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Old 12-16-2012, 08:49 PM
kyh
 
Location: Malaysia & Singapore
383 posts, read 1,062,954 times
Reputation: 143

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Data1000 View Post
Interesting. I'm actually going to be in Thailand in early January. I am flying from Shanghai to Bangkok, then onto Phuket. We have time to visit one island and stay overnight. My friend wants to visit Racha (Raya) Island, but according to photos, Phi Phi Island looks more beautiful and unique. Which part of Thailand do you live at? Have you ever been to those two islands? Any recommendations?
Phi Phi Island is crowded though - lots of tourists. An alternative would be Similan Islands. They are more pristine and see less crowds than Phi Phi and Phuket. You can also try Ko Lipe, which is dubbed "Maldives of Thailand", though I'm sure that's an exaggeration.
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:58 PM
 
Location: Sometimes Miami sometimes Australia
1,093 posts, read 2,280,889 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyh View Post
LOL, I know that. Let's face it - it's reality that Asians who speak European languages are considered as common but a white man who speaks any of the Asian languages is generally seen as a miracle.

The concept of "come here, learn our language" as it exists in the West is a very bizzare concept indeed in Asia. There the default position is "you only can/should/would want to/would need to integrate if you share our racial ancestory". When I'd explain I learnt Cantonese because I lived in HK, the response would be "but you're not Chinese~"

Now there are changes. HK locals are seeking to differentiate themselves from their Mainland immigrants,so locals are no longer "Chinese" but "Hong Kong-ese". Accordingly, any white/indian/foreigner person speaking Cantonese embodies pre-handover HK and evokes nostaglia, so locals revere us even more. I have less trouble now explaining that I am a white Hong Konger than I ever did. They want to claim us.
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:07 PM
kyh
 
Location: Malaysia & Singapore
383 posts, read 1,062,954 times
Reputation: 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by tropical87 View Post
The concept of "come here, learn our language" as it exists in the West is a very bizzare concept indeed in Asia. There the default position is "you only can/should/would want to/would need to integrate if you share our racial ancestory". When I'd explain I learnt Cantonese because I lived in HK, the response would be "but you're not Chinese~"

Now there are changes. HK locals are seeking to differentiate themselves from their Mainland immigrants,so locals are no longer "Chinese" but "Hong Kong-ese". Accordingly, any white/indian/foreigner person speaking Cantonese embodies pre-handover HK and evokes nostaglia, so locals revere us even more. I have less trouble now explaining that I am a white Hong Konger than I ever did. They want to claim us.
There are actually a few white Hong Kong actors in some HK Cantonese drama series. So I guess it's not that much a novelty now compared to say, decades ago.
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:12 PM
 
Location: Sometimes Miami sometimes Australia
1,093 posts, read 2,280,889 times
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Originally Posted by kyh View Post
There are actually a few white Hong Kong actors in some HK Cantonese drama series. So I guess it's not that much a novelty now compared to say, decades ago.
They are in those shows because it is a novelty
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:14 PM
 
5,096 posts, read 8,073,518 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Data1000 View Post
Interesting. I'm actually going to be in Thailand in early January. I am flying from Shanghai to Bangkok, then onto Phuket. We have time to visit one island and stay overnight. My friend wants to visit Racha (Raya) Island, but according to photos, Phi Phi Island looks more beautiful and unique. Which part of Thailand do you live at? Have you ever been to those two islands? Any recommendations?
Our house is in the province of Saraburi (north of BKK and east of Ayutthaya), kind of out in the boonies. LOL! We built it several years ago. We're thinkng about looking for a place in Chiang Mai. We're heading over there around March.

I've never been to either of those islands, in fact I haven't been very far south, so I can't really give you much in the way of recommendations based on personal experiences. Most of our ventures are around the Central Plains region and the North to visit family and friends. Koh Phi Phi Lei and Koh Phi Phi Don are islands that were devastated by the 2004 Indonesian Tsunami. However, as I understand, they've been mostly restored. It's a very popular destination for day trippers and has the reputation as a tropical paradise, albeit somewhat commercial. I would guess it'd be good for a quick relaxing overnight stay. You might want to check ahead of time to see if you need to make any reservations first as it's pretty popular and not very large. Koh Phi Phi Lei is the smaller of the two islands. You can get there by boats from Phuket.
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:14 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,421,991 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyh View Post
There are actually a few white Hong Kong actors in some HK Cantonese drama series. So I guess it's not that much a novelty now compared to say, decades ago.

Native Cantonese Speaker - Sharon Balcombe - PART 1 - YouTube

Some even speak it as their first language.
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:02 PM
 
1,099 posts, read 1,671,358 times
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Originally Posted by tropical87 View Post
They are in those shows because it is a novelty
As you said yourself, still a novelty but may become increasingly common in the future. I find it amusing that former Australian PM Kevin Rudd is fluent in Mandarin. I wonder how many more votes he got from Chinese Australians solely based on that fact. Maybe Trimac20 or the others can shed some light on that.
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:25 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,421,991 times
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Originally Posted by GoldenTiger View Post
As you said yourself, still a novelty but may become increasingly common in the future. I find it amusing that former Australian PM Kevin Rudd is fluent in Mandarin. I wonder how many more votes he got from Chinese Australians solely based on that fact. Maybe Trimac20 or the others can shed some light on that.
It probably did make some difference, since he was also able to campaign in areas with a lot of older Chinese voters who happened to be citizens. Many Chinese people already live in areas that are Labor strongholds, like some of the inner Melbourne and Sydney electorates. I think he probably did improve relations between Australia and China, which are extremely important since 22% of our exports go to China. I think the foreign minister role suits him better than PM, since as PM that's largely what he was doing anyway lol.
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:47 PM
 
Location: The Big O
590 posts, read 664,369 times
Reputation: 435
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyh View Post
Phi Phi Island is crowded though - lots of tourists. An alternative would be Similan Islands. They are more pristine and see less crowds than Phi Phi and Phuket. You can also try Ko Lipe, which is dubbed "Maldives of Thailand", though I'm sure that's an exaggeration.
Thanks. I looked at some photos of the Similan Islands and they do look nice, but I've decided to stick with Racha because Racha is closer and small enough to explore in only 1 1/2 days. I am also thinking about taking a day trip to Phang Nga Bay. That place looks quite stunning.

To OP, sorry that I temporarily high-jacked your topic.
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:02 AM
 
392 posts, read 802,864 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burgler09 View Post
Just wondering if anyone here speaks Chinese or any Asian languages? What is your level of being able to speak it, in terms of accent and grammar?

How long did it take you to get where you are?

If you're a native speaker, I'm not too interested.. I'm just trying to get an idea of how people did when they were learning an Asian language. I speak two Romance languages and now want to start with an Asian one.
I took three years of Mandarin. My level of speaking it is rudimentary, much like "survival Chinese" if I had to put forth effort in living in China. I did manage to have a conversation with my friend's mother, who speaks no English. My Chinese-English app helped a lot. I have a good grasp of grammar because it was drilled into us by the curriculum. My knowledge of the tones is decent, I can differentiate enough to be understood but it is clearly lacking, especially the second tone which I find the hardest. I can also write in the language, but due to my difficulty in memorizing the radicals/characters, it is also quite rudimentary and childlike in quality. Also, I can recognize a few characters and read a bit, but I would relegate this skill to a childlike level. I noticed that I can understand certain characters without knowing how to pronounce them as well.
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