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Author Topic: "We'd like to speak English with you..."  (Read 12782 times)

pydilyk

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Re: "We'd like to speak English with you..."
« Reply #30 on: January 18, 2012, 07:10:23 PM »
Getting slightly off topic....They've definitely cleaned up Nanjing Dong Lu over the past 5 years though. The place used to be loaded with prostitutes, scammers inviting you to tea or art shows, bootleggers, and yes, here and there even legitimate 'let's practice english' types. The olympics and expo probably had a lot to do with it. Lots of the stores hidden one street over selling fake stuff have moved somewhere else. My favorite was this guy named "Habib" or something like that who would come up to you whispering "hashish hashish hashish" over and over again under his breath. His card just had his name, a phone number, and a picture of a red ferrari on it. He would make delivery runs in a taxi up to the massive foreign student dorm at Fudan University. The new nanjing donglu and other walking streets are certainly more 'civilized' nowadays, but not nearly as much fun.

gonzo

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Re: "We'd like to speak English with you..."
« Reply #31 on: January 18, 2012, 08:00:46 PM »
I'm sure it was the same guy there a few weeks back who approached me, along with another one. Both Xinjiang looking types. No "change money" types on the streets: they were sitting in the banks.
Interestingly, people with a strong motivation to make money will learn English by any means they can. And you can't blame the locals for wanting to practice with real live English speakers: Its a bit like giving someone a gun, but telling them not to shoot anything.
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china-matt

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Re: "We'd like to speak English with you..."
« Reply #32 on: January 18, 2012, 10:11:14 PM »
This reminds me of some of the people I just met on vacation. I spent last week in Panama and it's been 12 years since I studied or used any Spanish. I tried talking with as many people as possible in an attempt at remembering my Spanish skills. Many of them spoke English and simply insisted I speak English instead of mangling their language.

And I've also approached a few Chinese speakers in the US to practice a little on the street. It's fun. Some of them aren't annoyed by it.
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ericthered

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Re: "We'd like to speak English with you..."
« Reply #33 on: January 27, 2012, 09:02:40 AM »
I am rarely, if ever, in the mood to converse with people who see me as a walking English lesson, so when they do come up to me and prentend to want to know me, I reply in Danish or German and keep doing so until they go away...so far, I have not met any locals who are willing to have a conversation in either language...
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KeyserSoze

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Re: "We'd like to speak English with you..."
« Reply #34 on: January 28, 2012, 12:20:43 PM »
Genius! I'll answer everyone in Spanish!

Borkya

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Re: "We'd like to speak English with you..."
« Reply #35 on: January 28, 2012, 02:15:19 PM »
I just got back from traveling and for 2 weeks I was in Hing Kong staying with a friend. Normally I have my "guard up" for people looking to speak english, but in HK it was not a problem at all. I went from HK to Shenzhen to catch a plane ride back home and I immediately felt the change of all the people looking at me/thinking of talking to me. I knew I was in trouble when the mom next to me started teaching her kids some english on the plane. When the stewardess asked what I wanted to drink (in english) they practically broke their necks straining to hear me. But I was feeling really sick so I feigned sleep and kept my headphones on.

Anyway, over time you get used to it, but leave for a little bit and return and the attention becomes really hard to adjust to! 

Stil

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Re: "We'd like to speak English with you..."
« Reply #36 on: January 28, 2012, 03:59:54 PM »
I once started speaking French and the student answered back in French.  asasasasas

 I agree with the squirrel that Danish is a great choice because who the hell would bother to learn Danish?

When someone approaches and says hello, i'm friendly and greet them back. After that for everything they say, i tell them i don't understand.

Student: Hello
Me.      : Hello
Student: What's your name?
Me.      : I'm sorry, I don't understand you.

The look of dejection on their faces is wonderful.

Sometimes I'll use a Trinidad accent and slangs which they have no chance of deciphering.

A couple of times I tried speaking Pig Latin and a few times just gibberish.

With the babes I'll just speak Chinese.

But by far my favourite is 'i don't understand you' crushing their confidence so that they feel the need to take private classes and give all of us more jobs..

You're welcome.



fox

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Re: "We'd like to speak English with you..."
« Reply #37 on: January 28, 2012, 10:20:45 PM »
its when they say 'can we play with you, we want to play with you' that cracks me up.  afafafafaf
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BrandeX

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Re: "We'd like to speak English with you..."
« Reply #38 on: January 29, 2012, 05:33:59 AM »
I just got back from traveling and for 2 weeks I was in Hing Kong staying with a friend. Normally I have my "guard up" for people looking to speak english, but in HK it was not a problem at all. I went from HK to Shenzhen to catch a plane ride back home and I immediately felt the change of all the people looking at me/thinking of talking to me. I knew I was in trouble when the mom next to me started teaching her kids some english on the plane. When the stewardess asked what I wanted to drink (in english) they practically broke their necks straining to hear me. But I was feeling really sick so I feigned sleep and kept my headphones on.

Anyway, over time you get used to it, but leave for a little bit and return and the attention becomes really hard to adjust to! 
From my experience, pretty much everyone in HK (who cares to) speaks English already.

xwarrior

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Re: "We'd like to speak English with you..."
« Reply #39 on: February 15, 2012, 12:04:54 PM »
Now, they are training people to speak English with you.

Quote
Civil servants to speak English in Xi'an

All civil servants under the age of 40 will be able to speak English by the year 2015, Xi'an Evening News reported Tuesday.
Civil servants with a university degree and less than 40 years old should be able to speak more than 300 sentences after an English training program in the capital city of northwestern Shaanxi province, under plans approved by the municipal government on Monday.
The plans also aim to popularize English in many service industries including restaurants, taxis, police offices, hotels and hospitals.
The city will also provide multilingual counseling on its emergency call platform 120 to provide better services for local expats, according to the report.

Given that time frame, can someone work out how many days a civil servant can set aside to learn one sentence?
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old34

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Re: "We'd like to speak English with you..."
« Reply #40 on: February 15, 2012, 12:10:26 PM »
FTs living in Xi'an should be all over this opportunity to work with the local govt. They'll probably go with local Chinese teachers, but suggest they throw in a few training opps for FTs, too, if you've got the guanxi.
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Chief

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Re: "We'd like to speak English with you..."
« Reply #41 on: March 19, 2012, 04:26:48 AM »
I haven't encountered this problem too much yet, however the constant shoutings of hello in the streets really gets on my nerve  llllllllll

Escaped Lunatic

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Re: "We'd like to speak English with you..."
« Reply #42 on: March 21, 2012, 12:16:09 AM »
Here are the unofficial Saloon "Hello" rules:

1.  If the person yelling "hello" waits until after passing you, do not turn around.  Coldly ignore the hello.  Failure to follow this rule will result in excessive neck strain.  No one who walks past and then shouts "hello" is going to be capable of an English conversation anyway.

2.  If the person yells "hello" and then instantly laughs like he's trying out for the Bevis and Butthead fan club, coldly ignore him.

3.  A semi-friendly "hello" from in front should be treated with some level of politeness.  If you don't feel like getting to the "how are you?" stage of a dead end conversation, just smile and nod.

4.  For small children, saying "hello" back is usually a nice thing to do.  Encouraging them to speak English is in our long term interests here at the Saloon.

5.  Really hot Chinese girls should always get a warm smile and "hello" in return.
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Re: "We'd like to speak English with you..."
« Reply #43 on: March 21, 2012, 12:46:24 AM »
Here are the unofficial Saloon "Hello" rules:

1.  If the person yelling "hello" waits until after passing you, do not turn around.  Coldly ignore the hello.  Failure to follow this rule will result in excessive neck strain.  No one who walks past and then shouts "hello" is going to be capable of an English conversation anyway.

2.  If the person yells "hello" and then instantly laughs like he's trying out for the Bevis and Butthead fan club, coldly ignore him.

3.  A semi-friendly "hello" from in front should be treated with some level of politeness.  If you don't feel like getting to the "how are you?" stage of a dead end conversation, just smile and nod.

4.  For small children, saying "hello" back is usually a nice thing to do.  Encouraging them to speak English is in our long term interests here at the Saloon.

5.  Really hot Chinese girls should always get a warm smile and "hello" in return.


What if the person waits until you're level with them and then bellows 'hello' in your ear. Can i apply the Beavis and Butthead protocol?

ericthered

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Re: "We'd like to speak English with you..."
« Reply #44 on: March 21, 2012, 01:29:23 PM »
No, in that case you turn around, stick your thumbs in your ears and waggle the rest of the fingers whilst rolling your eyes, and making a Looney Tunes Tasmanian Devil-impersonation...this is also the same response recommended when experiencing the "you teach me English, I teach you Chinese" request.
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"It's all oojah cum spiffy". Bertie Wooster.
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