Hello everyone. Welcome back to MaoMi Chinese! Very happy to talk to you again. I am a Chinese teacher living in the UK and I have been living here for 4 years. Today, I really want to talk to you about 10 interesting things that I found in the UK as a Chinese.
No.1 British people really like drinking alcohol so much! Where do they go when they need to meet their friends? Pubs/clubs! What do they do at weekends? Drinking alcohol in pubs/clubs! I often see many British people queuing at weekends. What do they queue for? Pubs/clubs and to drink alcohol. I am not a fan of alcohol. Same as my family and friends. Therefore, when I first came to the UK I felt shocked.
No.2 Trains in the UK are usually late. British trains are really slow. For example, if I am taking a train from London to Cornwall, (which is a beautiful place in the southwest) the distance is about 200 kilometres and it takes over 4 hours by train. With the same distance, it will only take me roughly 1 hour if I am in China, and that’s because bullet trains in China are very fast. Additionally, British trains are often late for different reasons, for example, drivers have been to the toilet too long and haven’t back. This is something I found funny.
No.3 Lots of Chinese takeaways are not tasty, and they are not authentic Chinese cuisines. However, in a big city like London, there are many authentic Chinese restaurants and this is one of the reasons why I like London.
No.4 The most famous English food is fish and chips. When I was in China I often had rice and noodles. When I first came to the UK I didn’t know why English like chips so much, but now I realize that chips are quite tasty too.
No. 5 English students are too restless. I went to primary school and secondary in China. Chinese students are generally pretty quiet and engaged in studying. In my first year working in the UK as a teacher, I was really shocked because English students were just too restless and really chatty, and some students didn’t respect teachers at all. But I feel it’s okay. They can be pretty cute and our lessons are lively.
No. 6 British people actually don’t work overtime at all. In China, Japan and Korea, it is really common to work overtime. However, in English companies, people don’t like it at all and won’t do it. I think this is very good. Work is work and life is life.
No. 7 We actually need to book an appointment to see doctors. In China, we generally go to hospitals directly to see doctors. In the UK, we often need to call to book an appointment.
No. 8 It is super expensive to study at a university in the UK. When I was studying in university in China, my tuition fee plus accommodation fee are less than 8000 RMB, which was about 900 pounds. That was not for a term. It was for a year. It was super cheap. But in the UK, the tuition fee costs 9000 pounds a year, which is 10 times more than in China. Too expensive.
No. 9 British people look down on American English? Sometimes when I chatted with my students they said that American English is not real English. Our audience in the US, what do you think about British English?
No. 10 In fact, the English countryside is very rich. This is different from China. In China, the countryside is relatively poor and lots of people have moved to cities, as they can only get a job in cities. In the English countryside, we can often see some beautiful big houses and there are lots of people who like having a holiday in the countryside.
No matter where we live, there will always be something different, and that’s why I like travelling. Where do you live now? Are there any interesting facts? Welcome to leave your comments on our website!
2 thoughts on “#27 10 Shocking facts from a Chinese teacher living in the UK 生活在英国的十个震惊事实”
Excellent podcasts. Thank you for all your efforts in producing them. They are improving my listening ability.
I want to add something about No. 9: British people saying American English is not real English. I have a unique perspective on this since I was born and grew up in London, England and in my late 20’s emigrated to California. I have actually lived here longer than I did in London. This is a topic which is difficult to fully discuss in a comment. However, I heard many years ago that some thought that Americans were “murdering” the English language. I disagree. Is the standard for English set by the BBC of the 1950’s and the old films starring Sir Laurence Olivier, for example! Does anybody speak that way any more? I doubt it. English has multiple accents and dialects. It is spoken in several countries both as a first language and an alternate language. Think Canada, the USA, Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa, The Philippines, etc. You don’t even have to leave the UK for variety. The English as spoken in Kensington sounds nothing like the Cockney accent of the East End many years ago. The Scots and the Cornish people sound completely different from the Liverpudlians, and so on. It seems like there are changes in accent every generation or so. America is a huge country and a Texan and a New Yorker and a Californian all sound different and in many cases use different words to reflect the local culture. If you ask a person anywhere in America what language they are speaking, if it sounds like English they will NOT say they are speaking American! Americans speaks English. Some may consciously or unconsciously understand that their accent is not like the supposed standard English of old. Most don’t even think about it. Over the years my accent has turned into a hybrid Californian/London accent but it is still very noticeably NOT American, so I get comments from time to time about how lovely my accent sounds. As a student of mandarin Chinese, I have learned that there are different accents and dialects in Chinese. Not everyone speaks Putonghua and when they do, they have regional differences. So who today is to say what real English is. May I humbly say real English is the English that can be understood by two or more people coming from a primarily English speaking country or by someone who is proficient in English. Anyway, thank you for the opportunity to comment and again I really thank you so much for these podcasts. They are above my level somewhat but I will persist in listening.