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.
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!
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!