14 November 2012

Killer Fact - Yoda Speak–A new methodology for learning Chinese

Ok so George Lucas is making a new Star Wars film. Much to the delight or dismay to current fans. Personally after watching the first film in the cinema in the last quarter of the last century (1979) my curiosity was satisfied.

Now what has any of this got to do with learning Chinese.  I am glad you asked. Well in the second movie and third movie there is a character called Yoda. Now despite being a Jedi master he has not mastered English. He really needs to work on his syntax and grammar. Perhaps he was too busy saving the Universe.

The following examples illustrate the point I am making here;

When nine hundred years old you reach, look as good, you will not, hmmm?

--YODA, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

To answer power with power, the Jedi way this is not. In this war, a danger there is, of losing who we are.

--YODA, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, "Lair of Grievous"

Lost a planet, Master Obi-Wan has. How embarrassing. How embarrassing.

--YODA, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

More here if you wish to read more Yoda QuotesYou can also convert English to Yoda Speak here The Yoda Speak Generator

So what has this got to do with learning Chinese Mandarin. I am glad you asked. Some of my learned colleagues / peers and fellow 同学们 Tóngxuémen students. Have a method of learning the syntax of Chinese by directly translating word for word.  Observe;

Example I

Hanzi: 你 今天 想 跟 我 一 起 吃 晚饭 吗?

Pinyin:  Nǐ jīntiān xiǎng gēn Wǒ yī qǐ chī wǎnfàn ma? 

Yoda Speak:  You today like-want with I one together eat evening ?

English Would you like to eat dinner with me today?

Example II

Hanzi:  我 今天 有 一个 测验。

Pinyin:  Wǒ jīntiān yǒu yīgè cèyàn.

Yoda Speak:  I today  have one exam.

English:  I have a test today.

So perhaps the way to remember some Chinese syntax is to ask yourself “What would Yoda say?”

So there you have it.  The connection between the new Lucas Star Wars Film, Yoda Speak and a New Chinese Learning Methodology…Yoda Speak.

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