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Old 05-23-2010, 12:12 AM
 
67 posts, read 166,142 times
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im learning mandarin right now. ive just started, but im only 19 so im not too worried. id love to pickup a third language somewhere down the line. my academic advisor is fluent in thai and Lao and has done ethnography in rural communities there so id love to learn one of those eventually
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Old 05-23-2010, 12:48 PM
 
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Mandarin is a good language to learn. You must put in a major effort, however, else you end up plateauing at a low level. I studied Mandarin intensively for 2 months before moving to China for a 1-year teaching stint. I was able to use the ~500 words that I learned effectively, but did not have the time to push on and increase my vocabulary. Concentrate on learning to read/write the characters as you learn to hear/speak. It is hard work.

The Mandarin spoken in Singapore is slightly different from the Beijing dialect upon which Mandarin in based. In China, they don't call it Mandarin; it is pu-tong-hua, common speech.
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Old 05-23-2010, 12:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gudra View Post
But lots of people like it there. And I refrained from mentioning fines or chewing gum. Why do you like Penang ?
Yes, I concur with your observations of Singapore. Lots of westerners like it; it is cleaner than other parts of Asia in general; things work; buses run on time; but because of this efficient operation it is really NOT representative of most parts of Asia, right?

I don't necessarily like Penang; having been there only once, and many years ago, I can't say much. From what I read, a lot of foreign retirees like Penang because of the old architecture and its street life: food, walking tours, etc. Basically, Penang is the only Chinese-majority city/state in all of Malaysia, and that probably is the biggest attraction to westerners. And there are expat conclaves (ghettos?) in Penang; thus, a Korean can be around other Koreans, a Japanese around Japanese, and etc.
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Old 05-23-2010, 02:15 PM
 
67 posts, read 166,142 times
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Teak, if you dont mind me asking, where are you from?
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Old 05-23-2010, 05:01 PM
 
Location: Europe, in the Land of the mean
950 posts, read 1,542,848 times
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I believe Teak is American.
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Old 05-23-2010, 11:23 PM
 
1,269 posts, read 3,419,712 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biggspc View Post
im learning mandarin right now. ive just started, but im only 19 so im not too worried. id love to pickup a third language somewhere down the line. my academic advisor is fluent in thai and Lao and has done ethnography in rural communities there so id love to learn one of those eventually
It's a bit early to "compare to expat life in Hong kong, Shanghai, and Bangkok". No?

You'll have trouble looking for friends in your age group in Singapore. The locals will be in national service camp, The expatriates are much older and they have their own clubs such as the British Club and the American Club. There are exclusive country clubs, yacht clubs and golf courses that your contacts will invite you to. I like that better than the night spots (so I could save).

Shanghai appears to be the place right now for business and carving out a career path. It is what Japan was 30 years ago. We hear of the ugly Chinese, it was the ugly Japanese then. It depends on how well you will adapt to your new surrounding. Hilary Clinton + 200 other prominent Americans are in China right now. That's telling.
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Old 05-24-2010, 10:55 AM
 
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Yes, USA-men, but what does it matter? The majority of city-data posters are American.
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Old 05-24-2010, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Europe, in the Land of the mean
950 posts, read 1,542,848 times
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I think it would be easier for another American to know what his compatriots like. Many times, I received rubbish advice from people living here (I am not living in the States). Not good !
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Old 05-25-2010, 10:54 PM
 
Location: Miami
46 posts, read 79,305 times
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I visited Singapore once in 1999. I loved it although I'm sure that visiting and living there are two different things, like with any other place in the world. As a tourist one only sees the good things.
I would move there if upon getting my graduate degree, I get a job offer. What I am still researching (with not so many leads) is how is the job market for Psychology graduates (PhD). Any ideas?
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Macao
15,951 posts, read 36,206,900 times
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Interesting thread.

Actually all of the negatives exist as mentioned. Not as exciting as its neighbors. It is difficult to compete with neighbors who are famous for the most exotic, most interesting, most exciting - extending this to throughout Southeast Asia.

On the other hand, there are a lot of positives of Singapore. If a person has never been to Asia before, than Singapore will be quite boring comparitively to the rest. But if a person has already spent years in Asia...it can be nice to be in a FUSION type country/city that IS Asia, but has so many western things available everywhere.
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