Friday, January 19, 2018

Mandarin I ALESN Thursday, January 18, 2018: My last Mandarin I posting for the rest of this semester

Hi Gang,

Many thanks to everyone who attended class last night. Last night was my last Mandarin I class of the year -- Jeremy will be taking over for me from now until June. My work schedule has changed and I will no longer be able to get to the school by 6 pm. I have enjoyed teaching this class for the past few years, but I leave you all in excellent hands. Jeremy has been our substitute Thursday night Mandarin 2 teacher this year and his knowledge of Chinese language and culture is extensive.

Let's briefly recap what we covered in class last night:

Summary and Insights:

After a quick repetition and review of Lesson 2 Dialogue 2, we covered the 3 new grammar points on pages 53 and 54.
  • YOU3 in the sense of "TO EXIST," as in such and such noun exists either in a certain situation or at a certain location. I touched on this last blog entry. Though the literal word by word translations of these sentences suggest the same meaning of "TO HAVE" for YOU3, we can see that in the Chinese mindset, this really translates more to the idea that something is part of a certain situation or that it exists at a certain location. The literal translation of "My family HA 5 people" would more likely be worded in colloquial English as, "THERE ARE 5 people IN my family." The example that I gave in class of "Does this mall HAVE a foodcourt" would translate to, "IS THERE a foodcourt AT this mall." If it helps with your understanding of the language at this early stage of your studies, simply translate all of these usages of YOU3 literally. There is nothing wrong with the translation of "Xiao3 Gao1's family has 2 college  students" rather than "There are 2 college students in Gao's family," if the former helps you to understand and memorize the Chinese more efficiently. Just be aware of this second usage of YOU3 that we have thus far encountered, as detailed in grammar point 5 on page 53.
  • The different uses of ER4 vs. LIANG3 for the number 2. ER4 is the concept of the number 2 when counting from 1 to 10. LIANG3 + MEASURE WORD + NOUN is the correct way to express 2 OF ANY KIND OF NOUN OR THING -- 2 people, 2 chairs, to bridges, 2 dinosaurs. Remember this difference and use the correct word for the number 2, depending on the context.
  • The adverb DOU1, BOTH or ALL: Remember, per my last blog entry below, that the Cantonese use of DOU1 is broader and encompasses situations where YE3 (ALSO) is used in Mandarin. Mandarin uses DOU1 pretty much only in situations where it refers to the concept of both or all members of some group of people or things share something common or are doing the same action, etc.
Of very special note is the one exception to the rule that you cannot use BU4 to negate the Mandarin verb YOU3, TO HAVE. Please read and reread AND REREAD example 4 parts a through d at the bottom of page 54. It is important that you understand the subtlety in Mandarin Chinese that helps a speaker differentiate between the concepts of:
  1. BOTH/ALL ARE NOT SOMETHING or DO NOT DO SOME ACTION [i.e. none of them are or do...]; and
Do your best to understand the differences in meaning and word usage in the 4 sub examples a, b, c, and d at the bottom of page 54. If you cannot understand these differences at this point in time, no worries, but try to remember to revisit this page at a later date.

From here, we broke into pairs and small groups and spent the remainder of class doing the Language Practice exercises on pages 55 through 59. If your pair or group did not finish these exercises, please spend some time on them at home before next week's class.


So, Jeremy will be teaching this class from now on. I do not expect him to write weekly blog entries, though my students may be able to persuade him to send some kind of weekly recap email. I am not sure whether that is a possibility; please ask him and see what he says.

I am not sure when I will return to teaching Mandarin I for ALESN, but it has been my honor and privilege to teach you all over the past several years. I welcome any comments to this or other sections of my blog. Once arrangements are made for my successor for Cantonese I, I will take a break from blogging about Chinese in order to write a weekly blog on my other passion, singing and recording music.

Thanks again for reading, and for attending my classes over the past few years. Very best wishes to All!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you leave me a spam comment, it will immediately be removed. I will never EVER leave your comment in place on my blog. It will be permanently deleted in minutes.