No matter how far I get in fluency and vocab, it always comes down to words like yat bun. If you don’t know any Cantonese, yat bun can be three different words [that I know of], all of them relatively common.
Yat bun = Japan
Yat bun = generally/normally
Yat bun = one half
My default ‘yat bun’ is Japan, I don’t know why. But when I actually want to talk about Japan, I will overthink it and usually say one of the other versions.
It’s all about tones. That’s where the difference lies.
If you’ve studied Cantonese for a while, and someone says all three ‘yat bun’ to you then you can probably tell the difference. Yet if you have to say it yourself…
Cantonese is a mind fuck.
You know, if you read Geronimo Stilton books in Cantonese they can actually seem decent.
By Cantonese, I mean traditional Chinese writing.
It took me seven weeks on and off to get through the one where Stilton goes into space to regain control of a bad guy’s satellite.
There were just too many tough words, technical words, and about hundred and fifty sing yu [idioms].
At least I know they’re sing yu now. Before, I would try to search each individual character and get confused.
Review of Geronimo Stilton Space Book
Starts off okay, it’s night time, he’s sleeping, he introduces himself just like he does every other book, 80% of the words are words I’ve seen before.
His house gets broken into, I learn the word for burglar.
Pages 18-40, goes off the rails, a mysterious mouse lady comes by his house to upgrade his security system, or install a new one, and the vocab goes to Secondary school level, all revolving around surveillance equipment and verbs like install, detect, trigger etc, verbs I don’t know.
The rest of the book straightens out a bit, but it’s a grind to get through if your level’s as weak as mine, and even though it’s about going into space, the space part only makes up a small part of the story.
I like a good build up to the space part, the same kind of awe and wonder that you got in Star Trek TNG Season 4 Episode 16: First Contact [not the film], but it’s absent here.
I checked out the English version and it was poor.
No wonder most of my students give up on Stilton fast, when they’re 8 or 9. There’s just not enough story or character there.
Is this going anywhere?
Need to get back to my own space thing, Planet Rasputin. But can’t do anything with it until I know what happens to people who step on Eris. And what’s really going on out past the heliosphere.
Plot or mood?
Can’t get stuck in the solar system but can’t expand out too far either. Need a Universe that feels lived in.
I want to write sixteen Star Trek novellas. Each one can be sixty to hundred pages, like an episode of the TV series. There might be an overarching plot running through, I’m not sure about that yet.
Brand new setting, brand new characters.
Crank them out, put them on the site for free. Would Paramount have a problem with that?
Yat bun, yes.
They sue people for this kind of thing.
And I won’t be able to insert Worf into it, not if it’s brand new. Unless he’s an old man and for some reason serving on the spaceship I write about. Wouldn’t he be depressed that he’s not dead yet?
I might learn Russian.
Worf, theoretically, must speak Russian.