language: Chinese and English

     Mandarin is the official language of China. 

    “Thanks Mom!” A sentenced uttered daily by children and teenagers in America, but seldom spoken by those of the same age in China. Simply saying please to one’s friends or family members among Chinese is also rare, and if uttered, you might be asked if you’ve gone insane.

     “Can I have a glass of water?” is a question asked by many Americans even if they’re at their friends house or visiting a family member, but a Chinese would simply say, “I want a glass of water.” It seems American’s have an unquenchable thirst for recognition and attention. If you ask that question about getting water, someone might say you forgot a word at the end, or reply, “say please,” as if the act of getting water is so significant in one’s life and is so difficult that it requires a please, and a thank you, but it first must actually be a question.

When in China, saying thank you to someone indicates you really appreciate what they did for you, and that your thank you is what you’re giving them in return. On the contrary, in America, if you do not say thank you it is considered rude and in order to show great appreciation one my repeat thank you or add a very much after word. Sometimes an invitation to dinner or an offer to buy a drink is extended.

I believe both of these can be explained by one simple phrase, “Americans talk too much.”  In China, we are told to be succinct and to only talk when we have something beneficial to say, or when something needs to be said. On the other hand, Americans tend to talk about anything and everything if someone is interested or at least pretending to be interested. 


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