Grasshopper and I are spending 1/2 hour each morning listening to our Pimsleur Mandarine Chinese language tapes. So far, we have learned how to ask someone if they speak English, and also intimate that we "know a little Mandarin". As you probably know, in Chinese it is important which "tone" you use. There is a rising tone, a falling tone, and a tone that falls, then rises. Sometimes you can have a word that ends with a rising tone, followed immediatly by a word with a falling/rising tone.
It is difficult for Western ears. We have heard the syllable "pu" in several situations. Grasshopper (9) was trying to explain it to Adventure Boy (a newly-minted 14) on the ride to AB's traditional birthday dinner.
"Well, you see, there are several kinds of poo. There's poo that goes up, that's weird. There's poo that goes down, that's normal. And then...(he pauses ominously) there's wiggely poo."
He spent the rest of the evening in off-and-on fits of giggles.
This morning, we learned a new phrase that, the first time we heard it, sounded for all the world like "poo shot out" to our unpracticed ears.
I had to pause the CD for a few minutes for Grasshopper to collect his wits about him.
At least learning Chinese is fun for him...right?