Tag Archives: Mandarin

Mandarin

Belong to a Chinese dating site? Learn what not to say

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.

Chinese language learning concept

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”.

Good luck!

Using a Chinese dating site online? Tips for learning Chinese

Using a Chinese dating site online can be a great way to meet that someone special, but it can also present a few challenges when it comes to communication.  Often, the language barrier becomes an issue.

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In many cases, the women on a Chinese dating site online typically do have some English skills; some are much better at writing in English than speaking it, but they do have skills nonetheless.  It is the Western men that usually don’t have any Chinese language skills at all.  Learning the language shows an appreciation for the country and the culture as well as respect for one’s partner.

Many individuals believe that learning to speak Mandarin – the most common Chinese dialect – is extremely difficult.  This is true in a sense, but with a little motivation and commitment, it is possible!  Learning Chinese requires a lot of work and plenty of time, but it isn’t as intellectually challenging as many English speakers think.  Here are some tips to keep in mind along the way:

  • Pronunciation.  At first, the different tones and pronunciation are definitely a challenge, but the best way to attack this is to practice, practice, practice!  Listen to recorded materials and mimic the sounds.  It may seem silly, but it works!
  • Listen.  One of the best ways to improve Chinese language skills is to spend a lot of time listening to the language.  Although this may be time consuming, it is easy to incorporate listening time while doing other activities.  For example, listen to a Chinese podcast while doing the dishes or taking a run.
  • Vocabulary.  Just like many kids do in school, make flashcards of common Chinese words and study that vocabulary.  If old-fashioned flashcards aren’t appealing, there are a number of software programs that do the same thing.

Lost in Translation: Asian dating

When it comes to Asian dating, there can often be a huge culture clash when it involves a Chinese woman and a Western man.

If Asian dating is something that interests you, either at home, in China, or even online, you should probably know that there is no real translation for the word ‘dating’ in Mandarin.  So, translating ‘dating’ or ‘date’ from English to Chinese usually means nothing more than an appointment or meeting.  Often, the romantic connotation is lost in the translation.

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When you think about it, dating is really a subjective term, anyway.  But, what does this mean when dating a Chinese woman?  How do you keep things on track and heading in the right direction?

In most countries, going on a date usually means that there is at least an inkling of romantic interest in each other.  In mainland China, this is not always the case – and this can also happen when attempting to date a woman that has emigrated from China to a Western culture.  Why does this happen?

In China, platonic friendships between men and women are quite common.  Some people may find this refreshing, but if you are interested in dating a Chinese woman, it is important to understand this aspect of her culture.  In fact, Chinese women often go out with their male friends – who pay for their meals, movies, and entertainment – without any romantic feelings whatsoever.

The key to combatting this potentially embarrassing – and frustrating – situation is to learn as much about the Chinese culture as possible before you start dating.  It also helps to be completely upfront and honest – if you like her, tell her so.  But remember, if you’ve met a woman through an online dating site, chances are she’s thinking about romance, also!