Thursday, October 06, 2005

Tonal tribulation

When I was in third grade and told I'd have to wear glasses for my nearsightedness, I was distressed in the way that only a shy, peer-conscious eight-year-old can be. One evening my father and I were kidding around, making faces at each other, when he said what I thought was, "Dài yǎn jìng!" This means "Wear glasses" in Mandarin, and I was so upset I burst into tears and ran from the room. My father was rather puzzled, as what he'd actually said was, "Dà yǎn jīng!" which means just "Big eyes!"

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