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这座城市是外派人员最向往之地吗?

更新时间:2018-1-28 10:46:50 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Why Beijing is the best city for enterprising expats
这座城市是外派人员最向往之地吗?

It may have a history stretching back 3,000 years, but Beijing is fast becoming today’s modern ‘it’ city. With amazingly fast internet, access to cutting-edge technology like facial recognition software, significant investment in artificial intelligence and an unrivalled cosmopolitan energy, China’s capital is among the most exciting cities for enterprising expats.

这座有三千年历史的古都,正在成为当今世界最时尚的现代都市。拥有快速网络,包括面部识别软件的高科技比比皆是,对人工智能业的大量投资,无与伦比的都市能量,中国的首都正成为世界外派人员最感兴趣的城市。

“‘If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere’,” said German expat Clemens Sehi, referencing Frank Sinatra’s ode to New York City. “If Sinatra lived today, he would probably sing about a city like Beijing.” Sehi, who is creative director at Travellers Archive, says living in the city means you feel like you are “living in the new age” and always up to date.

"如果我能在那里成功,那我就能在世界任何地方成功。"德国人克莱门斯·塞西(Clemens Sehi)这句话是来自已故美国歌手弗兰克·辛那特拉(Frank Sinatra)当年有关纽约的一句话。"如果辛那特拉活到今天,他可能会唱一首关于北京这样城市的歌。"塞西是Travellers Archive的创意总监,他感觉生活在北京犹如生活在一个不断更新的时代。

“There’s a general feeling of being at the centre of something big, which is quite hard to put your finger on but which keeps a lot of expats there for a long time,” said Simon Norton, originally from England but who recently lived in Beijing and blogged about his experiences at 4Corners7Seas. “They want to see where it goes, and be there when it gets there.”

"你有一种感觉,处于一切大潮流的中心,很难具体说那是什么,但这种感觉吸引很多外派人员一直留在那里。"来自英格兰的西蒙·诺顿(Simon Norton)说,他在北京已经住了一段时间,开始发表在北京生活经历的博客,"他们想要目睹潮流的走向,并身处其中。"

Why do people love it?

北京的魅力何在?

The city’s quick, high-quality internet and tech-friendly environment have made everyday living easier than ever before. “Beijing is quickly transforming into a cashless society and the internet integrates the functions of the traditional wallet into smartphones, making it easier for everyone to do many transactions,” said Andy Peñafuerte, originally from Manila and deputy editor of Beijing Kids.

这座城市有快速而高质量的网络,适宜科技发展的环境,令人们的日常生活日益轻松便利。"北京正在飞速进入'无现钞'社会,网络将传统钱包融入智能手机,让人们花钱转账更便捷。"来自马尼拉的安迪·潘那福特(Andy Peñafuerte)说,他现在是"北京孩子"(Beijing Kids)的副主编。

But smartphones are just the beginning for Beijing’s tech ambitions. Facial recognition software is already widespread, and many apps use the technology to allow bank transfers and payments, enable building access to apartments and offices, and even verify that ride-hailed drivers are who they say they are. The city also recently announced its intentions to build a 13.8 billion yuan AI technology park, which will be home to more than 400 businesses focused on developing artificial intelligence technologies in everything from biometrics to self-driving cars.

而智能手机仅仅是北京科技雄心的开端。面部识别技术软件正在普及,很多应用软件使用这种技术进行银行转账、付款,或成为进入建筑物的安全识别手段,甚至可以识别证明传呼司机的身份。北京最近还宣布,计划兴建一座耗资138亿元的人工智能科技园,将成为400多家发展人工智能科技的企业基地,从生物识别到自动驾驶汽车。

Though the latest tech has its perks, old-fashioned food can also be the way to new residents’ hearts and an easy way to make local friends. “You get to know the dim sum guy on the corner,” Sehi said. And the flavours can’t be beaten. “The amazing jiaozi [Chinese dumplings] from the vendor between the station and my apartment in the mornings absolutely blew my mind every time,” Norton said.

新科技带来的好处颇具魅力,而北京传统美食同样俘获了新居民的心,美食也成为外国人与当地人交友的好机会。"你会跟街角那位卖广式点心的人成了熟人。"塞西说。而英国人诺顿说,"从车站到我住处的路上有家饺子店,太好吃了,每天早上都让我心驰神往。"

Food is also at the heart of many of the big Chinese festivals that occur throughout the year, and expats recommend joining the celebrations. The Spring Festival, or Chinese New Year, which lasts a few days in February this year, is the most important social and economic holiday and one of the easiest for expats to get involved with. “I recommend offering help to Chinese friends to prepare for the festival. Cleaning the apartment is just as important as decorating it with red paper scrolls on the door and New Year congratulations written on them,” Sehi said. “On the eve of the Chinese New Year, all family members gather for a sumptuous feast and then stay up until midnight to greet the New Year with colourful and loud fireworks. Being in the company of friends and family on this night is a real door opener for expats.”

中国一年当中很多节日都与美食有关,而外国人常常受到邀请加入到当地人的节庆活动中。春节,或称农历新年有好几天的庆祝,今年发生在2月份,是中国人一年当中最重要的节日,也是外国人最容易融入其中的节日。"我建议外国人参与到中国朋友的节庆准备活动中,打扫住宅卫生与在门上贴大红对联和装饰物同样重要,"塞西说,"在农历新年除夕,中国家庭会齐聚一堂吃年夜饭,并且守岁直到新年到来,放炮竹,辞旧迎新。这天晚上如果跟中国朋友家庭一起度过,对外国人来说真是一个难忘的经历。"

What’s it like living there?

在北京的生活是怎样的呢?

Beijing has a large and growing expat population, but Chinese language barriers and the ease of connecting with other expats can easily become an excuse to not fully integrate into the local culture.

在北京工作和生活的外国人越来越多,外国人容易形成自己的社交圈,再加上与北京当地人之间的语言障碍,使得外国人有时还难以融入当地文化。

“Some expatriates have lived in China for many years, but have hardly experienced their host country,” Sehi said. “If your first attempts to get in touch with Chinese people have been less-than successful, you can easily get the feeling it might be easier to spend time with other foreigners.” In these so-called ‘expat bubbles’, foreigners stick together in their own neighbourhoods, eat out in Western restaurants and only have non-Chinese friends.

"有些外国人在中国住了好多年,但对他们所居住的这个国家根本没有什么了解。"塞西说,"如果你最初尝试与中国人接触不那么成功,你很快就可能感觉还不如跟其他外国人来往更轻松。"在这些所谓的"外国人圈子"里,这些外国人都只跟自己圈子里的人来往,在西式餐馆吃饭,没有中国朋友。

The simplest way to combat this is to learn a little bit of Mandarin – and it’s easier than people might think. “One or two hours of private Chinese lessons per week or beginner radio plays in Chinese should fit into everyone’s busy schedule,” Sehi said. Even a few standard phrases are helpful for shopping, ordering in restaurants or making small talk in a taxi.

突破这种困境的最容易的方法就是学习一点汉语,其实汉语没有人们想象的那么难。"每周学习一两个小时的一对一汉语课,或者跟着电台汉语学习初级班学习,每个人都应该可以做到。"塞西说,他认为甚至只学会几句实用汉语句子,都会有助于你购物、订餐或打车。

Understanding the basics of Chinese social culture also goes a long way, especially the concepts of guanxi and mianzi. “Guanxi is nurturing connections with locals, while mianzi is making sure that you give them ‘face’ or reputation, in other words, not embarrassing them in any way possible,” said Peñafuerte. “In the Western world, people might be accustomed to straightforward talk. In China, however, locals value their reputation. Being arrogant and making them feel insecure are a big no-no and you might end up being the talk of the town.”

了解一些基本的中国社会文化习俗也非常有用,特别是"关系"和"面子"这样的事儿。潘那福特说,"在西方,人们习惯于直截了当的谈话,而在中国,当地人对自己的面子很在意。如果你显得傲慢,让当地人感到不舒服,那可是绝对不应该做的事。"

What else do I need to know?

还有什么应该注意的事呢?

A part of fitting into the local culture is not being afraid to be a little bit aggressive. “If you're not… you'll definitely get pushed around,” said Mikey Wu, originally from San Francisco and blogger at WuWuLife.

虽然应当尝试着融入当地文化中,但你有时候也得稍微硬气点儿。"否则,你肯定会吃亏,"来自美国旧金山的博主米基·吴(Mikey Wu)建议说。

This advice especially applies when shopping. “Haggle for everything! Unless it's a legitimate establishment, always bargain,” Wu said. “The price is never what it is. Doubt what you are buying, because 70% of the time someone may be trying to cheat you.”

米基·吴说,他的建议特别适合在市场买东西时,"一定要讨价还价!除非是在正规商店里,在市场买东西一定要还价。买东西也要注意货物质量,因为你可能会受骗上当。"

“Beijing is the Chinese city with the most to discover below the surface,” Norton said. “Good arts and music scenes, bonkers nightlife, historical wonders, ultra-modern business districts and rickety old alleyway districts.”

诺顿说:"这里有各种各样的艺术和音乐活动,丰富的夜生活,历史古迹,超现代商业区和传统老胡同并存,北京是一座可以无穷探索的城市。"

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