Conversing Well in China
In recent years I had great fortune to visit China 6 times and establish numerous relations while there. From hosting a meeting in dynamic and crowded Shanghai, to cycling with locals along rice fields. I embraced and learned this great ancient culture. Here are a few tips for your journey in China:
• Learning - Learn and use a couple of words in Chinese
• Questioning - In Chinese culture, the questions "Have you eaten?" or "Where have you been?" are pleasantries, equivalent to the traditional "How are you?" in the English-speaking culture. Therefore, do not take it literally and start getting into details in your answer. Simply answer "yes" if you have eaten, even if you haven't, or simply smile and say "thank you!".
• Topics - Popular welcome topics are themes about China. Art, scenery, landmarks, climate, and geography. You can mention your traveling experiences to other countries, and include your positive impressions as a tourist in China.
• Politics - Try to avoid political-related discussions, such as the Cultural Revolution or Chairman Mao, the "Tibet" and "Taiwan" questions, human rights, and animal treatment.
• Greetings - I wanted to share with you a few appropriate greetings to use during a festive holiday season.
恭贺新年。Gōnghè xīnnián, A Happy New Year to you.
生意兴隆, Shēngyì xīnglóng, Business flourishes.
恭喜发财 Gōng xǐ fā cái, Congratulations and Prosperity.
Wishing you happy travels and exciting new discoveries!