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Tinkerbell Legacy - Living with a flying parrot

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It is still the Yu family after all
I was wondering how I could have made such a ghastly error of calling Yu family wrongly for the last couple of years.

Last night I received an email from my wife which was most enlightening. I reproduced it below.


Subject: comments

I did tell you it was You as in swimming. It's just spelt Yu by the
Taiwanese in English, as in Yu Shi Kun, prime minister of Taiwan.

The phonetics used by the Taiwanese in learning English is the
International Phonetic alphabet. That's the global standard for
pronounciation so that you absolutely cannot go wrong pronouncing any
sound. You can view the symbols here:


One explanatory note: The chinese word for swimming sounded exactly as yeo (as in yeoman) and not even as you as indicated by my wife above, unless that is another of that IPA edicts.

That jogged my memory. She added his phone to my handphone as YU, and she spelt it as Yu. But with that name spelled out as Yu, I could not help using the normal english pronunciation and kept calling Yu as Yu (rhyming with she). Being a simple man who do not use those IPA, who can remember that Yu is meant to be called Yeo because that is what those folks in IPA determined that to be so.

There is this town in Northern Taiwan (and where Bim was found) with its name written as Jui Feng, maybe in accordance with IPA. The actual sounds of that chinese words are Ray (as in x-ray) Fang (ryhmn with hung). I distrust those IPA edicts from that point which was about 14 years ago. But of course, my wife read English in the university with perfect pronunciations and one of those minions of IPA edicts and textbook perfect grammar unlike poor me.

Maybe that is why the average Taiwanese and Japanese and Korean have such great difficulties in speaking or using English. They need to memorise so many of those IPA strange edicts and phonetics until their minds and tongues are paralysed with fear. And I just successfully showed the eldest son how he could now forget those IPA by following the english words naturally.

In this case, I will accept in this instance the IPA edicts since I am so used to writing him as Yu. I therefore will revert to writing Yu as Yu. The onus is on you to know Yu actually sound like yeo according to IPA edicts.

So this morning I wrote over to pick up Tink from Mr Yu (which sound like Yeo) at his factory. Since I was going to work with his eldest son who is called Yu (do remember the IPA edicts) San Sian (last two words are in accordance to normal English usage and utterly ignore the IPA edicts), I kept my ride with Tink short and we went to a park just next to the special school I mentioned before.






That morning I decided that this day will be the last afternoon I give to San Sian. I will be taking the entire daylight time for just me and Tink and the english workouts will be done only during the evening on wed and thur.

But the effort with San Sian seemed to be worth it. He lost his fear of english.

One interesting and very sad event needed to be reported. In the late afternoon, a guy walked up to me when I was working out with Tink in between the English workouts with SS. He enjoyed the sight of Tink flying to me. He bought a grey a few years before. From his accounts, that was a very young chick with bare skin and pin feathers only.

He had absolutely no knowledge how to feed such a young chick. I felt like throwing up when he told me he feed sun flower seeds to that young chick as advised by the bird shop. I did not even bothered to ask him if he dehusk those seeds or not. Such young chicks were not even weaned even before going to the miserable diet of sunflower seeds only. He told me that chick died just a few days later.

That must have been a very ghastly death. I felt it was very unfair to that chick. He left me very badly shaken with the new knowledge I given him.

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You are very funny about the Yeo/Yu thing If it makes you feel better, I've been mentally "hearing" the name as "you" the entire time ;)

What about the leapfrog learning system for Yu's son: http://www.learningthings.com/categories/leapfrog.htm

I know they are for young children but I don't see why they wouldn't work just as well for someone learning English as a second language and it might help him after you are gone? Just a thought!


This world will be too miserable to live in if we cannot see the funny side of life.

And really to be honest, I am so used to using Yu and Yu after such a long time, it was really difficult for me to call him Yeo regardless that his family name sound like that. That it needed a drunken bout after all these years for that to come about indicated the incredible politeness of Taiwanese notwithstanding the fist fights and flying ash trays during their parliament.

I have been to so many of their temple dinners and not one corrected me even though I was saying his name wrongly. Perhaps none got drunk enough to ask me as Mr Shi did that night.

As for San Sian, it may please you I managed to brow beat him into submission and we completed a short story in English not withstanding that it had the Chinese equivalent sentence by sentence in another part of the book. I should have chosen a better book but I did not have the time. I cringed as we were going through that book as to the quality of the English of that book.

*part of description of a typhoon*
"Trees were uprooted and tore apart poorly constructed dwellings"

and "...adobes of the god's." and " .... you are now in Heaven's." and many other expressions that made my skin crawl.

The description of the author must have been a pack of lies such as contributing reporter of Seattle Times and writer of articles in the National Geographic. She looked gorgeous though. My mistake in selecting a book based on a photo purportedly to be that authoress.

That book was meant to be a kind of English text book in Taiwan.

Ah yes! It may please you to know I started him on 'Peter Pan'. The standard of English in that book is superb by any standard. SS liked that story too.


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