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Thread: China experts - talk to me

  1. #1
    Resident ewok wicket's Avatar
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    Default China experts - talk to me

    I gotta few questions. Help an old lady out.

    1. If you had to pick between living/working in Beijing or Shanghai, which would it be; and why?

    2. What are prices like - housing, food, transport, etc.?

    3. Did you ever go from China to Japan? Plane or ferry? Why?

    4. I speak/read no Chinese and don't really have a desire to learn it as I don't want to fuck up my Japanese and I'm not smart enough for three languages. Will I make any friends that aren't ex-pats?
    "Like anyone with a sliver of honesty in them I believe what I find I believe when I wake up each morning."
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    Али Димаев AliDimayev's Avatar
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    Default Re: China experts - talk to me

    Learning Chinese wouldn't fuck up your Japanese.
    <a href=http://www.ithinkimlost.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=3134&dateline=1245615339 target=_blank>http://www.ithinkimlost.com/image.ph...ine=1245615339</a>
    Quote Originally Posted by Hyakuman View Post
    As usual, you all (Aliを除く) have your heads up your asses.

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    Daimyo ***** dombay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wicket
    I gotta few questions. Help an old lady out.

    1. If you had to pick between living/working in Beijing or Shanghai, which would it be; and why?
    Shangers, hands down. Hands cut off even. Shanghai is a modern, cosmopolitan and international city. It's also bigger than Beijing. It's interesting and you can meet lots of interesting people from all over the shop. It's got a lot of recent colonial history which is nice to look at and feel in the atmosphere.

    Beijing I'm not such a fan of. Shanghai is polluted but Beijing takes it to a new level. If you're after touristy stuff Beijing can be good and there are a lot of tourist sites of old imperial China which are nice (though crowded) but if you're after somewhere to live and soak up the atmosphere Shanghai is far better and far more interesting. Beijing is good for a few days but I certainly wouldn't want to live there. It doesn't even feel the same as the rest of the country I didn't feel and I'm not quite sure why.

    Quote Originally Posted by wicket
    2. What are prices like - housing, food, transport, etc.?
    Always getting more expensive it seems. Like the most recent trip I made to China which was last year I was surprised by how much things had gone up in price just in the space of a few years. Housing you might want to get the people you work for to help you out. Food is getting more expensive I think but you can eat much more cheaply still than you can in Australia or Japan and you can eat pretty well. Transport is still cheap though not always nice. Beijing subway is still 2 kuai and off you go. Shanghai the transport is better and a little more expensive but still probably less than a US dollar wherever you want to go.

    Still on the whole pretty cheap but inflation's been running rampant through China the last few years and you can tell at the Trust Mart checkout.

    Quote Originally Posted by wicket
    3. Did you ever go from China to Japan? Plane or ferry? Why?
    Only when I've been living in Japan. Before JET I'd never been to Japan. I cannot imagine it being hard to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by wicket
    4. I speak/read no Chinese and don't really have a desire to learn it as I don't want to fuck up my Japanese and I'm not smart enough for three languages. Will I make any friends that aren't ex-pats?
    I agree with Ali here. They probably won't interfere. I was watching an American drama with Chinese subtitles the other day and though it was in English it is English through the lens of daytime drama that takes forever to get to the point. I was following the story mroe through the subtitles.

    Wicket, your J is pretty good and I think you'd find that your knowledge of kanji would be an asset in China. But no point being there unless you're going to learn it and really it's a tonne easier than Japanese. The hard bit is the written parts but once you know J like you do thats a lot of the hard bit taken care of.
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    OPPORTUNITYISNOWHERE mteacher80's Avatar
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    Default Re: China experts - talk to me

    I will not answer as in detail as doms...

    I would suggest Shanghi over Beijing as well. I have friends that live there and have for 5-10 years and love it to death. You will have a better time there if you dont speak chinese as there are loads more people there that speak english. also a very high japanese population. I do think it would be more expensive than Beijing but thats just one thing you would have to put up with in order to have everything else.
    If you are worried abotu the language, dont do any formal study, but i think you can pick up a lot just by being there and actually japanese background will help. i did japanese first then studeied chinese and lived in beijing and shenzhen then back to japan. i have lost lots (most?) of my chinese but never in no way did one hinder the other. sometimes i would mix them up if i didnt knwo a word or phrase and that was funny but not to terribly difficult to fix.

    well good luck and let us know whats going on.

    ps. china is pretty dirty in general so make sure you get the babys lungs as healthy as possible before heading over...
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    Али Димаев AliDimayev's Avatar
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    Default Re: China experts - talk to me

    Where are all the people to yell at Wicket for wanting to move to China but has no desire to learn the language?
    <a href=http://www.ithinkimlost.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=3134&dateline=1245615339 target=_blank>http://www.ithinkimlost.com/image.ph...ine=1245615339</a>
    Quote Originally Posted by Hyakuman View Post
    As usual, you all (Aliを除く) have your heads up your asses.

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    Daimyo ***** dombay's Avatar
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    Default Re: China experts - talk to me

    Most of us are very My Japan type personalities so one probably wouldn't expect that here.
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    Resident ewok wicket's Avatar
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    Default Re: China experts - talk to me

    Thanks everyone.
    It's the reading/writing aspect of Chinese that puts me off, because I'm going to have enough to worry about with a new baby and studying for the JLPT in December as it is.
    I'm interested in learning Speaking/Listening skills though. Those of you who know me know I love to talk! Pronunciation seems really hard - please tell me I'm wrong. And what's with the Mandarin thing? I thought Cantonese was more popular/widely used?
    Andy has his third [telephone] interview today for a great job as a lead animator in Shanghai, so keep everything you've got crossed for us!
    Glad to hear you all said Shanghai in preference to Beijing. That was my feeling from research on the interwebs, but it's always better to hear it from people who've been there.
    "Like anyone with a sliver of honesty in them I believe what I find I believe when I wake up each morning."
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    Default Re: China experts - talk to me

    I wouldn't worry too much about the language. When I was there, my friends who had been studying Japanese for a few years actually had an easier time reading Chinese than they did Japanese.

    Mandarin is the official language used in Taiwan and more north, Cantonese in Hong Kong and the south. You also get the joy of simplified characters on the mainland!

    You'll get random people coming up to you saying things like "You my best friend!" or "You teach me English?" or other weird phrases. Just splutter out some basic Chinese and a few English words and you're good to go!

  9. #9
    SENIOR MEMBER Neb's Avatar
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    Default Re: China experts - talk to me


    Cantonese is mostly known for being spoken in Hong Kong, while Mandarin is most widely used in most other parts of China (and Taiwan).

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    Resident ewok wicket's Avatar
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    Default Re: China experts - talk to me

    Thanks Neb... bloody hell, I know NOTHING about China.
    "Like anyone with a sliver of honesty in them I believe what I find I believe when I wake up each morning."
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  11. #11
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dombay View Post
    . But no point being there unless you're going to learn it
    I'm sorry, what? Theres no point spending an extended period of time in a country unless you are intending to learn the native language?

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    Daimyo ***** dombay's Avatar
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    Default Re: China experts - talk to me

    Pretty sure that a lot of the dialects within Canto or the Wu dialects themselves or any of the other southern ones are unintelligible to each other. Stick with Mandarin. Canto I think is only thought of as common because of so much emigration.

    I don't think the pronunciation is as impossible as people make out. Takes some getting used to but it's not impossible. I still make mistakes a fair bit in the not-many-chances I get to speak C these days and I'm really not all that good but I can get around ok with mine so people must understand my pronunciation enough?
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    Daimyo ***** dombay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SethArmstrong View Post
    I'm sorry, what? Theres no point spending an extended period of time in a country unless you are intending to learn the native language?
    Yea the Hub gets pretty boring after about 20 minutes you see.
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  14. #14
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: China experts - talk to me

    I've lived in 5 countries and only ever spoken english. I'd say living abroad has much more to offer than learning a few shitty grammar points in some pissant language

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    Daimyo ***** dombay's Avatar
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    Default Re: China experts - talk to me

    So learn more than that?

    It's not particularly hard when you're overseas long-term anyway and especially if you already have a working knowledge of a related language.
    Melanie: back!

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    'Oh it's so wonderful to be an older woman. All this old stuff to do'

  16. #16
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: China experts - talk to me

    rubbish, its only not hard if you are young and good at languages.

  17. #17
    Daimyo ***** dombay's Avatar
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    Default Re: China experts - talk to me

    How old are you Ini?
    Melanie: back!

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  18. #18
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: China experts - talk to me

    judging by my skin, about 65

  19. #19
    Daimyo ***** dombay's Avatar
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    Default Re: China experts - talk to me

    So it's just a you being a spack thing then and Wicket should be fine?
    Melanie: back!

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    'Oh it's so wonderful to be an older woman. All this old stuff to do'

  20. #20
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: China experts - talk to me

    I have a 2 cm penis
    Last edited by dombay; June 11th, 2009 at 21:47.

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