No more "Christian name, sir?" in Kent, UK

Barbara Need bhneed at GMAIL.COM
Thu Apr 1 10:42:40 UTC 2010

On 30 Mar 2010, at 1:41 AM, Randy Alexander wrote:

>> On 29 March 2010 22:46, Barbara Need <bhneed at> wrote:
>>> It goes the other way as well. When I studied Chinese for my funny
>>> language requirement at UChicago, my teacher named Ni3 Ba4 (I
>>> think I
>>> have the tones right).
> If you did get them right, that's pretty funny.  It sounds like
> "your dad"!
> ni3 = you
> ba4 = dad
> (Personal pronouns very often drop the genitive marker, de.)
>>> I don't remember the character for my personal
>>> name, but the family name character has three ears. Other students
>>> also had Chinese names that were clearly based on the sounds of
>>> their
>>> own names.
> Three ears?  OK, now I see what's happening.  That's nie4.

Right--I have problems with tone. When I practiced in the old Language
Lab at UofC, I used to get them backwards when thinking about actually
producing them. I got them right when I stopped thinking.


The American Dialect Society -

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