Is foreign languages know well in China?
Four more articles ago I promised to consider this topic important for tourists, but "Hands did not reach". I repent, I’m fixed. Let’s talk about whether the Chinese know foreign languages well, and whether the chances of finding a man who owns English or Russian.
We have already touched this topic in the article ‘how to communicate in China’, here I will deeper into the problem. But this is really a problem. With knowledge of languages in China just trouble. And there are reasons. The difference between European and Chinese gigantic languages.
The difference between our languages is oral
Chinese tonal language. The same set of sounds can express opposite concepts, and it depends on the pronunciation tone. When the Chinese begin to teach European language, they face phonetic structures, which in their language simply does not exist.
In addition, their words consist of one or two syllables, the maximum of three. Just imagine their shock when they need to learn the words "multifunctional" or "coordinate". With English, the situation is not easier, the words "Circumstances" or "Independence" are given to them with tremendous labor.
I have a few Chinese, tolerable speaking in Russian. For them, the pronunciation of the patter "ships lavished" is an impossible task. Of course, the Russians are also pronounced the Russians, but Russians have problems in the last word "acquired", and the Chinese have already "lavish" in the second word ".
It is difficult for them, but they try as they can.
The difference between our languages is a letter
According to my observations, the Chinese are easily mastered both English and Russian letter. Latin letters in China are used everywhere. For example, when printing hieroglyphs on the computer keyboard, it is the letters of the Latin alphabet.
The difference between alphabet and Chinese hieroglyphs is huge. And for us to learn the chinese letter is very difficult. And for the Chinese, on the contrary, even English letters do not need to learn.
Knowledge of English – a ticket to life
When I first arrived in China to the city of Shanghai, I was surprised by the behavior of people. Some Chinese young people approached me and talked in English. I asked why they do it? They answered that they just want to talk. It worried me, is it not another Chinese ‘divorce’ naive tourist? It turned out that no, just talked for five minutes and diverged.
Only then I was explained to the business partners that in China knowledge of the language is an opportunity to get a good job. For them, knowledge of English – a ticket to life. It happens that poor families spend the latest money for language courses for their child.
But the ability to talk lively rarely. The Chinese are not shy and are suitable for passersby foreigners in order to practice in English.
If this happens to you, it’s not worth it to be surprised in China. But if you are offered to go to the cafe to drink coffee or tea, then finish the conversation and go, this is the most popular local ‘divorce’ tourists.
What are the chances to meet the Chinese speaking in Russian
They are zero, don’t even hope for it. Even in expensive hotels in Beijing or hotels in Shanghai, the staff does not speak Russian. However, this rule has exceptions. The first is the Yabalu market in Beijing, here most sellers speak Russian. Also in border areas, many Chinese speak Russian.
What are the chances to meet the Chinese speaking in English
They are. If you are on the street in Beijing or Shanghai you will ask each passerby, then in a couple of minutes, you will definitely meet someone who is on the question "do you speak english?"Answer" Yes, I Do ".
With knowledge of English get help from local residents in China maybe. Police speak English at the basic level. In Beijing, things are best. The Chinese were preparing for the 2008 Olympics thoroughly, and forced all the guards of the order to learn the main words.
With good knowledge of English you will not disappear in China. If you know only Russian, it will be hard. In this case, reserve technical means of communication.
Good trips to China, and read other blog entries (Links below).