三泰虎

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。

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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

Small noodle shops and family owned restaurants (after the morning rush or around 12:30) I asked the restaurant owner across the street (a “fast food” place where you point at the dishes that are out in the open) to tell me the names of all her dishes and now every time I come she makes me order everything by name and chats a little (generally, if a shop owner seems open to talking, keep coming back)

Small convenience stores

The slow train, hard sleeper

Independent coffee shops and occasionally McCafe (most Cafe Bene workers will take your order in Chinese, but I’ve never had one try to chat with me)

Public parks during the weekday

Travel by yourself to somewhere with few foreign tourists and stay in a hostel (I've had luck with Qingdao, Nanjing, Shangrila, and Luoyang)

小面馆和家族餐厅(早高峰后或在12:30)我问街对面的餐馆老板(一家“快餐”店,可以指着一盘盘的菜点餐)她告诉我所有菜的名字,现在我每次去店里,她都让我报菜名点餐,还跟我聊会儿天(如果一个店主看起来健谈,就经常去)

小便利店

慢车,硬卧

独立咖啡店,偶尔在麦咖啡(大多数咖啡店的工作人员都会用中文为你点餐,但我从来没有遇到过试图跟我闲聊的人)。

工作日的公园

独自旅行,去一个外国游客很少的地方,住青年旅社(我在青岛、南京、香格里拉和洛阳都住过)。

 译文来源:三泰虎  http://www.santaihu.com/49476.html 译者:Joyceliu

 

Ty Conner, speaking Mandarin Chinese for 8 years

This was me four years ago.

I was frustrated because no one would speak to me in Chinese.

So what I did was sit and listen.

I spoke as much Chinese as possible.

It wasn't much at first.

But the little that I did speak was enough to get people to start talking to me in Chinese.

And every time I said “我不知道” or “我听不懂”, communication would stop entirely.

So I faked it. I feigned understanding as long as possible, so they would keep talking.

Sometimes I figured it out within the next two sentences, sometimes my eyes would stare off into the distance and communication would stop.

I did this for an entire year, and my Chinese got exponentially better because I didn't care about not understanding.

I just let them keep talking as long as possible.

I continued speaking what little I knew and found myself finding more and more words to use. It grew from there.

The moral of the story is: don't worry about not understanding. They will not talk to you if they know you don't understand, so speak what you can, and fake it till you make it.

我现在的中文水平远远超过我以前的想象。加油,小伙子!

这也是四年前的我的心里话。

我一度十分沮丧,因为没有人会用中文和我说话。

所以我只能坐着听人说。

我尽可能多地说中文。

一开始说得并不多。

但我说的那一点点中文就足以鼓励人们开始用中文和我交谈。

而每次我说出“我不知道”或“我听不懂”的时候,沟通就完全停止了。

所以我假装我都听懂了。我假装理解了,能撑多久撑多久,让他们继续用中文跟我交谈。

有时我在接下来的两句话里就明白了,有时我的眼睛盯着远处,交流也会停止。

我这样做了整整一年,我的中文进步了很多,因为我不在乎自己是否听懂了。

我只是让他们尽可能长时间地跟我交谈。

我继续说着我所知道的一点点东西,发现自己用的词越来越多。语言能力就这样提高了。

这个故事的寓意是:不要担心不理解。如果他们知道你听不懂,他们就不会和你说话了,所以你能说什么就说什么,装到你真的听懂为止。

我现在的中文水平永远超过我以前的想象。加油,小伙子!

 

Roger Morgan, 8 years Mandarin

There are lot of fairly hostile answers on this. Most answers from native Chinese speakers have said that it’s because your Chinese is not good enough and you should wait until you are fluent before trying to speak to people. This is ridiculous. You only become fluent by speaking. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. This is how you improve.

The real reasons why Chinese people sometimes don’t want to speak Chinese to you are:

对这个问题,我看到了很多相当不友好的答案。大多数以中文为母语的人回答说,这是因为你的中文不够好,你应该等到你的中文很流利了再试着和别人交流。这么说是荒谬的。你只有通过练习开口才能变得流利。不要害怕犯错误。这是你进步的方式。

中国人有时候不想和你说中文的真正原因是:

1.Confidence. When I first moved to China my Chinese wasn’t that good. I would try to go to markets talk to the shop keepers, but I was pretty nervous and hesitant. If you are nervous and hesitant they will assume that you can’t speak Chinese and will either reply in English or use gestures. I eventually got annoyed and started speaking loudly and more confidently to them and instantly they replied in Chinese..

2.Restaurants. If I’m in a restaurant in China with Chinese friends then almost all the time the waitress will ignore me even if I speak Chinese to her. This is super annoying. My Chinese is good now so its nothing to do with language ability. It is just that a waiter would much prefer to speak to a Chinese person and it’s deeply ingrained that foreigners can’t speak Chinese. Sometimes I just accept it and don’t care. But other times I politely ask them (in Chinese) to speak Chinese to me. Usually this works but if not I switch to more obnoxious methods. I ask them in very loud and slow Chinese “If I speak in Chinese can you understand me?”. Then as if the scales fall from their eyes they suddenly comprehend and tell me “Oh I thought foreigners can’t speak Chinese!”. After that they will speak to me in Chinese.

3.Chinese people who speak excellent English. I occasionally encounter Chinese people who speak really excellent English. They are invariably young and studied abroad in England or the USA or another English speaking country. They will almost never speak Chinese to me. I have had surreal conversations where I speak Chinese and they reply in English. There’s nothing that you can do about this. It’s just the way they are. No point getting angry about it.

1.信心。当我第一次搬到中国的时候,我的中文还不是很好。我试着去市场和店主聊天,但我非常紧张和犹豫。如果你自己很紧张,很犹豫,他们会认为你不会说中文,要么用英语回答,要么用手势。最后我很生气,开始大声地、更自信地和他们说话,他们就立刻用中文回答我了。

2.餐馆。如果我和中国朋友在中餐馆吃饭,那么即便我跟服务员说中文,她也几乎总是不理我。这太烦人了。我的中文现在很好了,所以这与语言能力无关。只是服务员更喜欢和中国人说话,而她根深蒂固地认为外国人不会说中文。有时我只能接受这个事实,不放在心上。但有时我会礼貌地请他们(用中文)跟我说中文。通常这么做是可行的,但如果不行,我就会用更气人的方法。我会用又大声又慢速的中文问他们:“如果我说中文,你们能听懂吗?”然后,他们才会恍然大悟地说:“哦,我还以为外国人不会说中文呢!”接下来,他们就会用中文和我对话了。

3.能讲一口流利英语的中国人。我偶尔会遇到能说一口流利英语的中国人。他们都很年轻,在英国、美国或其他英语国家留过学。他们基本上永远都不会跟我说中文。我曾有过十分离奇的对话,我用中文说,他们用英文答。你对此无能为力。他们就是这样。没有必要为此生气。

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