Thursday, December 21, 2017

Cantonese I ALESN: Class Summary, Insights, Homework for Monday, December 18, 2017

First of all, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to my amazing students who decided to give me a very nice card and money gift at the end of this past Monday's class!!!

I have been so busy with other non-Chinese-related stuff these past few weeks that I have almost completely forgotten that this is the Holidays. Other than watching Hallmark Christmas romance movies in the background while working on my online stores at my home office, I have not really been in the festive spirit this year. It was wonderful and unexpected for everyone to give me such a nice gift, and I thank you all for your appreciation and Holiday wishes!!!

Again, many thanks!!!


This past Monday, after a brief review of the basic grammatical structure and syntax of a Cantonese sentence, we jumped back into the remaining substitution and expansion exercises for Lesson 2. I am running short on time this week, so this will be a shorter blog entry than normal for your class. Sorry and thanks!

Also, many thanks to our assistant teacher Allison, still recovering from a concussion but nevertheless eager to help out with pronouncing all of the examples this past class!!!

Here is what we covered:
  • Page 47 Response Drill 6: We ask if someone is or is not a certain nationality and we learn that in every case without exception, we were mistaken and the person is a different nationality than we had thought. This is a great question and answer sentence structure for any kind of question asking if someone or something is or is not some category of answer, and then responding that the subject is not; it is something different from what the questioner suspected.
  • Page 47 Conversation Exercise 7: For this one, you guys repeated Allison. Though of course it would have been better to work from the left side of the page, in the interest of time, you all repeated after Allison from the right side of the page. Please try to do this exercise from the left side of the page if you feel motivated to do so.
  • Page 48: Response Drill 8: In this exercise, we make a statement that someone has a certain last name, and then we negate that statement, correcting ourselves that the person has a different last name.
  • Page 48: Response Drill 9: Going from a GA3 question to the related GE3 answer. THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT EXERCISE, DIRECTLY RELATED TO THE PRINCIPLE OF EQUIVALENCY AND PARALLEL STRUCTURE FOR QUESTIONS AND THEIR RESPONSES IN CANTONESE. Make sure that you memorize the syntax and principle involved here.
  • Page 49: Expansion Drill 10: Taking a statement that someone is something and elaborating that someone else is ALSO the same thing (nationality, etc.), using DOU1 (ALSO). Make sure you memorize the word order here -- where the dou1 goes in the sentence. It MUST come right after the subject, whereas in English it usually comes after the verb or at the beginning or end of the sentence.
  • Page 49: Conversation Exercise 11: Someone politely asks what your last name is and then you humbly respond that your last name is whatever -- and then the first person says hello to you in a formal way using your last name.
  • Page 50 Conversation Drill 12: Asking what your friend's last name is and then responding using the GE3 structure (He or she is "one of those [Wong, Chan, etc.] people).
  • Page 51 Conversation Drill 13: combining 2 of the previous exercises into one short 4-line dialogue: What is your friend's last name? It is [Chan, etc.]. Is he or she such and such nationality? No, he or she is a different nationality. MEMORIZE THIS ONE.
  • In the interest of time, we skipped Exercise 14 and started the "Say It In Cantonese" section on pages 53-54. We only covered the first few translation exercises before we ran out of time.
Next Monday, we will pick up with Exercise 14 on page 52, and then finish the "Say It In Cantonese" section before beginning Lesson 3.


Please review the exercises that we covered this past Monday and come prepared next time with any questions. Please translate ALL of the "Say It In Cantonese" exercises on pages 53-54 AND WRITE DOWN YOUR ANSWERS IN YALE ROMANIZED CANTONESE. Please bring your answers to class next Monday, prepared to participate when we finish covering this exercise. I would love to be able to go around the class and have people already prepared with translations when I call on you next Monday. Make me proud!

Though we are not covering them yet in class, please watch Cecilie's 4th Cantocourse video on Youtube  entitled, "In Polite Society." This is one of my favorites from her channel.

*Important Disclaimer first: 

Please DO NOT pronounce jo2 (the "ed" verb particle denoting in this case something that has happened in the past) as "JOE." This is WRONG WRONG WRONG, and I am surprised that Cecilie did not reshoot this one or correct it by rerecording the audio for that section. Perhaps it is her Norwegian accent coming through into her Cantonese, but this verb particle is ABSOLUTELY NOT pronounced "joe."

You MUST pronounce this verb particle as JAW to sound almost exactly like the English language word "jaw" but with a 2 tone, a mid rising tone.

More accurately, this particle is pronounced [DZJAW2], using a hybrid initial consonant that doesn't happen in English, effectively a combination of the DZ sound of "The Creature with Two HeaDS [HeaDZ]" and a standard English language "J" as in JAW or JELLY.

Anyway, other than this fundamental pronunciation error, this is a wonderful video, sure to make you smile. My favorite bit is where the drunk man goes to give Cecilie his business card and instead falls over and passes out:

See you all next week!

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