Say It Right Series
speak chinese like a native

Rubber bananas

Posted by johnb July 15, 2007 in the Group General Discussion.

A real life example of tones mattering...

I was in a coffee shop over the weekend, and a foreign guy and his Chinese girlfriend came in to order a cake. The guy spoke passable Chinese, and the entire transaction was done in Chinese. The funny part went something like this:

Clerk: 你要哪个?(which one do you want?)
Guy: 我要那个橡胶的。。。(I want the rubber one)
Clerk:  哦。。。(uh...)
Girl:  香蕉的吧!(the banana one!)

Banana (香蕉, xiang1jiao1). Rubber (橡胶, xiang4jiao1). 

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