Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Fame Ketover at Lenguin.com and this is Mandarin Chinese. Today we're going to have another look at the titles Mr., Mrs., and Miss.
Let's turn to the titles, Mr., Mrs., and Miss. Listen to this conversation.
Ta1 shi shei2?
Ta1 shi Ma3 Xian1sheng.

Again.
Ta1 shi shei2?
Ta1 shi Ma3 Xian1sheng.

Listen carefully to the tone pattern of Xian1sheng, the word for "Mr.".
Xian1sheng
Xian1sheng
Xian1sheng

The first syllable is in the high tone, the second is and what we call the neutral tone. Notice that it is weak and short and that it's pitch is rather low. Listen to "Mr." again.
Xian1sheng
Xian1sheng
Xian1sheng

Try repeating "Mr.", high tone - neutral tone.
Xian1sheng
Xian1sheng
Xian1sheng

The first syllable begins with the same consonant as xing4, which you make with the lips spread as if in a smile and with the tongue in a tight E position. It might help to stretch out the first syllable, Xian1, and then speed it up. Try it. Now repeat after the speaker.
Xian1
Xian1
Xian1

The second syllable of "Xian1sheng" begins with the same consonant as "shi4" and "shei2" which you make with the tongue curled back. Try repeating "Mr.".
Xian1sheng
Xian1sheng
Xian1sheng

Your tongue has to shift gears so to speak between the two syllables. It's forward for the first syllable "Xian1" and active for the second "sheng". You won't find this easy. It takes practice. Try repeating "Mr." once more.
Xian1sheng
Xian1sheng
Xian1sheng

Now try saying "Mr. Ma" by yourself and repeat.
Ma3 Xian1sheng

"Xian1sheng" can also mean "Sir", "husband", and "teacher". Try saying "he is Mr. Ma."
Ta1 shi Ma3 Xian1sheng.

Here's another exchange, listen.
Ta1 shi shei2?
Ta1 shi Ma3 Tai4tai.

Again.
Ta1 shi shei2?
Ta1 shi Ma3 Tai4tai.

Try repeating the word for "Mrs." ("Tai4tai") which also means "wife".
Tai4tai
Tai4tai
Tai4tai

The tones are falling - neutral. The weak short neutral tone has a low pitch. Try repeating "Mrs.".
Tai4tai
Tai4tai
Tai4tai

Try saying "Mrs. Ma".
Ma3 Tai4tai

Try saying "she is Mrs. Ma".
Ta1 shi Ma3 Tai4tai.

Here's another live exchange. Listen.
Ta1 shi shei2?
Ta1 shi Ma3 Xiao3jie3.

Again.
Ta1 shi shei2?
Ta1 shi Ma3 Xiao3jie3.

Try repeating "Xiao3jie3", the word for "Miss".
Xiao3jie3
Xiao3jie3
Xiao3jie3

In this word both syllables began with the tongue in the forward position, the so-called palatal position. Let me give you both syllables in a stretched out form first, and then speed it up. The first syllable is: "Xiao3". The second is: "jie3". The tones are rising-neutral with the weak short neutral tone in a medium pitch. Now try repeating "Miss."
Xiao3jie3
Xiao3jie3
Xiao3jie3

Try saying "Miss Ma".
Ma3 Xiao3jie3

Try saying "she is Miss Ma."
Ta1 shi Ma3 Xiao3jie3.

Once more, "she is Miss Ma."
Ta1 shi Ma3 Xiao3jie3.

Now I'll ask you to say "he" or "she" is "Mr.", "Mrs.", or "Miss Ma".
He is Mr. Ma.
Ta1 shi Ma3 Xian1sheng.

She is Miss Ma.
Ta1 shi Ma3 Xiao3jie3.

She is Mrs. Ma.
Ta1 shi Ma3 Tai4tai.

She is Mrs. Ma.
Ta1 shi Ma3 Tai4tai4.

He is Mr. Ma.
Ta1 shi Ma3 Xian1sheng.

She is Miss Ma.
Ta1 shi Ma3 Xiao3jie3.

That's the end of this lesson. Remember to head over to Lenguin.com to do the exercises. That's Lenguin as in Lenguin the Penguin. Thanks for watching!

I want to thank all of our subscribers and supporters for their gracious support in making these courses possible. In future lessons this is where I'll be giving shout-outs to our Patreon supporters. Be sure to visit our Patreon page to see all the goodies we're offering.

Until next time, stay cool.

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