How you will feel where no one able to understand your language even if you speak English then majority of people are not able to understand… If they understand half of them are not able to reply. You are often playing dumb sharters to communicate.. You must feeling illiterate, dumb… Well, welcome to Mainland China!!
It has been almost 10 months nearly a year in China. So, I thought I should introduce Chinglish more precisely Chinese English or the way Chinese speaks to all my friends and glimpse of chinese culture…..
When, I was travelling to China for the first time. I was asked to attend internal sessions which includes bit of introduction to Chinese culture, travel formalities and little introduction to Chinese language. Main highlight of the session was that Chinese speaks English in a very different manner and slow not fluent like other western countries. Fair enough, every country has different pronunciation. But I would rather say English here is totally different and sometimes very difficult to understand. When, it comes to US, UK we still can understand they are fluent and clear and we often watch Hollywood movies/series so dealing with US, UK not a big deal. It was first time travelling to onsite and I was appointed as onsite coordinator. But when I landed here I got to know my role is more of translator (precisely middle ware) help Chinese folks to understand Indian English and get the things done and vice-versa. And also English teacher for freshers.
You know English, A littal; When you will talk to Chinese first and ask, hey!! Do you know English, If the reply comes A littal (actually means little) that means he or she does know few words. For them, if they know “Hi, Hello, Bye, Thanks” That means they know English. There is no word “Wait”, they learned it as “Wait a Moment.”
Be Patient when dealing with Chinese: Chinese speak English very slow. So, you have to really patient and when you say or you want to convey something to them. Ask them again, what they understood; because the probability is very high of misinterpreting the information what you have just told them.
Not only they pronounce differently but they replace alphabets also :In China, the word ‘n’ referred as ‘l’, so night become light… nightmare becomes lightmare… now become low :P. So when they I am busy low that means they are busy now. I will call you afterlool that he will call me around afternoon. For them alphabet ‘r’ and ‘l’ are interchangeable. So Russian becomes lussian a gal named Rhunjhun becomes Lunjhun and present become pleasant. Some words they pronounced really horrible; like colleague they will say conique. I am seak actually means sick. The word ‘th’ pronounced as‘s’. I was sinking means I was thinking. First time I met my teammate her name was Cathy she pronounced as “Casy”..
No sex discrimination: in china; there is no sex discrimination on grammatical grounds. Males, females, kids, old, young, boys, girls all are ‘He/his’. Generally, they don’t use she/her. So, it is pretty normal if they say He is a girl.
Analogy between Chinese and Punjabi: Being here for almost a year. I could find one analogy between Chinese and Punjabi. Chinese use word “Ni Hao” to say hello, and in Punjabi “Niii” is used to call a girl.; as it is Punjabi so it is little loud. When Chinese answer a phone call they say “Wey” which actually means a very good Hi… and again “Weyyy” is used to call a boy in Punjabi… Some of the words they actually say Punjabi. Just imagine how a Punjabi speaks “Joseph”, if I am not wrong “JoseFF..” J Once my colleague didn’t come to office; next day I asked why you didn’t come I was “seeck”
Chinese versus English Names: Chinese names are very difficult to pronounce. So every Chinese have English name and everyone is liberal enough to choose their own English name. But sometimes they ended up choosing horrible names. For instance, I got know some colleagues with names and reasons for choosing that name is more horrible; “Elephant”(why you chose this name – my elephant is my favorite animal),”Shotgun(because whenever I play counter strike I chose shotgun)” last but not least what if a guy named Fantasy… (reason being my favorite drink is Fanta and I have to choose a name on last minute during an interview).
One more incident, I would like to share, as all of us might have seen one or more Chinese movie or some Kung Fu series. So, once my teammates asked they want to watch some Indian movies of Shah Rukh Khan, I suggested DDLJ, K3G, KKHH. They all watched K3G and next day they came to me and asked when you landed in India or you are around; your mother also got to know that you are somewhere near or you are coming home; as our moms don’t feel any such kind of things. (First I thought what I should answer) because of enthusiasm I couldn’t say No. J.
At last, I would like to say Chinese are undoubtedly hard workers not smart workers. They don’t know English because they are not necessarily required (except some of the IT companies); there is only one language that is spoken country wide with difference in dialects. Unlike India, different states different languages and even within states difference in dialects. Other than international schools, nowhere English is taught in china. If a Chinese wants to learn English either he/she has to join International School which is way beyond costly or by the means of private coaching centers. Still, they are advanced in terms of technology, beauty and fashion.
P.S. By this blog I have tried to show a glimpse of Chinese English and not with the intentions to make offense to anyone be it Indian or Chinese. After all Chinese Indian (Bhai Bhai) 🙂