New for me is the adverb, "sometimes."
Sometimes I drink beer, but I don't like to drink a lot of beer.
29 January 2012
New for me is the adverb, "sometimes."
I intended to say "because," but instead I said "but" by mistake. This is certainly not the first time I have made a mistake trying to speak Chinese. It is the second time.
I never drink beer, (but/because) I don't like beer; however, I like tea. I always drink tea.
One of my Chinese friends abroad asked me why we had not chatted recently, even though it had been only one day since we had last been in touch. I emailed her this video as a response. She responded, "Ur chinese is OK i think."
Because I have a lot of work to do; besides, one day is a short time.
25 January 2012
I find it incredibly difficult to say the Mandarin word for "person," which is necessary if you want to say that someone is Chinese (literally: China person) or American (literally: America person, or even more literally: Beautiful country, person) or any other nationality.
Are you acquainted with my friend Jeff?
No, I am not acquainted with your friend, but I am acquainted with his wife.
His wife is Chinese, yeah?
No, his wife is American.
I made a mistake in this video, but I'm happy with myself for having caught the mistake.
Hello. Do you have a lot of work to do?
Yes, I have a lot of work to do, but right now [I have]* time to drink tea. I always drink tea.
As for me, I always drink wine, but I don't like tea.
*I forgot to say this verb
New for me is the Chinese verb for, "to come over," and also the formal way to ask somebody their family name (which is probably more important in China than in the United States). Despite the importance of family names, I've also learned how to say, "Don't be so formal."
Who is going to come over?
There are three friends coming to see me.
What are their last names (literally, Honorable family name)?
Don't be so formal (literally, Don't stand on ceremony). Their last names are Li, but they call themselves Dragon, Little Dragon, and Big Dragon.
This video deals with names, and it includes one of my Chinese friends, Zhou (family name) Guangyi (first name), who recently moved to America, where he goes by the name Chance.
Who is that person?
That is my friend.
What is his name (literally: she/he, calls, what, name)?
His name is Zhou Guangyi, but in America his name is Chance.
19 January 2012
I've tried to slow down my speech, so that I can focus more on proper tones.
Hello. What did you do today?
Hello. This morning I drank a little tea, then I bought you some things, and then I ate lunch at the Beijing Restaurant with my three children.
Cool. That is a very good restaurant.
I know. It is a very good restaurant.
14 January 2012
I've finished level one of my Mandarin lessons. Now I'll begin level two, which also consists of 30 lessons; after that, it'll be another 30 lessons for level three, at which point I'm sure I'll be named the U.S. ambassador to China, or assistant manager at Panda Express.
When did you both arrive?
My wife and I arrived yesterday morning in Beijing. We arrived together.
How long are you going to stay?
We are going to stay two weeks, or three weeks.
In Chinese, you don't need a measure word when speaking about a number of days, but you do need a measure word when speaking about a number of weeks; in this video, I am using the phrase, "one week," but I failed to use a measure word.
We are going to take a plane to San Francisco, and then we are going to stay in San Francisco for one week.
The verb, "see," sounds a lot like the verb, "fuck," a mistake I've made before; hopefully I didn't make the same mistake again. Just another reminder that proper tones are important.
When did you both arrive?
We arrived yesterday, but tomorrow we are going to leave. We are going to take a plane to Hong Kong, and then we are going to see some friends in Hong Kong.
I'm almost positive that, at least once in this video, my incorrect tones result in me saying, "and," instead of what I was trying to say, which was the verb, "drink," but it's not as egregious as the recent mistake I made, which was to say the verb, "fuck," instead of the verb, "see."
Thanks to my friend, Guangyi, for pointing out my mistake.
Do you want to drink something with me?
Yes, I would like to drink something with you.
Good. I like to drink beer.
But I don't like to drink beer; however, I like to drink tea. How about you?
I don't like to drink tea, but right now I will drink some tea with you.
13 January 2012
New for me here is the verb, "work." I've also practiced differentiating between using the verbs for "think" and "like," each of which is the same word, with the same pronunciation, and the same tone, distinguished from each other only by context.
I don't think that I am going to work tomorrow.
Because I don't want to work.
I think the only word that's new for me here is "time." It's also the first time I've used the word "return," but that's a word that I was taught a few months ago while I was in Beijing.
I don't have much confidence in the accuracy of the sentence structure, or the tones.
I want to see a few friends in Beijing, but I cannot see them.
Because I don't have the time.
How many days are you going to stay in Beijing?
I have been in Beijing for a few days, but tomorrow I return to San Francisco.
05 January 2012
New for me is the verb, "stay," as in, to stay located somewhere for a period of time. I'm not at all confident that I have the grammar correct in this video. I'm getting a bit confused by the fact that the verbs for "like" and "think" are the same word, with the same tone. I'm sure I'll get used to it eventually, but right now it's throwing a wrench in my Chinese gears.
I think I am going to Beijing. I am going to stay there for a few days.
New for me in this video is the verb, "think," which I've learned is the same word, the same pronunciation, and even the same tone, as the verb for "like," which could get rather confusing. You can only tell the difference between the words based on the context, or by the occasional supporting word that might tip the scales one way or the other. Here I say what is essentially the same thing twice, back to back, but with slightly different meanings because of one word.
Also new is the verb, "see."
Full disclosure: I might not be getting this correct, but at this point in my learning that de facto applies to pretty much anything I'm saying in Chinese. It might be incorrect. Surprise.
I would like to see some friends. I think I am going to see some friends.