Singapore Expats Forum

Mandarin grouse

Discuss about life in Singapore. Ask about cost of living, housing, travel, etiquette & lifestyle. Share experience & advice with Singaporeans & expat staying in Singapore.

macaroonie
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 337
Joined: Mon, 29 Jun 2009

Postby macaroonie » Tue, 27 Apr 2010 10:37 am

Yeah maybe i wasn't too clear. But regardless it's rude and i wanted a sense of anyone else experiencing it and whether i was valid in my complaints.

On another note, it's quite difficult to find people who are open minded and not focused on the 5Cs here... decent conversations about life really don't happen too frequently unless the person has lived outside of this red dot.

Anyway on a happier note - hope everyone is enjoying the sunshine, it's been raining every day for the longest time!

User avatar
BigSis
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 401
Joined: Sat, 17 Apr 2010

Postby BigSis » Tue, 27 Apr 2010 11:20 am

It is rude and I would probably ditch them in future and go and have lunch on my own.

imogenben
Regular
Regular
Posts: 68
Joined: Sun, 09 May 2010

Postby imogenben » Sun, 09 May 2010 4:34 pm

simply interrupt and ask them what they were saying! that will remind them you don't speak mandarin. :D but then again, they might continue their conversation in pidgin english and you are none the wiser....

missis
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 194
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: Holland Road/6th Ave

Postby missis » Sun, 09 May 2010 4:57 pm

It's rude. Next time just politely ask them to repeat what they were saying in English. If they take issue with it then they're not worth being around.
By the way, SMS, would love to have been there in one of those situations...!

renault
Member
Member
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat, 23 May 2009

Postby renault » Mon, 10 May 2010 12:04 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:It's unintentional. Most local have no sense of courtesy (that's why the courtesy campaign is still running after over 30 years without as much as an iota of change here) so even though you are sitting there at the table with them, they are oblivious to the fact that you don't understand them. Kinda like them walking into you on the sidewalk. They don't mean to walk into you, but, as they don't have any concept of spatial awareness, that's why they look so surprised when they do. They just figure everybody will move outta their way.

At least, it sounds better that way, instead of saying that they are just plain rude and uncouth. Which is the unfortunate truth. :( :(


I think you just exaggerating here and too much complaint. It so common to see people of the same nationalities speaking their own languages when they congregate. This is so commonly seen in my company whether its German, Jap, Korean, Indian etc..... Of course the Brits and American speak english else they are equally guilty of that.

This red dot here is populated from merely 2millions people to 5millions people and what can you expect. It a fast pace "asia" society, what about you try walking in hong kong, japan, korea, shanghai or london sub way during peak hours.

Think your 20 odd years here is not enough for you to see the different it had make.

irvine
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 312
Joined: Mon, 15 Dec 2008

Postby irvine » Mon, 10 May 2010 11:14 am

Courtesy is the word.

Some 'clicks' seem hard to get into especially when they speak their own language and forgot to include the new/odd one, no matter how good their intentions are.

However, other clicks go out of the way to make the new/odd one to feel welcome.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34616
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 10 May 2010 11:50 am

renault wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:It's unintentional. Most local have no sense of courtesy (that's why the courtesy campaign is still running after over 30 years without as much as an iota of change here) so even though you are sitting there at the table with them, they are oblivious to the fact that you don't understand them. Kinda like them walking into you on the sidewalk. They don't mean to walk into you, but, as they don't have any concept of spatial awareness, that's why they look so surprised when they do. They just figure everybody will move outta their way.

At least, it sounds better that way, instead of saying that they are just plain rude and uncouth. Which is the unfortunate truth. :( :(


I think you just exaggerating here and too much complaint. It so common to see people of the same nationalities speaking their own languages when they congregate. This is so commonly seen in my company whether its German, Jap, Korean, Indian etc..... Of course the Brits and American speak english else they are equally guilty of that.

This red dot here is populated from merely 2millions people to 5millions people and what can you expect. It a fast pace "asia" society, what about you try walking in hong kong, japan, korea, shanghai or london sub way during peak hours.

Think your 20 odd years here is not enough for you to see the different it had make.


Obviously you haven't been here too long. But that's okay, in a year, please come back and tell us that. Especially considering English IS the main language of government in Singapore. I think you will find that is not the case in "hong kong, japan, korea, shanghai". OH, you didn't realize that? If the company is mixed nationality then the conversation should be in a language that is, at least, common to all participants. Otherwise it is just being rude (or a lack of spatial awareness), or I guess they could be francophones who refuse to acknowledge the knowledge of another languages. :-|

renault
Member
Member
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat, 23 May 2009

Postby renault » Mon, 10 May 2010 7:50 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
renault wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:It's unintentional. Most local have no sense of courtesy (that's why the courtesy campaign is still running after over 30 years without as much as an iota of change here) so even though you are sitting there at the table with them, they are oblivious to the fact that you don't understand them. Kinda like them walking into you on the sidewalk. They don't mean to walk into you, but, as they don't have any concept of spatial awareness, that's why they look so surprised when they do. They just figure everybody will move outta their way.

At least, it sounds better that way, instead of saying that they are just plain rude and uncouth. Which is the unfortunate truth. :( :(


I think you just exaggerating here and too much complaint. It so common to see people of the same nationalities speaking their own languages when they congregate. This is so commonly seen in my company whether its German, Jap, Korean, Indian etc..... Of course the Brits and American speak english else they are equally guilty of that.

This red dot here is populated from merely 2millions people to 5millions people and what can you expect. It a fast pace "asia" society, what about you try walking in hong kong, japan, korea, shanghai or london sub way during peak hours.

Think your 20 odd years here is not enough for you to see the different it had make.


Obviously you haven't been here too long. But that's okay, in a year, please come back and tell us that. Especially considering English IS the main language of government in Singapore. I think you will find that is not the case in "hong kong, japan, korea, shanghai". OH, you didn't realize that? If the company is mixed nationality then the conversation should be in a language that is, at least, common to all participants. Otherwise it is just being rude (or a lack of spatial awareness), or I guess they could be francophones who refuse to acknowledge the knowledge of another languages. :-|


Maybe one year is too long for you and i can tell you now.
Yes, English is the "working" language here but there are 3 other official languages too (Malay, Chinese, Tamil). And your much hatred unofficial Singlish.

Oh..by the way, pls see my replied again. I'm not relating the use of any language medium in "Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Shanghai, london". Rather i'm trying to help you see over the horizon if the concept of spatial awareness is also applicable in that region or if someone just cant learn to live in this compact asia society.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34616
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 11 May 2010 12:02 am

Pardon me, but there is only 1 "official" language here and that is the language of government, but there are 4 recognized languages here. Much like Canada. English is the official language of Canada but due to Quebec, the also recognize French. English is taught here at first language level, even though it leave something to be desired, it's is still intelligible to those who have been here any length of time, even if we don't like it, they can make themselves understood with a little effort. But knowing a common language that all, in an invited group, can understand gives no excuse for carrying on a conversation in a language that only a portion of the audience can understand. That's why the National Day speeches and Rally Addresses are always in English with edited shortened addresses added by the PM usually in at least 1 or two of the remaining "recognized" languages, so as to not leave anybody in the audience out who may have some problems with the entire English text. Especially points specific to that particular demographic.

As far as spatial awareness, I have walked during rush hours in all of your cities with the exception of London (or any European countries) But I can safely say they all have a much better awareness of their surroundings than the locals here. Hell, even the locals comment about it. I have to question your defense of the indefensible. When the majority here disagree with your perception, I'd say, maybe you might want to think again. Are you French by chance? Why? Just curious.

februus
Regular
Regular
Posts: 83
Joined: Fri, 09 Apr 2010
Location: Bukit Batok, Singapore

Postby februus » Tue, 11 May 2010 7:29 am

renault wrote:Rather i'm trying to help you see over the horizon if the concept of spatial awareness is also applicable in that region or if someone just cant learn to live in this compact asia society.


hmm, whats your excuse for the reserved seat narcolepsy on any form of public transport? is it a desire to make use of all available space in this compact asian society? i suspect its just another example of ill manners...

User avatar
x9200
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9293
Joined: Mon, 07 Sep 2009
Location: Singapore

Postby x9200 » Tue, 11 May 2010 8:06 am

renault wrote:I think you just exaggerating here and too much complaint. It so common to see people of the same nationalities speaking their own languages when they congregate. This is so commonly seen in my company whether its German, Jap, Korean, Indian etc..... Of course the Brits and American speak english else they are equally guilty of that.

This red dot here is populated from merely 2millions people to 5millions people and what can you expect. It a fast pace "asia" society, what about you try walking in hong kong, japan, korea, shanghai or london sub way during peak hours.

We are not talking here about the situations where you interact with a group of random anonymous ppl. These are colleagues, ppl who went out together in one group to spend time together (here eating). If such group leaves out a single person and this is not her/his choice it either shows lack of basic imagination skills or lack of courtesy at best. It is also a different situation when this person already talks to someone and the rest talks Mandarin (whatever) covering a different topic in a smaller group.

renault
Member
Member
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat, 23 May 2009

Postby renault » Tue, 11 May 2010 11:18 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Pardon me, but there is only 1 "official" language here and that is the language of government, but there are 4 recognized languages here. Much like Canada. English is the official language of Canada but due to Quebec, the also recognize French. English is taught here at first language level, even though it leave something to be desired, it's is still intelligible to those who have been here any length of time, even if we don't like it, they can make themselves understood with a little effort. But knowing a common language that all, in an invited group, can understand gives no excuse for carrying on a conversation in a language that only a portion of the audience can understand. That's why the National Day speeches and Rally Addresses are always in English with edited shortened addresses added by the PM usually in at least 1 or two of the remaining "recognized" languages, so as to not leave anybody in the audience out who may have some problems with the entire English text. Especially points specific to that particular demographic.

As far as spatial awareness, I have walked during rush hours in all of your cities with the exception of London (or any European countries) But I can safely say they all have a much better awareness of their surroundings than the locals here. Hell, even the locals comment about it. I have to question your defense of the indefensible. When the majority here disagree with your perception, I'd say, maybe you might want to think again. Are you French by chance? Why? Just curious.


Before it get wrong further, i might want to correct it abit. This place is no way near to Canada and far different. The government here not only recognise but recognise the state offical languages are Malay, Mandarin, Tamil including English and English is the main medium to be use as business and official. You probably can realise the sign boards, TV channels etc and its funny that i see the Expat Forum "Spore culture/languages" mentioned it as well. Anyway, pls verify through appropriate site, sg.gov.

Need not be so defensive as i didnt even deny the fact that some local here actually lack of courteously. Well, my suggestion of looking across the horizon might give u a slight consolation that it could be worst. Similarly, i'm also frustrated when encountered some uncourteous blacksheep when travelling oversea to work. But for very sure, I dont like to generalise the local there. Its the blacksheep faults anyway.

Ah.. you were wrong as i'm not french but a local folk whose renault car somehow failed frequently and decide to scrap it prematurely. Kinda remembrance and might consider getting geely or proton where i might possibly also experience frequent failure but at a much cheaper price.

renault
Member
Member
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat, 23 May 2009

Postby renault » Tue, 11 May 2010 11:26 pm

februus wrote:
renault wrote:Rather i'm trying to help you see over the horizon if the concept of spatial awareness is also applicable in that region or if someone just cant learn to live in this compact asia society.


hmm, whats your excuse for the reserved seat narcolepsy on any form of public transport? is it a desire to make use of all available space in this compact asian society? i suspect its just another example of ill manners...


Basically, there is no excuse. Approached him or her and tell them to get their buttocks off the seat. Dun forget to point to the sign above them. I did that before and it worked well.
What we need here is people helping to shape but not damning the dot.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34616
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 12 May 2010 12:02 am

renault wrote:This place is no way near to Canada.....

The government here not only recognise but recognise the state offical languages are Malay, Mandarin, Tamil including English and English is the main medium to be use as business and official.


Well, at least you got the first part right. It's 8,000 miles away. :-|

And all you did was verify my previous statement in the second.

I said,

there is only 1 "official" language here and that is the language of government, but there are 4 recognized languages here.


Thank you for finally seeing the light. :roll:

renault
Member
Member
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat, 23 May 2009

Postby renault » Wed, 12 May 2010 12:12 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
renault wrote:This place is no way near to Canada.....

The government here not only recognise but recognise the state offical languages are Malay, Mandarin, Tamil including English and English is the main medium to be use as business and official.


Well, at least you got the first part right. It's 8,000 miles away. :-|

And all you did was verify my previous statement in the second.

I said,

there is only 1 "official" language here and that is the language of government, but there are 4 recognized languages here.


Thank you for finally seeing the light. :roll:


You are close but still slightly wrong. You missed out "Official"
Its 4 recognized state official languages


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Staying, Living in Singapore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests