It’s been several years that I have been looking into taking a Chinese class. During the undergraduate years it was always blocked due to some class requirement or another. Finally, next semester I will be able to take the Monday through Thursday class. *punches air with fist*
I had been looking to get a head start and found several programs, both for the computer and audio/book versions, which would let me practice at my own pace during the summer.
Last night I bought a microphone to make use of a function in a specific program which would gauge my ability to form the tonal sounds. It would measure my pitch, my form, and my emphasis in a given phrase. It was interesting to see that there was this continuation/merging of sounds between words, creating a contstan burr that neither English nor German can recreate. (Even if the running joke is that German has an ungodly connection of consonants, that’s not something I can really judge as a bad thing.) One of the books did note that the German “ch” sound, as in “Ich”, is used in Chinese as well. Score one for the team, because I need what I can get.
Both J and I were highly amused with my program and our lack of success. He actually had a better time of it with his background in vocal training. I, unfortunately, had a harder time.
“Yee kann nii harrrrg.”
The pin in the gauge on the screen, which moved to red, yellow, to green zone depending on your accuracy, hardly quivered.
“Yeekannnuerrharrg – ” I burst out laughing and the program recorded the addition of my laughter which killed my attempt.
“Okay, let me try the cat one…” I clicked to it.
“Yeer kann Maaoo.” Yellow zone!
“YeekannrMAAOO.” Green zone, baby!
I burst out laughing and said to J, “I sound like a damn Klingon.” He laughed and I continued, “Okay, I amend that. I sound like a flaming homosexual Klingon.*”
I’m in trouble.
*Not that there is anything wrong with being a homosexual Klingon. Even though I probably would catch hell in Klingon society and lose some major honor brownies points. Wait, am I theoretically inserting myself in a fictional alien society? I really am in trouble.