New Favourite Mandarin Phrase

Posted by Charlie @ Discovering Mandarin Saturday, 29 August 2009
I keep finding the odd phrase which when said makes me smile. It isn't that it is actually funny, nor that it sounds funny when in English, or that it is one of the funny things you will have seen written down.

It is just a nice sounding phrase that makes me smile, much like the previous post where I talked about my favourite sounding phrase, here is another one that similiarly is nice to my ears.

我是老师
wǒ shì lǎoshī

It means, I am a teacher. Funnily this week I got an email from someone telling me how much they had learnt through this site, and made me proud that I am making a difference to other people, (and not just helping myself motivate and learn Mandarin). So I guess in fact, wǒ shì lǎoshī. I am a teacher (of kinds). Though I still have a hell of a lot to learn myself, and thank everyone that has bee helping me along the journey so far.

-I am also not as good looking as the picture of a teacher that I found.
:D


The way that phrase flows is what makes me smile. I think it must be the two third tones, followed by the homophone 'shi' that makes it so pleasant. To my ears, the third tone is still one of the best things about the language. Which is something I really struggled to get to terms with intially, but have grown to love it already. I will continue to post here my favourite phrases, and hopefully some of them will be better than this one.

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6 comments

  1. Ha ha...
    Do you teach Maths, 老师? ;p

     
  2. haha. lets not get ahead of ourselves. I am not kidding myself. I know I have far to go, and am certainly not worthy of the label 'teacher' yet. But am glad that some people are able to learn things from what I write.

    二+二等号五.


    :D

     
  3. 等号 is a noun.
    等于 is a verb or adjective.

    Sometimes, Chinese is a bit like English. We have different words for nouns and verbs.

    So 二+二等号五 should actually read 二加二等于五[sic?]。

     
  4. Ah thank you, that is quite interesting. I was wondering if I could shi (is) to express 2+2 is 5?

    Also... I was expressing the example of why I am not a math teacher. :D

     
  5. Yes, you can also say 二加二是五!!(lit. 2 plus 2 is 5

    Chinese is indeed very similar to English?!?

     
  6. that makes things much easier. Except not if I have to teach a Mandarin math class.

    :) Thanks for your sterling help, helping me understand this better.

     

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