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Say It Right Series

Weird limao

Posted by bubobubo June 21, 2008 in the Group General Discussion.

Recently, I've taken to studying online with native speakers of Chinese. A phenomenon that I have experienced with at least ten 中国人 is that after several sentences in Chinese, they comment  "我在怀疑你是不是中国人" or something similar. I mean, I'm used to eliciting a "你的 中文好厉害" (This reminds me of a lesson introduction here on CP "Goodness me, you Chinese is amazing!") so I don't take these antics too seriously, after all, it's a way to be polite and as a matter of fact, I myself often reassure my interlocutors "别担心, 你的英语真不错" although I had to strain my ears trying to understand them. I have studied Chinese autodidactically for approxiamtely 7 months, so contrary to what most tell me, it is obvious that I'm a foreigner.

But what really startled me is that some, especially women, become almost sulky, and tell me "I really can't believe you're not Chinese", "我了", or "我哭了。。。", some even leave never to reply to me again. I don't really understand what's going on. During my lifetime (36 years), I've lived in more than 13 countries for at least a year, respectively,but never have I faced such personal obstacles during the language learning process and never has my (admittedly abysmal) language ability caused such weird reactions. 

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