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美版知乎:怎样才能让中国人跟我说中文?我在中国教英语,学中文

How do I get Chinese people to speak to me in Chinese? I’m in China right now teaching English, and learning Chinese. Unfortunately, outside of class everyone speaks to me in English.

我怎样才能让中国人跟我说中文?我在中国教英语,学中文,但课下大家都用英语和我交谈

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以下是Quora读者的评论:

Kevin D. Aslan, Entrepreneur, Author, Podcaster

You have to play the language war.

The concept is simple. When you meet someone new, and if they’re speaking to you in English, an elaborate dance commences. You speak in Chinese, they speak in English, and both stick to their guns for as long as possible.

Eventually, one of you will break - not because you’re tired or you give up, but because you encounter a word you don’t know how to say in that particular foreign language.

“Do you like to, um, go, um, 怎么说 ,游泳? [how to say, swimming?]”

BOOM. That’s the moment where you’ve won the language war. Stick to your guns and helpfully provide the missing word, and from then on, the language spoken between the two of you will be Chinese. You’ve proven that it’s the easier one of the two for you to communicate in.

Now you’re going to tell me: wait - but what if his level of English is better than my Chinese?

很简单。当你遇到新朋友时,如果他们用英语和你说话,一场精心准备的舞蹈就开始了。你说中文,他们说英文,而且两人都尽可能长时间地坚持自己的立场。

最终,你们中的一个人会缴械投降——不是因为你累了或者你放弃了,而是因为你遇到了一个不知道该如何用那门特定的外语表达的单词。

“你想要,嗯,要不要,嗯,怎么说呢,游泳?”

这就是你赢得语言战争的时刻。坚持你的立场,并提供帮助,从那时起,你俩之间的交流语言就将默认为中文。你已经证明了它是两种语言中比较容易沟通的一种。

现在你要告诉我:等等——但如果他的英语水平比我的中文好呢?

Well, then first, you need to up your Chinese level, and second, you’re talking to the wrong people.

When I first started to learn Chinese, I was limited to but a few topics. But I found the unlikeliest (and free) of language partners: my compound’s security guards.

These guys have NOTHING to do all day, are bored out of their minds, and - best of all - have a terrible english that’s usually limited to “Hello” and “Obama”. It doesn’t matter how bad your Chinese is - you’ll be speaking in Chinese with them no matter what.

This guy! Best language partner ever.

Just be careful that they’re not teaching you too much dialect. I ended up unintentionally using Shanghainese words for a while… and didn’t realize it for a full year.

嗯,首先,你需要提高你的中文水平,其次,你说话的对象不对。

当我刚开始学习中文的时候,我只局限于几个话题。但我找到了最不可能(还免费)的语言搭档:我院子里的保安。

这些家伙整天无所事事,百无聊赖,最糟糕的是,他们的英语很糟糕,通常只会说“你好”和“奥巴马”(“Hello” and “Obama”)。不管你的中文有多糟糕,你都能和他们说中文。

他!就是最好的语言搭档。

只是要小心,他们可能会教你很多方言。我有一段时间无意中说了上海话,直到整整一年后才发现。

 

Edward Smith, Serial sucker for cultural punishment

Instead of bashing you like everyone else is apparently taking joy in doing, I’m going to show a little empathy and actually try and help you out.

I lived in Japan (teaching English) and China (learning Chinese) for a year each and this was by far the most infuriating aspect of language learning. But there is hope.

OK, so first a quick story.

My Korean friend and I are walking through a local mall in Shanghai. I asked a 保安 (security guard) “请问,厕所在哪里?” “Excuse me, where’s the toilet?”. The security turns to my Korean friend and he says “我不讲英文..” - “I don’t speak English..”. I’m thinking “What. The. Fudge. I worked this hard for people to not know I’m speaking Mandarin?!”

It took my a long time to get my head around that, but let’s break it down.

First the why of why they’re speaking to you in English, not Mandarin. A lot of this comes down to empathy but first comes knowledge:

我对你的情况感同身受,会试着帮你解决问题,而不是像其他人那样抨击你。

我在日本(教英语)和中国(学汉语)各住了一年,这是迄今为止语言学习中最令人恼火的地方。但还是有希望的。

好的,首先我先讲一个简短的故事。

我和韩国朋友在上海当地的一家商场里。我问一位保安“请问,厕所在哪里?”保安转向我的韩国朋友说“我不会讲英文。”我心里想,什么鬼,我这么努力,结果人们居然不知道我说的是普通话?!”

我花了很长时间才明白过来,但让我们把它分解一下。

首先是为什么他们要用英语而不是普通话跟你说话。很多原因都归结为同理心,但首先是知识:

#1: Tones

Are your tones good?

You don’t really know a word in Mandarin unless you know their tones. Imagine if a Chinese person came up to you with incomprehensibly accented English. If you spoke their language, you would default to it because screw it, right? You have better things to do!

Same goes for them, because not everyone is willing to give you a free conversation class, just like you’re not happy about giving them one.

# 1:发音的音调

你发音的音调好吗?

除非你知道发音声调,否则你并没有真的搞懂某个词语的普通话。想象一下,如果一个中国人用难以理解的英语口音跟你说话。如果你说他们的语言,你肯定会觉得真见鬼,对吧?你有别的事情要忙呢!

他们也一样,因为不是每个人都愿意免费给你上对话课,就像你不愿意免费给他们上对话课一样。

#2: “Is he really speaking Chinese?”

Like me in the mall, the security guard had a hard time comprehending that a white fella was speaking his language.

As I’ll touch on below, depending on where you are, most foreigners suck at Mandarin so bad it’s hard to get their head around the fact that a few might actually be half-decent.

It’s hard for native English speakers to understand this, because bloody near-everyone speak English. We expect people to speak English. They do not expect people to speak Mandarin.

I met lots of foreigners in China who thought their Mandarin was better than the average Chinese person’s English. Often, they just weren’t self-aware enough to realise that that just wasn’t so.

“他真的是在说中文吗?”

就像我在商场里一样,保安很难理解一个白人居然会说他的母语。

正如我下面将要提到的,看你在哪里了,大多数外国人的普通话都很烂,以至于很难让他们理解这样一个事实:有些外国人的普通话可能还算过得去。

以英语为母语的人很难理解这一点,因为几乎每个人都说英语。我们默认外国人都说的是英语。他们没想到外国人会说普通话。

我遇到很多在中国的外国人,他们认为自己的普通话比一般中国人的英语要好。通常情况下,他们只是没有足够的自知之明,意识到事实并非如此。

 

Kendra Brock, lives in Wuhan, Hubei, China (2014-present)

I agree with previous comments about the importance of speaking in Chinese first and making it obvious that you are learning Chinese (either by studying in a public place or by teling your friends/students that you are learning Chinese). The majority of Chinese people I know are very proud their language and will enjoy sharing it with you. It is, however, sometimes difficult to get people to chat with you. Here are some people and places I have had good luck with:

Generally, you should try to find people whose English is worse than your Chinese but have had some exposure to English/language learning. I have found that people with some exposure to English are better at understanding a foreign language in Chinese.

An exception: people preparing for the IELTS (For whatever reason, I’ve had good luck with language exchanges with IELTS learners. They're usually good at explaining the language and willing to just chat with you in exchange for you chatting with them in English and giving them a few pointers.)

Children (they are use smaller words and are also likely to point out your pronunciation errors)

The grocery store, particularly the yogurt, oil, and rice sections

Outdoor/semi-outdoor vegetable markets

我同意网友之前提到的先说中文的重要性,并明确表示你正在学习中文(可以在公共场所学习,也可以打电话给你的朋友/学生说你在学习中文)。我认识的大多数中国人都为自己的母语骄傲,并乐于与大家分享。然而,有时很难让别人和你聊天。以下是一些我交过好运的人和地点:

一般来说,你应该试着找那些英语比汉语差,但对英语/语言学习有一定接触的人。我发现,接触过英语的人更能理解汉语这门外语。

有一个例外:准备雅思考试的人(不管出于什么原因,我在与雅思学习者的语言交流方面很顺利。他们通常很擅长解释语言,愿意和你聊天,作为交换,你可以用英语和他们聊天,并给他们一些建议。)

孩子们(他们会使用跟简单的词,也可能指出你的发音错误)

杂货店,特别是酸奶、油和米店

露天/半露天蔬菜市场

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