Mandarin Chinese: How to turn your cock into a soaring eagle

Mandarin has four tones plus one neutral tone. That means that any given syllable can have four or five meanings, depending on subtle variations in the way it is pronounced. You might think you're saying, "golden eagle," (jīn diāo: first tone, first tone) but if you prononce eagle with a third tone instead of a first tone, you get jīn diǎo, which no longer means golden eagle. It means golden cock, as in penis. Just a subtle change in tone can turn your cock into a soaring eagle.

Anyway, none of the vocabulary here is new to me; however, I'm trying to focus on proper pronunciation of tones. Then maybe I'll learn how to say, "Who's the dork in the shirt and tie?"



Nǐ hǎo. Nǐ jiào shénme míngzì?

[Hello. What is your name?]

Wǒ de Yīngwén míngzì Dewey kěshì wǒ jiào Dà lóng.

[My English name is Dewey, but I call myself Big Dragon.]

Wǒ zhù zài Jiùjīnshān.

[I live in San Francisco.]