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Home Living in China Foreigners in China Foreigners in China A Chinese American tells you: What do foreigners get up to in China?
A Chinese American tells you: What do foreigners get up to in China?
Foreigners in China

Have you ever wondered what brings foreigners to China and what do they do while they are here?

On the streets and lanes of China, we see increasing numbers of foreigners. Speaking various foreign languages or strangely-toned Chinese, they have become part of our life. It is now quite common to see blond hair on the people walking along the street. The sight of a foreign face is no longer a novelty.
But foreigners remain a tiny minority in China. Few people know them well. Many ask themselves: What brings foreigners to China, and what do they do while they are here?
你是否曾经好奇过究竟是什么风把老外吹到中国来的?他们来中国都干些啥?
如今越来越多的外国人游走在中国的大街小巷。他们说着各种各样的语言,有时也带着奇怪的口音说说中文,慢慢地这些人就成了我们生活的一部分。如果在大街上看到一个金发老外,已不足为奇。人们对那一张张洋化的脸庞也已司空见惯。
但老外仍然是中国的少数群体。国人对他们知之甚少,然后就会好奇:到底是什么风把他们吹到中国来的,他们在中国又干些啥?
 
Xia Yuan, a beautiful girl from Ukraine, works in the Beijing Emirates Town Office. She is in charge of the marketing department and she now lives in Beijing. She studied Chinese for two years before she came to China, and she now speaks fluent Mandarin. Unless you can see her in person, you might not even realize that this is a foreigner speaking Chinese. She wants to find a handsome Chinese boy as a boyfriend. She is currently studying Chinese.
夏园是一位美丽的乌克兰女孩,目前就职于北京阿联酋工作室,主要负责市场部,现居北京。在来中国之前,她已经学了两年的中文,现在说得一口流利的普通话。除非你是亲眼见了,否则你一定不会相信竟会有老外把中文说得这么顺溜。夏园渴望邂逅一个英俊的中国男友。现在她还从未停止中文的学习。
 
Ding Luo, Italian, is the general manager of Alcatel in China. Some years ago he lived in Chengdu, and he often accompanied us to the poorer areas of Sichuan to help the kids, donating computers, clothes and bags to them. He sometimes drove his Mercedes, and ate with us at street stalls. In those days there were fewer foreigners, and the stall owners made him very welcome.
Whenever he encountered a problem, he would say "I don't understand Chinese" and take out a card carrying his name and work place, and his secretary's phone number, all written in Chinese.
丁诺,意大利人,现任阿尔卡特中国地区总裁。几年前他居住于成都,那时他常常随我们去四川贫困地区救济儿童,给他们捐赠电脑、衣物和书包。有时他也会开着他的梅赛德斯和我们在街边畅饮开怀。那时,老外在国内还是稀有物种,小摊点的老板特别欢迎他。
丁诺每每陷入交流困境的时候,他便会说:“我不会中文,”接着就会把印有他的名字、工作地址、秘书电话的中文名片递给对方。
 
Certainly, among these foreigners in China, many are consular officers who work in embassies or consulates. Countries with diplomatic ties with China regularly dispatch representatives to China.
Foreigners have all sorts of jobs in China: foreign students, volunteers who work in the poorest areas in China, ordinary workers, bosses… some are hired just to make their employer look good! But it seems that it's not easy for a foreigner to become a Chinese citizen or get a Chinese Green Card.
When some foreigners find themselves in trouble, they even beg for money: "I love China. I want to stay in China. But I don't have enough money… please help me."
当然,这些老外中也不乏在大使馆或领事馆工作的领事官员。毕竟与中国建立外交关系的国家会定期派遣代表到中国来。
老外在中国从事的职业形形色色:有留学生,平困地区志愿者,普通职员,老板......也有一些公司招聘外国员工仅仅为了充当门面!可要想成为中国居民或拿中国绿卡却非易事。
当一些老外陷入困境的时候,他们甚至会上街乞讨:“我爱中国。我想留在这里。但却身无分文......请帮帮我。”
 
Some foreigners come to China from different countries to teach English. Some come to China to experience Chinese culture; they're not looking for big money. They hold the view that they are well-off as long as their employers pay for their round-trip tickets, and they have a secure livelihood, a chance to learn Chinese, and the opportunity to travel around China during vacations and enjoy different local customs. After a few years, when they finish their travels, they move on to another country. There are also some foreigners who really fall in love with China and don't want to leave. This is especially true for foreign men who meet a beautiful Chinese girl - they want to get married and settle down in China.
Many foreigners love Chinese culture. They travel around or make short visits, taking lots of photos in China. They often speak no Chinese. But more and more foreigners in China now speak fluent Chinese and marry Chinese partners.
也有一些老外从世界各地来,到中国教英语。他们有的是为了感受中方文化;并非想着来中国赚大钱。在他们认为,只要雇主提供往返机票,保障他们的居住安全,再加上他们有机会学习中文并且在假期游遍中国,享受多彩的地方习俗,就已经是高待遇了。数年后,当他们完成了中国之行,就会到另一个国家继续他们旅行。有些老外也会真正地爱上中国,不想离开。当外国男人爱上美丽的中国女孩时,这种情况就更是离不开了--他们就会希望在中国结婚,安定。
很多老外都喜欢中国文化。他们游遍中国,或进行短暂拜访,用相机尽数记录中国的大好河山。有人对中文一窍不通,也有越来越多的人说得一口流利中文并且找到中国伴侣。
 
Dashan, a foreigner who does speak Chinese with fluency and has married a Chinese girl, has been a well-known figure in social media for several years. He now acts as a bridge for cultural communication between Canada and China.
Some of the foreigners I know used to be overseas representatives of their companies or their countries' embassies in China. Gradually they became familiar with China, and established good contacts here, so they went on to set up their own businesses or become the chief representatives of their companies.
Ouyang Fei, who once worked in the Consulate of Canada in Chongqing, later went into business. I wonder how he's doing now.
A growing number of countries are establishing trade deals with China, and the companies of these countries will send people to China to attend exhibitions or set up their offices in China.
大山,一个把中文说得转溜,抱得中国美人归的老外,多年来一直是社会媒体界的名人。现在他正扮演中加两国的文化桥梁一角。
我就认识那么一些外国人,最初作为公司代表或者国家大使出使中国。后来就渐渐爱上中国,在中国建立良好的人脉,最终开创出自己的事业,或者成为公司的总代表。
欧阳飞,曾在加拿大驻重庆领事馆工作,后来下海经商。我很好奇他近况如何。
越来越多的国家与中国建立了贸易关系,各国的公司也陆续派遣人员到中国来参加展会或是成立在中国的工作室。
 
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