For­eign­ers in China watch Chi­nese TV to brush up on their Pu­tonghua

Global Times – Metro Shanghai - - CITYPANORAMA -

China’s pop­u­lar­ity in the world con­tin­ues to grow, with more and more for­eign­ers at­tracted to Chi­nese cul­ture, so­ci­ety, his­tory and lan­guage. Among those ex­pats liv­ing in China, many turn to Chi­nese tele­vi­sion not only as a source of lo­cal en­ter­tain­ment but also as a way of learn­ing Pu­tonghua.

The Global Times re­cently hit the streets of Shang­hai to in­ter­view for­eign­ers about their Chi­nese TV view­ing habits.

“I think watch­ing Chi­nese dra­mas or re­al­ity shows are a good way to learn the lan­guage,” Adbi from Aus­tralia said. “I also of­ten lis­ten to Chi­nese ra­dio. It helps me a lot with my lis­ten­ing skills.”

French na­tional Jean be­gan study­ing Pu­tonghua when he first came to Shang­hai. He be­lieves that watch­ing Chi­nese TV pro­grams is help­ful, and as he is also a big fan of Chi­nese poetry, he likes to watch a show named Chi­nese Poetry Con­fer­ence. “I think it’s fan­tas­tic that China can or­ga­nize a TV pro­gram about poetry. There are plenty of words that I love. The most im­pres­sive one is ‘yongqi.’ It means courage and it may be the best sym­bol of China.”

Kelly from Amer­ica agrees that watch­ing lo­cal pro­gram­ming helps her learn Chi­nese for her daily life, though she prefers Chi­nese ac­tion movies. “I’ve watched

Crouch­ing Tiger, Hid­den Dragon al­most twenty times.”

How­ever, af­ter at­tempt­ing to com­mu­ni­cate with her Chi­nese friends us­ing the Pu­tonghua learned from her view­ing, she said it did not go well. “They looked at me in con­fu­sion and asked me what I was talk­ing about. But I’m not afraid of mak­ing mis­takes. I think it’s in­ter­est­ing.”

Mark from France speaks flu­ent Pu­tonghua as well as the Shang­hai di­alect. He agrees it is very help­ful to learn by watch­ing Chi­nese TV se­ries, as there are many

com­mon ex­pres­sions and slang that can be picked up.

“Read­ing Chi­nese news­pa­pers and mag­a­zines, and com­mu­ni­cat­ing with Chi­nese peo­ple are also good ways. I learned a lot of Chi­nese id­ioms from my Chi­nese friends, such as suiyuer’an [go with the flow] and wuhuaba­men [mul­ti­far­i­ous]. They all have deep mean­ings.”

Adbi Kelly

Pho­tos: CFP and Xiang Jun/GT

Mark (Main) A for­eign woman reads a book. (Far left) Posters of Chi­nese TV se­ries The First Half of My Life and Chi­nese movie Crouch­ing Tiger, Hid­den Dragon

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