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General

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Q: "Loud Speaker" theory

This is probably one of those things I hate most because I have to encounter it  most frequently and

almost everywhere.I have asked local guys to unlock the mystery of loud speaking -

 

I heard many theories-

 

Theory 1)Chinese need to speak louder  as Chinese language has tones and those tones will not be clear to if it is not  spoken loudly(I wonder how two Chinese soldiers will communicate to each other in a secret/stealth mission when they can only whisper)

 

Theory 2)Most Chinese used to be farmers  decades ago.There,they need to speak loudly to communicate to

fellow farmers etc.This is how this habit of load speaking started and it evolved.(Being a travel loving guy ,I have met farmers in other countries.They are not as loud as Chinese farmers.)

 

 

My theory is once in a while we all raise our pitch/voice when we get overwhelmed by strong emotions like when

we are extremely happy or extremely angry .But we soon get the control back on our emotion and voice and revert back to normal pitch.We do it because we have been taught about  certain manners at our home/schools.

 

For Chinese people-

 

1)They somehow lack the ability or willingness to control their pitch  when they are excited  or angry etc.They simply allow their pitch to go up and down depending on their inner emotional state.

2)For some Chinese,loud voice is subconscious way to project their power and boost confidence .Louder the voice more important or powerful they are in any group.

3)For some, speaking loudly has become an habit  because of above two reasons,kids learn the same from parents

and the culture is passed from one generation t to the next.

 

Their loud voice/pitch surely causes irritation to us and it is bad a manner.But,their purpose of speaking loud is not causing irritation to us.It is just a common habit in China.But,is it  only a habit or they do it to satisfy some subconscious psychological need( like power projection,domination etc)which over a period of time become part of "Chinese Culture" .I hardly see a Chinese speaking loudly when they speak to their Boss.

 

What is your take on this ?Do you have any theory or thought.Please share with us.

5 years 19 weeks ago in  General  - Shanghai

 
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Posts: 1893

Emperor

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I think of three things:

1) The power thing - loud means right

2) The amount of ambient noise causes a competition to be heard

3) Living with extended family (especially grandparents). Perhaps generation after generation with older folks who may have hearing problems causes everyone to naturally speak louder.

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5 years 19 weeks ago
 
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I think they just want everyone on the bus to know they have someone to talk to on their fake iphone

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5 years 19 weeks ago
 
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There's an absolute emergency in stopping the "mandarin has tone therefore loud speaking" bullcrap from spreading.

No. Tonal languages can be even whispered without any problem whatsoever. They can be spoken in all the audible spectrum without the slighest difficulty.

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5 years 19 weeks ago
 
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Their sagging confidence is on a roll, and if they stop screaming everything at the top of their lungs, they fear they might disappear in a big puff of non-existence. This is China, so it may well be true.

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5 years 19 weeks ago
 
Posts: 4300

Emperor

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This is also my #1 for weird things I encounter daily in PRC.  I do not recall this behavior anywhere else in my circumnavigation of our fair Blue Marble.  

 

my guess it is combination of of these factors:

 

 ∆ aculturation (did I spell that correctly?)

 ∆ power projection

 ∆ ambient noise 

 ∆ not knowing any better

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5 years 19 weeks ago
 
Posts: 372

Governor

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I knew a person who was speaking so soft, whispering every word, no matter the tone. I had the feeling that all the sounds were flowing like a mountain stream. It was so relaxing that I could listen to her hours and hours although I wouldn't understand a word. 

That was an old lady I met the first day I arrived in China. 

 

As a result of this first impression, I defined the mandarin as a soft flowing river that hides so much power beneath its water. Those tones that I later on learnt about, were like intimate sounds as the water would splash against little or bigger rocks under its surface. Somehow, I felt I could hear the beauty and wisdom of the Chinese culture, that I was to experience it on my own on a daily basis life. 

 

Although today I see it in a different light, I still believe that Mandarin, when people don't yell, it's beautiful and pleasant to my ears and feelings. 

 

 

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5 years 19 weeks ago
 
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Actually it is only done by the men. Chinese women are more refined and respectful of others around them. As for the men, I think they equate loud speaking to macho manliness as if they dare someone to tell them to STFU! Also they only speak this loudly in public, not in their own homes where their wives will quickly tell them to turn down the volume.

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5 years 19 weeks ago
 
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