They want to practise their english, show off in front of their friends or they are simply being curious.
Most of the time they don't know how to start and keep a conversation.
They ask the wrong questions. Why is that?
- They are being shy
- They can't speak english well and simply repeat some sentences their learnt since primary school
- They lack originality, creativity
- They don't know how to interact with a foreigner
- They don't know how to listen
- They don't know some basic "western" rules: what is considered intimate, what is considered polite or not
- They are childish...
Here are some advice from foreigners on how to speak to foreigners:
- Don't ask personnal questions it is rude for foreigners. For instance "where are you from? how old are you? how much money do you make? are you married? do you have children? Where are you going?..."
- Don't shout "Hello" to foreigners on the street. This won't start a conversation. And he might not even be a english speaker!
- Don't ask sensitive questions. Remember that you don't know the foreigner. You just met him! For example: "my grand mother died last week, how do people arrange funerals in your country?"
- Don't ask for the phone number or QQ number just after a few minutes chat with a stranger! This is weird
- If the foreigner is wearing earphones or talking on the phone or even eating with other people don't disturb him. He probably doesn't want to talk
- Learn how to make compliments! A compliment should not come out of nowhere. Don't compliment too soon and for no reason. A good compliment shouldn't be a compliment that you repeat to all foreigners. It should match one personn. For example don't say "you are very handsome".
- Don't ask questions that are evident and for which you already know the answer. For instance: "do you like China?". Do you expect the answer to be no? Or the question should be what do you like about China? "What are you doing? I am eating my lunch..."
- Don't ask questions that might make the foreigner feel like a fool. For instance: "Can you use chopstick?" "What do you eat to be so tall?" "Do you drink a lot of milk?"
- Introduce yourself before asking questions
- Take a hint. If I am answering your question in a short manner and not looking at you or even turning away from you it means I don't want to talk
- Listen to the answer of the first question before asking the second question
- Don't ask too general questions. For example: what do you think about China?" "Tell me about your country?"