Becoming mute and miming words

Totally feel you. I feel the same way. I usually like to give righteous idignation.

Cannot is one word, isn’t it?

Maybe your Chinese is difficult to understad.

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How can my Chinese be difficult to understand if I have not spoken a word yet in all the above scenarios?

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I don’t know man, take it easy and don’t make other people pay for your frustrations…

They are the cause of my frustrations…if their behaviour makes me frustrated then logically they should pay for it.

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47 posts were split to a new topic: Cannot or can not

A lot of scenarios there dude.

One thing is for sure. If you go in loud, guns blazing, schlong hanging out, (ok maybe not that last one), and get every tone right without mangling one, the conversation will not degenerate into mime.

Otherwise, see the below quote.

“To communicate through silence is a link between the thoughts of man.”

I don’t know why I should always go in with all guns blazing…just because I am assumed to be dumb (not mute). Besides sometimes I am quietly contemplating some menu items and as I turn round to catch the server’s eye the mining begins. Because they have been observing you in the meanwhile and spring into action instantly. In other words they are faster gun-slingers.

99.99% of bignoses don’t speak Chinese, ergo you most likely don’t speak Chinese. It may not be true in your case, but the logic is easy enough to get.


First of all it’s only 99% and not 99.99% lol. However I did say I understand the assumption they make, but I can not (or is it cannot) fathom the point of miming. That’s all.

Miming is often used when two people without a common language are trying to communicate.


I meant moving your lips without producing sound. There is a common language. Chinese! But they continue mouthing words silently even when I speak to them and other people clearly understand my Chinese. I think it’s a just a mental block they experience. Have you never seen it?

Yes, I have. I’m just yanking your chain.

Personally, no.
I’m local but I’ve seem people struggle with foreigners. Never seen that before.

Oh so that’s common here? Then I dunno what they’re think too. Maybe I shall ask when I see it.

It looks a little like when a robot starts short-circuiting in a sci fi movie. I think it’s a combination of fear of losing face because of poor (or non-existent) English skills, embarrassment (or excitement) at the prospect of interacting with a foreener, and assumption that foreigners just don’t have the cognitive skills necessary to gain any level of fluency in Chinese.

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Short-circuiting is probably the best explanation so far.

I guess there’s a reason. So called 本省人 and aborigines were punished and humiliated and fined when they speak their mother tongue, or whatever language that wasn’t considered fancy enough to the government. That’s in the past of course. But i do feel like it left some scar that’s also the source of a lot of complex here. English was one of the fancier language in the past. People don’t really talk that way to Vietnamese I guess. Some historical sentiments, don’t mind me.

I’d put it down more to island mentality, but yeah, the educational system certainly doesn’t help.

I find that when locals talk to Vietnamese (the ones without really good Chinese), they often speak louder and slower, or use that high-pitched nasal accent used to mock Southeast Asians.