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Vivi MENG

Anything you think you'd like to ask a native speaker

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Basil

The inference is that the father sees a boy walk in, sees red and screams. 

 

Sometimes it might take a bit longer than a second to recognise someone, especially if you suddenly become angry...

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ChTTay

Is it easy to make friends with British people in the UK?

Do you feel more what it's like to be a foreigner in China now you are one jn the UK? Haha

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Vivi MENG

What's the strangest thing about Britain?

So many great foods that you don't take it as edible, like 大闸蟹. :D

Lot's of people don't use umbrella when its raining. :shock:

Is it easy to make friends with British people in the UK?

Do you feel more what it's like to be a foreigner in China now you are one jn the UK? Haha

I think it is not easy, especially for alcohol intolerant people like me... I made some friends in class, but we rarely hang out together in spare time. But there are some of my Chinese classmates who go well with British people.

Honestly, I don't feel as much as you do. Because British people are pretty open about foreigners. They won't stare at me. But in China, lots of people, especially senior people who don't meet much foreigners in their life, will stare at foreigners. My mom was one of them...Every time she saw a foreigner, she would stare at him and say: "看!老外!" I have to remind her: 'stop it, it's very impolite!' Luckily, I don't have such pressure in Britain! Haha

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Melanie1989

Vivi Yeah i thought afterwards maybe it was an unclear question. I asked my AWOL language exchange partner once and she'd said someone else she was talking to used spaces in between the characters and tried to fit in unnecessary words (something like 我是很好). Thank you very much for your answer!

 

Also, i am alcohol intolerant too! Except for beer and whiskey, for some reason i am ok with. It does sometimes affect your (collectively) chances of making friends -it certainly did for me as a teenager especially- but people who only want to go out and drink all the time probably wouldn't be much good as friends anyway. 

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Vivi MENG

 

 

Melanie1989

Yeah, your partner is right. It's not uncommon that one tends to bring his or her mother tongue into another language. "我是很好“ is a reflection of "I AM good". :D

 

What kind of alcohol intolerant you are, I mean you can still have beer and whiskey! :D Good for you!

 

A question for you, are there many Chinese in York?

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renzhe

You don't need to drink alcohol to socialise with people in Britain. I got along just fine ordering orange juice in pubs for years. You just have to be able to stand drunk people :D

But it seems that this entire "hanging around in noisy pubs and bars" aspect of socialising is rather strange for many Chinese.

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Melanie1989

 

What kind of alcohol intolerant you are, I mean you can still have beer and whiskey!  :D Good for you!

 

A question for you, are there many Chinese in York?

 

Yeah, i'm pretty lucky with that! But beer has no effect on me at all, it doesn't even get me drunk. Usually vodka, wine make me sick, even after half a glass. Brandy turns my face cherry red for hours. Literally hours. But i definitely don't feel i'm missing out on much.

 

I have only been into York itself once and i can't say i noticed. In Doncaster where i am now, there quite a few Cantonese speaking Chinese, but nobody seems to speak 普通话. Though i am not sure of the Chinese market in town still exists, there should be mainlanders there, but i haven't got around to visiting yet. Are you planning a trip to York?

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daofeishi

A lot of western people often bring up political topics  or controversial topics related to modern Chinese history when they meet people from China. How do you feel about that? Do you feel that such discussions are constructive? How do you feel about the different perspectives that westerners and Chinese people often have on those topics? 

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ChTTay

When you are a student not drinking can make it hard to socialise in the UK. Best to find friends through activities that don't revolve around drinking OR where drinking is just a small part of it... And not the goal of the evening!

York has quite a few Chinese students studying for Masters... At least a few years a go when my Chinese friend studied there.

In the North, Manchester has the biggest Chinese population. I'm pretty sure it's the biggest outside of London.

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Vivi MENG

But it seems that this entire "hanging around in noisy pubs and bars" aspect of socialising is rather strange for many Chinese.

You got me!

Are you planning a trip to York?

Yes! Lots of my friends kept talking about it's a lovely place. And I'm pretty interested in history of the royal family there.

A lot of western people often bring up political topics or controversial topics related to modern Chinese history when they meet people from China. How do you feel about that? Do you feel that such discussions are constructive? How do you feel about the different perspectives that westerners and Chinese people often have on those topics?

I know little about political issues. I thinks guys who discuss them with me will find rather dissappointed...But I'd like to say such discussions can be constructive because it builds communication directly between Chinese people and westerners, without any intervention or misleading from the media. I still think that when reporting news from China, western media have much bias and use selected events or angles. Chinese media also do the same thing. It seems to be the nature of media. It is good that people can have conversations directly. It helps to wave the misunderstanding and bias.

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Vivi MENG

Someone are curious about how Chinese people think about the UK. I did a little survey on Wechat. 

Q: 一个英国人问我在英国觉得最奇怪的事儿是啥,我该怎么回答他。。。

(A British mate asked me "What's the strangest thing about Britain?" What should I say.)

Here comes the answer.

1. 为什么男人和女人居然是一对。(Men are dating women!)

2. 除了土豆还有别的料理嘛。(Any other food than potato?)

3. 为毛(slang for为啥,为什么)3集福尔摩斯能拖3年。(How come it takes them 3 years to release 3 episodes of Sherlock.) 

4. gay 太多?

5. 告诉他是竟然有人问我在英国觉得最奇怪的事是啥。。。(Somebody literally asked about the strangest thing about Britain)

Haha, just for fun! Please don't take it serious or offense.  :P 

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Shelley

How would you feel if a British person started to speak to you in Chinese , say maybe in a shop where you may accidentally bump into each other and the British person says 对不起 ,I know you said you find it strange that British people apologies for this sort of thing but ignoring that how would you react?

 

Or the British person might just say 恁好 and wait for a response hoping that you the Chinese person may have a few words to say and help the British person with their Chinese and conversely help the Chinese person with their English.

 

i have sometimes thought about being brave and trying to strike up a conversation but worry I will make a big mistake and they are not Chinese at all and will be very hurt as are Canadians when they are mistaken for Americans :)

 

Thank you for your help with all our questions, remember you can ask us questions too :)

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Vivi MENG

 

 

How would you feel if a British person started to speak to you in Chinese , say maybe in a shop where you may accidentally bump into each other and the British person says 对不起 ,I know you said you find it strange that British people apologies for this sort of thing but ignoring that how would you react?

I will think this guy is awesome! Really? A British person talks to me in Chinese in Britain?! He/her is so cool!! This is a situation I would love to see. But I did run into some guys hitting on me. I don't like that. :( But have a new friend (who looks harmless) would be great. :P Do you have Wechat? We can start talking through it.

 

 

i have sometimes thought about being brave and trying to strike up a conversation but worry I will make a big mistake and they are not Chinese at all and will be very hurt as are Canadians when they are mistaken for Americans  :)

You can simply start by asking them"Do you speak Chinese?" (Be careful not to ask "Are you Chinese?" Some HKer or Taiwanese may get mad about that.  :D They don't like to be referred as Chinese. I think if you looks nice, most people would love to talk and make friends with you. 

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Vivi MENG

 

 

恁好

恁好?!Where did you learn this?! It's a dialect(ancient) expression of 你好(您好)Haha, I'm surprised! 

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MPhillips

I get the impression that nowadays the expression 搭讪 has taken a turn for the worse and is usually used in the sense of "hit on" and rarely in the innocent "strike up a conversation" sense. BTW do British people really say "hit on"--thought they said "chat up"?

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Vivi MENG

 

 

I get the impression that nowadays the expression 搭讪 has taken a turn for the worse and is usually used in the sense of "hit on" and rarely in the innocent "strike up a conversation" sense. BTW do British people really say "hit on"--thought they said "chat up"? 

I think 搭讪 has never been a good word. :P That's why Chinese male rarely 搭讪, because that seems not a good behavior. 

I learnt hit on from American TV series. Please don't blame it on me.  :-?  :)

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MPhillips

Thanks for filling me in about 搭讪 !!! Of course I don't mind which slang, whether British or American, someone uses--I think it's fun to use both. Was just wondering to what extent the mother country had adopted our slang.

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LiMo

Hey Vivi,

 

Great topic, thanks for helping us all out so much! I've learned some new slang  :D

 

York really is lovely, I was there earlier this year. It was a short trip but I did notice a fair few Chinese takeaways.

 

As far as meeting people is concerned I suggest meetup.com. I've been using it for about a year and it really alerts you to just how much is going on in London. There are meet up groups for all kinds of things,day trips, calligraphy and so on and so forth. I'm currently signed up to most of the Language exchange groups. They do tend to meet in pubs but it's a friendly atmosphere and the main point is meeting new people and (hopefully) practising your language. I highly recommend you join some, especially the Chinese exchange groups, there are such cool and wonderful people there (like myself  :D ).

 

What are you studying?

 

(BTW @MPhillips, Yes, "chat up" is what we say, however, from the tons of American TV we all watch we are familiar with this thing called..."hitting on"  :mrgreen: )

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Vivi MENG

Thanks for filling me in about 搭讪 !!! Of course I don't mind which slang, whether British or American, someone uses--I think it's fun to use both. Was just wondering to what extent the mother country had adopted our slang.

American did a good job in exporting their culture and language to China. We mainly learn American English in school. It took me a while to get used to the British accent when I first came to London. I even doubted if I was learning the real English for all those years. :)

Rather a busy pub than a busy hot pot restaurant...

I definitely will take hot pot! :wink:

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