Categories
english

Half of residents in top 5 US cities do not speak English at home – IOTW Report

American Thinker- A disheartening statistic from the Center for Immigration Studies.  According to CIS, half of residents in the top five U.S. cities do not speak English at home.  Sixty-seven million people are severely handicapped in American society because they haven’t learned English.  That’s double the number from 27 years ago. Washington Examiner: Among the…

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english

Learn English Vocabulary for Tourism: resort, cruise, charter, all-inclusive… · engVid

Learn English Vocabulary for Tourism: resort, cruise, charter, all-inclusive…

Test your understanding of this English lesson

An _______________ vacation includes flight, accommodations, and all meals.
____________ refers to the time of year when most people like to travel.
A relaxing way to visit the Caribbean region is on a ____________ that makes stops at all the islands.
_______________ is geared toward protecting the environment.
The opposite of "all-inclusive" is:
Some people don’t like staying inside the resort all the time and prefer to go out on _____________.
______________ is a great way to sample different kinds of foods.
If you have time and are flexible, you can get ____________ deals for flights.
____________ tourism is a way to take care of your health and have a vacation at the same time.
When you travel ____________, you are more likely to have bad weather.

Thanks for an informative lesson. Travel is one of the main reasons to learn English. 🙂

Monday, June 15th 2020

Thank very much Adam, I have been travelled a lot, so I learned more expressions.

Tuesday, June 16th 2020

Thanks; there are some types of travel that I hadn´t hearing before.

Tuesday, June 16th 2020

Tuesday, June 16th 2020

Did Adam talk about all kinds of tourism? Tourists fly to Thailand to treat their teeth and not only … 😉

Tuesday, June 16th 2020

It’s such a nice lesson and amazing to make it short like this.

Tuesday, June 16th 2020

Thanks, Adam I understood the rule you are the best!!

Wednesday, June 17th 2020

Muchas gracias Adam. Esta lección me vino como anillo al dedo, en este momento estoy en la carrera de Turismo y Hotelería, muy buena las explicaciones, pero siempre he tenido la confusión entre Amenities and Facilities. Could you explain me, please?

Wednesday, June 17th 2020

Thank you Adam. After this Lesson, I am longing about a new vacation somewhere in the world. Unfortunately, this time is still delayed due to the corona virus crisis.

Wednesday, June 17th 2020

Eco-tourism is geared toward protecting the environment. I missed it. 9 out of 10

Wednesday, June 17th 2020

Wednesday, June 17th 2020

Looks good. Tourism seems to be a safe way to visit beautiful places with amenities and have fun. I’ve traveled like this before to Porto Seguro, in Bahia. I bought a package in low season. There was only breakfast included in the package. All attractions and excursions were chosen as a criterion by hotel guests, beaches, shows and busy spots in the city at night.

Wednesday, June 17th 2020

Wednesday, June 17th 2020

I love your lessons, I would like to have you as my teacher, you make me smile when you say sorry or I shouldn’t said that.
Hope to see more videos from you. Thanks for helping us

Friday, June 19th 2020

Adam, you are an amazing teacher and you know how students understand easily that you follow the way. I don’t mean that other teachers are not good. When I started to learn English from engvid.com then I did realized how many mistakes I used to do while writing and speaking. So I’m trying to shaping myself. But one thing I would like to add to you is that when you giving examples of talking each other at that time if you take one more friend to say something in response will be more practical to understand better and immediately.

Friday, June 19th 2020

Great. When I visit Canada, I will remember this class. Thank you very much.

Friday, June 19th 2020

Learn English for free with 1577 video lessons by experienced native-speaker teachers. Classes cover English grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, IELTS, TOEFL, and more. Join millions of ESL students worldwide who are improving their English every day with engVid.

more lessons

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Categories
english

‘YOU F—— SPEAK ENGLISH?’: Woman berates Muslim woman on New York bus

A woman launched an anti-Muslim rant on a passenger aboard a New York City bus in a video making its rounds on the internet.In the video posted Wednesday on YouTube, a woman aboard a bus travelling from Brooklyn to Staten Island can be seen and heard ripping apart a fellow passenger with racially-ch…

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Categories
english

Learn English meaning of ‘cleaning the bathroom’ – Cleaning the Bathroom

Gary:  Sometimes I really don’t like the weekends because I have to clean the bathroom.

Kelsey:  Oh, really? You don’t like cleaning your bathroom?

Gary:  You like cleaning your bathroom?

Kelsey:  Yes! It feels so good to take something that’s so dirty to completely clean.

Gary:  So, you like getting in there and scrubbing all the grime, the backbreaking work, hours in the shower, scrubbing, to get a clean shower.

Kelsey:  Scrubbing the toilet, using bleach, all of it.

Gary:  Whoa. I often have actually thought about calling a cleaning service because it just feels easier.

Kelsey:  Well, if you don’t want to spend the time doing it…

Gary:  Yeah.

Kelsey:  … I guess that makes sense. I just enjoy it so much. I like to reach my standard. My standard of cleaning is actually better than the industry standard of cleaning services, so I would never go to a cleaning service.

Gary:  I may have to hire you, then! Are you available for hire?

Kelsey:  You know, I will consider it.

Gary:  Let me know what your rates are.

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Categories
spanish

Latinxs Don’t Need to Speak Spanish | The Nation

Nahuatl Indigenous women offer corn, flowers, and light candles to the sun during celebrations of the winter solstice in San Andres, El Salvador, in 2006. (Luis Romero / AP Photo)

Like many Latinxs raised in the United States, I’ve taken shit for not speaking perfect Spanish. Mexicans even have a word for someone like me—someone born to a Mexican family north of the border, who speaks Spanish with an accent. Pocho. In its simplest sense, pocho (literally meaning “faded”) describes an Americanized Mexican. It’s not a compliment, but like any Mexican slur, it gets equal use as an insult and as a term of endearment. Growing up, I even found comfort in the word. In California, I rarely had to explain myself to other Mexican Americans at school. Instead, it was always white kids who took it upon themselves to police my race and ethnicity. “You’re not really Mexican,” they would say when I spoke stilted Spanish.

In Latinx spaces, especially online, there’s a growing consensus arguing that knowledge of the Spanish language isn’t a prerequisite for Latinx identity. It’s sometimes spilled into the wider public. Last fall, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spoke candidly about her nerves speaking Spanish in front of an audience. (After the congresswoman’s recent conversation with the Puerto Rican rapper Residente, one Latina journalist commented on Twitter, “Her pocha Spanish is so relatable to me.”) And in the most recent Democratic primary, after TV pundits repeatedly questioned Julián Castro’s identity because he didn’t speak Spanish, the former San Antonio mayor lamented that the media treated it as “the only variable as to whether somebody is Latino or not, which is completely out of line with reality.” The ability to speak Spanish, he told The Washington Post, “is just one part of the overall connection to the Latino community.”

This discourse has resonated with many Americanized Latinxs. But missing from this discourse about Latinx identity is the reality of people who never spoke Spanish to begin with. After all, Spanish—like English—is a colonizing tongue. Today, across Latin America, millions instead primarily speak Indigenous languages. For these people, the consequences of not speaking traditional Spanish fluently can be serious and dangerous. And as climate change, political violence, and migration patterns have uprooted these communities from their homes, many of these same people now face similarly oppressive environments within Latinx communities in the United States.

Hilaria Cruz, like me, was singled out by other students in grade school for not speaking Spanish. Cruz, however, was born and raised in Mexico. She grew up in the country’s mountainous southwestern region, living in a community of Chatino people, an Indigenous group that has inhabited the peaks and canyons of Oaxaca for thousands of years. As a child, she spoke a rare form of the Chatino language with her family; it wasn’t until she was 8 that she heard Spanish for the first time. Her parents wanted her to get a formal education, and since Mexico offered no schools in Native languages at the time, her family walked five hours into the nearest mestizo town (“mestizo,” in a simplified sense, means a mix of native and Spanish culture). At her school, the children would form mobs and chase the few Chatino students, shouting racial slurs at them: “Indi*s! Indi*s!

Cruz, now an assistant professor in the department of Comparative Humanities at the University of Louisville, has studied how the Spanish imposed their language on Native people in Mexico. She says that soldiers, missionaries, and interpreters traveled North America throughout the 16th and 17th centuries creating maps. When the Spanish reached the mountains in modern day Oaxaca, they asked the people living there for their name and language. They responded that they were called the qne-a tnya-e, and their language was Chaq-f tnya-b. The Spanish heard “Chatino.” They christened a town in one of the canyons and called it San Juan Quiahije, the same town that Cruz walked five hours from so she could attend school. Five hundred years later, the town still resembles a colonial frontier in many ways: Native people face blatant discrimination, and the language barrier prevents their access to many social services. For Cruz, the most fundamental institutions of the state—the schools, the courts, the hospitals—all existed in Spanish.

Cruz is not alone. In Mexico, millions of citizens speak Nahuatl, Mixteco, Zapoteco, and over 280 other native languages (including over 40,000 Chatino speakers). In Paraguay, Guaraní shares status with Spanish as the official language. In Guatemala, people speak over 20 different Mayan languages. In northern Colombia, the village of San Basilio de Palenque was founded by escaped African slaves, and today their descendants speak Palenquero, a blend of Portuguese and Kikongo, a Bantu language.

For many Indigenous people across the Americas, repression and colonial violence didn’t end with European rule. Cruz recalls that in the mountains where she grew up, Spanish-speaking landowners constantly push to expand their farms into Native land, often with bloodshed. In the Amazon basin, illegal logging and gold mining have constantly encroached on Indigenous peoples’ lands. Along with deforestation and violence, the land grabbers may have recently brought the coronavirus to some isolated Native groups in Brazil. During the civil wars in El Salvador and Guatemala in the 1980s, US-backed regimes committed genocide against Maya and other Indigenous people.

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In recent years, severe violence, climate change–fueled drought, and entrenched poverty have forced hundreds of thousands of Native people to leave their communities, especially in Central America. Many have made their way north to the United States, meaning that the brunt of the repression the US government has enacted on the border since 2014 has largely fallen on Indigenous people: In the last two years, five of the seven migrant children who died in US custody have come from Indigenous communities, and in immigrant detention centers across the country, lawyers have described a translation crisis, as both the government and NGOs fail to find translators for Native people in their court proceedings.

For Indigenous people who successfully immigrate to the United States, the presumption that Latinxs all speak Spanish can have serious repercussions. With the spread of Covid-19, the stakes are even higher. For example, few informative resources on proper hygiene and social distancing exist in Indigenous languages (though there have been some valiant efforts). If Native people need emergency care, hospitals across the country may incorrectly call in Spanish interpreters. In 2008, a Chatino woman named Cirila Baltazar Cruz (no relation to Hilaria Cruz) gave birth in Mississippi, but had her baby torn out of her arms by child protective services, after the Spanish-language translator incorrectly interpreted the mother’s description of her living conditions. It took over a year—and a Southern Poverty Law Center legal case—for her to get custody of her daughter back.

Indigenous people and Afro-Latinxs also face a structural racism that reaches across Latin America and extends into “Latino” communities in the United States, in which immigrants who speak Native languages are often ostracized. Scholars have a term for this latter form of racism: linguistic discrimination. Spanish-speaking ability in a country like Mexico, or English-speaking ability in a country like the United States, can work like skin tone: a gradient that correlates—with heartbreaking consistency—to wealth, educational access, and even life expectancy.

Afro-Latinxs also endure intense racism that often centers on language. In the United States, Cardi B—who is a Dominican Afro-Latina—has spoken out about facing racism for her accent in English, and facing bigoted challenges to her blackness simply because she speaks Spanish. Even in Spanish-speaking countries, Dominicans (a majority-black population) often face prejudice because of their accents, which get unfairly criticized as “deficient” Spanish. (Meanwhile, Hatian Creole speakers in the Dominican Republic face often brutal exclusion for not speaking Spanish at all.)

“Stereotypes about language and stereotypes about racial categories get co-naturalized—they get constructed together,” says Jonathan Rosa, a professor of linguistics at Stanford University. Rosa says that linguistic discrimination doesn’t affect only foreign or minority languages—in the United States, racists have often criticized African American Vernacular. “Language is never too far from the picture when you talk about any racialized population,” he says. “That population’s language is always stereotyped as linguistically deficient.”

There’s irony in the fact that many people in this country will call both Cruz and me “Hispanic” or “Latino.” If Latin Americans speak many different languages—and if language is only “one part” of what makes someone Latinx, as Castro says—what, then, actually defines Latinx identity? What do I, in California with my Spanglish and my quesadillas, have in common with a Mapuche person in southern Chile speaking Mapudungun and eating milcao?

At the offices of the Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project, or MICOP, Indigenous identity in the context of Latinidad, or “Latino-ness,” is a critical part of everyday work. On any given day in MICOP’s headquarters, on California’s central coast, the office is filled with the sounds of Mixteco, English, and Spanish as people go about their work building political power among Mixteco immigrants, especially among California’s farmworkers. MICOP was founded to help strengthen Mixtec and Indigenous community living in Ventura County. (While Mixteco people are native to southwestern Mexico, tens of thousands of Mixtecos migrated to the United States in the 1980s and ’90s.)

Genieve Flores-Haro, the associate director of MICOP, says that one of the fundamental challenges the organization faces is how to work with the concept of Latinidad: “If you ask certain members of my staff, they’ll say, ‘Oh yeah, I’m Hispanic’; others will say, ‘I’m Latino, Latinx.’ Then others members will say, ‘No. I am not Latino, Latinx. I am Indigenous. And then there’s another sect that takes that even further and says, ‘No, I am not even Indigenous. I’m Native.’”

When I ask her about it, Hilaria Cruz says she “finds it a little silly” that people in the United States use “Latina” to refer to her. In the states, the people who called themselves “Latino” were the same people who in Mexico asked her to go back to her community to find them a muchacha, a maid. “The only thing they thought Indigenous people were good for was to be servants. So when I get grouped with these people, I don’t take it really seriously. I know I come from a very different experience, even though I now speak fluent Spanish.”

Cruz’s attitude is mirrored by many Native people with a Latin American heritage living in the United States. While Americanized Latinxs often wave a broad, ostensibly inclusionary banner of Latinidad, many Native people and Afro-Latinxs maintain a more separatist attitude: Why search for a place of belonging among one’s own oppressors? Such groups have promoted the idea of the abolition, of Latinidad, which many see as a white supremacist construct, and an empty form of solidarity that both buries racial violence and erases black and Native experiences.

When I ask Cruz about what should be done, she says she’s not focused on identity as much as the practical issues such as health care, which has been made all the more serious during the pandemic. “It doesn’t feel like an imposition to me,” she says of Latindad. “But it does bother me that there’s not a recognition of the existence of linguistic diversity in [Latin America]. This is the same reason, when Indigenous people seek access to medical care, that doctors and nurses will be completely ignorant and call a Spanish interpreter. And if the patients can’t understand the Spanish interpreter, then they don’t get help.”

This content was originally published here.

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english

Lindo’s Story – Why I Want My Son to Learn English | Studycat

A mum with drive and a call for change

I have a three year old son who was going to creche before the lockdown started so it’s been a priority for me to keep him learning at home. I decided it was time he started to learn English because I want to enrol him in an English school and it’s important that he can relate to people and understand instruction when he gets there.

I think education needs to change now, we need different skills and it doesn’t prepare us properly. It doesn’t train your brain to think outside of the box. For example, entrepreneurship in school often consists of children bringing items in that their parents have bought for them to sell.  My friend who home-schools does this differently – she makes things with her children instead. They have to create the things they sell and they have to include the cost of materials when they calculate the profit they made, so she teaches them basic business skills that way.

What should the future of education look like?

We need to have more of thiideas for the future of educations in schools so that children can start to understand the fundamentals of business from early on. We also need to encourage children to think independently and take responsibility for their work. If our education system had more of this, it would prepare children better for the next phase of their life, whether that is work or higher education. At the moment there is too much of a gap between what’s expected of children at high school and what’s expected when we get to university.

When I went to university I did a BSS Political science and law degree and also completed my LLB. When I got to varsity, there was nothing that was related to high school. As a result, I barely made it through my first year in my eyes. I didn’t fail but my highest mark that year was in the 60s, and that was me trying my best. But everything was new to me, not just the information I was learning but how I was learning it.

In school we didn’t type assignments, we didn’t use Moodle or anything like that, and we had teachers to nag us, discipline us, help us. In school in South Africa, the pass rate for most subjects is 30% (for English it’s 40%). In university it is 50%, and you don’t have teachers there to nag you, discipline you and keep you on track. In university, it is up to you, and I feel we could do more to prepare children for that. I want my son to know how to take responsibility for himself. It’s important to me that he has opportunities, and learning English is important for that. I also want him to understand what is expected of him in the workplace, what skills are required and how he should conduct himself. If schools can do more to give children that knowledge, it will be a big help.

I also want him to have outside interests. Life is not all about education. I have two degrees and may need to retrain again to increase my employment opportunities so it’s clear to me that traditional education is not always the answer. It’s important to me that my son is happy and that education is not forced on him. I want him to love learning.

Priorities – learning English, maths and phonics

Apart from learning English, I look on YouTube for videos to help me with phonics and maths. EnglishIt’s important for my son to learn information in context so he becomes aware of his routine, his environment and his actions. This will help him understand the world around him. I found Fun English on the App Store and it has helped us so much. The app is great for him, he can work through the levels and it keeps him really engaged, which means I can relax a bit and know that he’s having fun learning. It makes my life super easy.

Eventually, I want him to speak more than just two languages, it is very important for the brain and will help him later on in life. I want him to be able to learn French, German – whatever he can get his hands on!

Even if schools open again soon in South Africa, I won’t take him back to his creche. I would rather wait it out until it’s safe. In the meantime, I’d like him to learn English and I want to also explore where his other interests lie. He’s a digital child, he likes computers so I will look for ways to teach him coding. I just want to feed his brain with everything possible, make sure he learns as much as he can and has as much fun as possible while he does it.

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english

Learn English meaning of vitamins – Vitamins

Marni:  Oh, my goodness. My pill case… I don’t know where it is…

Jessica:  What? Why do you take so many pills?

Marni:  It’s not pills, per se. It’s just vitamins. I take a lot of supplements.

Jessica:  To get extra minerals in your diet?

Marni:  I like to take fish oil because I believe it’s going to keep me young. And I take probiotics because I think it’s good for your digestion. And I take a lot of vitamin D, because we don’t get a lot of sun here.

Jessica:  Wow.

Marni:  And I take lots of calcium and magnesium and all that stuff.

Jessica:  My goodness. I just take a multivitamin. I sometimes worry that I’m going to exceed my RDA, my recommended daily allowance.

Marni:  Oh, really? I just take as much as I want. I don’t ever worry about that.

Jessica:  I focus on my diet and hope that what I’m eating will then absorb into my body the way minerals do.

Marni:  I just feel like if I don’t take all these supplements, I just am missing something. I just feel like covering all of my bases that way.

Jessica:  Maybe I should look into this a little bit more.

Marni:  Maybe you should. Maybe I should take less. Maybe we’ll learn from each other.

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Categories
english

4 doctor jokes – Fun English – Learn English with a laugh! – Learn Hot English

Fun English – 4 doctor jokes so you can learn English with a laugh!

When was the last time you went to see a doctor?

Did anything funny happen? Quite often, there are language confusions with doctors and nurses… especially if you’re in a foreign country. For example, something funny happened to me once when I went to see a doctor while I was in France.

After talking to me for a few minutes, the doctor asked me to “sit up straight”. My French wasn’t very good at the time, and I understood “raise your right shoulder”. So, I raised my right shoulder. She just looked at me as if I were crazy and repeated her command. In the end, I understood her and sat up straight. 

Anyway, just for a bit of fun, here are 4 doctor jokes so you can learn English with a laugh!

CLICK HERE BELOW TO LISTEN TO THE JOKES AND IMPROVE YOUR PRONUNCIATION AND LISTENING SKILLS! 

BUT… before listening, make sure you understand these words and phrases:

A goat

An animal about the size of a sheep with horns and a beard

A kid

Two meanings: a) a baby goat; b) a young child

A needle

A sharp piece of metal for sewing (joining pieces of material together), or for giving injections

I see your point

Two meanings: a) I understand you; b) I can see the sharp end of the object you are holding

4 doctor jokes

1 Patient: Doctor! Doctor! I think I’m invisible.

Doctor: Who said that?

2 Patient: Doctor! Doctor! I think I’m a goat!

Doctor: How long have you felt like this?

Patient: Since I was a kid!

3 Patient: Doctor! Doctor! I’m going to die in 51 seconds!

Doctor: I will be with you in a minute!

4 Patient: Doctor! Doctor! I think I’m a needle!

Doctor: Mmm… yes. I see your point!

This content was originally published here.

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french

Save the Date for Our Online Conference this Fall! – Learn French Online

Bonjour mes amis,

What a year it has been. As educators, we found ourselves in a unique position. School closures made us get creative with how we teach our students. Online/remote learning became necessary, and so did our ability to adapt to an unprecedented situation.

With this in mind, we decided to host an online French teacher conference with teachers from all over the United States. At French in DC, we have been compiling a nationwide French teacher database, which allows us to connect with teachers in 20+ states (plus DC) so far!

During our conference (August 1-2 2020, a Saturday and Sunday) we will have presentations, keynote speakers, and an online forum that will allow us to share our ideas on how to teach during school closures. In addition, it will be free, so you have nothing to lose by joining us.

Please send us an e-mail (under ‘Contact Us’ tab) if you are interested, or if you are a French teacher who is interested in presenting. À bientôt !

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mandarin

Mandarin Lessons for Your Future Travels

Cover photo by Dongrui Yu

As the Middle Kingdom protects and heals itself during the COVID-19 outbreak, we want to share stories with you of the real people of China – the people that make this country so beautiful. Before we can welcome you back here in person, we want to bring the people to you. These stories illustrate the deep complexity, humanity, and beauty that resides across this vast nation, and we hope that by sharing stories of people with you, you’ll get to know a different side of China. This is #OurChina, from the #PeopleOfChina.

Although we can’t welcome overseas travelers here just yet, that doesn’t mean we can’t share insights into what you can expect when we can show you the Middle Kingdom. Read on the learn more about how Mandarin impacts daily life in China, and get ready to remember some phrases that will make your future journey remarkable. 

Article and photos by Daniel Lal. Follow him on Instagram: @indiandan04

“The only true voyage of discovery, the only fountain of Eternal Youth, would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes, to behold the universe through the eyes of another, of a hundred others, to behold the hundred universes that each of them beholds, that each of them is…” – Marcel Proust 

We travel to explore cultures that make our common sense feel not-so-common. We travel to learn that the world can turn differently without falling off its axis. We travel to discover how far from the truth our stereotypes of other cultures are.    

Languages affect cultures, which affect our viewpoints – our conclusions, beliefs, values, and behavior. The way we view a common concept could be completely different in another culture just because of the language we speak. This is a glimpse of Chinese culture through the eyes of its national language. 

Finding Mandarin Within the Daily Chinese Culture

Chūnjié, China’s Spring Festival that is sometimes referred to as the Chinese New Year, is based on the lunar calendar. A moon-based viewpoint of time will be cyclical as the moon goes through its different phases, whereas the solar-based viewpoint of time simply considers whether the sun is up or down. Although modern Chinese culture has no problem understanding the Western linear viewpoint of time, the traditional Chinese concept of time is cyclical. 

Fireworks celebrating the Spring Festival. Image by Daniel Lal

If today is Monday and you ask someone in English, “Are you free on Tuesday?”, they will likely respond: “You mean tomorrow?” Our view of immediate time includes yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Beyond that, we’re pulling out our calendars. 

If today is Monday and you ask someone in Mandarin, “Are you free on Wednesday?”, they will likely respond, “You mean the day after tomorrow?”, and they’ll respond that way for the exact same reason. 

In English, “the day after tomorrow” isn’t a concept that needs to be classified with one word. In Mandarin, each day in a week-long window has its own word: 

This is just one example of how language can affect cultural norms. Here are some other ways that Chinese culture can be seen through Mandarin, and vice-versa. 

Mandarin Moments for Your Travel Photos 

1. Héxié (和谐) – usually translated as “harmony” but generally referring to peaceful coexistence.  

The concept of héxié has thoroughly influenced Chinese culture for centuries. In medicine, it is eating foods that maintain a heat-cold balance. In religious beliefs, it accepts fate as an undeniable universal force. In architecture, it is symmetry in design and with nature.  

Photo: Grab a shot of people interacting with nature, or of a building in a natural setting, some of the clearest versions of héxié you’ll find. 

Woman feeding seagulls. Image by Daniel Lal

2. Jítǐzhǔyì (集体主义) – collectivism, the importance of a group over the individual. 

Chinese culture revolves around a sense of belonging and sharing, so while lumping an individual into a group is potentially offensive for Westerners – for example, nǐmen wàiguórén, literally meaning “you foreigners,” as if we’re all the same – the thinking behind that type of phrase carries no disrespect.   

Photo: Grab a shot of people eating family-style even though they aren’t from one single family.  

3. Xiàoshūn (孝顺) – a high regard for parents and ancestors, roughly translated as “filial piety.”  

It’s said that if a person has to choose between caring for parents or children, they must choose the parents. For this reason, many young parents work long secular hours so they can care both for their children and their parents. As a result, grandparents often raise the children.  

Photo: Grab a shot of grandparents caring for grandchildren, a common sight in China. 

Grandma and granddaughter. Image by Daniel Lal

4. Miànzi (面子) – a word that literally means “face” or “surface” but also implies “appearance” or “reputation.”  

If you say anything at all in Mandarin, your Chinese will receive very high praise because miànzi is important and not necessarily because you’re Mandarin is good (sorry). The compliments elevate you (called giving miànzi), and if you reject the compliment by saying nǎli nali, which literally means “Where? Where?”, implying there is no one within earshot deserving of those compliments, you will increase your miànzi 

Photo: Say ‘hello’ nǐhǎo, then grab a shot of someone excitedly complimenting you, an instance of receiving miànzi. 

5. Rénqing (人情) – the principle behind hospitality and relationship building that involves balance and virtue.   

Most people within Chinese culture are genuinely kind and unselfish, so don’t read this next thought the wrong way: rénqing is a social credit system. The ‘balance’ part is the balance between two parties, not within society. Even when someone does something nice for you without hoping to get something back, the concept of rénqing says you owe them.  

Photo: Grab a shot of street vendors who go out of their way to help someone, hoping for a purchase in return. 

Extra credit: If they say something to you in English, give them miànzi by saying: nǐ de yīngwén hén hǎo, which means “You’re English is good,” even if it isn’t. 

Behold Chinese Culture Through Mandarin Eyes 

To travel is to reach out to other humans and understand the world and its variety of cultures the way they really are. The long and illustrious history of Chinese culture is best understood and appreciated within its original context, so why not read more about the language here before setting yourself the task of learning just a little bit more? 

Get in touch with us today if you’re dreaming of visiting in the future and we can talk you through everything you need to know. If you’re already in China, we can help you to travel sooner, so ask us a question anytime. 

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