The "great Chinese firewall" makes learning Chinese a huge pain :/

It’s frustrating having to tap dance around Chinese politics when talking to chinese friends on hello talk and italki. I can’t show links to friends youtube vids, such as some clips of steve giving language advice in mandarin. I was prompted to get the app “wechat” which essentially makes all your information available to the chinese government so I’m not sure I want to add that to my phone.

And god forbid you accidentally make a joke a xi jingping after he made a 10 hour long speech during the “chinese game of thrones” week last fall. It’s just a bit frustrating hitting some roadblocks when it comes to freedom of information and freedom of communication.

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didn’t know it was that bad

You are not even playing, it takes a lot to just find content. I will be honest as well though using WeChat opens doors that without it you are preventing yourself from being able to read what Chinese people are reading. It gives you access to a tremendous amount of articles published (in a rough sense of the term) daily, and if you have any friend from China at all, it is the only way to stay in contact with them. Please don’t let the fear of offending Xi scare you, their government is not going to hunt you down, nor do they give 2 cents what you feel about them. I was scared of similar issues until I started using it. In fact Xi wasn’t my concern, I have a huge problem with Mao Zedong and whenever something popped up with him in conversation, I found out, you can say just about anything. Remember the government isn’t North Korea, it doesn’t care, and for the most part even if you travel to China just be respectful of the culture and people and you won’t have any issues. I literally just got back from a 2.5 month trip all over China. In regards to content, everything is skewed to fit the narrative, but that is part of the fun of learning the language, you get to see what the group of people is actually talking about. On content it is difficult, but overall don’t let political conversations scare you etc. Have fun with it, and find what you can that you enjoy. Don’t be too afraid of the WeChat scenario either, it really won’t be as terrible as you are portraying it. Practically every app on your phone you download has essentially the same requests just to download the app. If you ever decide to travel to Mainland China, WeChat is “a must” for everyday travel, most places expect you to pay with it, and it is a part of the everyday world there.

I hope this helps.
-Cody C.


I have a account of what’up and skype, and i can using vpn to login anytime, maybe i can help you to practice chinese.

Check out the movie Invasion Day on yt, for your weekly dose of paranoia :stuck_out_tongue: 1. the serpentza/ADVChina/laowhy89 conglomerate is a good source 2. seconding CodeRed: yes the gov will have your data, but doesn’t give a darn, as is already the case with your own gov. 3. I, as a politically interested person, remember Chinese people as pretty reserved, careful and apolitical, so unless you are starting the questioning/lecturing, there shouldn’t be any uncomfortable political chats. I tend to stay away from starting this stuff, until I’m well advanced and oriented in the issues. I don’t remember political discussions from my 3 months trip, but quite a few cultural differences/manners frustrations relating to racial stereotyping, forms of adress, respect, punctuality, clarity and directness etc. Made me fell like quite the stiff, ruthless Prussian in comparison;) 4. Mandarin lingosteve videos are on youku.

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