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Forums > Living in Kunming > Should you study Chinese?

I have been in China since 2004. I have property in my own right (as well as with my wife), a driving licence and car, bank accounts, and a job.
I have never very much passed survival Chinese. I am not proud of this, but it is a fact.

But I have nearly always worked in English speaking environments, and my Chinese wife speaks good English.
If I was on my own I could feel isolated, but then again, with all the expat bars and restaurants here, maybe not.

Forums > Living in Kunming > Should you study Chinese?

English is already spoken widely in China. But only by a small proportion of the population.

The average person you meet in China does not speak English.
The average person in France does not speak English, even if they did do it in school.
The average person in England speaks English, but no other language effectively.

Forget learning language as an investment in your future. Yes as a multi-lingual person you are more employable than a mono-lingual person. But there are limits.

For travelling, language is useful but not essential. How many travellers can speak the languages of all of the countries they have been to?

For daily life in China, you can get by with survival Chinese. Until something goes wrong and needs fixing.


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A thought on the aging population in China. We should not forget the economic changes that have occurred in the last two generations.
The people of retiring age over the next 10 years (50-65 now) are the generation who made the big money. What will they do with the money when they have time on their hands? One of the things they will likely do is travel.
This generation of middle class retirees is not the poor, financially dependent, aged who rely on their children for support. In fact many of them are supporting their children financially.
These people are mobile and rich enough to travel in a way that their parents could only have dreamed of. There are millions of them.



A reasonable choice of lumber that has improved over time. Fancy hardwoods like walnut, and mahogany are in abundance. There are some plywood and rubber-wood boards available. There are also some kiln dried imported softwoods and merbao available. Some of the lumber is very green, so look for the kiln dried if you need stable timbers.


Echo everything said by others.
Breakfast great and the serve from 8am. Most other places say 9am and they still are not ready.
Sandwiches are cheap 22-32, and really packed full of filling. We got some sandwiches for a day out, the only mistake I made was ordering two, as this was too much. These are seriously good sangars, and they are wrapped in alu foil.


In fairness to Metro, they are a wholesalers, and not really a supermarket. Hence the need for a card, which can be got around.

They have improved in the year I have been away. They now carry a more consistent range of imported foodstuffs and they also seem to have sorted out the mported milk supply.

They have a wider range of electrical appliances now, there is a coice of more than one toast. There is also a better range of seasonal non foods, like clothes, shoes, garden furniture and camping gear.