#131 小心!中国人会谈论的话题

2015/03/09 6 Comments
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刚到中国的外国人,可能会对中国朋友之间谈论的一些话题感到尴尬,甚至觉得被侵犯了隐私。下面几个问题,你的中国朋友有没有问过你呢?

1、你这件衣服真好看,什么牌子的?多少钱买的?
2、你住的那个地方房租很贵吧?多少钱一个月?
3、听说外国人在中国的月薪很高,你的月薪是多少?
4、一上午你已经去了五次厕所了,是拉肚子了吗?
5、你最近是不是胖了?要多运动少吃油腻的食物哦!

上面这五个问题,是我的外国朋友曾经跟我抱怨过,他在中国被问到的尴尬问题。前三个是和金钱有关的,后两个是和健康有关的。与欧美国家的人相比,中国人普遍对隐私的意识比较弱,问这些问题的时候并没有恶意,只是一种聊天的方式。好朋友之间的聊天就更加随意了。对于前三个问题,你可以只说个大约的数字,一般对方就不会再追问下去。第四个问题很有趣,在中国,人们会和比较亲近的朋友或者亲人说自己拉肚子了,并且不会感到不好意思。第五个问题一般也发生在好朋友之间,对方出于关心,提醒你注意体重变化,听到之后,你只要微笑着说“好知道了”就可以啦。

另外,对外国朋友们来说,除了金钱和健康,有关政治、宗教、种族的话题,一般也比较敏感。但可能一些中国人不明白这一点,问你一些相关的问题。如果你真的不愿意讨论,就可以委婉地表达不感兴趣,相信你的中国朋友都可以理解。你还被问到过其他尴尬的问题吗?欢迎在慢速中文网站留言,与我们分享讨论。

Foreigners that have just arrived in China will possibly discuss some topics with their Chinese friends that they feel embarrassed about and they might even feel that their privacy has been violated. Have your Chinese friends asked you any of the questions below?

1. This item of clothing of yours looks good, what brand is it? How much did it cost?
2. Is the rent expensive where you are living? How much a month?
3. I’ve heard that the pay of foreigners in China is quite high, how much do you make a month?
4. In one morning you’ve already been to the toilet five times. do you have the trots?
5. Have you put on weight recently? You should do more exercise and eat less fatty food.

The five questions above are embarrassing questions which foreign friends of mine have complained about and which they’ve been asked in China. The first three are to do with money and the last three are to do with health. In comparison with people from Europe and America the Chinese sense of privacy is relatively weak so there are no bad intentions in such questions; it’s just a way of making conversation. Conversations between friends are even more as one pleases (1). In answer to the first three questions you could just answer with some approximate figure; in general the other person won’t go into it any further. The fourth question is very interesting. In China people will tell relatively close friends and relatives that they have diarrhea (2) and won’t feel any embarrassment about it at all. The fifth question also occurs mainly between friends and stems from concern from the one party calling attention to change in body weight. After hearing it you just need to say ‘Ok, thanks for letting me know.’ (3) with a smile and that will be it.

In addition, for our foreign friends, apart from money and health, questions about politics and religion and the like and also relatively sensitive but perhaps some Chinese don’t understand this and will ask you some related questions. If you really are unwilling to discuss such questions you can tactfully convey lack of interest and I believe your Chinese friend will be understanding. Have you also been asked other embarrassing questions? You’re welcome to leave a comment on the ‘Slow Chinese’ website to share and discuss it with us.

1. 随意 and 随便 seem to be quite difficult to translate well. They are used a lot in Chinese and there doesn’t seem to be an easy English equivalent. It’s worth taking note of them as they occur and get a feel for them.
2. For any Chinese that might be reading… talking with friends we would use an expression such as ‘I have the runs’, ‘I have the trots’ – but this is very colloquial.
3. And interesting phrase – 知道了. The dictionary gives ‘ok; I’ve got it’. A pretty versatile phrase.

– Rober Budzul ([email protected])
– and Zak Gray ([email protected])

 

6 Comments

  • T. G.

    很有意思,其中那些对西方人尴尬的问题也有一些话题我觉得对德国人、法国人不太尴尬的,比方说衣服的牌子和价格的问题、房租的问题、或者关于政治的讨论。我们经常谈这些问题,没有什么麻烦。好像外国人其中还有比较大的差异。给你抱怨的外国人,是什么国家的?

    • 希茜 Xixi
      希茜

      T.G.你好。。我在文章里写的问题,不是某一个朋友抱怨的,而是综合了好几个外国朋友遇到的尴尬问题。因为有些朋友说他们乘坐出租车,司机有时候会问他的月薪和房租,让他觉得很奇怪。衣服牌子和价格,房租和政治相关的话题,在比较熟悉的朋友之间谈论是没关系的,我觉得全世界可能都是这样,朋友之间聊天比较随便,但是在商务场合,或者对于刚认识的人,说话还是需要注意一些。

  • 今天听一个“一席”的演讲,有点类似TED演讲吧,有个演讲者就在演讲开头说,自己昨天吃错了东西,拉肚子了。

  • Flo

    刚好今天发现在我微信的朋友圈有一位中国女孩子发了《不好意思,今天不能赴约,大姨妈来了》。(大姨妈 = 月经)
    另外的(女的)朋友马上回复说《别担心,我拿着热水袋陪你呆在家啊!》

    我不太了解很多其他国家的关心惯例(,再加上我是男人),但是这样的对话真反映了无比亲切的友谊,并只会在中国发生。话说月经在西方社会不仅属于侵犯隐私,而且大部分西方女人不敢公开说出自己有月经,何况是回答对方的消息。

    • 希茜 Xixi
      希茜

      哈哈,其实能把“大姨妈”这事发到朋友圈的中国女生还是比较少的。一般中国女生都只会单独和很亲近的女生朋友说(bestie,也称作闺蜜)。你这个中国朋友可能是希望获得更多人的关心吧。

      另外,如果你喜欢的中国女生跟你说她大姨妈来了,那一定是希望你多关心一下的。你可以说“好好休息”,她不会觉得被侵犯隐私,反而会觉得你很善解人意。

      • Flo

        好的,谢谢你的答案和解释。
        我还是希望除了自己的女友没有别人向我说这点。:D