|Where I live. Why I learn Mandarin.|
In learning Mandarin, the first thing they teach is how to read pinyin, which is the way they spell out character pronunciations using Latin letters. But most of them aren't "right" for an English speaker! I'm lucky to have a linguist for a husband, who reminded me early on that a lot of languages utilizing the Latin alphabet pronounce things their own way. In German, J has a Y sound. In Spanish, J is more like H.
In Chinese pinyin, Q is sort of like ch, but with a bit of a TS to it.
The Qin Dynasty was the first unified dynasty, and maybe that's why we call this country China now? I'm not trying to do research on this right now, although I would be very interested to study Chinese history.
I'm not really writing about the Qin Dynasty, but the use of "Q" in pinyin is part of my everyday life. I've had to open my mind to the fact that pronunciation of ANY symbol - Latin or otherwise - is arbitrary. Since this culture calls Q "ch", that is the correct pronunciation ... here.
|I go to Visual Mandarin (dot-com) to look up stroke order when practicing my characters.|
There are a LOT of Q words. Except they aren't Q words. They are distinct characters that may have a meaning alone, but also have several meanings when coupled with other characters. It's a paradigm shift.
Which brings me around to a sort of vague connection to Life Wisdom: If something as simple as letters can be so very different from a different perspective in a different culture, what else do we look at as black and white that may be completely different from a different view? Have you ever had a basic premise contradicted in your life?
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