

As students or visitors, you guys are probably infront of Chinese alot less than I am. I teach both kids and adults and I have to put up with all sorts of bvllsh1t to make nice at my workplaces. One of the main things I get is invited out to is expensive dinners only to be paraded around as the 'talking dog'. Once the talking dog has opinion to express, its off to Advanced Chinese language land for the rest of the group. Its kind of like when Chinese ask "have you eaten yet?"... I hate that saying, I use to reply "no I haven't would you like to" and they would walk away mid sentance because its really a throw away greeting, like "whats up", except they don't care "whats up". If you guys haven't experienced the random "hellos" from passers by, you're extremely lucky. They don't care to actually talk to you, they are just shouting garbage at you they learned from a movie... I also often get 'FUCK YOU' from children, they don't mean it, infact most have no idea what they are saying. One 16 y.o girl used to say 'I WANT TO FUCK YOU' infront of the entire class and my wife. When I told her what it meant, her entire face went RED.

Pay attention to when Chinese talk to you, you'll know if someone is actually interested in being your friend if they are listening to what you are saying and responding to it in real time with ideas of their own. They'll show up at your place with items from previous conversations or cool 'RELEVANT' places for you two to hang out at. Chinese that are just hanging around with you for language practice can be identified by taking you to a sports game (BASKETBALL) for which you've indicated no interest or them cueing up unrelated topic material or trying to switch topics or constantly inquiring about you without sharing anything about their own life.
A favorite identifier of mine is "So tell me about you".

Chinese will want to take you out to sample 'GOOD Chinese food' even after you've made mention that you don't like Chinese food, this is just another ploy to get free English time. You'll notice that Chinese are hardly EVER banging down the doors of non-english speakers or africans whom they avoid totally and often racistly report 'Smell funny'. You'll almost never see a Chinese sitting down to an expensive dinner with a Black guy at the head of the table... lets be honest here, English is 300 to 500 RMB per hour at a school so when they hear English (read: free $$$) pouring out of your mouth of course they are thrilled to engage you. My own niece cried and hid in my spare bedroom when she first met me because I was the first white person she'd ever met. My mother in law had seen a white guy in a movie once but when I first met her, she wouldn't even speak to me. The family used to refer to me over the phone as 'white monster', 'white devil' or 'white demon' until they actually met me. (They are all small town northerners).

The Chinese that have alot of foreign friends, we call these people 'English groupies'. I had one guy who claimed ' to be my GOOD friend' and sort of followed me by phone throughout 4 provinces in China. He would never phone to tell me about a guy I should meet or a business deal, he would phone to hear me ask him questions. When I suggested we WECHAT because I didn't have enough time to talk over the phone, he became irrate and accussed me of not being 'his friend'. This is a northerner. Also a more recent employer 'forgot' to pay me for the 4th week in a row and when I threatened her for my money, she threw a fit and told me she thought I was her friend. I also had a student who used to follow me around the school trying to talk to me about business deals that I could do with him to help HIM make money and of course I would just supplement my time for free because I was such a decent person? I think Chinese get the word 'friend' mixed up with 'Guanxi' all too often. I often wonder how many Chinese have actual friends and how many are just 'trade' relationships.

In all honesty, I tend to forget that really my students are my clients and really not my friends at all. I made that mistake a couple years ago, started hanging out with my students after class to play Star Craft and one day I found out those same guys that I had been playing games with for a few months were talking 'major' sh1t behind my back. They were always incredibly nice to my face but my wife overheard a student discussion and 'asshole' came up more than once, I'd never been anything but nice to them. This has actually happened on a few occassions. The thing about most Chinese, especially successful Chinese is they mostly just like hearing themselves talk about how wonderful they and their country are.

If women show an interest in you, its one of two things, they want free english lessons or they want to fvk. With my wife it was the possiblity to get free english time, luckily for her I also wanted to fvk. Big Grin
My wife is really only one of THREE chinese people that I would count as genuine friends, the other is also a language teacher that used to work with me. I know they are my friends because they never exhibited the 'automatic bestfriend' traits. My wife never wanted to marry white and my friend told me he flat out didn't like foreigners until I started talking to him during our classes. When the foreign novelty wears off, you'll find alot of 'friends' drop off aswell. My wife stood by my side while I was dying in the hospital and didn't sleep for 48 hours, I barfed down her shoulder a couple times when she carried me to the hospital, and changed my bedpan after I sh1t my pants, she IS my friend. (Low Potassium)

sh1t my roof is leaking again. What is a good brand of dehumidifier?

All of this is true. But because of this the relationships between foreigners tend to be very tight knit group, from what I hear, more so than in other countries.

That's one of the reasons I love being here. The bonds I form with other foreigners.

There are a lot of low society Chinese who are always looking for some free English exposure, so you gotta find your way into the right circles.

Too be honest, being someone who earlier in life had a lot of trouble finding good friends in North America, I've come to the conclusion that all relationships are give and take. People need to get something out of a friendship, even if it is just good company. When people stop getting something positive from a friendship, it ends.

The truth is that, if relationships are going to work with Chinese people, they need to have something that you want to.

My Chinese friends have always either already been abroad or have a mindset that sees them leaving China sooner than later, even if they eventually return.

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05-19-2014 07:24 PM
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Post: #122
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
I guess its different for me, and I am not sure why. I will say that I have a lot of Chinese female friends (to my girlfriend's chagrin) but very few if any Chinese male friends. My male friends in China are imports, from various countries (USA, Russia and Pakistan). I've of course had a few friends that seemed to want to "chat" and when I sensed I was just being utilized as english practice, I jettisoned mostly. At the same time I've a few good Chinese female friends who text with me in Chinese and don't use me that way. They don't parade me around either, as when we meet up its one on one, not with other Chinese for a dog and pony show.

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05-19-2014 07:29 PM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
(05-19-2014 07:29 PM)G_global Wrote:  I guess its different for me, and I am not sure why. I will say that I have a lot of Chinese female friends (to my girlfriend's chagrin) but very few if any Chinese male friends. My male friends in China are imports, from various countries (USA, Russia and Pakistan). I've of course had a few friends that seemed to want to "chat" and when I sensed I was just being utilized as english practice, I jettisoned mostly. At the same time I've a few good Chinese female friends who text with me in Chinese and don't use me that way. They don't parade me around either, as when we meet up its one on one, not with other Chinese for a dog and pony show.

Same here, except that I absolutely refuse to have "a" girlfriend.

The male Chinese friends that I've had have actually preferred to speak Chinese with me. It's usually me who insists on English, provided that their English is better than my Chinese. If my Chinese is better than their English, I insist on speaking Chinese, of course, but most of the Chinese guys who seem to "have it together" tend to speak very decent English, a skillset usually inspired by their interest in the larger world.

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05-19-2014 09:50 PM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
Badwolf, no one's disputing what you said above. Actually, it gave me a strong sense of déja vu, as I've had pretty much identical experiences to what you described above. It was only the statement that "the Chinese hate it when foreigners speak their langauge". No one is arguing that the Chinese will genuinely want to be friends with you, or that they mean any of the nonsense they say when they tell you shit like ”我们是好朋友。“ after knowing you for five minutes.

Admittedly, I realise it is really mostly the Chinese and Taiwanese expats who jump for joy and get euphoric the moment you talk to them in Mandarin. However, statements like ”你的中文很棒!“ are analogous to the Japanese ”日本語は上手ですね。” It's just a throw-away statement.



(05-19-2014 06:45 AM)BadWolf Wrote:  Mmmm I should also keep in mind that I'm an ESL teacher and peddling conversations for cash so I experience a heightened level of fakery for free stuff.

As students or visitors, you guys are probably infront of Chinese alot less than I am. I teach both kids and adults and I have to put up with all sorts of bvllsh1t to make nice at my workplaces. One of the main things I get is invited out to is expensive dinners only to be paraded around as the 'talking dog'. Once the talking dog has opinion to express, its off to Advanced Chinese language land for the rest of the group. Its kind of like when Chinese ask "have you eaten yet?"... I hate that saying, I use to reply "no I haven't would you like to" and they would walk away mid sentance because its really a throw away greeting, like "whats up", except they don't care "whats up". If you guys haven't experienced the random "hellos" from passers by, you're extremely lucky. They don't care to actually talk to you, they are just shouting garbage at you they learned from a movie... I also often get 'FUCK YOU' from children, they don't mean it, infact most have no idea what they are saying. One 16 y.o girl used to say 'I WANT TO FUCK YOU' infront of the entire class and my wife. When I told her what it meant, her entire face went RED.

Pay attention to when Chinese talk to you, you'll know if someone is actually interested in being your friend if they are listening to what you are saying and responding to it in real time with ideas of their own. They'll show up at your place with items from previous conversations or cool 'RELEVANT' places for you two to hang out at. Chinese that are just hanging around with you for language practice can be identified by taking you to a sports game (BASKETBALL) for which you've indicated no interest or them cueing up unrelated topic material or trying to switch topics or constantly inquiring about you without sharing anything about their own life.
A favorite identifier of mine is "So tell me about you".

Chinese will want to take you out to sample 'GOOD Chinese food' even after you've made mention that you don't like Chinese food, this is just another ploy to get free English time. You'll notice that Chinese are hardly EVER banging down the doors of non-english speakers or africans whom they avoid totally and often racistly report 'Smell funny'. You'll almost never see a Chinese sitting down to an expensive dinner with a Black guy at the head of the table... lets be honest here, English is 300 to 500 RMB per hour at a school so when they hear English (read: free $$$) pouring out of your mouth of course they are thrilled to engage you. My own niece cried and hid in my spare bedroom when she first met me because I was the first white person she'd ever met. My mother in law had seen a white guy in a movie once but when I first met her, she wouldn't even speak to me. The family used to refer to me over the phone as 'white monster', 'white devil' or 'white demon' until they actually met me. (They are all small town northerners).

The Chinese that have alot of foreign friends, we call these people 'English groupies'. I had one guy who claimed ' to be my GOOD friend' and sort of followed me by phone throughout 4 provinces in China. He would never phone to tell me about a guy I should meet or a business deal, he would phone to hear me ask him questions. When I suggested we WECHAT because I didn't have enough time to talk over the phone, he became irrate and accussed me of not being 'his friend'. This is a northerner. Also a more recent employer 'forgot' to pay me for the 4th week in a row and when I threatened her for my money, she threw a fit and told me she thought I was her friend. I also had a student who used to follow me around the school trying to talk to me about business deals that I could do with him to help HIM make money and of course I would just supplement my time for free because I was such a decent person? I think Chinese get the word 'friend' mixed up with 'Guanxi' all too often. I often wonder how many Chinese have actual friends and how many are just 'trade' relationships.

In all honesty, I tend to forget that really my students are my clients and really not my friends at all. I made that mistake a couple years ago, started hanging out with my students after class to play Star Craft and one day I found out those same guys that I had been playing games with for a few months were talking 'major' sh1t behind my back. They were always incredibly nice to my face but my wife overheard a student discussion and 'asshole' came up more than once, I'd never been anything but nice to them. This has actually happened on a few occassions. The thing about most Chinese, especially successful Chinese is they mostly just like hearing themselves talk about how wonderful they and their country are.

If women show an interest in you, its one of two things, they want free english lessons or they want to fvk. With my wife it was the possiblity to get free english time, luckily for her I also wanted to fvk. Big Grin
My wife is really only one of THREE chinese people that I would count as genuine friends, the other is also a language teacher that used to work with me. I know they are my friends because they never exhibited the 'automatic bestfriend' traits. My wife never wanted to marry white and my friend told me he flat out didn't like foreigners until I started talking to him during our classes. When the foreign novelty wears off, you'll find alot of 'friends' drop off aswell. My wife stood by my side while I was dying in the hospital and didn't sleep for 48 hours, I barfed down her shoulder a couple times when she carried me to the hospital, and changed my bedpan after I sh1t my pants, she IS my friend. (Low Potassium)

sh1t my roof is leaking again. What is a good brand of dehumidifier?

Disclamer: I am not the Sargon of Akkad from Youtube and I have no relation whatsoever to that person...also, I don't give a shit about videogames.
(This post was last modified: 05-20-2014 10:07 AM by Sargon of Akkad.)
05-20-2014 09:11 AM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
you say 谢谢 to a cab driver. he replies with 你的汉语蛮好!
05-20-2014 09:44 AM
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