Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Voices off

I fear this may remain an inside joke between my Chinese teacher S and me, but let me see if I can describe it to you. First, in Chinese!

昨天我们在上课呢,有个人打了电话给老师。一次,二次,老师看了她的手机可是没接。第三次,她把手机拿起,给那人说“我正在上课,不能聊天!” 然后她也给我说,“不好意思”。因为她把这个句子说得很快,我把她说的听成了”boys!”!咱们没意识到,“不好意思”和叹气地说“boys!”的发音差不多!再说一遍英文...

My teacher's cellphone rang three times during class yesterday. The first two times she ignored it, then she picked it up and in a low voice told whoever was calling that she was in class. Then, still in a low whisper, she said to me "buhaoyisi," an expression of apologetic embarrassment. But I heard something else: "Boys!" Indeed, if your "Boys!" is aspirated like a sigh with a sibilant final s, the two sound almost the same!

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