What's going to sound unnatural coming from a Laowai ?
The idea for this post came from a discussion with pretzellogic here:
eg can we say 哥们儿 without sounding weird, getting laughed at? What would be the reception?
..it got me to thinking about what's going to sound unnatural and strange to Chinese ears coming from a laowai?
Thought it would be interesting to create a list if possible of such words/ phrases, as well as discuss where you may or may not get away with it, why, etc.
zhenlijiangFebruary 26, 2011, 05:02 AM
Hi Baba, I don't know about Chinese ears. But there are enough people with MPS. They'll try to make you feel very self-conscious I'm sure ...
RJFebruary 26, 2011, 08:23 PM
I see your list is coming right along. I have to say, I find it a little entertaining that an Australian is worried about things sounding "strange". hehe. Sorry. To your point, it would be nice in QW for example if they warned us about expressions that are either very rare, or somewhat dated. Still worth learning, but there should be that warning on the mirror that says: objects may appear more relevant than they are.
haha, very good mate, but I thought you knew me better than that. I was just curious/thought it would be interesting, never worried. Heck, it may even make me more inclined to use it if I thought there was a laugh in it. I take what I can get :)
hey, all joking aside, this reminds me of something I meant to say. Namely, Americans may find this hard to believe but dude actually comes to me naturally enough in the right circumstances [though I guess I could be atypical...I've never been too concerned with convention...I think anything is fair game ]....I have said it on occasion, whereas I note mate does not seem to come so naturally to Americans. I think the difference comes from the fact that from childhood mostly via film and tv Aussies are exposed to a lot of American culture, whereas I don't think the converse is true. Some would not even be aware that certain things are typically American and not universal.
guolanFebruary 27, 2011, 12:20 AM
我丈夫（美国人），如果朋友们一致夸奖他，他有点儿不舒服,他会交叉手指地说,"哪里哪里". 每次,朋友们笑起来,停住夸奖. 我猜,如果是一个中国人这样转移夸奖，结果可能不一样好笑。
我对这个“作揖”的动作很熟悉【其实最近在这里： http://chinesepod.com/community/conversations/post/11264#comment-204684 讨论】，可是到现在不知道是叫做“作揖”。。谢谢告诉我
thanks for your kind words. Very happy you've joined us as well. Sorry I can't type hanzi currently.
Actually looking at those two words again, I'd like to revise my guess. It seems to me that as indicated by shou, gongshou seems to referring to the action of the hands themselves whereas zuoyi refers to the whole action including the bow [not just the hand action]. I'd love to hear some clarification on this. Anyone know?