Do people in the U.S. or other English-speaking countries have difficulties communicating with each other in Mandarin without English school lessons?
With the advent of English, the culture and the language have remained quite different from Mandarin’s culture and language. Even though the language has to do with basic grammar and etiquette classes and advanced language courses, the language remains quite different.
For those that are living in China that are speaking Mandarin, these differences can be quite drastic. Suppose you have never visited China before or are freshly fluent in Mandarin and English. In that case, you will notice what I am talking about.
Relocate to China
It used to be that when you relocate to China, you would not be expected to be given proficient in English or have enough vocabulary to express your thoughts and ideas in English and English. Instead, it would have been considered “ORED” to know one language and use it with that specific country you are in.
With the living standards no longer being as high as the Western world, most people will either not make the switch or have difficulty adapting to this contemporary, welcoming culture. They will find it harder and harder to learn the new language. The phenomenon of working with Chinese is much like learning to ride a bicycle where once you have it down to the correct size, nothing is stopping you from moving forward.
Three Gorges Dam
Before the construction of the Three Gorges Dam, as well as many grocery stores up and down the streets, be- CLients or residents that did not know a lot about English or any other North American language would be driven around by their relatives or neighbors that we’re able to speak English, which would give them no assurance about people missing out or not understanding what they say. Due to this practice of speaking only to those from your own language and many misunderstandings, people are less likely to speak English with anyone they are not sure about.
Lesson #2 is the importance of having a whole dictionary full of your native or native language words. Many Asian languages are quite different from English, whether you are talking about sensitivity or lots of slang. I love those older generations who use the occasion to remind them that they are still living and learning. However, I find the lack of knowledge about English commonly found in Asian-speaking children to be very frustrating. With the average age in China being around 12, when you teach these older kids English, it gets really challenging because you really need to empathize with them.
- Learning how to relate to their peers is also needed. When I was young, I still remember the first thing they asked me in English was how I can understand the language of the people in China to be able to communicate with them in the best possible way.
- After I got a few accent problems along the way, it would be OK to have a translator. And I needed one! I made sure I had not forgotten any of the words while I was speaking in English.
- When I found myself in China with the least amount of English accent, it would be tough to teach them any new skills while speaking in English. And if it’s really humid and you do not have a native phrasebook that you used to teach Word usage just before any unforeseen construction on the road, it would be even more complex.
Here are 3 common ways that native speakers from two different cultures, Chinese and English, can sometimes misunderstand English words, making a more significant mistake than they would have imagined. Some people will tell you they are doing it in Chinese, but then when you check out their Website or Facebook posts, you will find very different language usage than you would be used to. Plus, you just don’t know they possibly have a thick accent and/or heavy dialect.
Although, there are various resources available that you can use to learn the language, even before you arrive on a trip. This includes phrases books, audio programs, and how-to articles. Some of the sites listed at the bottom of the article offer accessible and useful websites based in China for your use. As a beginner, you may want to pay, though, e.g., for a simplified dictionary, articles, a Skype account, and even paid online tutorials.
It is definitely a whole new day to learn English as if you are a foreigner. Do yourself a life! Maybe a whole degree of stress and frustration could come along with your first attempt. But a point, there is freedom and comfort to know that you are working hard for yourself, something did not trip up.
Obviously, things will be easier once you begin learning from a fellow native speaker. It has been my experience of helping people that have really challenged me. It is one of the things that offer the best side effect of living in China is that energy.