China is probably one of the only countries in the world where having English as a mother tongue isn’t particularly useful.
In fact, when you find yourself in the back of a taxi in Beijing, desperately trying to communicate which hostel you want to be dropped of at, you’ll be cursing your seemingly pointless knowledge of English, and making a mental note to berate your parents for not sending you to Mandarin lessons from the age of 5.
And then there’s the culture shock. China is the place to travel to if you want to throw your western habits out the window, and getting to grips with the differences is all part of the fun of travelling there.
To help you prepare yourself for all things China, and to give you an insight into all those little cultural differences, we’ve come up with 7 Mandarin phrases that you will never, ever need to say if you’re visiting.
Here they are, for your linguistic pleasure, complete with a handy phonetic translation. And if you do find yourself busting any of these out in China, do let us know what the reaction is…
7 Chinese phrases you will never need to say in China
A ride in a rickshaw is breezy enough | Image by Tricia Wang, on Flickr
Better get practising your chop stick skills
No sausage and bean melt here... | Image by mrrobertwade (wadey), on Flickr
Rice, rice everywhere
Cue blank stares...
Who needs gravy when you can have soy sauce, after all!
Facebook addicts need not apply for Chinese residency
Huge thanks to Milla Chaplin for the translations!