Chinese level

Silver

Senior Member
Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
Hi,

I met a foreigner yesterday (It looks as if he’s from South Africa.) and he told me he’s looking for someone to teach him Chinese. Then I said I know someone who can help him. And he asked:

What’s his Chinese level?

I wonder if makes sense to you. I know exactly what he meant. He wants to know that whether the person I mentioned is qualified to teach him.

Thanks a lot
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    His question does make sense to me in that situation, Silver. I'd probably ask the question in a different way: How good is his Chinese?
     

    Wordnip

    Senior Member
    British English
    'What level has he reached in Chinese?' or 'At what level is he in Chinese?' might have been better ways of asking if he wanted to use 'level'. 'Chinese level' sounds a little like a builder's instrument.
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Hi,

    I met a foreigner yesterday (It looks as if he’s from South Africa.) and he told me he’s looking for someone to teach him Chinese. Then I said I know someone who can help him. And he asked:

    What’s his Chinese level?

    I wonder if makes sense to you. I know exactly what he meant. He wants to know that whether the person I mentioned is qualified to teach him.

    Thanks a lot
    The purpose of language is to communicate. You knew exactly what he meant and so would anyone else. He wants someone who is competent. Further than that I don't think a strict analysis is fruitful. His words were grammatical, meaningful and maybe a little unorthodox but beyond that, what is there to say?
     

    Susan Y

    Senior Member
    British English
    Maybe I'm being dumb here, but what exactly is your query, Silver? Clearly you understood the question, and it came from a native speaker. Why are you asking if the question "makes sense"?

    Cross posted with Biffo, with whom I agree wholeheartedly.
     

    Silver

    Senior Member
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    Imagine you're talking to me in person, Biffo and Susan, and you two want to learn Chinese. Yes, in China everyone speaks Chinese, but similarly, we also have uneducated people here; they use obscure and obscene language most of the time. You don't want such a person to teach you Chinese if you want to learn, do you?

    Basically, like this man I met, one wants to have a teacher of Chinese (teacher teaches Chinese) with qualifications. Not someone from a squalid street. So the man asked me the question. He was speaking English and so was I.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I have to say that if I were in that situation, "What's his Chinese level?" isn't a question that would occur to me. I'd probably ask, "Is he a well-educated person? And what does he do for a living?" If I learn that he's a writer, a university professor, or a high-level business executive, then he's probably someone from whom I'd want to learn Chinese.
     
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