836 Million Speakers of Mandarin Chinese


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source wikipedia
836 Million Speakers of Mandarin Chinese!
This statistics always amaze me. I love how this is mapped out, not because Mandarin Chinese took a strong foothold but as the whole wide world, there are actually 836 million speakers.

It is logical to understand that to survive China, it is better to learn some Mandarin. Some survival kits included the most essentials such as toilet roll. I think it is good to bring a small note pad to jot down hotel names and addresses of places you want to go. If the place happened to be written only in Chinese, seek someone at the hotel to help you write it and just show it to the taxi driver or when you need to ask another local. It always help and in particular handy and useful!

To feel more at east at restaurants and eating places, first learn how to use the chopsticks. Another important thing you need to know is the basic numbers or at least how you can gesture the numbers with your hands and fingers. Negotiating when you buy things (they called it haggle) is a must or else you gonna be buying something marked up at least 200%. The way to go is to cut the price offered to you into half for the start, then walk away. The drama is of course to wait for them to ask you to return. They might be making faces showing their displeasure but that means you are sure to get it at a good price. Try it! Seeing is believing.

Useful Travel Vocabulary

Some useful tips on bargaining in China while shopping is shown on this funny video.

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