Here’s a video of some racquet ball dancing outside the Temple of Heaven in Beijing.
That’s me picking up their ball at the end of the performance. She said “Hseigh Hseigh” which means “Thank You.” I should’ve said “Buyong Hseigh” as a “You’re Welcome.” But, I was too flustered and could only mutter a “Hseigh Hseigh” of my own.
Chinese woman: Thank You.
Me: Thank You.
Oh yes, I’m cosmopolitan.
I’m finding that it can be better to avoid pretensions of using Chinese. I’ve learned about five Mandarin words and try to use them to avoid judgment as a total Yankee imperialist. However, after throwing around a few words last night, a woman engaged me with a long Chinese sentence.
Now, I haven’t bothered to learn how to say, “No. I can’t really speak your language. I’m just faking it,” so instead I muttered in English: “Pardon me?” She responded by saying something else in Chinese and giggling. I giggled as well and we both offered large smiles as we awkwardly departed each other’s company. Although I’m sure we both knew the translation for “Good Bye” neither of us had the nerve to say it.
Dr. Matt J. Duffy serves as an assistant professor in the School of Communication and Media at Kennesaw State University in Georgia, USA. He enjoys teaching the art of good journalism, a noble profession and powerful tool for social change. Duffy worked as a journalist for several news outlets including the Boston Herald and the Marietta Daily Journal. He now teaches journalism and media law.
Duffy's research focuses on international approaches to media law. Wolters Kluwer will publish the second edition of his"Media Laws in the United Arab Emirates" in 2017. He has published more than a dozen academic articles and writes occasionally for niche publications. Duffy enjoyed a visit to Pakistan in May 2016 as part of the Fulbright Scholar program from the US State Department. Since 2012, Duffy has served on the board of the Arab-United States Association for Communication Educators, an organization that aims to improve journalism in the Middle East. He also owns Oxford Editing that he started in 2007.