Thursday, January 18, 2018

Mandarin I ALESN Thursday, January 11, 2018 -- sorry for the delay!

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 Thursday's class!!!

I really appreciated the gesture. I love teaching you guys, so thanks!!!

Also, very sorry for the delay in posting this blog entry -- I had a busy week...


For our first class back after Winter Break, we covered Lesson 2 Dialogue 2. Esther was not with us in class, so you were stuck with your white teacher reading the vocabulary and dialogue materials.

Noteworthy Vocabulary points and insights:
  • JI3 can mean either HOW MUCH/HOW MANY or SEVERAL/A FEW. Remember this; I explained in class and gave examples. Memorize.
  • KOU3 as the MEASURE WORD FOR FAMILY MEMBERS (and only for family members -- NOT for people in general, which is GE). Think of it as "how many mouths the parents have to feed in the family." Kou3 afterall is a character and radical meaning MOUTH.
  • GE1GE and MEI4MEI: we discussed reduplication of characters and how in most cases in Mandarin, the second syllable (second instance of the character) has a neutral tone. I demonstrated in class.
  • LIANG3 is USED TO COUNT TWO OF SOMETHING, TWO OF SOME NOUN. It goes: liang3 + measure word + noun. This is different from ER4, the number 2 as in the concept of the number 2 -- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, NOT 2 of any particular noun. Whenever you are counting 2 of any noun, Mandarin uses LIANG3. Think of it as "a couple of..." DO NOT think of it as "a pair," because liang3 bears no implications regarding 2 matched items that go together in any way.
  • HE2: AND FOR 2 OR MORE NOUNS. Remember that this is for NOUNS, not for verbs or clauses. We will elaborate on this in future lessons.
  • DA4JIE and DA4GE for OLDEST sister and OLDEST brother.
  • ER4JIE and ER4GE for second oldest sister and second oldest brother, etc. using other numbers that we will learn to describe the order of siblings in families with multiple male and female children.
  • ZUO4 TO DO, not to be confused with the second syllable of GONG1ZUO4, A JOB or TO WORK. Same syllable and tone, different Chinese characters -- and wonderful coincidence that we are learning the phrase "zuo4 gong1zuo4" to do work or to have a job.
  • Remember that the word for LAWYER uses the UMLAUT U.
  • DOU1 BOTH or ALL. If you are a Cantonese speaker, you also use this character in Cantonese to mean also. Remember that in Mandarin, it is NOT used to mean also, except by Cantonese speakers speaking Mandarin and forgetting that they should use YE3 instead.
  • XUE2SHENG STUDENT and DA4XUE2SHENG, "big student" or college/university student.
 In the dialogue, we saw that Li3You3 and Bai2Ying1Ai4 are discussing how many people are in each of their families and what those people do, either for jobs or as students. Both ask each other how many people are in their respective families using the ...YOU3 JI3 + [MEASURE WORD]  + [NOUN] construction. You can use this same construction to ask how much or how many of any noun a subject (any subject) has -- whether you are asking how many books a certain person has or how many floors a certain building has. We will learn in Grammar Point 5 tonight (our next class) that YOU3 in this instance is used to mean that something exists in a certain place or situation. It can be translated 2 ways:
  1. That someone's family HAS this number of people, OR
  2. That THERE ARE this number of people IN someone's family (or very often that such and such EXISTS at such and such a place, as in, "Does this mall HAVE a restaurant?" = "IS THERE a restaurant LOCATED AT this mall?"
After asking how many people are in each other's families, both girls ask each other what their parents do and what their siblings do. Everyone had a chance to break up into "happy happy" groups at the end of last class and without Esther, I did a pretty good job of making it around the entire room except for one group, I think, and I apologize for that oversight. I owe you ladies next time...

We will review the dialogue briefly tonight and then proceed with the grammar points and examples and then break up into groups so we can do Language Practice on pages 55-59. This is a long Language Practice section, so my guess is that it will take up the rest of class tonight.


Hopefully, you all have reviewed the lesson material. No specific homework other than that, because I am so tardy with this blog entry and our next class is only 7 hours away...

Thanks and see everyone tonight -- and again, many thanks to everyone for your lovely card and gift last week!!!

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