July 26th, 2009

jiip happy

Pulling rank

Ah. Evil Crochet. Yes indeed. Non-craftsy me only just managed to crochet a remarkably unfunctional afghan (= does not keep me warm in winter on the living room sofa, but then nothing does except hanten.) But I've always known that serious craftspeople knit things, following those cuneiform knitting instructions as they do it; just as serious East Asian aficionados read Chinese and not that '2000 characters and two phonic-syllabery crutches' Japanese. I so fail at life.
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yoshitoshi: caocao

Innocent pastimes

'If it doesn't rain tomorrow', I said. Ha ha ha. Indoors as the house shakes with the thunder crashes (for which the Chinese have a word- 雳/靂) and the gutters overflow, I turn to my Chinese textbooks.

(Mandarin speakers, avert your eyes while I butcher your (native or LRD acquired) tongue.)

Yes I know us flat-tongued English speakers have a deplorable tendency to apply English phonics to all foreign languages. Thus the ook and seem roles in yay-oi, or the garahdges and chez lounges out in back of the house. And I know half of Mandarin's sounds don't exist in English in the first place, rotit. (Retroflex j's and ch's and sh's, she mutters.) But I gets my mnemonics where I finds them, and when I must deal with oft-recurring modals or tricksy prepositionses, I'll take whatever low means are available to remember them. Thus I present you with Uncle Scrooge's nephews: 会 (hui), 对 (dui) and 里 (li with a dipping tone.) Though you'd think Chinese could come up with a true lui or rui sound...