10/25/18 ALESN Mandarin I Monday night class summary and notes FOR 10/22 CLASS
ALESN Mandarin I Monday night class summary and notes
Thu, Oct 25, 2018 at 8:33 AM
to everyone who attended class this past Monday. If you missed class,
here is what we covered, as well as the Homework for next week:
I mentioned, everyone should please read or skim everything from the
very beginning of the book up to what we covered in class. People keep
asking me for page #s. I will make it very simple: Open up your book,
read the very first page inside the cover and keep reading or skimming
until you hit what we covered during Monday's class. It doesn't need to
be any more complicated than that. I am asking you all to give
yourselves an overview of the textbook by reading the publisher's intro
material about how the book is organized and the goals of the book for a
college freshman Mandarin Chinese I class, which it was designed for.
Please stop asking me what pages to read. READ OR SKIM THE ENTIRE FRONT
OF THE BOOK UP TO THE PRONUNCIATION MATERIAL THAT WE COVERED ON MONDAY.
Now to what we covered in class:
covered pages 1 and 2. That's it. It took an entire hour for me to go
over the simple finals and the initial consonant sounds of the BO PO MO
FO table. We will review this material next week and going forward as
much as we have to. YOUR HOMEWORK IS TO GO ON YOUTUBE AND WATCH AS
MANY DIFFERENT BO PO MO FO MANDARIN CHINESE PRONUNCIATION VIDEOS AS YOU
HAVE TIME FOR AND CAN FIND. PLEASE SPEND AT LEAST 30 MINUTES DOING THIS. The
best ones are usually the very juvenile ones with pink ponies and
purple hearts and little baby Mandarin children in high voices
pronouncing the syllables. Try to find at least one with an adult voice
as well, though, to make sure you are hearing everything clearly. The
only way to get these sounds into your mind and mouth is to listen and
listen and listen over and over again until you get them.
every single student in the class was able to almost perfectly parrot
back to me the exact sounds that I asked to you repeat on Monday, with
few exceptions. Even if certain among you were not perfect, almost
everyone pronounced the sounds of the simple finals and the bo po mo fo
table WITHIN A WINDOW OF WHAT WOULD BE ACCEPTABLE TO A NATIVE SPEAKER. This means that nearly every one of you has the potential to pronounce this language correctly.
The question is, can you eventually do it in slow but real time without
repeating after another speaker? Can you eventually take the vocabulary
and sentence structures we are going to learn this year and use them to
formulate your own basic thoughts in Mandarin and then express these
thoughts out loud from scratch and have a native speaker who doesn't
know you understand what you are trying to communicate? I would like to
suggest that WHILE ALMOST EVERYONE IN THE CLASS DEMONSTRATED THE
POTENTIAL ABILITY TO DO THAT ON MONDAY, VERY FEW OF YOU WILL ACCOMPLISH
THIS GOAL THIS YEAR. That is ok. Please just realize that YOU (yes, you)
have a real potential to speak this language accurately.
I pointed out that you
all NEED to approach the sounds of Mandarin Chinese first and foremost
as a set of sounds that are NOTHING like English or French or Spanish or
Russian or whatever your first language might be. I tell you
this, but as the year unfolds, most of you will revert to pronouncing
the syllables of pinyin JUST LIKE your first language. Please don't do that to yourself.
Allow yourself to learn something new, and keep it new by constantly
being aware that it is not supposed to sound ANYTHING like your first
language -- even AND ESPECIALLY if your first language is Cantonese or
another Chinese dialect!
I pointed out some of the cardinal sins
of beginner Mandarin students and explained that you must never EVER
pronounce certain syllables this way from the bo po mo fo table or from
the list of simple finals. I made a big deal of this. I even went so far
as to be borderline insulting to suggest that if some of you make these
very basic mistakes and keep making these mistakes over and over again
without fixing them, you will sound like AN IDIOT. In spite of my
possibly offensive remarks when discussing this, a certain portion OF
YOU will start to make these stupid, stupid errors and will continue to
make these moronic, moronic errors all year and for the rest of your
time that you attempt to study or speak Mandarin. WHY WOULD YOU
DO THAT TO YOURSELVES?! I am giving you everything you need to pronounce
this language acceptably to a native speaker. Please do the work and take your time and learn this language properly.
Otherwise, some of you are going to feel like an idiot as the year goes
by if I keep correcting the same students over and over and over again
in order to try to fix these stupid, stupid beginner pronunciation
errors. Thanks in advance for being offended enough by me to take this seriously.
week, we will review the simple finals and the bo po mo fo table. Then
we will plow through pages 3, 4, and 5, beginning the COMPOUND FINALS.
CREDIT HOMEWORK: GO ON YOUTUBE AND RESEARCH AND WATCH 30 MINUTES OF
MISCELLANEOUS VIDEOS ON THE COMPOUND FINALS OF MANDARIN CHINESE.
The stuff at the top of page 6. This will be our focus at the end of
next class and then for the following week, all the while reviewing
everything we have covered so far.
Put in the time to get these sounds right AND TO KEEP THESE SOUNDS SOUNDING RIGHT.
If you get lazy, you are going to make the exact stupid beginner
mistakes I just ranted about in number 3 above and both of us are going
to feel frustrated. Do yourself a favor and take this
pronunciation stuff very, VERY seriously -- RIGHT NOW, before you learn
something incorrectly and you need to take even more time to unlearn
something you didn't learn properly in the first place.