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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Not your mother's Chinese lessons

Today my Chinese instructor gave me two options for in-class study: the proper names for vehicles or curse words. Guess which one I chose?

It started off with a bang when she handed me my "cheat sheet". I had asked her last week if she could do a quick reference guide of the main words I was learning. The problem was that everytime she said cheat sheet in English it sounded like "chicken shit". Thus, my cheat sheet became:
I just love her sense of humor!

I know that I mentioned a while back that one of the things I was most concerned about when learning Mandarin is that I would inadvertently call someone a bad name when what I really meant to do was ask for water. As it turns out, those fears are not unfounded. The simple word, diǎo, can mean dick (nǐ  suàn  diǎo), f*ck, or be a complement meaning very, very good (diǎo  bào  le).

èr is the number 2 but can also mean stupid, depending on context. xiǎo  jiě  can mean lady or prostitute.

With that in mind, if you have any delicate sensitivities to curse words, you may want to skip the sample below of today's lesson. I figured it's better to learn these words before my daughters do. Right?

1 comment:

Heather H. said...

Love it! I may have to contact our former exchange student with one of these, just to see if I can get him going. ;-)

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