Laowai Comics: Tingbudong?

Laowai Comics

Laowai Comics is a biweekly webcomic. Beijing Cream is proud to debut its Thursday comic every week. Full archives here.

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(Monday’s comic)

    14 Responses to “Laowai Comics: Tingbudong?”

    1. name

      what a sad, sad, sad and lonely life you must have, mate. let me offer you a poem that reflects the darkness shadowing your existence:

      “The jewelled air: the clear sun:
      you look for the flowering apricot tree,
      and smell the bitter scent of hawthorn
      in your heart.

      But the thorn has dried out, and skeletal plants
      weave black threads into the clear blue sky,
      into the empty vault of heaven, and the hollow earth
      rings with every footstep.

      Silence, all around: from far away you hear
      only the gusting of the wind, and from the orchards
      and gardens, the fragile descent of leaves. It is
      the cold summer of the dead.”

    2. Arnold

      Not being a Chinese speaker, I’m guessing that tingbudong means “I’m playing pocket billiards”. If I’m wrong, I’d be grateful if somebody could correct me in a smug and condescending way, at the same time as ever so modestly explaining how good their Mandarin is.

    3. Jay

      “I’d be grateful if somebody could correct me in a smug and condescending way, at the same time as ever so modestly explaining how good their Mandarin is.”

      It means in word-for-word translation: ‘hear not understand’

      Get the book Chinese in 10 minutes a day – read it, and you’ll have enough Chinese to understand most of these.

      Any non-native speaker shouldn’t be smug about their Chinese ability, because even after 10 years of living and working in China, even if they spent all their time studying, they probably still can’t do 1/10th of what they can do in their native language.

      In Mandarin Chinese I can talk about some things, but in English I can fluidly move from discussing foods and recipes to sports and politics without pausing to wrack my brain for vocabulary. Its rare as hen’s teeth for a non-native speaker to do that in Chinese.

      In English I can read and discuss a technical paper in Biochemistry or Physics and then browse the news, or read Shakespeare and not have to work very hard. In Chinese I can read the simpler short articles in a newspaper, and even then I will still miss a lot of the meaning – much less reading a technical paper or poetry.

      In short, if you want a language to study that will keep you humble and a forever-student, study Chinese.

      If you want a language that you can be nearly fluent in in a handful of years, pick one of the languages that English is mostly composed of: one of the Latin languages, or a Germanic language.

      • Arnold

        Biochemistry, Physics, the news and then a bit of Shakespeare, eh? Then over to Beijing Cream for a spot of Laowai Comic Guy? Something doesn’t add up here.

        • Jay

          I also receive the Sinocism newsletter emails and browse the Economist, amongst many other things that I read or do from time to time.

          What’s your problem?

          • Arnold

            You’re an erudite fella who keeps up to date with popular culture. Your bold “what’s your problem?” also suggests that you’re well capable of taking off your glasses, removing your jacket with leather elbow patches, and dishing out some fisticuffs if required. I’m in way over my head here.

    4. Guy Lafleur

      This one was pretty funny. Don’t get all the hate here. Laowai in China are a pretty tiny community. There are not many people here making free content geared towards our tiny subset of human beings. It’s free, I can understand and relate to most of it. No, it’s not brilliant, but it has given me a chuckle occasionally. Haters gonna hate, I guess.

    5. sunshanmu

      Yo dude keep it up. that’s some funny shit. Pay no mind to these clueless people who haven’t been here long enough or are just dumb and can’t appreciate the humor in this. I don’t think this is meant to insult or belittle anyone, at least that’s not what I get when I read them. I can relate to most of them and I think it’s cleaver. rockon man!


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