Shi gua, pin gua, & pun ta

We have been in China for 19 days now!

While we have yet to become fluent in the language, we have learned a few words!  The following is what we know (phonetic pronunciations are in parentheses).  The pinyin may or may not be correct, depending on whether we learned it from our phrase book or from talking with people!

Ni (nee) how – hello

Shia Shia – thank you

Wo bu dong (waw boo dong) – I don’t understand.

Shi gua – watermelon

Pin gua – apple

Pun ta – grape

Mi fen – rice noodle

Hanbaobao – hamburger

Cah fe – coffee

Chi fan – to have a meal

Ee –one

Er –two

San – three

Tsu – four

Wu – five

Liu – six

Chi (chee) – seven

Ba – eight

Dzeo – nine

Shu – ten

Duo shaow qien (chien) – How much is it?

Yuan – the currency around here

Yes, food is the most important thing to learn!  The students laugh when they ask what Chinese we know, and it’s mostly all food!

This isn’t much Chinese, but it is enough to get around.  We can go out to eat, buy our groceries, and even take a taxi (although that mostly involves pointing rather than talking!)!

The strange part about our limited knowledge of Chinese is that it is a hodgepodge of dialects since we are learning it from a variety of people, and isn’t standardized at all!  Think of it this way – essentially, one  sentence from me could include the equivalent of a Boston accent, a Southern drawl, the Midwestern accent, and the Texan twang.  Thankfully, my Chinese pronunciation seems to satisfy and even impress them!  Now to just learn more words… 🙂


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One response to “Shi gua, pin gua, & pun ta”

  1. Dustin Mills says :

    COOL. When you pronounce each of those words, is there a space between them, or do they run together?

    This is awesome. Keep learning more words, and write about them! 🙂

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