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Speak English like a native

A great(?) way to learn English

While browsing in a Xinhua bookstore I ran across this book teaching how to speak English. My first thought was who would ever try this - but my second thought was this might explain the many poor English accents I hear.

The idea of the book is to approximate English pronunciation by using Chinese characters. This is not really groundbreaking; my mother-in-law said when she learned English they remembered the phrase "Thank you very much" by the Chinese phrase "Sankuairou geinimachi" ("Give your mother 3 pieces of meat to eat"). Similarly, my niece Tiantian told me she remembered "toothbrush" as "tuzibulashi" ("rabbits do not defecate") Both of these are reasonably amusing anecdotes.

But, the idea of actually using this technique to learn English is pretty silly. The characters given are meaningless sequences, there is no way to remember them but pure memorization - and there are 360 pages of them. Anyone who puts in all that effort is going to be really, really disappointed the first time he goes to the US.

Following are a few samples from the book. Try to guess the English from the pinyin. If you click on the phrase it will (might) get Google translate to speak it for you. (If it fails try going to the google translate tab it opened up, put your cursor on the address bar, and hit return - I am not sure why but the connection sometimes breaks from the link, or even if you hit reload. Or go to Google translate, paste the Chinese characters in the box, and click on the speaker in the right hand box). The tooltip for each phrase gives the English "equivalent" if you rest your mouse on top of the pinyin.

This doesn't work in IE due to a bug in IE, if you use IE and want to hear these go to google translate, paste the Chinese characters into the box, and click on the speaker icon.

爱耨欧恩哩尔哩头恩哥力士ai nou ou en li er li tou en ge li shi
菩力兹斯比克尔哩头斯漏尔pu li zi si bi ke er li tou si lou er
卧特递的油炸斯特斯诶wo te di de you zha si te si ei
赖此勾大去lai ci gou da qu
诶茨恶各瑞特普了入儿兔密特右ei ci e ge rui te pu le ru er tu mi te you
麦三恩窝克斯佛尔泽哥阿窝门特mai san en wo ke si fo er ze ge a wo men te
耗卖尼批剖阿在尔因哟佛爱米里hao mai ni pi pou a zai er yin yo fo ai mi li
黑尔诶自万憨追的安的非夫踢搭了自尅普泽欠急hei er ai zi wan han zhui de an de fei fu ti da le zi kei pu ze qian ji
黑尔右阿搔瑞佛给五英右搜骂去出阿波hei er you a sao rui fo gei wu ying you sou ma qu chu a bo
哀五的赖克卖咖啡卫自克瑞姆安的叙各尔ai wu de lai ke mai ka fei wei zi ke rui m an de xu ge er
罢特泽涩普赖傲弱滴一克斯兹地妈恩的自一斯叶恶ba te ze se pu lai ao ruo di yi ke si zi di ma en de zi yi si ye e
卫一阿普入爱末瑞累阴吹斯替的阴哟付入茨安的挖讷茨wei a pu ru ai mo rui yin chui si ti de yin yo fu ru ci an de wa ne ci
卖和佛苦拉副特一四副拉付一儿斯mai he fo ku la fu te yi si fu la fu yi er si

(OK, the last one I added)

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