7. Fun with the Chinese Language – Bill Snead

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3 weeks, Wednesdays, March 15, 22, 29, 9 to 11 AM. Mandarin Chinese is a very different and difficult language to learn. Unlike English, it does not use an alphabet. Instead, it uses tones to multiply limited sounds to create a functional language. Also unlike English, it lacks tenses for verbs or plurals for nouns. If you have been to China, you saw the exceptional beauty of the traditional hand-written forms created with the brush. This course will not teach you how to speak Mandarin Chinese! But you will learn a few basic greetings, such as how to say names of famous leaders, what English words derived from Chinese, and what the names of famous places mean. You also will begin to understand how context governs conjugation of verbs by hearing a communication between ground station and Chinese airplanes. Class size is limited to allow for maximum participation.

Bill Snead and his wife Caroline came to Sun City in 2014. He enjoys wheel-throwing pottery and woodworking, and is becoming interested in silversmithing. They both are regular line and ballroom dancers. Bill joined the Air Force out of high school and was assigned to Yale’s Institute of Far Eastern Languages to learn Mandarin Chinese before serving a tour of duty in Korea. He then was assigned back for more training at Yale and then security school at Goodfellow AFB, plus another tour of duty in Taiwan, always working with spoken and written Chinese.  He was a fellow at the Center for Chinese Studies at Berkeley, earning degrees in Economics, and then onto the U of Michigan’s law school.