Another late email. It happens.
This past Monday, we covered:
- a review of the pronunciation and grammar points up to page 94
- the chart for the numbers from 1 to 99, plus a brief mention of the words for zero and 100
Since I spent most of the time last class going over the numbers with you, there is not much for me to write in this week's email summary. It is important that you take the chart that I drew on the whiteboard and mark it in your mind, memorize it, make sure that you understand the system for using the words for the numbers 1 through 9 and the word for 10 to create all of the rest of the numbers from 11 through 99. I cannot do the work for you. I have presented you with the table and you simply need to memorize it.
How to memorize and work on your progressively faster recall of the numbers so that you can eventually use them comfortably, in real time, when telling time or handling money or counting objects or whatever?
There are all kinds of exercises you can do for yourself, but the 3 that I mentioned in class which worked the best for me when I was first learning my Cantonese numbers and telling time were:
- Simply telling time -- lots of different times throughout the day, in Cantonese. Every few minutes, pause and recite the time back to yourself in Cantonese practice using the 3 systems that we have learned: the fan1 jung1 system for precise times to the minute; the daahp6 #1 through 11 system for telling time in 5 minute increments; and the go3 jih6 system for telling time the same way as with the daahp6 system;
- Looking at every license plate as you walk down the street, anytime you walk down any street until you have learned your numbers well, and say to yourself the numbers component of that license place. Be careful to make sure you get it right, check your answers the first few times to make sure you are remembering the vocabulary words, and then go nuts, challenging yourself to say the number portions of as many license plates as possible to yourself while walking down the street from your home to the subway or from your job to lunch or whatever; AND
- Grab a page from your company's phone directory, or from any phone book for that matter, and just start reciting phone numbers in Cantonese. Remember that the word for zero, not covered in this lesson, is LIHNG4. You already "know" the numbers from 1 to 9. Go nuts and try to read as many phone numbers as possible in Cantonese before your brain cramps. Seriously, feel your brain start to cramp and then say maybe 3 or 4 more full phone numbers. This is like cranking out extra reps at the gym with a spotter. You are cranking out extra brain reps. Good for your language learning brain -- I promise you -- and good for general cognition, regardless of the subject matter.
If you haven't already, take some time this weekend and work on your numbers using any or a combination of the above 3 suggested methods. Or make up your own fun study routine with the numbers. If you come up with something good that works for you, please share in class this coming Monday.
See everyone in class. We will quickly go through the Drills on pages 95-101, putting us in a position to begin Lesson 5 either at the end of this Monday's class or, more likely, the following week.
Best to All,Brendan