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Making a group of FRIEND?

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My background : 19, have been studying chinese for 2,5 years and actually in a first year undergraduate program in Taiwan. 90% of my classes are taught in chinese, even if my chinese is hsk 5-6 , all the textbooks are in english so with some preparation I'm fine.

The problem is... making friend with taiwanese. I have no problem with a conversation 1-1, can talk about pretty much anything not too specialized. But when it comes to group...Tbh i dont understand whats going on, so I cant add myself to the conversation. Well, i try my best like if by chance I can hangout with a group ,  I often ask whats going on and stuff but thats all i can do...
And people won't make the first move either to try to integrate me (which I 100% understand)

So it's very hard for me to make a GROUP of friends to hang out with. And honestly affecting my moral a bit. 

Did you guys encounter the same situation when in China ? What advices would you give me?
Thank you.

(PS I already do sports but it happens too. Not mention I'm not good at it )


(PS 2 : i dont knox if im on the right sub or not but didnt find Taiwan)

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Welcome to the forums! I moved your post to a forum that is a better fit. I think this is a problem that can happen anywhere, not just in Taiwan.


Following group conversations is one of the most difficult things in language learning. It moves fast, there are in-jokes and references to things you don't know, etc. My Chinese is pretty decent, but I still don't always manage.


Ideas of what you can do:

1) Just enjoy spending time with friends one on one.

2) Build your own friend group of people who genuinely like you (and whom you genuinely like). They should be more likely to involve you in the conversation, since they like you and your company.

3) If you are with a group of people and are generally getting a good vibe from them (they don't laugh at you, they get you drinks when they are getting drinks, they invite you to stuff), just accept that you'll be the quiet one and enjoy the general good vibe. This, combined with option 1, is what I usually do. I can't follow everything, so I just take in what I can follow. If I do have something to add, I say it; if not, I just hang out with them.

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1 hour ago, Lu said:

just accept that you'll be the quiet one


This is I think quite common.  It will be more or less difficult for you to be at ease with this role depending on your personality and how you normally interact with groups.  Like Lu says, even with amazing Chinese all the in-jokes and cultural references make it pretty tough.

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16 hours ago, aarson said:

Did you guys encounter the same situation when in China ? What advices would you give me?


Find activities you enjoy and do them with Taiwan local people of your approximate same age group. Reach out to other members of the activity group or team and interact; don't sit back and wait for them to talk to you. Eventually you will become friends with some of them. The key to making friends, anywhere and anytime, at age 19 or 90, is shared interests. That's the starting point. Do this a lot and you will probably succeed. If it doesn't work right away, don't become discouraged and pull back. 


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I think this is quite common. I found myself in the same situation for a long time when I moved to English speaking country. I wasn't too extrovert to begin with in my home country but I was definitely much more talkative in groups when I was there. The issue is the same as making friends in a new country, people who have the same backgrounds and history would be more likely to attract each other and "easier" to talk to initially. It gets better after a while but I prefer to hang out in small groups of 3-4 people even now. It would definitely help to find out the topics that they like to discuss and invest time to read/watch/listen to current issues, topics and interests or find people who have similar interests as you, then it wouldn't feel like such hard work. Also, if you are good with one on one that's probably going to help because if you then become really close to one or 2 people they can ease you into their group of friends. 

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