Pretentious Chinese

I was watching this video (see below) of some dude reading a Chinese passage. I don’t know about you, but when I hear Chinese spoken in this way it gives me that nails-on-a-chalkboard feeling. Sorry no, it gives me that I-want-to-kick-you-in-the-nads feeling.

I have not met anyone in real life that speaks this way, aside from a few certain people who often have to speak in public. My point is that this sort of “stage Chinese,” with its sudden mouth spasms and the infamous finger-shake — well, it just gets under my skin. This probably explains why I (and so many other people) have a distaste for Dashan.

It’s like listening to John Malkovich talk. He just sounds pretentious, like he’s using an inappropriate level of formality. I’m sure that both Mr. Malkovich and the guy in the video below are great people, and I wouldn’t really want to kick either of their dangly bits. But seriously, this is exactly the kind of thing that led to playground beatings back in grade 3.

While my own Chinese is not outstanding by any stretch, here’s my advice to Chinese learners out there: Try to speak like the native speakers around you. Not like your teachers, or the people you see on TV.

Any other students out there feel this way?