Starting this internship, I’ve studied Mandarin for two years. Despite encountering plenty of situations where I understand little of what is being said to me. However, I have been increasingly comfortable talking to people here, and when I really need to communicate, I can usually get my point across. With this context, arriving in Hong Kong was a total shock to me. Suddenly, all of my communication skills were useless, as the dialect of Chinese spoken there (Cantonese) is completely different from Mandarin. I had an unfortunate experience to trying to get a taxi to the place I was staying, and having to talk to six people before someone understand the English address I had. This experience influenced me in quite a few ways. First, I was made immediately aware of English’s role in other countries – and was shocked by how a little guilty I felt relying on it completely to get my point across. Coming from the situation where I could communicate, albeit only basically, in the native language, I suddenly felt completely trapped in my communication and fully aware of my assumption that English would suffice. And even though Hong Kong has a lot of English influence, this experience was still startling to me. Back in Nanjing, I am now even more excited to be able to communicate with the locals here, and am finding it that much more of a rewarding experience!