One of the problems we all encounter whilst living in the Crazy kingdom is that people won't talk with you in Chinese. I have been tempted to buy that T-shirt (on sinosplice) saying "请讲普通话" (please speak Mandarin).
Here's the problem if someone actually does try to speak Mandarin to you and you fcuk it up (maybe because of the shock of it) they will then switch to english to save you embarrasment or worse just stop talking.
I have encountered this many times particularly with taxi drivers. I few of his questions answered in flawless Mandarin, he gives me a compliment on my excellent Hanyu and then asks me another question of which I am oblivious too. Awkard silence insues.
This is also happens with just about anybody. I don't have face so I don't care if I basterdize your languagein my attempts to learn it. I am not embarrassed in the least when I screw or don't understand. However I get really upset when you decide to quit the conversation. My situational learning experience dies.
I know chinesepod has done many of the questions but perhaps do a series on the usual questions we get asked in polite company or with the taxi driver or when meeting someone for the first time.
Hey, the more questions we understand the longer that situational learning experience lasts.
The last few questions (lately) I could understand but not answer was "where is Ireland?" Can't say beside England or Atlantic Ocean. Coversation shot down in flames.
Do you like basketball? ( I learned the word later) conversation lapsed into hand gestures
Is there a war in Ireland? (sorry what, whats in Ireland?) war and peace have no clue on those words.
Even if we just had a list of all the nomal and sometimes strange questions we get hit with it would be great to study them in groups. You could do a lesson on the-interogation-by-future-mother-in-law or Chinese-co-worker-on-coffee questions-me.
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