Recently my friend Jenny wrote an article about things foreigners are tired of hearing in China. Guess what’s the top one?
nǐ zhōngwén zhēn hǎo!
Your Chinese is very good!
To be honest, I’m surprised. As a warming Chinese teacher, I always have that. According to the article, a lot of Chinese will say that when a foreigner only say “你好(nǐhǎo)”, which makes this compliment sound not that sincere.
It reminders me maybe you don’t realize there are also some things Chinese are tired of hearing from foreigners? So today we can talk about.
1. (You are a Chinese,) You must be good at…
nǐ huì gōngfu ba?
You know kungfu,right?
nǐ huì dǎ pīngpāngqiú ma?
You know how to play Ping-Pong, right?
nǐ shùxué hěn hǎo ba.
You must be good at math.
No, no, not at all. Trust me Hollywood movies not only show you a fake America, but also ruin other countries. Even in China Kung-fu is a mysterious art. There are people who practice and master it. But they are FEW. Please don’t ask me to perform Kungfu or Fan Dance any more.
2. Do you eat dog meat? Where can I find it if I want to try?
nǐ chī gǒuròu ma?
nǎli kěyǐ chī dào gǒuròu?
It’s true some people eat dog meat or some weird food such as insect. But it depends on where you live. Many people have dogs as pets in China as well. Of course they don’t have it for food. In cities like Beijing, Shanghai, you can hardly find a normal restaurant sells dog meat.
3. How do you learn English?
nǐ zěnme xué yīng yǔ de?
nǐ wèishénme yào xué yīngyǔ?
Why do you learn English?
This kind of question is usually from my American friends. It’s probably because foreign language education is not that developed in U.S. Actually in most East Asia countries, English is a required class at school. It usually starts from elementary school and you need to pass special English level test to graduate from college. So no matter I like it or not, I have to learn. It’s just like you have to learn math at school.
4. One-child-policy questions.
nǐ xiǎng yào xiōng dì jiě mèi ma?
Do you want a brother or sister?
rúguǒ huái le shuāng bāo tāi, zhèngfǔ huì bàozǒu yī gè ma?
If you have twins, will government take one of them?
I understand “one-child-policy” is a pretty weird and uncommon policy and everyone is curious about it. But it’s really annoying to answer these questions again and again. Most of us kindly are used to a family only has one kid. As a policy, of course, some people are against it and some for it. But it’s not weird or important in our life. And if you have twins, then you have them. No one will take them. We don’t live in the hell. BTW the policy is recently abolished. Now we can have two.
There are more that Chinese always hear from our foreign friends. I think one important thing is we all need to get rid of stereotypes. Americans don’t only eat hamburger while not all Chinese eat dog meat. We live in the same world!