Linguist, lexicographer, radio host, public speaker

The fourth tone in Mandarin is so difficult that if you say it too many times you will be hungry

For Changing Queens, Lessons in Talk of the Streets. “Now, at 85, he has embarked on his last great linguistic effort. His progress has been maddeningly slow; at one point, Mr. Sygal approached ‘dozens’ of Chinese people, he said, in a fruitless attempt to translate the word ‘ka-ching,’ a term he had seen in a headline in The New York Post and assumed to be Chinese. He hopes that he will be able to carry on a conversation in Mandarin by the time he is 95.”

(I suspect the comment about the forth tone is hyperbole, but I liked it nonetheless.)

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Grant Barrett