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Monday, May 05, 2008

Sakura time again

I wish I knew the Manadrin for "cherry blossom". I think it might be "ying1 hua1". The number ones are silent, similar to Tom Leher's friend "Hen3ry." Actually, the numbers indicate which of 4 tones to use; if there is no number that indicates the neutral tone. Another way to write it is yīng huā. I think of this tone like a tuning fork since it doesn't rise or fall like the others. Anyhow, you can probably guess I'm looking into the Mandarin language. I want to go back to China and this time be able to speak it. As I have no actual free time, I'm listening to I can get 4 lessons on each direction of my commute, though I generally only do one plus the practice bits.

My Chinese neighbor is impressed with my studies, but she's also very nice and probably wouldn't say anything if I was showing myself to be completely hopeless. :) She speaks Mandarin to Jasmine and to her grandson. She is a retired math teacher and taught a number of students with albinism in China. Her first question about Jasmine was, "How's her vision?" It was a much more knowledgeable question than most I get from people. She's always cooing over how beautiful Jasmine is.
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Matt Dick said...

The Chinese lady (she never calls herself anything but "Chinese lady") who sits next to me wrote:

Ying(1) Hua(1)

so you are correct.


Hypatia said...

Yah! Something's getting through my thick skull. Woohoo!

Is your Chinese lady at work? I've really liked all the Chinese people I've met around my neighborhood. They're very friendly and way helpful in the language department. Tell her Xie4 xie (sounds like shyea shyea, with a stronger emphasis on the first word: Thank you!)

Matt Dick said...

Yes, Ning is a coworker. She's great. Her English is basically perfect, but her idioms are bad. So she's learning. She told me that she and her husband were learning American idioms through watching HBO--The Sopranos, most notably.

She told me proudly the other day that she now knows the term "douchebag".


Hypatia said...

BAHAHA! Now, what I want to know is, is there a Chinese equivalent (and not, "You're wearing a green hat!" I know that one already. :)