User Comments - xio8

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Posted on: Superstitions and Urban Legends
July 27, 2012, 11:16 AM

In Beijing I was at a kindergarten playing with some babies.  A 9-month old was in a crawling position and I playfully waddled over him with my legs spread out to make a tunnel, encouraging him to crawl through. (good for spacial awareness) however his grandma didn't see that as an acceptable way to play with the little ones :(

later, someone came to me as said, "if you step or walk over a child, she/he will never grow tall or grow up"

 I just apologized and said it wasn't my intention to stunt the childs growth.

Posted on: Your Mandarin Is Really Good!
July 27, 2012, 02:45 AM

I'm curious of what other words or phrases do Chinese folks choose to deflect compliments?

As a foreigner to china,

would it be weird to use other, possibly more colloquial ways of deflection or should I just be a good laowai and stick with the 哪里's.

Thanks for the lesson.

Posted on: Table Manners in the West
July 25, 2012, 02:01 AM

高难度动作你们!I really like that line, I said the same thing when I tried some of my first chinese dishes.  With all the mouth work, spitting out bones and seeds I found it really tiring to eat! haha

Posted on: National Stereotypes
December 14, 2011, 03:07 PM

oh okay now I see it, thanks!

Posted on: Preparing for Pain
December 14, 2011, 02:43 PM

僵尸启示录来的时候 我就知道去哪儿。。上海,找John他知道怎么修饰僵尸,他会说 "你们都笑我,现在谁有所有医用的东西!? 就是我” 不好意思我没有Serious问题,谢谢你们这个lesson was very enjoyable.

Posted on: National Stereotypes
December 14, 2011, 02:03 PM

In reply to Grambers

"My main point throughout my various comments on this thread is that, in China, this generalising and simplification is not the preserve of rednecks. It's a national standard, and no-one has ever given me the least indication that they see a problem in it."

I personally don't have enough experience with the world to recognize this as a problem, not to say it is or is not a problem I just simply don't know. All I wanted to do was share some experiences I've had in the few country's I've lived in about people using the word "foreigner" in daily conversation.

I totally agree with you about young children, they do not discriminate against race, religion, sex, or language. I remember being young and always wondering why my parents didn't like black people, I always thought to myself "how's like not liking someone because they like Leonardo(teenage mutant ninja turtle), so what if he wears a blue bandana, he's still a freakin' kick-ass ninja!"

conditioning and exposure are the elements that call for generalization and simplification. But there are a billion perceptions existing in this world and I'll share one. Open your mind and pretend along with me for a moment as I rant out some thoughts off the top of my head. Perhaps generalizing and simplifying is the way this culture has understood peace and understanding. If things are simple, communication should be better. (in theory of course) like a simplified writing system. The result was more people can read and wright. perhaps some would view it as, "if we generalize outsiders, we can communicate with them and improve our relationships." (whether or not that has happened, perhaps it was the intent).

And also lets consider your point,(that a nation of people have a problem) a young child wants to play with his unborn brother, and throws a ball at his pregnant mothers stomach. now. his intentions were good, he meant no harm by it. he just wanted to play with his brother. but the parent will have to inform the child that this is a problem and teach the child how to interact with his unborn brother. I don't think I could be comfortable trying to act as a parent teaching another country how they should act. Now I'm not saying they don't have a problem, what I mean is I lack the experience to play the role, or voice an opinion about a problem with another nation. I can't say I agree or disagree with, that China as a nation has a problem with generalizing and simplification. But I do see your point.

Posted on: When is Your Birthday?
December 14, 2011, 12:48 PM

oh and yes, Jenny I hope your son has a wonderful birthday, or should i say 'has had' I think Shanghai time is the same as Beijing so its nearing the end of the day. He's Sagittarius just like me :)

Posted on: When is Your Birthday?
December 14, 2011, 12:42 PM

yeah its funny, I always thought people were saying 哪一天 (na yi tian),when they were actually saying 哪天 nei tian, now I know that哪 can also be said as nei.  Even the newbie lessons teach me alot and bridge gaps in my gappy chinese hehe.

Chinesepod FTW!!

Posted on: National Stereotypes
December 13, 2011, 04:14 PM

"do any poddies know of any other country where there is such a casual use of the word 'foreigner' in day-to-day conversations?"  -Grambers

I was born and lived my first 19 years in Northern Kentucky tri-state, USA.  and a large number of people I've conversed with in those 3 states would be hard pressed to find a term as polite as "foreigner".  Others would even call an American whom speaks with an accent a foreigner.  I couldn't count the times I've heard someone exclaim "Damn foreigners!" even when the person they are referring to is indeed an American themselves!  Any non-white co-worker would be "a damn foreigner taking our jobs".  Being the black sheep in these common ideals, I decided to move away and see these "foreigners" for myself to formulate my own opinions.

Now onto the 5 years I lived in Victoria, BC Canada.
When I went to process the paperwork needed to obtain my permanent resident card, I was referred to as foreigner by everyone working in that office.  However when I applied for a College entrance exam, the lady immediately apologized after referring to me as a "foreigner". she said "Oh, I'm sorry, we try not to use the word foreigner..." which must mean that she has always used this word and due to some political correctness has been recently instructed not to use this word anymore.  Now if I may, I myself would like to use a little stereotype with Canadians.  I'd say your average Canadian enjoys polite conversation with complete strangers.  Now of all the people I've engaged in conversation with, a large percentile would have similar reactions. " oh, you're a foreigner!? " would be their immediate reply when I'd say "I'm from Kentucky".  So I'd say in day-to-day conversation there is a casual use of the word foreigner. 

Now 10 months into 北京 China, I cant count the times I've literally been 'called' no... shouted at would be a more appropriate word choice... foreigner! or 老外! 你看! 老外! I know China is not part of your question, but I would like to add something.  Once there was a little girl who seen me passing by, she did one of those double takes (you know where you glance at something, then suddenly jerk your head toward it as if asking yourself "did I really just see that!?" )  then as if sounding an alarm begins chanting "外国人! 外国人!“  I just observed my peripherals and increased my walking speed, but then she shouted to me 外国叔叔好! and when she said that, it totally changed my perception of 外国人 和 老外.  I don't find any negative connotation in them at all.  Its just simply being called what it is, if you call a maggot a maggot, it shouldnt be offended.

Posted on: Just Call Me...
December 06, 2011, 02:11 PM

If I were a Chinese person choosing an English name, I would want a name like John Smith.  Just a normal name, doesn't raise questions, easy to pronounce and read.  Just a simple typical name.  Do such names like this exsist in Chinese?  Would it be awkward to know a forienger whom chose to adopt such a name?

Perhaps Chinese names are not as simple as English names.  Is there no easy way out?