Opinion / Forum Trends

Embarrassing experiences learning Mandarin

( Updated: 2014-11-17 13:53

sparrow (US)

Once, a few Chinese teachers, classmates, and I met up at night to get some Xinjiang grub in Beijing. We were walking to the place when one of my teachers asked my opinion on something. I wanted to reply "I'm not picky." What I said was "我很随便" , to which she choked and almost fell over laughing.

I watched her laugh with a look of bemusement on my face. After she got a hold of her self, she explains that "某人很随便" translates as "so-and-so is easy — as in sexually easy". What I should have said was "我随便".

Embarrassing experiences learning Mandarin

Marisa Salatino from The Hockaday School performs during the "Chinese Bridge" Southern American College and Middle School Students Chinese Language Contest in Houston, the United States, April 24, 2011. (Xinhua/Chen Ruwei)

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