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Say It Right Series

Everybody Loves Raymond

Posted by haikeyi November 25, 2008 in the Group General Discussion.

Professor Doctor Raymond Chen Hao is one of my teachers. I have three of them, Ray, Carol and Sissi. You've already met Sissi [qv]. More on Carol later... Prof. Dr. Chen claims to be educated in the United States (PhD cum laude from Columbia University) and Germany ("Heidelberg," he says after a suspicious pause...). Ray even claims to head some working group at the UN (New York). Maybe you'll see him in Tampa.

Joe: Hi Ray. If 'shan liang de' is an adj, what is 'shan liang'? "Wo ai ni shi yinwei ni shan liang he piao liang."

Ray: 'shanliang' is also an adj,if u use 'shi', u must use it with 'de', that is, 'shi shanliang de'

Joe: 'shanliang de' is an adjective, "Ni shi shanliang de nvhaizi." 'shanliang' is a verb! "ni hen shanliang."

Ray: who told u that? your teacher must be mad! It's an adj! 'very kind', 'kind' here is an adj!

Joe: They call it an adjectival verb. 'de' converts it into an adjective.

Joe: 'hen' is an adverb, can only go with a verb. You cannot say, *"Ni shi hen shan liang nvhaizi."

Ray: that's what i told u,'shi....de' have to be used together.'ni hen shanliang' it's still an adj!

Ray just doesn't get it. Maybe his English is not good enough. Maybe he hasn't read all the books he shoulld have read, the ones they publish only in America, the lingustics books, the books on functional grammar, A Structural/Functional Grammar of Mandarin Chinese. And to make matters worse - to add insult to injury, Ray is as stubborn as a mule!

This is the problem I'm having: I am in China and I cannot find a Chinese teacher! Nobody has taught me anything. Why not? Because nobody knows anything! Nobody cares! Everybody thinks they know it all. I would be better off studying Chinese at the Cleveland Public Library, www.cpl.org, the People's University.

Joe

PS

My trial at ChinesePod subscription is up. I have stopped paying my teachers. Why? It is a matter of principle. I am teaching them Chinese and the irony is I don't even speak Chinese! ChinesePod, ChinesePopUp, TEFL Academy, Harson Education, Modern Language Institute, Mandarin House...  Do you seriously believe that you can teach anybody Chinese by force-feeding them each word, one at a time? Can you teach us Chinese by teaching us how to behave, how to stand in line, how to argue with our neighbors over the garbage?

I want to work on that semantic network I was talking about, the Dialog Ontology. You need one foe each of your nearly 1000 lessons (It would kill Plato to call them dialogs). And, don't forget, you are going to need a glossary for your entire corpus.

Hey, let's call the ontology, Learn Chinese the Easy Way: in just 40 days! Sitting in the lotus position or reclining comfortably on your cot, discipuli enrolled at Chinese Pod will be able to hold this Ontology up against their forehead or keep it under their pillow at night and learn Chinese in their sleep! Subliminal messaging? Sweet dreams? Let's have the girls {jenny, connie, jiaojie, emma, vera...} record just the ontology in a feed. I'd pay for that!

 

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