i did the same in primary school, the result was the same as in the post lmao


I would have had Tom speak Cantonese, throwing it all into chaos

But I know neither that nor Mandarin, so

seliaste, avatar

If I am not.mistaken those are pronounciation and oral differences, the written chinese remains the same (traditional vs simplified is something that could be applied tho)


Broadly speaking this is correct, but there are words that see more common usage in one dialect over the other, so reading a sentence written with chinese characters could inform you which dialect it is meant to be read in.

An incomplete example of this for someone who is more familiar with english would be detecting whether the author of a sentence is british or american based on the usage of different words with the same meaning e.g. torch vs flashlight.

Both dialects/variations of english share the same written alphabet but still maintain distinct differences that can be detected on paper based on key word usages (or even spelling in this case e.g. metre vs meter).

I say this is an incomplete example because the spoken variations between english dialects are generally not wide enough that one is incomprehensible to the other, but I think it helps demonstrate my point to people who are more familiar with latin/germanic languages. There are also some dialects of chinese that are relatively close wherein speakers of one can understand speakers of another. But in the case of cantonese and mandarin specifically, they are relatively dissimilar when it comes to how they are spoken.

outer_spec, avatar

Me if I was Chinese



SpudNoodle avatar

I don't speak or read Chinese, so here's the closest thing I've got: 何?!?






In case you’re really wondering, that’s Chinese for rule. OP didn’t put “rule” in the title :P


It’s also Japanese for “what” which is a good show of confusion

SpudNoodle avatar

I can use google translate, I figured out your comment. Just making a joke was all.



Can someone translate the rest?


Tom: How can I get to the toilet?

You: Can you speak Chinese?

Tom: Yes of course

You: 那我們說中文吧 “Then let’s speak in Chinese”

Tom: 好的,沒問題 “Okay, no prob”

You: 前面右轉直走100米就到了 “Turn right then walk 100m and you’ll arrive”


Now that teaching English is being phased out in China, this is the correct answer


Really, any reason in particular for this change?


Geopolitics. Learning English was always forbidden behind the Iron Curtain. You may argue that it does not exist anymore but how do you explain this?

theneverfox, avatar

I mean, that’s just demonstratively wrong. I’ve got plenty to criticize about China, but I personally know multiple people who got offers to teach English over there with a very, very basic understanding of Chinese

They most certainly prize speaking English without an accent… I’m not saying it’s a good deal, but they most certainly encourage the program

theneverfox, avatar

I’d explain it by saying they’re attempting to “rebuild pride in their Chinese heritage”. After years of Western culture being equated with prosperity, they’re pushing to build a new national identity more convenient for them

Many countries have efforts to try to preserve their culture against American media - like France limits the amount of English songs on the radio. They still teach people English aggressively in schools - it’s the primary language of trade and technology

The PRC just wants it both ways. They want the advantages of globalization and speaking the international language, but they want it to be culturally stigmatized too



你: 是的

Masimatutu, (edited )

Lemme translate this back into English in order to demonstrate how bad this Chinese is:

Tom: Can you (plural) speak Chinese

You (singular): It is.

Edit: I’ll fix it for ya though :)

TOM: 我怎麼能去廁所?


TOM: 當然了


Haha thanks. I just did it while I was pooping, should’ve proofread 😂


Whoa that’s traditional Chinese isn’t it? I’ve never seen that before outside of my books, which I promptly ignore until I get a hang on simplified 😂


Yup. I like it more because I think it’s prettier and more logical. I was taught simplified growing up, though.


I suppose I could just Google it or ask her, but I’ve noticed that my teaching uses 是的 to mean yes, but you noted it as “it is”, and my girlfriend uses “对的” when she’s talking to other 中国人. What is the best to use just as “yes”?


Chinese doesn’t really have a real “yes”. 對的 (对的) just means correct. The most straightforward yes answer to a yes/no question would probably be [verb you want to confirm]+的. So “yes” in response to “會不會” would be 會的.


Ooooh!!! That makes sense!!! Thank you so much!



Sorry, by the way, if I seemed rude in my initial comment. I didn’t mean to, but in hindsight it could have appeared so.


Haha no worries, it fit right in with my cheeky comment.

Winged_Hussar, avatar
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