Co-Worker: Your chinese, is getting good.
Me: Thanks. I've been practicing.
Co-Worker: You speak chinese with your kids?
Me: Yup, as often as I can.
Co-Worker: And they can understand you?
Me: Well, hard to say. Even when my real chinese friends talk to Bing in Chinese, he doesn't answer often. But we've kind of created our own version of Chinese.
Co-Worker: But he understands you. So that's good!
Me: Not according to my wife. She keeps telling me to "stop speaking chinese" with Bing. She thinks it is slowing down him learning english. I didn't not spend 4 years learning chinese to not speak it every chance I can!
Co-Worker: Oh, so you speak Chinese with other co-workers then?
Me: Ummmm, no.
Co-Worker: With the 14 year old Chinese Cashiers at T&T?
Me: Ummmm, no.
Co-Worker: With the other children at Chinese school on the weekends?
Me: Ummmm, no.
Co-Worker: So who DO you speak Chinese with?
Me: Mostly, Bing. And uh, in my head I speak a lot of Chinese. You know, to myself.
Co-Worker: Un-huh. So you spent 4 years learning Chinese NOT to speak it.
Me: Actually, I use my Chinese a lot speaking to Bings Foster Family.
Me: Yea, I've got the Foster Mom, Big Brother, Big Sister and even the Little Sister on QQ.
Me: Yea, QQ.
Co-Worker: You are more Chinese than me.
Me: But you are Chinese.
Co-Worker: Yea, but I don't QQ.
|Not my image, linked from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tencent_QQ.png|
Aaaah, QQ! Got to LOVE it!
For those who do not know what QQ is... let me try to explain it to you.
It is like Facebook, Windows Messenger, Skype, Twitter, and a few other "things" all wrapped up in one!
And it is HUGE! It has about 800 MILLION users. It is bigger than FaceBook.
But, it is all Chinese.
This QQ tool, is what I use to communicate with people back in China.
You can share photos, Video Chat, Voice Chat, Instant Message. You can post micro blogs (i.e.: Twitter), and you have a QZone (i.e.: Facebook), friends lists, gah!
Supports Cell phones (iPhones, Andriods, even BlackBerries), and other mobile type devices. You can basically plug your social media right into your cortex! It is AWESOME!
But then, it is also so very Chinese! You get points for doing stuff online, you can 'LEVEL UP', earn Experience Points by playing online games and such... oh gosh! It is almost too much to think about! And so very much fun!
If you are wanting to communicate with people in China - I'm telling ya, QQ is the way to go!
No firewall issues.
No VPN access required.
But knowing Chinese *would* help.
For the brave, you can grab QQ from: http://www.qq.com .
Also, you *CAN* find it in the Apple App Store (Version 2 just came out, but I think the App store is still on 1.4 or 1.6 or something like that.
For the little less brave... I'l in the process of creating a QQ Help Page (if I ever get it done) which I will host here on Forever Family, and it will hopefully be able to help people in getting QQ setup - IF THEY NEED IT.
Of course, Skype works fine from most of China, so QQ may not be required. And a cool tool to find out if your (or any website) can be seen from China is: http://www.greatfirewallofchina.org/ .