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Author Topic: Things Chinese Say that Make you /FacePalm  (Read 8664 times)


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Things Chinese Say that Make you /FacePalm
« on: April 10, 2015, 12:19:33 am »

Just curious as to some of the things you've heard Chinese say that make you scratch your head and wonder.... I'll go first

Wife's Relative: 'Smoking isn't bad for pregnant women' [As he proceeds to light up a smoke in front of my pregnant wife]
Chinese Friend: 'No one was killed at Tiananmen' [Said to a group of foreigners as we all look at each other and silently agree 'Nope, not gonna open this can of worms']

P.S Not looking to bash China, but more looking to expose some culture differences in conversations and ways of thinking about certain events.


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Re: Things Chinese Say that Make you /FacePalm
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2015, 08:19:54 am »

For balance, let me first share a few that newly arrived foreigners say:

"I'm going to revolutionise the way the Chinese think/do business/learn/speak/view themselves..."  ::) Earth to stupid: you're not going to change anything. In fact, China's going to change you.

"Chinese is going to become the world's language." (It's a valid and interesting argument, but most new arrivals have no idea how to support this statement after they drop it. For a laugh, try asking them why they think this.)

"I'm going to open a language training center." (Said in a pretentious and knowing tone two days after arriving.)

"I've got guanxi with (insert a government body here)." No, dipshit. You don't.

I also can't stand the way new foreigners often up their act in public because they think they have an admiring audience. It's just grating to watch.

I guess the top of my wtf China conversational moments include anything said with regards to Yue Zi (that month after a woman gives birth when she's expected to refrain from showering, brushing her teeth, eating spicy food, getting out of bed, ...).

And these tidbits:

"I don't drink coffee because I don't want my skin to darken."  ???

"My stomach isn't comfortable." (Your coworker says this to you when they need to take a dump.)  :-X

"How much money do you make?" (Said twenty seconds after meeting this person for the first time.)

"Do you like Chinese girls?" (Said by a coworker you've just met. Or by a coworker you've known for years. Either way, it's unprofessional and just out of place in the office.)

"Foreigners don't love their children." (Said upon viewing a foreigner that won't allow their screaming two year old to have a candy bar at grocery checkout."

"Wow, you've lived in China X years. You must like China better than your own country."
« Last Edit: April 10, 2015, 08:31:51 am by MeiYouPengYou »


  • Guest
Re: Things Chinese Say that Make you /FacePalm
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2015, 09:54:54 am »

"I'm going to revolutionise the way the Chinese think/do business/learn/speak/view themselves..."  Roll Eyes Earth to stupid: you're not going to change anything. In fact, China's going to change you

This annoys me a lot. More specifically, it annoys me when foreigners pick battles with managers or administration over how to run their business or company.

Working in an 'American' High School, this happens a lot with foreign teachers who feel the need to make the school operate like an American school. Okay, I get it, this is an 'American' program but really, it's a Chinese program. You're not going to change the way the company operates their business just because you're American.

Just now, I overheard a colleague saying to our boss 'Ask any of the foreigner teachers, and we can tell you what you need to do to make this program better.' I get where the passion is coming from, but it's going to fall on deaf ears. Not because what you're saying isn't necessarily valid, but because you're in China. The way things are done are different. You either learn to accept it or you leave. The best you can hope for are slight marginal changes.

As an aside, I've found that the deciding factor on whether a foreigner can 'survive' in China is to the degree to which they can accept that they way Chinese do things are different and nothing you say or do is going to change it. The better you accept that and cope with the differences the better you'll do in China. Most foreigners I know leave China because they run into brick walls of 'Why does China do it their way? Don't they know there is a better way!?' and they end up frustrated and demoralized because how they want things to be done is different then how they are.

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Re: Things Chinese Say that Make you /FacePalm
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2015, 10:31:00 am »

My favourite hate is...

"You're in China, it can't be done".

I have to reply, "It can be done, you just don't know how to do it yet".
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