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男: 你认为当“金牌导游”要具备哪些条件?
女: 不客气的说,要凭业务精、能力强。讲一个故事吧,我到现在待过的最大的一个团有一百个人。

What does she mean with ’不客气地说‘??

Does she think her answer may be offensive to some people?

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不客气的说 (not modestly/ frankly speaking) suggests saying a top tour guide like herself must be "业务精、能力强"(know the business and highly capable) may sound like she's bragging. Chinese always admire modesty, even if you think you are the best, you should act humble and not show off.

She was stating she's just being honest, had no intention of talking down at the other person.

It might sound bragging to say the largest group she managed had 100 people, certainly not someone who isn't highly capable can pull off.

Chinese do consider frankness a virtue, but modesty often override it.

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  • "She was stating she's just being honest, had no intention of talking down at the other person." If so, I'll start my answer with "不是我自誇, 要凭业务精、能力强 (imply herself)"In the OP's case, I guess she was tired of the question after questions, or she became impatient with him.
    – r13
    Dec 18, 2021 at 12:23
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Does she think her answer may be offensive to some people?

Yes. In paraphrase, the phrase means, "Not meaning to sound impolite.........", or, "I may sound impolite / rude, but....."

Not as strong as "offensive", but certainly "argumentative", and about to "show up someone's mistake" in what you are about to say.

Usually used as a "defensive" devise to preempt a possible counter attack from the listener, a kind of "advance apology", so that the listener feels a little "awkward" in making a strong counter-attack because you have already apologized.

It's like saying:-

I do beg your pardon Sir..............

Excuse me?...............

Honestly ..........

Don't mean to sound rude, but .................

On the contrary ............

Hey, this is a free world, however ..................

Let me be frank here..........

You get the drift?

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Yes. You can think "不客气地说" is similar to "直話直說" when the content may offend somebody or certain groups.

However, in your case, it can be interpreted as she is getting tired of his relentless questions; has become impatient with him, thus speaking in an authoritative tone (as boss to subordinate) in order to end his string of questions.

Also, if both are working in the same field, she may utilize the answer to ridicule, or humiliate, the man - A golden xx must XX.. (in her thought: you are not up to that standard)

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  • Yes, 不客气地说 is actually a serious preamble to what is to follow, because you are pre-warning the listener that you are not going to be 客气, (polite); in other words you are going to be "blunt". So, for beginners to this language, my advise is to use this phrase sparingly, or only when you do expect that what follows may not go down well. I wonder how many Contributors here have actually used this phrase in their personal discourses. Better to use 老实说, (honestly speaking) Dec 19, 2021 at 3:34

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