The Top 10 Foreigner’s Misconceptions About China

In spite of the fact that China becomes more and more accessible to foreigners, the country is still a great mystery to the average traveler. Of course, we are all familiar with Chinese history, we all know about the Great Wall of China and can’t wait to taste their exotic and pretty weird cuisine. But what we really think of the country. Do we really know everything about the Chinese people and their specific language. Here are some of the most common myths and misconceptions about China.

1. Business travelers can easily get by speaking only in English

learn chinese

It is a well known fact that English is an international language. However, don’t make the mistake to take people’s knowledge for granted. Even if you communicate with your business partners in English, try to learn some useful expression in Chinese. This is very important for building strong business relationships in China.

2. Chinese language is the most difficult language in the world

Actually, every language is difficult at the beginning. It is true that Chinese is a bit more difficult for European people that German, Spanish or French. But thousands of people around the world study Chinese and manage to make a significant progress only for a few months. So it is pretty unfair to claim that Chinese is one of the hardest languages.

3. China is still a communist country

Is is a very common misconception, since the country has been communist for many years. Today, except for the structure of the Chinese Communist Party, we cannot find any elements of the old communist system.

4. China is military aggressive

It is true that China develops its military potential, but in fact it does not intent to use it.

5. Chinese people are rude

If you take a walk in some of the biggest Chines cities, you will probably notice that somehow everyone seems angry. The truth is that for Chinese people such type of speaking is very typical and they find it completely normal. Especially when something in the conversation get exciting or important.

6. Chinese people speak ‘Chinese’

That is another very common misconception. The language, which most foreigners call ‘Chinese’ is actually Mandarin. This language is spoken in Mainland China, it is used on television and taught in schools.

7. China has issues with Tibet and Taiwan

This was true about 30 years ago. Today neither Tibet, nor Taiwan has some big issue with China. In fact, in 20 years all their problems are expected to be completely gone.

8. The Chinese people cannot play basketball

Of course they can! Have you ever heard of Jeremy Lin. Well, in spite of the fact that he was born in America, the great basketball player enjoy his big popularity in China.

9. Chinese characters are words

The truth is that in modern Chinese, characters are not single words. There are some exceptions, but most of them are just syllables.

10. Chinese language has no grammar

Most of the things thought of as grammar in European languages does not exist in Chinese and perhaps this is the reason why many people think it doesn’t have grammar. Of course, the two language families are completely different, but they both have s writing system and grammar.

Author Bio: Jack Sheamus is passionate freelancer blogger and cooker. He loves to invent new recipes. He works a part time job at but his real dream is to became a cooker.

Statement: The above represents are only personal opinions and they do not represent the blog owner`s views.

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20 Responses

  1. gradientblue says:

    You guys have forgotten Yao Ming already?

  2. jixiang says:

    What nonsense.

    By the way, Chinese is unquestionably one of the hardest languages in the world to learn for a speaker of a European language, at least if we look at the major national languages. Indo-European languages such as Iranian, Hindi or Russian are all easier. Even many non Indo-European tongues, such as Turkish, Swahili or Malay are considerably simpler. The tonal system and the characters make Chinese fiendishly difficult.

  3. Ploppy says:

    Who wrote this hogwash? My guess is the Chinese government or a foreigner who works for them. Most of this is BS or poorly written at best.

  4. thetruth says:

    Look at all these insecure racists rushing in with their propaganda.

    3. China is still a communist country

    It is still ruled by a communist party and yes there’s lots of censorship, but you will find the attitudes much more liberal than your propaganda would have you believe.

    4. China is military aggressive

    Who has the chinese military attacked outside of tibet? The us invests multiple billions into it’s army – but one commenter’s logic, that meas you’re the biggest war mongering rapists on the planet. oh wait…korea, vietnam,
    japan, iraq…I guess YOU ARE!

    you know what happens to countries that have no military? They’re easy pickings. Such an idiot.

    5. Chinese people are rude

    You have your standards for behavior. Not everyone believes in them.

    I don’t know where you get this crazy idea that Chinese men attack their women from. Even in classic texts, the importance of females were understood way before the west stopped accusing women of having “hysterics” and sending them off into a psych ward.

    Look at your femism gone wild. Your women are whores (or aka “sex positive”) and you have a 50% divorce rate initiated by women. Your own women don’t respect you.

    I agree they could try to stop spiting on the streets. However, the pissing and shitting is total nonsense.

    7. China has issues with Tibet and Taiwan

    I don’t know enough to comment on this, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they aggressed against these areas because they’re considered home territory.

    Keep in mind, whatever western fed media you get is spun a certain way. No doubt, the same thing happens in china. your schools in particular will ensure you develop a mind that is loyal to us and critical of everyone else. that’s what nations do.

  5. AcerOX says:

    The guy who made this article does not have a clue about China. You have to live there, meet people, and then write whatever you want, unless you are a fucking comunist.

    4. China is military aggressive

    Yes they are, do you read the news?, or you just read and see what is good for China?. China is a fucking agressive country, ask that to other asians.

    5. “Chinese people are rude”

    Yes they are rude, i used to work with average chinese people ( no college) and those mother fucker just enjoy to hit womans, those mother fuckers are the same kind of cowards like the south koreans, because they hit womans too. I have beaten many Chinese and Korean for this, and I had no problems in sending them to the hospital, the real men respect woman and if you don’t respect them i will hit you!.

    7. “China has issues with Tibet and Taiwan”

    The problem will gone in 7 years after fuck and kill all the Tibetans?, you believe that the whole world is stupid and does not know the shit that makes the Chinese government in that place?.

    Don’t get me worng i love Chinese culture, their food is my favorite one i love my chinese girlfriend, but the truth is that fucking country is not what LaoTze represents, all that beautiful knowledge ( an a lot more) was lost in some point, thanks to the fucking Mao son of a bitch comunist shit.

  6. Julia says:

    Wow… these comments… Well, hello there, RACISTS!

    • KalanStar says:

      Oh Julia Julia, the ol’ “you’re a racist” card. Sad sad…

      Saying “Chinese people are rude”, an objective truth does not equal racism when by “Chinese People” the authors mean: Han People from Mainland China.

      Canadian Chinese, Hong Kongese, Yokohama Chinese, Tibetans, Uighurs, and a host of other genetically similar groups within and without the Middle kingdom do not qualify.

  7. Lester says:

    Who wrote this absolute bullshit. I can tell from the English it was probably a CPC wu mao.

  8. somedude says:

    this article is so full of shit, just stop writing, please.
    5. Chinese people are one of the rudest people in the world, and its a fact.
    7. No, China don’t have problems with Taiwan or Tibet, but they have a problem with CHINA, get your facts straight.
    8. NO! Jeremy Lin is not Chinese, he is Taiwanese American, the last thing they want to be called is a Chinese.
    9. Chinese characters ARE words, wtf are you smoking? seriously.

    I have a rice cooker at home, Jack Sheamus is welcome to be of its replacement.

  9. Ryker says:

    As this guys grammar and spelling are obviously non-native I cant help feeling like this is a Chinese person typing this up with the same sort of juvenile lies that they tell there own people. China doesn’t have a problem with Tibet or Taiwan? Why don’t you ask someone from Taiwan or Tibet I guarantee they will give you a different answer. Next he’s going to tell us that Mao Zedong wasn’t responsible for the deaths of 500 million people. Absolute CPC Propaganda.

    • Frank says:

      Mao didn’t kill 500 million people. The entire Chinese population was around 800 million at the time. Most of the deaths were from famine and would have died with or without stupid government policy. Also, Tibetians had a brief period of independence during the warlord period, but so did a bunch of other warlord cliques in China at the time. Last time they had legit independence was hundreds of years ago.

  10. sw says:

    this is such a bullshit article. how much money did they bribe you with?

  11. sinofaze says:

    I agree with @bobby here- this article is an absolute waste.

    I actually doubt this writer has even visited China- he clearly knows nothing of what he’s talking about.

    In fact, I go as far as to throw doubt on his actual bio as a ‘travel-blogger’, asserted elsewhere on the net, by asking how he can possibly maintain his ‘carpet-cleaning’ business while traveling around the world, attaining to such knowledge he subscribes to.

    So much for journalistic integrity here…….

  12. KalanStar says:

    “It is true that China develops its military potential, but in fact it does not intent to use it.” And Hitler developed his for “peace”. The only reason a country has for developing a military is to use it to kill people. What you said is akin to “China is developing a national highway system but does not intend to allow cars on it.” Utterly ridiculous!

    “China has issues with Tibet and Taiwan

    This was true about 30 years ago. Today neither Tibet, nor Taiwan has some big issue with China. In fact, in 20 years all their problems are expected to be completely gone.”

    I suppose all the self immolations are not an issue? And what will cause the problems to cease to exist in 20 years, the extinction of the CCP? Hope so!

    And finally finally: “Chinese people are rude” Yes, yes they are. It is the civilized world that defines politeness, not the Chinese one. Pushing, spitting, yelling, staring, taking a piss or shit in the street, littering, not brushing your teeth, eating on public transport, honking you car’s horn, not using soap in the shower or not showering so you smell like a pig’s ass, lying, cheating, etc. etc., aka “Behavior with Chinese Characteristics” are all rude!

    • Frank says:

      Almost every time that there was a revolution in China millions died. I would not wish to see that happen again. The CCP is terrible, but I’d rather have them than regional warlords.

    • Frank says:

      Also, when you look at it historically, China had seldom invaded another country. China has a huge population with a rising economy. It makes sense to have a bigger army as your country gets richer. The military budget is remaining stable as a percentage of GDP.

      • meis says:

        You know what? China should sent some prisoners to a far away land, a la Australia, let them ‘live’ happily with the natives/aborigines. Then everyone will come to believe, “Oh hey, we didn’t invade the Maori, we built/modernized it, thus this is a White land.

        Oh wait, they don’t have steam ships back them, alas.

    • meis says:

      Self immolation is the CIA, separatist, extremist and the godly divine Dalai Lama (aka feudal theocratic dictator) issues, none of China’s issues. Ask any Chinese about that.

  13. mik says:

    author bio: “his real dream is to became a cooker” …

  14. Bobby says:

    Man what you are saying is full of mistakes.

    1) China is still a communist country, and not only in its system, but in the minds of most people in China.

    2) With all the investments made in the Chinese army these last ten years, and all the problems there are at sea with the Philippines, Vietnam, Japan, and all the countries in that area, it is difficult to admit that the Chinese army is not agressive… Don’t forget that China names a lot of places on its maps that aren’t actually part of the country, and that historically make no sense.

    3) Taiwan and Tibet are two very different things. Taiwan has been basically independent for the last 50 years and is not a part of China, more like another China. Tibet was invaded by the Chinese in the 50’s, and is basically a colony, like Xinjiang.

    4) As he was born in America, Jeremy Lin is not Chinese, but American.
    It’s like saying that an Irish guy born in America is Irish and not American…

    5) Many people in China are rude, like in any other country, and when they are, they know that they are, because they are human beings like you.

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