Thursday, September 13, 2007

More Adventures in Chinese Studyland

Beware of Taiwanese slang! I'm going to tell you about something that actually took place about a month ago, but you can still learn from my experience. I was learning the basic "Wo xi huan ..." or "I like ..." Anyway, because I knew how to say "fried rice" I said "Wo xi huan chao fan." Apparently, what I had just said was "I like sex." These days, if you want to say you like fried rice, you must remember the "chi" or "eat." So you should say "Wo xi huan chi chao fan" (I like to eat fried rice). Wo xi huan chao fan (I like fried rice) is modern day Taiwanese slang for "I like sex." Go figure. Oh, the embarrassment! To think of all the times I've actually told people I like sex, when what I meant to say was I like fried rice! And everyone was too polite to say anything to me! I always thought people were laughing at my tones, but now that I think of it ...


  1. Good tip. I didn't know this either, but I don't think I've ever said that particular phrase. This sort of thing is bound to happen at times. I know students have innocently said something that I have turned red about.

    We should both keep trying ;)! Jai oh! (I can't spell pinyin.)

  2. Saw this and thought of your post the other day . . .

    And, I was trying to think of how to answer your question . . . the only thing I know is that it is hard. It takes time and effort. Use whatever method works best for you.

    I learned 98.5% of my Chinese by just listening and interacting with people who couldn't (or wouldn't) speak English. I on purpose made friends with ladies who couldn't speak English. So they were forced to "teach" me.

    And, don't know if you know about this resource . . . but I like for lessons on the go.

    Hey . . . and here is a silver lining: at least you are married. It would be an even more embarrassing mistake to make if you were single!! :D

  3. Thanks for all of the encouragement, ladies! =)

  4. must be embarrassing ... but then you must have lighten up the day of the person who heard that ;)


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