Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mandarin Puppies

Tonight Chris and I had our first Mandarin lesson. From now until the time we head off to Shanghai, we will learning our new language two nights a week from our darling tutor Jie.

For most of our first lesson, Jie taught us seven "simple" vowel and four simple consonant sounds. So, for 120 minutes, Jie would say "aaaaaaaahhhhhhh-ooooowwwww-eeeeeeeeee-eeeerrrrrrrr-iiiiiiiii-oooooooooo-uuuuuurrrrrr". Like Eliza Dolittle in My Fair Lady, we would repeat "aaaaaaaahhhhhhh-ooooowwwww-eeeeeeeeee-eeeerrrrrrrr-iiiiiiiii-oooooooooo-uuuuuurrrrrr". She would reply "very very good" and the whole cycle would repeat again. Then we would complete an exercise with the sounds and then review "aaaaaaaahhhhhhh-ooooowwwww-eeeeeeeeee-eeeerrrrrrrr-iiiiiiiii-oooooooooo-uuuuuurrrrrr".

About 90 minutes into our lesson, Ditka started to howl along with us during our lesson. We would say "aaaaahhhh" and he would say "hoooooowwwwww". I think on some level he either wanted us to can it, or he was expressing his desire to get the show on the road to China.

Jie then wanted to know what phrases we wanted to know before leaving for China.

I replied,

"I need to know how to say, I am sorry my dogs are so noisy." Will post an answer as soon as I get one.

Lesson Two is tomorrow night! Zai Jian!