Say, you're Chinese and asking directions from a random passerby who happens to be obviously Chinese. Will you use Mandarin or English?
I heard something on the radio a few days ago. Topic of the day is speaking and learning Chinese, or more generally, native language.
Tis caller said she had encountered a Chinese woman who asked him to speak in English when he was asking directions in Mandarin. It was ok except that she sounded like she despised that he was speaking to her in Mandarin.
I was disgusted.
Can't stand it that some people consider English a more high class language just because it's our working language. Worse, some give up their native tongue totally. I'll speak only in the context of Chinese from now.
It's sad that serious interest in the Chinese language is dwindling. I say seious because the current thrust is that you need to know the language (oh and of course, learn the culture as well but from books, yah right..) to have a place in the future since China is an emerging power.
I always feel my Mandarin sucks, especially when I'm talking to true blue native speakers from PRC/ Taiwan. Don't stone me, I know my Mandarin is ok enough but I feel inadequate speaking to them cos I can't express myself sufficiently with my limited vocab bank. I realise that I can't even write well in Chinese these days without a dictionary. Gone were the days when I could easily throw up essays with minimal reference to a dictionary. I remember I was so amazed with myself when I reread my essays from JC some time last year; they were so good I forgot I wrote them!
Have been trying to re-acquaintance myself with the language since forever. Think I started out by reading Dream of the Red Chamber in third year. That took me a year! Then I read half of this book on Chinese history and I was lost =( Will dig it out again. Or find some online source which is easier to digest..
I can't sit here anymore; mosquitoes are sucking me dry!!