One of my students is planning on going back to America after staying in Shanghai for 5 years. A few days ago we chatted on WeChat. He said, “Julia, I find it difficult to even remember what life is truly like before coming to China! It may take quite a while to get used to my old life back home.”
I remember reading a blog article on exactly this:
"You know you've been in China long enough when…
• You always say “Wei” when answering calls.
• Your clothes that you are wearing were all purchased in China.
• You pick up any type of food using just chopsticks, even peanuts.
• You use Chinese words while talking to your friends in English from back home.
• Your English has a Chinese accent…
Now, many expats who have lived her a while a are have brought up a new topic: “If I knew then what I know now”. I want to join this discussion from the perspective of a Chinese teacher to educate those who are thinking about living here.
1) Facebook, YouTube, Gmail, Skype Do Not Work Well in China
The Chinese government has been building the country’s Internet filter to make the access to Facebook, YouTube and other social media more difficult. Google cannot be used and Skype connection is not good, especially between China and European countries. You are really excited about sharing your experiences with your friends and family, but you can’t! Then maybe you will know the good news that there is something called a “VPN” which helps you get around the blocks and access to the websites that you want to. However, VPNs cannot solve all the problems, and is unstable especially during National Holiday. Sometimes VPNs are not safe. You have to be careful when choosing the VPN service and never use it when doing any online payment.
If you want to do video calling with your family or friends and Skype does not work well, you can use Zoom instead. We find Zoom is much better and stable when having the Chinese lessons with our students out of China. The best thing of all: it is free! Actually you can try WeChat as well. Although WeChat is not as popular as WhatsApp, the functions are quite good. I have tried WeChat video calling with my students in France, America and Australia. It is good.
2) China is So Loud and You Have To Speak Loudly
China is probably one of the loudest places in the world. You may enjoy the fireworks show in your country for 1 or 2 hours, but you may find it torturing if the fireworks and firecrackers keep going on for the whole week during the Chinese New Year. It doesn't matter if you are on the subway, the bus, in the street or in a restaurant, people always shout into their cell phones. When people talk, they seem to be arguing.
Also, many of my students find it hilarious that in front of stores, there are often sales girls clapping hands and shouting something to loud music. In the morning, you can see them dancing and shouting. The shop owners want them to keep energetic in this way.
You will have to speak loudly in a Chinese restaurant, otherwise other people may not hear you clearly. If you want a waiter to come to your table, no need to be “polite”, just shout, “Fuwuyuan!” My students are now so good at saying this word loudly.
3.) I Should Start Learning Chinese Earlier and in a Fun Way
You may always think that China is the best place to learn Chinese. Actually, you don’t have to wait until you come to China. You can find a good Chinese video course app or Chinese Skype course, and you can start learning some basics before coming to China You won’t feel totally lost when buying something in the supermarket or just looking for the toilet.
Also with some imagination and association, learning Chinese can be easy and fun. You will wish you had learned Chinese in this way. I will show you how to easily remember the pronunciation and characters of the Chinese (Mandarin) numbers from 0 to 9 using stories and other associations.
Use the above picture to help you remember the sounds and characters for the numbers 0-9.
Use the following visualizations to further entrench your memorization:
1 一 is so “easy” and sounds like E.
2 二 sounds like R.
3 三 sounds like the first part of “sandwich” and looks like one.
4 四 four is 四. Force yourself to pronounce the “ce” part harder and remember that it looks like a window with curtains.
5 五 sounds like "woo", 三 + 二 (with the direction changed) = 五.
6 六 is a happy dancing boy named Leo and Leo is six.
7 七 sounds like first part of “cheese”. Write 7 upside down.
8 八 looks like papa's mustache and papa likes going to the bar.
9 九 is Joe, a drunk person kneeling down on the ground.
0 〇 sounds like first part of “link”, linking zeroes together.
Watch a video lesson to learn these numbers with our professional Chinese teacher.
This article was contributed by New Concept Mandarin , your best choice for Mandarin School in and out of China.
With our own course books, online video tutorials and mobile Apps, we have developed an effective Flipped Learning model. With this approach, students can achieve 3 times more learning outcomes than from a traditional Mandarin school.
Interested but not convinced yet? Why not book a free trial class to experience yourself at www.newconceptmandarin.com?
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