Learn Chinese. Communicate. Have fun. That’s my motto.
But, be careful what you say. When your Chinese is limited you might give off the wrong idea, say something that means something else, or get yourself into a sticky situation.
Read more to find out what happened to this model, in a bar, after saying something that she thought meant something else. Oops.
Be Careful What You Say
Let me tell you a tale. Are you seated comfortably? Have you got your sweet and salty popcorn? No? Okay, I’ll wait. Go grab yourself some. Back? Good.
This story begins in a hotel bar in Sanya just after a singer has finished his set on stage. A gorgeous model appreciates his talent and gives him a thumbs up to show she liked his music. He seems very pleased with her reaction to his music.
Side note: neither of them speaks the same language. The model is Italian. She speaks English and Italian. The singer is Chinese and speaks only Chinese.
A few moments later a beer appears in front of her. The waitress motions towards the singer. The model understands he has bought her a beer.
She sends another thumbs up in his direction to express her thanks.
She starts to drink the beer and the singer takes a seat next to her at the bar. She smiles and keeps on drinking. She realizes they cannot speak the same language and reverts to body language.
She wanted to cheers the singer. So she casually says “qing qing.”
Give Me A Kiss
Little did she know — with her limited Chinese — that qīn 亲 means ‘kiss’. And, qīn qīn 亲亲, which she just so enthusiastically said, means ‘kiss me’, or ‘give me a kiss.’
Imagine this. You’re Chinese. You’re sitting at the bar. A model approaches you, gives you a thumbs up, you buy her a beer and sit next to her. Then, she says “give me a kiss.” This is surely your lucky day?
They finished their beers and he bought another round. At this point, she didn’t understand her mistake or why he was getting so close to her. This was, after all, her first experience with a Chinese man.
So she continued to cheers him with qīn qīn 亲亲, continually asking him to kiss her without realizing. So he asked for her WeChat ID. And, being in China, she gave it to him. Culturally, it’s very common to share your WeChat contact with others, so it’s not too unusual for her to share these details with him.
Finally, she asked to come up to her room. This, she politely declined.
Four Beers Later
The second beer was finished and she bought another round, and another. At this stage she was offering the beer to other people in the bar, unable to consume any more beer.
She started to feel uncomfortable. She was always taught that when you feel you’re getting into a bad situation, you’re uncomfortable, or not safe, always try to communicate with this person to understand the situation better. Unknowingly she was continuing to communicate solely with qīn qīn 亲亲.
So, she turned around to the Russian guy behind her, in the hope that he spoke some English. She turned to him and asked, “do you speak English?” Immediately she heard a noise behind her so she quickly turned around and the Chinese singer had thrown his beer bottle onto the table, spilling beer everywhere, outraged that she was talking to another guy.
Was he jealous? Of course. After four beers and lots of what I imagine he thought was flirting, she turns around and speaks to another guy?
Understandably he wasn’t pleased. The situation got out of hand. And, she didn’t mislead him on purpose. It was a breakdown of communication.
Just a little misunderstanding.
Do you want to master Chinese tones?
If you want to be confident that your tones sound good when you speak Mandarin, and you want strategies to effectively learn Chinese on your own, then I’m here to help you! 🙌🏾
So let’s be clear.
The real word for ‘cheers’ in Chinese is 干杯 gān bēi. But, be warned, the literal translation for this means ‘to down your drink’. So you might be expected to neck your beer.
Keep yourself safe.
And ladies, keep yourself safe. China is generally pretty safe. However, if you are ever in a situation where you feel uncomfortable or unsafe make sure you have a friend around, someone you can call, or confide in a female member of staff. Your safety is your highest priority.
A quick and important disclosure:
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