How to get acquainted and make friends with native English speakers as a Chinese person

Ray Williams

Ray Williams, lives in China (2014-present)

Répondu il y a 91w · L'auteur dispose de réponses 324 et de vues de réponses 2.2m

There are some great answers here, but I'm going to add a little cautionary two cents. I'm an American foreigner living in China. I have tons of Chinese friends. Why are they my friends? Because we genuinely like each other and enjoy spending time together. I have never ever become friends with someone who said, “Can we make (be) friends so you can help me improve my English?!” I absolutely HATE this question. Not because I don't like Chinese people, but because I dislike the idea of someone USING me just to learn English. Teaching English is my job.

How would you feel if I found out you were a cook and I said “"Oh! Can we make friends so that you can come to my house and cook me breakfast?” For me, maybe not all foreigners, it feels like being taken advantage of.

Become friends with foreigners for a variety of reasons, but the first should always be that you actually LIKE that person. Being friends with native speakers is a great way to improve your English, but using foreigners to improve your English is a great way to be a shitty friend.

That being said, almost every moderate sized city has several “foreign hangouts”. These are generally cafes/chill bars. Universities usually have foreign students. Clubs are a place to meet people but you can't really have a good conversation there.

I can only speak for myself, but I've had western friend express the same thing: things NOT to do if you want a foreiner to become your friend.

  1. you are not our girl/boyfriend. Don't act like a needy partner.
  2. Do not constantly text us if we don't answer right away
  3. Do not send messages saying “why are you answering? 在?在啊?在吗?怎么不理我呀?”
  4. Dont try too hard, be who you really are. Fairness is pretty obvious.
  5. Dont assume you KNOW things about our country. Ask questions instead.
  6. Dont blame us for what our governments do.
  7. Dont ask personal questions before you know us well. I.e. “"How much money do you make.” “Why aren't you married?” “"How many people have you had sex with.”
  8. Never assume foreign women are “"open.” For us open means open minded as in accepting and considering new ideas, not sleeping with many people.

Here are things that will make a foreigner more likely to develope a true friendship with you.

  1. Ask us meaningful questions about our experiences.
  2. Share your hobbies with us
  3. Invite us to interesting places locals go to
  4. Watch movies/tv shows together (a ‘girls night’ with red/white wine and a movie at someone's apartment is a great way to bond. This is especially true for Americans and Brits in my experience.)
  5. If we are having a serious issue because of a language barrier and you offer to help us we will be forever grateful to you!
  6. Invite us along to your activities too, just know that it might be awkward for the foreigner if they don't speak Chinese and everyone else only speaks Chinese.
  7. Be yourself and don't try and be someone you think a foreigner would like.

we are people just like you. I think some Chinese people forget that and treat us very differently than they would their own Chinese friends which can be very uncomfortable for us. Good luck and I hope you make lots of real foreign friends!!

Derek Harkness

Derek Harkness, Vivre et travailler en Chine depuis 2006.

Répondu il y a 217w · L'auteur dispose de réponses 1.8k et de vues de réponses 5.2m

Réponse d'origine: I'm a Chinese guy and I live in China. What is a good way to make friends with foreigners?

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You have to hang out in the same places as foreigner hang out. That means coffee shops and fast food restaurants during the day and bars or nightclubs in the evening.

Don't come on too strong. Foreigner who are here longer than just a holiday, get rather tiered on people wanting to learn English and get a free class. You have to ease yourself into our circle of friends or else you'll get stonewalled. Also you have to give something into the relationship too or again stonewalled.

When I first meat you, I don't want to give you my phone number. I don't want to give you my QQ or email or any other info. Don't ask for it. If I like you or have some reason to keep in-touch with you, then I'll volunteer that info. In fact on the first meeting, don't expect to get anything at all. You should be happy that the foreigner left without thinking you are a creep that needs to be avoided.

It really takes more than one meeting to make friends. If the foreigner is here long term, he will probably hang out the same place at the same time. Frequent that place and your paths will cross repeatedly. Each time you meet in a casual way, you can build on the relationship so that perhaps on the 3rd or 4th meeting you ask for my QQ or invite me to something.

What to talk about? Foreigner get bored of the same old question again and again. Here is a short list of novel things that you can ask:

Do you come here often?
What other bars/cafes do you go to?
If the coffee/beer good here?
Do you like this song? (Assuming there is some background music.)
What do you think about (insert famous person/place/event/new item here)?
I went to (insert place) last week/year, have you been there?
I watched (insert movie) yesterday, have you see it?
I want to go/see/eat/try something/place have you done that?

Don't ask too much. Let the conversation be slow and relaxed. Offer as much about yourself as you are asking from them so as not to make it too one sided. If they don't want to talk, don't push it. Next time you see them they may be more open and less guarded.

Once you have a contact, you want to start doing things together. Usually I get invited to a restaurant for a dinner. Its nice but there are other things you could do but I never get an invitation. For example: to play a sport such as basketball, football, tennis, fishing. It is nice to be involved in an activity where I can do things rather than just give free English lessons. Perhaps something were the foreigner can gain from you such as to learn Tai Qi, calligraphy, or some other cultural thing.

You want to create the situation where the foreigner will be calling you not you calling him. If your the guy that he plays football with every Thursday evening then your going to see him much more often and interact much more than if your the guy that took him to dinner once.



Mise à jour il y a 232w

  • Don't complain about the firewall. Learn to get over it. It's not hard. I'm sure at least half your Chinese friends should know one way or another.
  • True friends are usually made in person. Most people on Facebook, Google+, etc. know each other in person before adding friends online. So seek events with foreigners and go to them. Note that the advertisements for them may be in English only, even if the event is in China.
  • Once you have 1 or 2 good friends, they will introduce you to more events and people easily.
  • Most foreigners are not interested in teaching you English. In fact many are more interested in learning their Chinese with you. So be prepared to reach a 50/50 compromise about this. If you insist on speaking only English, they may lose interest in you.
  • Not all foreigners come from English-speaking countries or grew up with English. There are foreigners whose Chinese is better than their English. In this case, don't expect them to want to use English with you at all. "Foreigners" are not one group of people. If you are interested in English practice, you should look for people who spent their lives in English-speaking countries, not just any "foreigner".
  • Friends are better made around a purpose Autre than language (e.g. music, science, technology, art, charity, photography, sports, travel, etc.) Being only "language buddies" usually falls apart quickly because most native speakers are not really good language teachers. Join interest groups for hobbies you like, go out having fun with everyone, and you'll learn language on the side, usually very quickly.
  • Attend international, professional conferences in your area of expertise that are held in English.
  • Seek out opportunities to work abroad or study abroad. When you do, get out and make friends with locals.
  • If you do not have the resources to go abroad, try to get a job in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, or other cities with many foreigners.
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Marian Johnson

Marian Johnson, studied at Tufts University

Répondu il y a 100w

Love your question! If you live in a non-English speaking country, making native English-speaking friends can be a challenge. But there are many online communities and meet-up groups that you can become part of. Check out the following web-sites that let you make friends from abroad. matches conversation partners who learn each other’s languages to practice speaking online. There is a text chat for beginners who are not yet ready to speak.

Conversation Exchange can connect you with partners to exchange languages in face-to-face conversations, using correspondence and over Skype. is a social network to learn languages online doing language exchange and making friends. is a global community of 3M people where learning and teaching languages is easy, fast, and fun. You can meet people who share your interests and help each other learn. is another language exchange resource. Good luck!

Feifei Wang

Feifei WangJe passe à peu près le même montant de ma vie en Chine et aux États-Unis.

Répondu il y a 165w · L'auteur dispose de réponses 5.6k et de vues de réponses 43m

Réponse d'origine: I'm new here, I'm from China, can I find a friend here that we can chat and learn from each other?

Hi person from China, here's the deal:

Quora is not a chat room, it's not a dating site, it's not even a "English learning site". (It can be, but that's not what Quora is built for). Quora is a platform where we share knowledge.

Imagine a big room where people get together and share interesting information and life experiences. Imagine you walk into this room and see people sitting together in small little groups, some of them are giving a speech, others raise their hands and comment, more are quietly listening and learning. And yes, occasionally, you'd see people engaging in heated arguments, but the moment someone start screaming and yelling, nice admins will politely as them to lower their voice or leave the room. From time to time, people who are already familiar with each other share friendly jokes and small talk not on the major forum, but on the side. All are engaging in interesting conversation that focus on certain topics, and their conversation has substance.

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And... here's you. Standing in the middle of all this and ask "can I find a friend?"

Sure you can find a friend. But why would anyone want to be your friend? What do you have to offer that is interesting and unique? Of course, if we're all kindergarten kids, we'd be friends simply because we're sharing the same classroom, playing with the same toys. But we're not kids anymore. Friendships don't grow just out of physical proximity. Friendship grow out of shared interests, new information, and unique experiences.

You can start by following people, commenting on their answers, writing your own answer, and engaging with other users. If friendships grow out of it, you'd have friends. If not, Quora might not be for you.

Rochisha Togare

Rochisha Togare, a vécu en Chine

Mise à jour il y a 61w

Réponse d'origine: How can I find a native-English speaker as a partner to practice Chinese?

I, personally, think you can learn an incredible amount by speaking to another person in your target language. My spoken Chinese skills are strong because I took advantage of whatever opportunity I had to speak in Chinese. Don't be afraid to make mistakes -- you're only going to get better faster.
Anyways, to answer your question, you might want to check out these websites (both of them are free, although you can upgrade to additional benefits for a charge -- but both of them are great without these extra benefits):

  • (I love Lang-8 and have used it for years)
  • HelloTalk (I actually use this more than I use lang-8 because it's a smartphone app! Great for on-the-go. I've made fantastic language partners on here, so I highly recommend it!)
  • (I'm newer to iTalki, but you can make a lot of friends on the site, and even search people by their native languages, etc. Just make sure you aren't signing up for a lesson with a teacher, which is normally paid.)

You can make friends on these sites and Skype them/possibly meet up to practice your English (and other languages).
Also, you can practice reading and writing on these sites/application as well.
I personally use HelloTalk the most day-to-day, and Lang-8 every so often to write journal entires which native speakers correct.
As a note, not as many people are native in both languages, but you will find plenty of people who are native in one and near-native in the other.

Hope this helped! ��

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