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There are a couple of things that have put me off attempting to learn Chinese since I moved here. First, I like to be good at things. I have always been disconcerted when I think people don't think I'm competent, or at least trying.

Second (and more importantly) I was once told when I was doing my MBA that I was the second most unintelligible member of the student body (behind an Indian who had a really thick regional Indian accent -I mean that as no disrespect, he just did), and that this particular individual had difficulty understanding me.

Being honest, that hurt. I went to a private school (where we were expected to speak "correctly"), came from a middle class home, and had been teaching for a while by then, so being told that by someone I had a soft spot for (she was one of the only people on the course who was as eccentric as I was) hurt some.

It also put me off foreign languages, because if I can't be understood in my mother tongue, what chance do I have when I speak someone else's language.

Anyhow, they're rebuilding a block of fancy flats near the school I work at. They're stating to put posters up advertising the flats to all concerned. Sure enough, under the main heading, they've got an English translation. The translation says "Not live in 100 years of history of famous school but live in school nearest place."

Now I know it's obvious what they were trying to say (even if the first half of the sentence can't ever be made to make sense in any language), but they've not really made an effort given they've got an English speaking school across the road, and that's what irritates me about it.

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jamiebowen0306
jamiebowen0306

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