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Q: How many foreigners have actually tried to learn Chinese language?

The Actual Question is :

How many foreigners have actually tried to learn Chinese language with a purpose other than finding a girlfriend?

 

Some of my friends are trying to learn Chinese language with the sole purpose of finding girls.

Honestly, I am also guilty of the same crime !!  

I also started with the same goal but once I picked up some basic sentences, I realized that my purpose of learning the language was hollow.

Off and on I get my "Master Card moment" when Chinese people talk about me in Chinese language in front of me and think that being a foreigner I wouldn't understand; and I tell them in my broken Chinese that I could actually understand what they were saying ! The looks on their faces - priceless.

Now I just try to chat up with anybody and everybody just to learn a few new words every day.

My goal - one new word every day.

How about you ? 

5 years 20 weeks ago in  Culture - Guangzhou

 
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Learning Chinese is a double edged sword. On the one hand you can communicate with the locals better, on the other, you can understand all the crap they say.

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5 years 20 weeks ago
 
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Never taken a class or opened a book.  I learn by the idiot osmosis method. Stick around long enough hearing everyone call you white or tall , youll pick up on it eventually. Also, I feel no shame in life asking questions, no matter how dumb and no matter how many times. It stays in there eventually. 

 

I have a pretty great visual memory. So if I see a word, i can ask what it is and store it. So the reading and writing came quick and naturally. I can read better than I can speak. But since I never actually studied, if you gave me a pencil, I couldnt write a single word. But if I have a computer or phone. I could write a book. 

 

An extremely poorly written book mind you, but a book none the less.

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5 years 20 weeks ago
 
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I read/speak it near fluently now. My biggest hurdle is lack of vocabulary. Now why did I learn Chinese? Because I fucking love China.

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5 years 20 weeks ago
 
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Well, I started studying Chinese while I was studying how effective the propaganda of the CCP was during the Great Proletariat Cultural Revolution.   

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5 years 20 weeks ago
 
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I started my current stay (now 3 years on) with one month of one-on-one daily classes in Kunming. All happy to know some stuffs, arrived in Suzhou, I started to *try* to talk with the locals. Most of the time, they ran away from me when I was just asking my way. Or they would giggle, or stop, stare at me like spooked zombies. I'm small, rather thin and unimpressive, but okay, I'm not Asian.

At work, my few attempts at communicating with my colleagues were meet by a stonewall, after the 2 first days of mild enthusiasm. Promise to hang-out together in the week-end never materialized. The only person that talked regularly with me was a (very handsome and well-mannered) guy looking for a date. After 2 months of this, and with an heavy work load, I just gave up trying to talk with people in Chinese. Since then, I got married with a Chinese. My understanding is up to basic conversation, I slowly acquire more vocabulary. Mostly from the ever changing "tough love" nicknames my wife gives me. I can't talk much, lack of practice. Can't read or write, obviously.

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5 years 20 weeks ago
 
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I am ashamed to say I was very lazy for the first three years. One day after a dinner with friends, which I did not understand anything, I decided I was no longer going to live as a deaf-mute unable to talk to 99% of people. I have been taking classes (private teacher) now for a few months. Im conversational now but still got a ways to go before Im fluent. However, I am determined, no excuses this time.

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5 years 20 weeks ago
 
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I am studying now. No intention in becoming fully fluent as I see no purpose, but the goal is to be able to have day-to-day conversations with people such as taxi drivers. Also it would be useful to know exactly what the "xue sheng" are talking about, though I've got the basics like "this is interesting" or "this is too difficult".

I've got the basic structure down and probably 3-400 words (and maybe 1-200 HanZi) in my head. Also get the same experience DrMonkey has. Yesterday I needed directions to a street called Chong Bin Road. Asked five different people, "Duibuchi, qingwen ChongBin Lu zai nar?" or "Duibuchi, wo zaizhao ChongBin Lu". 2 flat out ignored, 1 smiled, and 2 nodded their heads as if saying "yes". Very confusing, I think they just assumed I was talking in a foreign language because I said the same phrase to a Ch. friend and they said it was easily understandable to them.

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5 years 20 weeks ago
 
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I learned three years at university, but then I went and joined the Peace Corps and had to learn Russian for my volunteer work, which was 27 months. Having to use Russian everyday, I slowly started to forget a lot of my Chinese. I have a weird situation. I grew up in a family where both of my parents spoke Mandarin ( mom is Chinese, Dad is American), however at home we spoke English all the time. This is because my older brother doesn't know any Chinese. Parents would speak Chinese to keep secrets from us. Only way I knew they were talking about me is if I heard my Chinese name.

Now I am learning Chinese to be able to speak to my parents not only in English and to know what they are talking about when they speak Chinese. Also I figure you can lean more about a culture if you can speak some of the local language. I am now a conversational level, but I feel you can never be fluent at a second language. There will always be something to learn.

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5 years 20 weeks ago
 
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Self-study and just through interaction and absorption. 

 

I can discuss things with Chinese for hours but it usually helps if we all had a little to drink (easier to speak Chinese when you slur). My reading and writing is not bad. 

 

I always tell myself I will study harder but jus too many things to do... and Chinese don't really have much to talk about. 

 

 

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5 years 20 weeks ago
 
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I learned Chinese and eventually became a translator. I insisted on this path because I thought the market would be broad if I worked in this industry. But it is truly a lot of work. Took me seven years at a lazy and hedonist yet steady pace.

 

And it was, but the beginnings (as a translator) were difficult, because translation from Chinese to any l anguage is filled with armies of bottom feeders working for nothing (like your average student who thinks it's okay to work with Google Trad) and literaly no one on the high end. Hard to build relationship with companies when they couldn't conceive you even existed (by the way, I'm not native in English, but I think it must be much much harder to make a living in this pair).

 

But now, doing okay in the business, and I guess speaking Chinese makes my everyday life much much easier but hard to say in what extent.

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5 years 20 weeks ago
 
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I learned Mandarin, I am pretty good and hold conversations with locals, then I moved to Guangzhou, a big part of the locals, especially those above 35 years old, only speak Cantonese T_T

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5 years 20 weeks ago
 
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I have been studying with a pretty good course that i bought online.  It only teaches conversational Mandarin.  No reading or writing.  But i think the conversational aspect is so very good that when you speak the few words and sentences that you know the Chinese hear your perfect tone and assume that you are fluent.  then they start speaking to you as if you are fluent and you have to say wo bu ming bai!

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5 years 20 weeks ago
 
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That's a Gumby of a question, Noel! Keep up the good work! Expose those girlfriend seekers as the homeless men they are! If they had homes they could speak any language they want, but to speak Chinese is for GIRLFRIEND ONLY. So they come here!

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5 years 20 weeks ago
 
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I took 6 months of lessons from a student from BJ, in Guilin they couldn't understand me. The people I know in Guilin would never answer me about phrases I recognized or rarely teach me. I can talk money, beyond that, do I really need anything?

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5 years 20 weeks ago
 
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I took Mandarin as a second language during my first 10 years in school and the promptly forgot most of it. Anyway, it was in the old traditional style. For the next 3.5 decades I hardly ever used it until 3 years ago when I was sent to Guangzhou. Boy, did I regret not putting in more effort then. So, the next two years was spent digging into my deepest memories. It was really tough since it's now in Simplified format. After 2 years I dare say I can speak, read and write well enough for people of other provinces to think that I was from Guangzhou. Here in Chongqing, everyone knows I'm a foreigner because of my accent. It helps a lot since I am able to explain in Mandarin in class.

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5 years 20 weeks ago
 
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Tried? the vast majority

failed? the vast majority

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5 years 20 weeks ago
 
Posts: 364

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I'm still learning I'm somewhere between intermediate and advanced but I feel like I've hit a plateau 

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5 years 20 weeks ago
 
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I just got handed a copy of Rosetta Stone that *might* install on my laptop without issues. Who knows, I might have another try at it.

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5 years 20 weeks ago
 
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Learning Chinese is a double edged sword. On the one hand you can communicate with the locals better, on the other, you can understand all the crap they say.

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5 years 20 weeks ago
 
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I have to agree with Xunliang,  maybe the reason I like the Chinese so much is because I can't understand what they are saying.  I tried to learn a little when I first got here but became discouraged since few will understand unless you speak the words perfectly.   I know probably about 50 or 60 words,  a handful of phases and I can get by just fine.  

I do tip my hat to those of your who take the time to learn Chinese, more power toya!

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5 years 20 weeks ago
 
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I am also guilty of being in China and not learning the language. I have been here now for 2 years and picked up language a little bit. I have never opened a book but have good memory so remember words that people say or just use common sence to understand the sentence. Now I have a Chinese girlfriend and her English is very poor. Also I want more money and I see that Chinese companies hire foreigners that speak Chinese and pay them unbelievable amount of money for doing nothing. I am sick and tired of idiots at the top managerial positions so now I am pushing myself hard to learn this language. I see that my Russian, Latvian, German and English is not enough to have a good salary and job in China...

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5 years 18 weeks ago

Best Regards,rnPavels

 
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14. 

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4 years 45 weeks ago
 
Posts: 55

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Just get by with the small words I pick up from shops and to be honest, I don't care at all, that's enough for me! I already speak 4 languages!

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4 years 41 weeks ago
 
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I had no prior lessons in Chinese before coming here. As soon as I arrived I quickly started to pick up the language. After 11 months here, I'd say I'm upper lower advanced level. I learned Chinese mainly because I find it necessary and I like to know what is being said around me, and be able to have conversations with people. Languages fascinate me. I didn't use books or software, I just listened and asked questions. Also when I teach my students English words, they tell me the Chinese meaning, and I will remember it, so it wasn't that difficult. Also in America we go up in arms and get angry when people come to our country and do not speak English, so I didn't want to be one of those people. I didn't learn Chinese to find Chinese girls. I'm gay, and I don't waste my time with Chinese boys who don't already speak a good amount of English already, so my motivation was purely for intellectual purposes. So now I can say I speak English, Spanish, and French fluently, and Chinese almost fluently. I am having are hard time writing Chinese though. I was never good at drawing or art haha.

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4 years 41 weeks ago
 
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delete this post

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4 years 41 weeks ago
 
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Why do people feel guilty about not learning or mastering Mandarin? All you need is enough to get what you need - directions, numbers, basic conversation etc. Those who come here to become fluent in Mandarin seem to think it will help them make more money or get girlfriends or even a wife (lol - why would you want to marry into a Chinese family with their greed and interference?). These starry eyed newcomers don't understand that knowing the language is not enough for those things. It's more important to know the culture and way the natives think and behave than to know the language, since the people you'll want to do business with - or go out with - will probably be able to speak English anyway.

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4 years 41 weeks ago
 
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