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roddy

Characters you just can't get right, damnit!

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roddy

I can't be the only one who suffers from this - characters that I somehow learned wrong the first time round and now have the wrong pronunciation / meaning permanently fixed in my brain. Ones that have irritated me this morning are:

晓. I was convinced for years this was pronounced shāo, presumably because of 烧. I still get this wrong constantly - it comes up in names fairly often, where there isn't so much context to make you think about what you're doing.

域. This is, as far as my brain is concerned, 城 . Always has been, always will be. I still mentally say dìchéng to myself every time I see 地域, and have been known to repeatedly type lingcheng into my IME and wonder where 领域 has disappeared to . . .

Will post more as I stub my toe on them . . .

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zhwj

This topic came to mind when I was reading this thread on languagehat. A commenter writes:

What I've noticed is that a person's spoken and written vocabularies are often somewhat disconnected. That is, there are words they're used to hearing (but don't necessarily come across in written form) and words that they're used to reading (but don't necessarily hear often). If you listen to individual English speakers long enough, almost every native speaker has a list (of varying length) of words they consistently pronounce in odd ways. Mostly this is from imagining pronunciations of words they know first in written form.

Sometimes people have problems connecting the written and spoken forms of uncommon words though they may know both. When I was learning to read and write, for a long time I thought the spoken word 'island' and the written word 'island' were separate words, but that one was spoken more often (and probably written 'iland' or 'ighland') and the other was printed more often (and probably pronounced izland)... This kind of thing happens a lot and often lasts into adulthood.

率 in certain contexts (but not all - 比率 is no problem) does it for me - I have to make an extra effort to read it correctly as lǜ rather than shuài.

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roddy

Just discovered that the 延 in 外延 isn't pronounced ting like I thought it was. This is only the first time I've notice this particular error though, so not sure if it'll stick or not.

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wai ming

Oooohh... I definitely have this problem, particularly with 形聲-type words which I come across when reading and being lazy, just make up a sound to substitute for looking up the correct pronunciation (since I often don't need to know the word to get the gist of the content). Then there are the words I know I've learnt wrongly and have to constantly look up, because when I come across them, the wrong pronunciation always appears in my head yet I can never remember the correct pronunciation.

Some examples:

I used to always read [pop=example/lì]例[/pop] as lie4

[pop=handkerchief/pà]帕[/pop] I used to read as pai1 (I blame that on my mum and her teaching me from a kindergarten textbook with no pinyin - one of the other key words on the same page was [pop=pat/pāi]拍[/pop] :mrgreen: )

And I've been reading [pop=arrange/liǎn]敛[/pop] as jian3 for ages.

I'm sure there's a lot more, but they're not coming to mind at the moment.

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imron
I used to always read 例 as lie4
I had problems with this character for ages, until I realised that the radical 亻is called 人旁, making it a convenient device to remember the correct pronunciation (almost all the other 列 characters are liè).

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againstwind

Haha, you won't be the first one, nor the last one who suffers from it. So do I. And my fault might be more embarrassed.

When I was in elementary school beginning to learn characters, I just couldn't distinguish 红 and 江. It might be ridiculous, I think today. But so it was. I didn't know why. Once I even doubted that my textbook was misprinted, because there was a sentence always confusing me: 红色如画. Red is like a picture??? So taking along with the text, I asked my teacher if the book made mistake or it was mine. Of course, it was my fault. This sentence was actually 江色如画 (The river scenery is picturesque), but I persisted in consider 江 as 红.:oops:

And I used to pronouncing 曰 ri4 by error. So "子曰", which means 'Confucius said' became "子日", which means ...... Well, it's a very evil thought. If 日 is a verb, in some place of China, it means fxxk. So I really need confess to Confucius.

Besides, I used to read Kawabata Yasunari's novel. Then I pretended to be serious about recommending his book to many of my classmates who also liked reading. But everytime I said 川瑞康成, no one seemed understanding what I was talking about. It didn't changed until a girl asked me whether '川瑞康成' was a latest writer, beacause she only know a famous Japanese writer named 川端康成 whose works were really great. Ooops! I made mistake again! It was 端duan1, not 瑞rui4.

Anyway, I'd like to share my embarrassing experience with you guys.So, don't be depressed.:D You can overcome them.

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heifeng

The ultimate humiliating one is 乌 鸟. It's just a lil' dot, but I just always get it confused.....

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Quest

Spending more time on speaking/listening will fix this problem.

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heifeng
Spending more time on speaking/listening will fix this problem.

Ok...well I meant when I write (quickly)...I'm pretty sure I'm NOT gonna say niaolong tea or niaojiang river or something like that.....but hand writing it is a possibility...

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Ian_Lee

已己巳

None is more confused than the above three characters with three entirely different meanings. Most Chinese kids got mixed up too.

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imron

another one is lì which I always seem to read as shǐ.

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Ian_Lee

Another set of easily confused characters is and (the simplified script of ).

My kids (who learn traditional script) always ask me why Christmas becomes the festival of weirdo in China!

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studentyoung
My kids (who learn traditional script) always ask me why Christmas becomes the festival of weirdo in China!

If so, please tell your kids, there had been no Christmas in Hong Kong before the Opium War.

Thanks!

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skylee
Quote:

My kids (who learn traditional script) always ask me why Christmas becomes the festival of weirdo in China!

If so' date=' please tell your kids, there had been no Christmas in Hong Kong before the Opium War.[/quote']

What does this have to do with Hong Kong? I think Ian lives in Hawaii.

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studentyoung
What does this have to do with Hong Kong? I think Ian lives in Hawaii.

Do you mean he is not a HKer?

Thanks!

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Ian_Lee

Studentyoung:

I did tell my kids that there is no Qing Ming, Dragon Boat, Mid-Autumn and Zhong Yang Festivals in Mainland but in Hong Kong!

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studentyoung
I did tell my kids that there is no Qing Ming, Dragon Boat, Mid-Autumn and Zhong Yang Festivals in Mainland but in Hong Kong!

Haha! I won’t feel surprised! :wink: That’s your bias on mainland China! Do what you like to your kids, Ian_Lee! Mind you, Ian_Lee, you hide truth and castrate history like what Chairman Mao did in Great Cultural Revolution. Any difference?:wink:

Thanks!

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xiaocai

Even Chairman Mao said "没有调查就没有发言权"...

As someone who has been living in China for more than 20 years, I guarantee that we still have "Qing Ming, Dragon Boat, Mid-Autumn and Zhong Yang Festivals" and know those stories behind, and you can see plenty of celebration events on if you come at right time.

But, well, how you want to educate your kids and what kind of seeds you want to plant in their hearts is all up to you...

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Ian_Lee

If there are such festivals in Mainland, why aren't they listed as public holidays like Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and Korea do?

If there is Dragon Boat Festival in China, why does UNESCO list it as Korean cultural heritage but not as Chinese cultural heritage?

And young student, even with Opium War, Christmas is being observed by many people in China now!

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xiaocai

As I know they Spring festival is not a public holiday in America, so does it mean the Chinese there can not celebrate it?

If there is Dragon Boat Festival in China, why does UNESCO list it as Korean cultural heritage but not as Chinese cultural heritage?

So Taiwan, Hongkong and Macau also don't have it just because it is not listed by UNESCO?

And young student, even with Opium War, Christmas is being observed by many people in China now!

Yes, seriously, you have to observe and then draw your conclusion.

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