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suMMit

Boring China talk

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realmayo

Maybe I exaggerated a bit when I wrote "great Chinese". But I feel I got to learn so much about China in my first year there, when all the friends I made spoke English to me the whole time (even though nowadays we might speak Chinese instead of English). 

 

One example: I hadn't realised just how engrained what we would call 'traditional Chinese medicine' is in some people's everyday life until someone suggested I try a local snack sold on the street but then explained that, although it was delicious, she'd never eaten it because her body couldn't accept that category of food, she had to eat lots of the opposite sort instead. 

 

That's hardly 红楼梦 but nor is it a conversation, off-hand and conducted waking down a busy noisy street, that I could have participated in using Chinese at that point. 

 

It is, though, a conversation that's available to anyone who can speak English in China!

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DavyJonesLocker
21 hours ago, Balthazar said:

But those of us who spend a significant amount of time studying Chinese definitely also miss out on lots of things.

 

That is a big big consideration!

As much as I like study I warn people about how the enormous effect and shear number of man hours that will be required to acquire even a passable level. They are so many potential leathers who genuinely think they will be reading Chinese novels in a few years. 

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