Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Learn Mandarin, Part 2.

Explanations are in order...

My strange style of writing chinese words is due to the fact that Mandarin and English are rather different. For one, Mandarin has some sounds which are not in the English language at all, and secondly, Mandarin has 4 possible 'tones' for every sylable. That means that the word 'm.uh' can mean either

or a question, depending on the way that you say it.

Historically, 'English Chinese' (More correctly known as Romanisation, the process of writing Chinese Characters with an English alphabet) hasn't done a very good job.

As an example, lets take the capital city of this country.

Traditionally rendered as 'Taipei', it's actually pronounced 'Taibei'. The funny thing is that both Mandarin and English have distinct sounds for 'b' and 'p', so why they are confused is a mystery to me...

So to try and fix all this confusion and help 'normal' English speakers to pronounce Mandarin as accurately and easily as possible, I've developed my own system.

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