Main Site Blog Help

Exclamation meanings


#1

Suggested Difficulty (Elementary etc): ____
Video or Audio: ____
Lesson Idea: Hi @Constance_Fang and Team,

Lesson Idea: Hi @Constance_Fang and Team,
I think that Chinese exclamations usage is totally different from English, Spanish or French (languages I know well), and maybe to all Western languages. Quite often they seem to carry a definite meaning besides conveying a certain state of feeling, like when 欸 means yes (translated so) in your elementary lesson 才藝課 .
That lesson could just be a good example, among many, where you can see quite a few exclamation sampls, some, naturally, having no translation (what do they exactly mean?). Following a few sample sentences from that lesson. Quite a few exclamations! (notice your own translations):

A: 吃飽啦?
B: 欸,吃飽了,你要帶小寶去散步啊?
Yeah, I ate, do you intend to take Xiaobao out for a walk?
A: 沒,要帶他去上才藝課。
No, I’m taking him to his extracurricular class
B: 哦!學甚麼呀?
Oh! What does he study?
A: 鋼琴,你們家小毛不是也上才藝課嗎?
Piano, doesn’t your daughter Xiaomao take an enrichment course
too?
B: 是啊,明天,學跳舞。
Yes, tomorrow, she studies dance.
A: 女孩子學跳舞好啊!

You often say that many exclamations soften the tone. Well, you should explain further, that’s not enough. Maybe, it is, for may part think, that Chinese being so monosyllabic, requires additional particles to prop up stand alone syllables or to clarify meanings, or sometimes, like you say, just to soften the tone.
In short, I think we would all appreciate a 請問series, a lesson would not be enough where you would very explicitly elucidate meanings and usage of exclamatory particles. By the way, I remember now having read a fascinating study about the iconicity of spoken languages. The article referred very specially to some native language where the iconicity of the spoken language carried to an extreme. Maybe we may trace to that the origin of languages
I look forward to hearing from you.
Eugenio Llorente, Madrid, Spain.