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Author Topic: A subject close to many of our hearts  (Read 10500 times)

Glasgow Kiss

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Re: A subject close to many of our hearts
« Reply #45 on: November 03, 2007, 11:00:15 PM »
I was just wondering, with all the beer names I cannot pronounce being thrown around.



...I never did learn how to pronounce "tsingtao" I heard it (to my ears) pronounced at least 10 different ways

MK

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Re: A subject close to many of our hearts
« Reply #46 on: November 04, 2007, 08:49:39 AM »
Tsingtao / Qingdao (青岛) is pronounced in Mandarin something like 'Ching Dow'  where 'Ching' rhymes with 'ping' (think table tennis) and 'dao' is similar to 'down' minus the 'n'.  Of course, if your accent differs significantly from mine in English, that explanation wont work very well, and then there's also the tones to think about (1st tone, 2nd tone)...

A lot of the Chinese words commonly used in English reflect the dialects spoken in the south of China e.g. Cantonese or Minnan, rather than Mandarin.  Patchy romanization of Chinese characters over the years has also led to multiple spellings of the same word/phrase, which doesn't help.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2007, 08:57:24 AM by MK »

Raoul F. Duke

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Re: A subject close to many of our hearts
« Reply #47 on: November 04, 2007, 10:25:03 AM »
Yes...some words in common use for a long time, such as "Tsingtao" or "Peking", come from the horrible old Wade-Giles romanization system that predated today's pinyin system.

Wade-Giles probably did more to make Chinese unnecessarily difficult to learn than any other single factor. ayayayayay
"Vicodin and dumplings...it's a great combination!" (Anthony Bourdain, in Harbin)

"Here in China we aren't just teaching...
we're building the corrupt, incompetent, baijiu-swilling buttheads of tomorrow!" (Raoul F. Duke)

Lotus Eater

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Re: A subject close to many of our hearts
« Reply #48 on: November 04, 2007, 05:15:38 PM »
I had a grin today.  I was out in Huxian with the village people who tell me they speak Tu-yan - or fangyan - local dialect.  They don't speak putonghua.  But ... they can understand my Chinese as can the taxi drivers and most Xi'an locals. And I can almost understand them.  So clearly I am getting a very local accent.  I was talking about this to the Chinese mate who came with us, and he was saying that despite the accent and the words being so different from standard putonghua that it is pretty unintelligible, it is actually fairly close. ( bibibibibi).

He was saying that he figures my speech is  'Lotus-hua" in that I confuse tones still.  But I pointed out to him that when I say a particular tone in standard putonghua my Sichuan mates correct me (forcefully!).  His view - do NOT listen to any western Chinese speaker, any southern Chinese speaker.  The ONLY Chinese speakers who are half-way right with the tones are northern ones and those only from some provinces, not all!!  Of course the other province speakers will tell me not to listen to the provinces he nominates as good speakers!

So it is not just Wade Giles that stuffs things up.  It is across the board. 

I also noted that the Chinese gov't is worried about the standard of Chinese language teaching across China - they believe that people are less and less able to understand each other.  Possibly because only 68% of the new teachers they have hired this year to teach years 1-9 are qualified teachers.  This is an 86% increase on previous hirees with qualifications. And their pay is 18,000 per year.

cheekygal

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Re: A subject close to many of our hearts
« Reply #49 on: November 04, 2007, 11:33:42 PM »
Lotus, I started learning Chinese in Chengdu. And that's where I gave up on learning as well - I had two teachers and both of them would insist on me using different tones for the same word. I finally got fed up and told them thank you, just assist me in classes and don't teach me anything. Same story repeated itself in Guangdong. But when I was in Harbin, I picked most of my Chinese by myself - their speech speed is medium and at times slow, they don't chew up the words and have no heavy accent.
Qingdao was a pain in the rear end at first but then I got adjusted - tones are alright there. And so was Beijing but only the accent which I HAVE to reproduce for taxi drivers as they don't seem to know the proper pronunciation of the words!  afafafafaf

Raoul F. Duke

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Re: A subject close to many of our hearts
« Reply #50 on: November 05, 2007, 08:16:02 AM »
Ah, China...1.4 billion people, and 1.4 billion different versions of the language.
No two of them seem to speak it the same way... llllllllll llllllllll llllllllll bibibibibi
"Vicodin and dumplings...it's a great combination!" (Anthony Bourdain, in Harbin)

"Here in China we aren't just teaching...
we're building the corrupt, incompetent, baijiu-swilling buttheads of tomorrow!" (Raoul F. Duke)

Glasgow Kiss

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Re: A subject close to many of our hearts
« Reply #51 on: November 05, 2007, 09:48:28 AM »
Haha, I still remember how you told me, several times, that most of the time when our bosses were talking, they were trying to figure out what they were saying to each other, instead of figuring out what to do!

Raoul F. Duke

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Re: A subject close to many of our hearts
« Reply #52 on: November 05, 2007, 01:12:17 PM »
Yes, but those people were morons. agagagagag
"Vicodin and dumplings...it's a great combination!" (Anthony Bourdain, in Harbin)

"Here in China we aren't just teaching...
we're building the corrupt, incompetent, baijiu-swilling buttheads of tomorrow!" (Raoul F. Duke)

Glasgow Kiss

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Re: A subject close to many of our hearts
« Reply #53 on: November 05, 2007, 01:34:10 PM »
Yeah, but I'm a moron too

Raoul F. Duke

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Re: A subject close to many of our hearts
« Reply #54 on: November 05, 2007, 03:42:37 PM »
No. Definitely not in their league. bfbfbfbfbf
"Vicodin and dumplings...it's a great combination!" (Anthony Bourdain, in Harbin)

"Here in China we aren't just teaching...
we're building the corrupt, incompetent, baijiu-swilling buttheads of tomorrow!" (Raoul F. Duke)

solongtinik

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Re: A subject close to many of our hearts
« Reply #55 on: November 06, 2007, 01:35:17 AM »
Ah, China...1.4 billion people, and 1.4 billion different versions of the language.
No two of them seem to speak it the same way... llllllllll llllllllll llllllllll bibibibibi


i agree! unlike in different nations even if u dont pronounce it well, people will understand you....
if he does not struggle against what is wrong-even if it seems beyond his strength-he will bever find the right road

Con ate dog

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Re: A subject close to many of our hearts
« Reply #56 on: November 07, 2007, 02:21:43 PM »
am I the only one who drank Carlsburg in China?

Naw, it's on tap at the Shamrock.  My usual poison.
And there is no liar like the indignant man... -Nietszche

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Mr Nobody

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Re: A subject close to many of our hearts
« Reply #57 on: November 11, 2007, 06:24:53 PM »
Sorry, I prefer Wade Giles for a lot of things.

Gimme Ching Tao anytime, and I live in Lamning not Nanning, and my friends names all are pronounceable. Mostly.

But then, Wade Giles works far better for Cantonese than Mandarin (since we are using old forms) and I know more Cantonese. So siew me.

Plus, I have used a limited form of it for about 20 years. Makes me biased

Just another roadkill on the information superhighway.