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CHINESE BLOCKBUSTER Quan In pinyin, a ‘u’ following a ‘q’ is pronounced like the French ‘u’ or German ‘ü.’ The word that comes closest in pronunciation is the French word ‘tuant’ /tyɑ̃/ of the verb ‘tuer’ (to kill) in the progressive form, meaning ‘killing’ (there you go, an action verb that is easy to remember!). The killing is done preferably with a big rifle. The tones are differentiated by the aiming angle of the rifle, as described below. For quān (first tone), we imagine a shooter aiming his gun vertically at the sky, killing (tuant) airplanes (imagine the futility of it all!). For quán (second tone), the rifle is aimed upwards, at an angle, just like the accent on the á, tuant fowl. For quǎn (third tone), the shooter is aiming horizontally at a moving target on the ground, similar to a dog jumping up and down, like the shape of the accent on ǎ. Finally, for quàn (fourth tone), the rifle is aimed downward, for shooting fish in a lake or a man on the ground. 114 一 百 一 十 四

APPENDIX 2: SPECIAL SOUND MNEMONICS Yue This sound is characteristically Chinese and we must get creative to find an equivalent in French (because it is pronounced with the French ‘u’ followed by the French ‘e’.) For yuē (first tone), we use the French expression ‘eu E’ /y ə/, as in the sentence ‘Il a eu E’: ‘He’s got an E,’ on his report card. For yuè (fourth tone), we use the French adjective feuillu /fœjy/, which means ‘leafy, deciduous,’ referring here to a tree shedding foliage at the end of the growing season, as opposed to an evergreen tree. In the feminine singular, it is written feuillue (the final ‘e’ is silent) and in the plural, feuillus. It can also be used as a noun when talking about those trees (‘un feuillu’). Just add a French ‘e’ sound in your mind at the end of the sound word. It should sound like ‘feuillu-e.’ 一 百 一 十 五 115

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