Why I’m Studying Spanish In China

So on my perpetual journey to nowhere in particular, I’ve come to a few conclusions:

1. Communication is important
2. Understanding what is being communicated is even more important
3. Trust is importanter…

English is hard. That’s why I’m teaching it.

After casting my networking net of greatness into the vast abyss that is China, I’ve discovered that the age-old-saying, “it doesn’t matter what you studied at University…” tale is TRUE… Unless your major was Chinese.

Here’s the skinny, if you speak Chinese, people are more likely to pick you up as a project (despite your lack of skills) because you are able to communicate with the team AND whom ever they are doing business with. Also, people trust other people that they can communicate with properly; the risk of a misinterpretation becomes significantly lower. With four tones, mistranslations between foreigners and the Chinese community is insane. I’ve been taken to completely wrong destinations simply because my tone went up instead of down.

My mentor/roommate gauge that it will take 2 years of INTENSIVE Chinese to really become fluent… and they know this because they are fluent.

But I can’t go back to school AND be a full time student because I need to feed myself.

Sucks to suck, I guess.

Sometimes I feel like I missed the boat and now I’m constantly playing catch up.

But since I speak Spanglish-kind of-I have decided to take a sharp turn left. I’m resuming my Spanish studies (in addition to continuing my Chinese) so I can increase my international opportunities… in China.

It sounds weird, but I need to have faith in my mentors and myself.

Here is why: I won’t be able to become fluent in Chinese any time soon, BUT, there’s still hope for Spanish. In my dreamatorium (“Community” reference), I’ve fantasized about being part liaison community here in China whom bridges the language gap between three of the most common languages in the world: English, Spanish, and Chinese. There are tons of people who speak Chinese AND English… but who’s addressing the needs of South America?

Find your niche market and run with it.

Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities to practice in Beijing! There’s a huge Latino community in Beijing (why didn’t anyone send me the memo sooner?) and everyone wants to desperately retain their cultural identity in such a different world.

INTERNATIONAL NOTICE: Turns out that the new Visa requirements for China (altered the Summer 2013) require recipients to be 24 to receive a working Visa…

…Which then makes me ineligible to receive a Z visa… UNLESS the company has government connections (such as my teaching company). This means I’m stuck being a teacher (whomp) for the next year, BUT I’m going to use this opportunity to figure out these languages and zero in on what I really want to study at Business school. At least I’ve narrowed down where I want to study: United Kingdom or Hong Kong. Now I just need to decide in what.

Someone ship me some books on international trade and tax regulation please. I don’t trust the Chinese government to NOT alter them here…



3 thoughts on “Why I’m Studying Spanish In China

  1. I’m operating on almost the same plan as you, but in Shenzhen for now. I don’t talk about this plan with many people because it’s unconventional and I don’t want to be discouraged by potential skepticism, but it’s really nice to meet someone with the same goals. I’ll keep reading your blog. I’d love to read about your language learning process there, especially for Spanish! 我们一起加油吧!

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