Semantic Error - Chapter 6.1
Chapter 6 <100>
Jang Jaeyoung has definitely gotten strange.
The intensity of his harassment, which once utterly stressed out Sangwoo, had steeply declined, and it was finally converging to zero. That of course, only applied if he didn’t take into consideration the basic stress of sitting next to him during class and the other types of stressors he got from just being around him.
On the Monday of the second week, Jaeyoung went beyond not tormenting Sangwoo and actually began to be helpful. He showed this during Chinese class, when they had to practice conversational expressions they had learned with the person next to them. Sangwoo tried to practice with the girl on his left, rather than with Jaeyoung, but she refused his offer, telling him that she was friends with another female student. While he wasted time like that, the students both in front and behind him had all begun to practice, so Sangwoo had no choice but do it with Jaeyoung, who was sitting in awkward posture while laughing in his face.
Sangwoo first asked how long it would take to get to Seoul Station in Chinese. Jaeyoung, who was listening, said: “You’re not really good with languages, are you?”
Sangwoo ignored those words, Because he thought he only needed to practice more, Sangwoo ignored those words and moved on to the next dialogue.
Shall we go watch a movie tomorrow? Jaeyoung, who was calmly listening to Sangwoo’s question, made a strange smile. He faked a cough and quickly responded.
“Hěn hǎo, kàn shénme diànyĭng?4
”That’s not how it goes.”
Sangwoo frowned. It clearly said: “I can’t because I don’t have time” in the textbook, but Jaeyoung made up a completely nonsensical response. He was a bastard who couldn’t go a day without mischief.
“Did you understand? What does it mean?”
“I’m saying it’s good. It’s asking what kind of movie you’re going to watch. Do it properly.”
“As expected, you’re good at reading, writing, and listening. But for an intermediate class, your speaking level is in a critical condition.”
“I’m following the lines in the book.”
“Language is meaningless if we can’t communicate. All countries have their own different ways of speaking, but you’re not making an effort to copy that at all.”
‘Why is he acting like a teacher?’
Sangwoo felt hostile at first, but then he recalled the bitter memory of his grade in Chinese 101, when he had gotten a single A among all his A+s during the first semester of freshman year. The cause for that grade had been because of points deducted from his pronunciation, just like Jaeyoung had pointed out.
“Read this,” Jaeyoung said.
When Sangwoo tried his best to recite the sentence that Jaeyoung had pointed at with his long fingers, the latter squeezed his eyes shut so tightly suppressing laughter, it was as if they had disappeared. He put his fist into his mouth to stifle his laugh, but he stopped when he saw Sangwoo’s expression.
“I did it correctly, so why are you laughing at me?”
“I’m not laughing at you, you’re…”
The end of his sentence began to trail off.
“Never mind. It’s fine if we just keep pronouncing the first tone like we are now. Just for a bit longer.”
Jaeyoung demonstrated how to do this for him. Sangwoo copied him.
“Good. The second tone feels like it’s going from the bottom to the top. Look. It’s like how a plane takes off.”
Jaeyoung held his arm in a diagonal line and slowly raised it up like an airplane. This time as well, Jaeyoung first demonstrated the tone, and Sangwoo copied him.
“Exactly. You’re doing well now that I’ve let you know how to do it.”
Without any forewarning, Jaeyoung’s hand touched the back of Sangwoo’s head. After it disappeared, a strange feeling remained in the spot where his head had been rubbed a few times. Sangwoo felt flustered, as he had forgotten how to breathe for a moment. He had been taught that the human body had evolved to prepare for various attacks from nature. It was as if his body had stiffened instinctively, considering Jaeyoung’s hand to be a threat.
Jaeyoung was looking at Sangwoo. He moved his hand with a serious look on his face, as if he were really into Sangwoo’s lecture.
“Look at the third tone. It’s like the feeling of when you’re coming down to eat a spoonful of rice and then raise it again. Try it.”
“Oh, you went back to how you did it in the beginning. Then try the second tone again.”
“You did so well, so what’s wrong with you all of a sudden? Are you broken, or what? If you can’t get past this, we’ll never be able to get a perfect score on the skit.”
Sangwoo grabbed his divider that had degenerated into a fan at some point, and fanned his face. Jaeyoung had turned his back to him to grab something from his bag. When he turned back to face him, he handed Sangwoo a piece of paper.
It was a printout of Chinese characters. As he read it, he found that it was a script with lines between a street vendor, a customer, and a voice phishing guy from the Qing Dynasty. Sangwoo’s eyes widened.
Apart from being neatly arranged, the pinyin was written as well.5 As he carefully read through it, he found that unlike the previous handwritten script, which only contained lined up example sentences, the sentences on this one were revised according to the context, and there were no blanks on it. It was a task that he would’ve had to spend a long time on if he had done it on his own. Even if he did his best, there still would’ve been incomplete parts.
- 1)Gōngchē dào Shǒu’ěr* dá duō cháng shíjiān?
*Shǒu’ěr = Seoul = hànchéng
2) 公车 到 汉城达 多长时间？
3) Literal: How long does the bus take to Seoul?
How long is the bus trip to Seoul?
2. 1) Correct pinyin: Wǒmen míngtiān yīqǐ qù kàn diànyĭng ba?
3) Shall we go watch a movie tomorrow?
3. 1) Jaeyoung’s parts are left in the correct pinyin as he is fluent in Mandarin.
3) Sure, which movie?
4. Pinyin is the romanization system of Standard Mandarin. The Chinese pronunciation is written in Roman letters with four different kinds of accent marks, which are used to denote the tone.
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