As part of the China or Bust, Campaign 2009, G and I have taken up mandarin lessons. It’s quite interesting learning a new language, mandarin especially, as it’s like totally foreign! At least with French you’ve some initial comparative base to work from. Not the case with mandarin, you’re starting from scratch. Even G, who speaks Cantonese, is not sure whether his base in that language helps or hinders mandarin acquisition. Time will tell I suppose.

Today’s intro to mandarin 101 was on the alphabet and pinyin. Pinyin has 37 ‘letters’ which represent the various sounds in mandarin. These are broken into the ‘initials’ (a set of 21), ‘finals’ (a set of 13) and 3 ‘friendlys’ (not shown just to confuse you). See below.

Mandarin 101 – direct from our teacher’s backboard

ADVERTISING: if any Mandarin-speaking xangans are available starting in April, G and I would love to meet up with you one night/week, buy you coffee or a drink, and have you practice mandarin with us for an hour!

Orpheus Descending
On Tuesday night we hi-hoed down to the Royal Alexander Theatre to see
Tennessee Williams play Orpheus Descending. It took time to develop and we left at intermission … despite the blatant bribe the Mirvishs sent us (free drink coupons). I think Ed knows I’m ducking out at intermission and is trying to 1) make me stay and 2) get me drunk!

Blee, me and Ironwoman-in-training Laura outside the Royal Alex

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7 Responses to Mandarin

  1. willariah says:

    how many plays now have u left during intermission, now?:) feel free to ask if you need a pinyin tutor.

  2. =]I can speak mandarin and I want some tea/coffeetoo bad i dont live over thereanyways, pin yin always frustrated me because at my chinese school we learned the traditional alphabet thingy…and it proved to be useless and all the teachers tell us to stop using that and use the english version. have fun with mandarin! =]

  3. Anonymous says:

    I think you know more Mandarin than I do. *hangs head in shame*. The picture of the board was puzzling at first. I saw that math equation on the top right and it startled me.

  4. Fatcat723 says:

    Good luck with the Mandarin! Now that I might just put off until tomorrow.

  5. Eggyplant says:

    omg … good luck … my cousin gave me Pimsleur’s Mandarin 1-3 for Christmas … I may be illiterate, but at least I’ll know where to go … or tell them where to stick it! haha!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Good luck with mandarin!Alex just bought some audio tapes to learn vietnamese…He gave up..

  7. kunhuo42 says:

    mm… good luck learning mandarin! it can be challenging, especially making sure you don’t accidentally say something you regret since you have to get all the tones right! our teacher scolded us once for saying a bad word and none of us could ever figure out what it was… hahaha.ryc: i’m glad you liked the post, it was partially inspired by the sushi on one of your posts!

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