Wo bu ming bai zhongwen. Guoren pengyou fanyi ge wo de.
According to my friend and guildmate Stanley, it means “I do not speak Chinese.” It also means “I had a friend type this for me” because (again according to Stanley) telling someone that you do not speak Chinese using Chinese is an invitation: now they will speak even more Chinese to you to see what you do understand.
I understand none. Zero. Nada.
Normally this is not an issue. I live in rural North Carolina. I am far more likely to encounter someone I cannot understand speaking Boomhauer* than anyone speaking Mandarin. Or typing Pinyin.
* And believe me, deep South Boomhauer is as undecipherable as Klingon. I just nod and smile and hope whoever it is I am speaking to did not ask me a question …
Except, sometime back in 2008, the DDO China servers closed down and all of the Chinese players had to find their own way to the US servers. Most of them chose Sarlona. It was a huge boost to the population, but better, it turned us into a truly 24-hour server.
I wake up and there are Chinese players doing prime-time raids. By the time the Chinese gradually log off, European and then US gamers are putting up LFMs. There is no real down time on Sarlona.
There have been the occasional style clashes. And many more communication errors. Sometimes you have the Chinese guy running off and solving/killing/messing up/winning all by him/herself while the rest of the team yells at him/her fruitlessly over voice chat. Other times it is the English-speaking fly in a Chinese soup. Sometimes the communication errors are not accidental at all.
I spend a lot of time in the morning as the silent foreigner in a series of Chinese adventures. It works out, I know the quests, and generally know what to do without being asked. I hang back and play conservatively – if someone wants me to kite/tank/whatever they have to ask – but otherwise I just plug on, buff everyone, and try to help without getting in the way. I can’t count the ToDs I’ve run without speaking or typing a word.
I can save Xendrik
without even using words
silent but deadly
On the off chance someone does address me, I am ready: “Wo bu ming bai zhongwen. Guoren pengyou fanyi ge wo de“.
I hope Stanley was honest with me and that doesn’t really mean something like “you momma so fat when she sits around the table, she really sits around the table”. No one has broken into a ragestorm tirade yet so there’s that anyway …
🙂 😀 🙂