When you join a Chinese dating site, chances are you might become involved romantically with someone who does not speak English as a first language. In addition, you probably don’t know much about communicating in Mandarin (or Cantonese). However, there are a few things you really need to learn.
If you took a foreign language class in school, you probably learned that a lot of the idioms we use all the time in English don’t translate well into other languages. In fact, sometimes these phrases are taken quite literally and can be shocking to someone who is new to the language. A good example of this might be “raining cats and dogs”.
If this happens when translating from English to another language, why wouldn’t the same be true the other way around? Well, it actually is – and this might not be something your Chinese dating site goes over, so pay attention!
One thing you must learn right away is not to call a Chinese woman “xiao jie” because she might interpret it as “prostitute”! You might think that it is a term of respect, because often it is. In Singapore, for example, it isn’t uncommon for one to address a female stranger as “xiao jie”, which is the Mandarin equivalent of “Miss”. However, in northern China, the same phrase is a derogatory term for a prostitute, which is something many women would not appreciate!
When it comes to communicating in other languages, it is always best to be safe rather than sorry. Instead of “xiao jie”, you might want to stick with “xiao gu niang” or “gu niang”, both of which are more widely accepted as “miss” or “madam”.