How important is mandarin for us?

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elephanne
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How important is mandarin for us?

Post by elephanne » Fri, 12 Sep 2008 6:13 pm

It depends on the situation you're in but the most commonly words used are always:

Thank you
Xie Xie (Chinese)
Gam Sia (Hokkien)

Good Morning
Zao An (Chinese)
Za (Hokkien)

Bye Bye
Zai Jian (Chinese)
Zao Liao (Hokkien <-- run first)

Chinese and Hokkien are not monotone like English is when speaking (British), different tones refer to different meanings. We prefer to talk straight to the point and not trying to be obfuscate.

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Saint
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Post by Saint » Sat, 13 Sep 2008 2:03 am

Can you tell me what the mandarin is for

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Post by ZaOx » Mon, 15 Sep 2008 5:32 pm

"wei shen ma ni shi ge ke lian de si pammer zhi xiang yao mian fei de guang gao"

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 24 Sep 2008 4:34 pm

Or better yet, learn American English ( :roll: ) as that is the English that the PRC's are learning in droves. Anyone going into international business are taking American English courses left and right! They cannot get enough English teachers there. So, depending where you want to do business in China, it may well be possible to do it with only a smattering of Mandarin. Especially considering that Mandarin is only spoken in select areas of PRC.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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sierra2469alpha
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Post by sierra2469alpha » Wed, 24 Sep 2008 5:07 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Or better yet, learn American English ( :roll: ) as that is the English that the PRC's are learning in droves.... Especially considering that Mandarin is only spoken in select areas of PRC.
Hi SMS -

Part 1 - What's American English? :P Is that like Australian? :cool: However, you make a very valid point, so we second that!
Part 2 - partially true. We have found that the "side aspect" of trying to learn Mandarin is it shows that you are more interested in the culture than only learning the hello/goodbye! Both of us have found it tremendously advantageous in negotiating in PRC, regardless of the region. Even in areas where Mandarin isn't the primary language, for example, the fact we have made the effort seemed to help smooth the path and bring smiles to faces (probably because our pronunciation and knowledge of the language is total shite!!)

To the original poster - Mandarin is a difficult language to learn if you are from an Anglo speaking background, as it contains 4 tones. Cantonese is even harder (apparently) with 7, and Vietnamese was difficult that my old brain had to take a breather with their 6 tones.

Hopefully Ms. C and I have contributed something positive here...Mr. P

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 24 Sep 2008 10:10 pm

I would also agree that having mandarin is 'good' to have for the same reasons. This is why 20 years ago, I had my daughter enrolled in the local school system and went to war with the MOE here to allow her to take mandarin as her second language. (instead of Tamil). Today both of my children speak fluent mandarin, English (american style) and Singlish! They also understand Tamil fluently but wont actually use the language. The ability to talk like an American without affecting her speech and her mandarin abilities have stood her in good stead and now all think I had some sort of crystal ball 20 years ago. No such thing. Just common sense and the fact that the Japanese bubble had already broken. Had my children be a product of my first marriage in 1969 I would have had them taking Japanese back then (even though I was still in the US then).

What I was saying though, aside from the priceless Quanxi one is able to build up with the mandarin capability, the fact that in the international business cities like Shanghai you could almost get by without it at all.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by sierra2469alpha » Wed, 24 Sep 2008 10:14 pm

SMS - Tamil also - oh hell - Ms C and I have our work cut out for us then!

Great foresight of you to have thought about it. Well done!

Mr. P

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 24 Sep 2008 10:15 pm

Strine? :P
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by sierra2469alpha » Wed, 24 Sep 2008 11:33 pm

No worries cobber, mate, you good thing, just look after that doover-lacky thing. She'll be right - odds on straight up!

You'll be catching fish in no time mate!

Cheers, Mr. P.

PS - Please make sure you go for Hawthorn this coming Saturday for the Australian Football League grand final!

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maneo
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Post by maneo » Thu, 25 Sep 2008 1:32 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Especially considering that Mandarin is only spoken in select areas of PRC.
:o
Just what are these "select areas of PRC" that you're referring to?

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Or better yet, learn American English ( :roll: ) as that is the English that the PRC's are learning in droves. Anyone going into international business are taking American English courses left and right!
Probably more Chinese in China learning English than there are Americans in the US learning English.
Quite a few still coming out of China with British tinged English.

sundaymorningstaple wrote:So, depending where you want to do business in China, it may well be possible to do it with only a smattering of Mandarin.
If you've got competent and trustworthy bilingual staff, it is not necessary to personally know Mandarin. In fact, trying to use poor Mandarin could hinder business. However, knowing Mandarin does make dealing with the rest of everyday life in China much easier.

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 25 Sep 2008 7:07 am

maneo wrote: Just what are these "select areas of PRC" that you're referring to?
It's just like India. They don't all speak Tamil nor Hindi nor Malayalam. I think you understand what I mean regarding dialect depending on where you are trying to do business. Course if you want to say Putonghua is the national language, fine. From what I've understood, Putonghua was based on the Beijing dialect. For years here, Mandarin wasn't the 'major' chinese language either as most were Hakka, or spoke Cantonese & Hoikken. Not counting all the other dialects. Lots of the elderly here still don't speak Mandarin. As I've never worked in PRC. I'll defer to your all-encompassing knowledge, and take that as the gospel over all the Chinese that I know here who are either working in China as well or have business/investments up there. In either case, my knowledge is not first hand.......

:wink:
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by ScoobyDoes » Thu, 25 Sep 2008 10:04 am

I went out about 4hrs drive from Shanghai with a Shanghaiese colleague and i remember sitting at lunch with him trying to order......no clue, nada. Eventually he just had to write down what we wanted because the girl in the restaurant didn't understand Shanghaiese and my colleague didn't speak any other dialect.

Must admit though, more than 6-yrs travelling in and out of China i've never overly felt the need to learn Mandarin just to help me communicate. To be nice, maybe, but through necessity, no.

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sierra2469alpha
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Post by sierra2469alpha » Thu, 25 Sep 2008 7:56 pm

Agreed - not a necessity - but like with any other culture - showing an attempt to understand is just, well, polite. It's worked for Ms. C and myself, but then again we're nice people anyway! Well, kind-of! LOL

Bless, Mr P.

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