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Off to the Beijing Olympics? Study Chinese!

Aug 6, 2008
On the 8th day of August 2008, a most auspicious day for the Chinese people, the 2008 Summer Olympics, will officially start in Beijing, China. If you are off to China to see the games of the XXIX Olympiad, then here are a few handy tips to behave like the Chinese and to learn Chinese.

Know the Rules

Even if the Olympics is meant to bring the whole world together in camaraderie, there are still numerous laws that must be followed. China has very rigid laws for both natives and foreigners, and it'll do you good to learn them to prevent inconveniences.

There's a list of dos and don'ts made for Olympic tourists by China. Though the Olympics is about freedom and camaraderie, keep in mind that China has extremely strict laws that foreigners and locals alike should follow. You need to know and follow these laws, lest you encounter trouble.

Studying Chinese quickly can considerably help you because this list is in Chinese. With conversational Chinese, you can make yourself understood if you are asked questions, in need of assistance, or lost.

Military bases and other areas are declared by the government as off-limits. There will be no anti-China sentiments, no sexually transmitted diseases, and no mental handicap of any type tolerated from visitors on Chinese soil. The approval of your visa or deportation depends on being able to converse in Chinese fluently.

The Culture

Chinese culture has been in existence for several millenia. You can deal with the Chinese people if you study parts of this culture.

Personal relationships often result from business relationships. You have more chances of sealing deals on your own terms if you cultivate a closer personal relationship. Try to engage in banter and express interest in a store owner when bargaining. In a sense, this sweetens the sugar. Therefore, learn Chinese to be able to haggle and banter.

Seniority is very important to the Chinese. You have to address a Chinese national by his designation (Chairman/Director), instead of the Western custom of Mister and Miss So-and-so. Also, make sure to give out a business card with your name facing the recipient and with outstretched hands.

Respect has to be shown in terms of seniority and rank. "Face" is very important, so never embarrass a Chinese in the presence of others. Thus, leave your brashness and terseness at home. Also, do not say no to a gift, and give small gifts in appreciation.

You need to show more respect to important people with seniority and rank. Give gifts, and never refuse one that is given to you. Most of all, "face" is extremely important, so never embarrass a Chinese person in front of others.

Never criticize their exalted leaders, and don't go around with a frown. Also, don't compliment the Japanese and air pro-Taiwan or Tibet views.

"When in China, do as the Chinese do" - keep this in mind. In order to fluently communicate, study Chinese online.
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