Mandarin Chinese (#12)

I've been sick, heavily congested, for the past few weeks, making it more difficult to correctly pronounce the four tones necessary for Mandarin. Pronouncing tones correctly while congested is about as difficult as bargaining in local Chinese markets, a tiring and trying process, especially when you've got white skin, which in China equals dollar signs (or more accurately, 元 signs).



How much money does this cost?

It is 18 元 (literally, 18 units of People's Currency).

Are you trying to kill me?* Impossible!

In that case, let's say 17 元.

Thank you, but that's not OK.

In that case, let's say 15 元.

Not OK.

14 元, OK?

OK.

*I learned this phrase in Beijing. As far as I can tell, it's akin to, You've gotta be kidding me, with the more literal translation being, Are you trying to kill me? It may be a local figure of speech.]