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Women in Shanghai-English is a must

Hot 1138 views. 2019-3-11 18:43

In the TV series “Women in Shanghai”, luckily, Haiyan Chen (陈海燕) is offered a dream position as a Uni graduate from a top advertising company in Shanghai.


When Haiyan works in the company, colleagues introduce themselves, “This is Kate, this is Amy; our manager is Scarlet, what is your English name?”


“Sorry, I don’t have one, you can call me Haiyan.”


Haiyan prepared APP with lots passion and efforts; however, she was so disappointed after Kate taking over of her to do a presentation in front of clients, a group of English speakers.


Haiyan swears that she must improve English speaking, and then she enrols in an English class.


Kate invited her to a bar practising English with foreigners and got her an English name: Harriet, which is quite similar to her Chinese name: Haiyan.

Shanghai, the No.1 city of China, is significantly influenced by western culture.


In Shanghai, it is a fashion to have an English name though it’s not necessarily, and a person who speaks fluent English is likely to have better job opportunities in a larger company with the higher salary.


Also, Shanghainese would love to send children to study overseas if it is affordable.


Last year when I was on holiday in Shanghai, I met two schoolmates. 

One friend’s son is studying in the U.S.A for two years.


After finishing master's degree, he will be back Shanghai, hopefully, work with a Fortune 500 company.


English is an essential skill, and that would be a bonus if he has an overseas degree. Moreover, he had internship experience working at Lujiazui, the financial centre of Shanghai.

The other friend, her son will study in the UK for two years and then back to Shanghai.


Shanghainese always hold a dream: study overseas, if can’t realise it by themselves, then the idea will be passed onto next generation.

Meanwhile, young graduates from other parts of China are eager to work and live in Shanghai.


Honestly, Shanghai locals are not comfortable to compete with them, they study and work extremely hard because there's no choice, either stay or go back to hometown.


In the TV show “Woman in Shanghai”, Haiyan realised her English pronunciation is not as accurate as Kate, a girl from Shanghai.

Generally speaking, Shanghai parents send their kids to learn English from an early age, and the quality of English teachers in Shanghai is better than most of the other cities so that there’s a competitive advantage for kids born in Shanghai.


Haiyan is from Anhui, her English pronounce is not as good as Kate, but I bet her English grammar is perfect as she graduates from a Uni in Shanghai.


It doesn’t mean she is doomed to fail without speaking fluent English; she can make a change as long as she spends time and put effort into it.

Please don’t take English speaking too serious. We Chinese Uni students have learnt English for more than 12 years with excellent grammar which is much better than native English speakers.


Quite a lot of them are too afraid to speak out one sentence in front of others. They are so scared of fail or laughed by friends who speak better English.


If you don’t try, one can never make an improvement, which is quite similar to driving and swimming. The more practice, the better.


In the TV show “Women in Shanghai”, Kate speaks fluent English because she goes to the bar after work and learning English in a relaxing way.

From my personal experience, I can tell no native English speakers will laugh at you no matter how awkward you think your English is.

Please give yourself a chance, don’t be shy about making mistakes; please don’t overthink about grammar when you are trying to express what’s on your mind.


I’m afraid it’s not necessary to translate Chinese into English when speaking in English, as long as people understand what you are trying to say, that’s fine.


You don’t have to make it perfect before speaking out a sentence; it will slow down the speed.

Someone in China might admire overseas students, how lucky they are surrounded by English speakers.


It is not always the case. It depends on who you stay with and how much time you have spent on English.


If one works in a Chinese company, watches Chinese movies, talks Chinese with colleagues and friends, and never read an English book or occasionally write emails in English, then that would be a bit difficult to improve English even though she lives in an English speaking country.


On the other hand, if one lives in China writing English blogs, reading English books from time to time or watches English movies and find a chance communicating with English speakers, I bet their English will be better than the ones in an English speaking country without spending any effort on it.

Getting a Uni degree and certificates is just a starting point; if you want to stand out of the crowds in this competitive world, learn from Kate, don’t stop learning English in your free time.


You don’t have to go for a training school, the most important thing is, do not stop learning, expose yourself in an English environment by reading books and articles, writing blogs, watching movies, finding online or friends in real life to practice English with.


By the way, I am happy for what I am doing at the moment- English blogs, without writing and reading, my English will be stagnant even I work with Aussies, now English is no longer a disadvantage for me finding a job in Australia.

you are most welcome join my English subscription: Englishpassion

Post comment Comment (2 replies)

Reply shirleyytt2010 2019-3-12 15:15
If you are survive in big cities, of course , with fluent English skills is excellent.
Reply sweetolive 2019-5-9 19:39
shirleyytt2010: If you are survive in big cities, of course , with fluent English skills is excellent.
Yes, that's true, thanks :D

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