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The Maple Leaf Rag

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Mapleleaf Man


April 2, 2012

(Yet another log entry that I wrote for renren, the Chinese site.)

In my last log, I suggested that you read a simple story, maybe a children's story, with a dictionary beside you so you could increase or add to your vocabulary. Here is another suggestion and a link to a website. 

Here is a link to the stories: http://www.manythings.org/voa/stories/  They are on the Voice of America site which should be open to you. If it's not, please let me know right away.

The stories are simple but they aren't childish. The second group, those written by Edgar Rice Burroughs, are all about John Carter, the hero in the latest Disney film. Others are mysteries, some might be scary, but all of them are written in basic English. 

We write and speak differently than you do in China. You are all saying, "Duh! Of course you do!" But what I mean is that we arrange our words differently. When I am translating in QQ from English to Chinese, I often hear that "You say things in a funny way". Well, that is our way. Something as simple a s 'I am old' becomes 'Old I am' or something like that. 'Old I am' sounds like Yoda talk to us! Hahahaha. When my daughter Kathleen is joking around she will say things like, 'Cold I am', instead of 'I am cold'. It's very different, and funny, to hear her. 

Besides having easy to read stories, there are MP3s of each story that you can download. This means that you can listen to the story as you read it. Another way to learn, right? Listen to the words and how they are pronounced and listen to the punctuation and the speed of how each sentence is spoken. 

I think this is a good resource for you. Let me know if it helps. Lastly, these stories are quite famous. If you can find a Chinse version of them, you might be able to compare the Chinese writing beside the English to get a better sense of how things are translated. See if this works for you.

Thanks for reading! 

(Warning: This site is the Voice of America. When it talks about the United States it will tell you that everything is perfect there. It's not. Just the same as your government paints a rosy picture of life in China, this site will tell you that the U.S. is the perfect place to live and that their way is the perfect way. It's not, believe me.)

More entries: A New Year, New Ways to Learn (1), English sucks...but don't give up. (6), Learning English is never easy, but it's worth the effort. (4), Easy English Stories, English vocabulary - another way to learn (1), A Shit of Paper (3), Break a leg - another English idiom. , Repost: Are all Chinese girls lesbians? (3), How language affects your life. (3), Chinese Writing (5)

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