i can't believe i actually googled it again for this picture

lovelybooksandcats  asked:

Your Mandarin is goals:O Any tips on learning tones/speaking better? (Especially if I don't have people to practice with/am shy?) I learned Mandarin for a couple years before, but our teacher kind of gave up on tones and we thought that it will somehow magically get better, so now I don't know/can't pronounce tones and don't have anyone to help me..:( Also, people like you give me hope, because I keep hearing so much of "if you're not native, your tones will always suck" that I believe it.

omg thank you! You’re so sweet :D <3

I definitely understand your position - I’m really shy, and my first Chinese teacher didn’t emphasize tones at all. It’s a rough place to be, and I’m sorry it’s happening to you… But there are definitely ways you can work through it!

First, if you feel like you’re not familiar with tones at all, or you’re a little shaky on what each one should sound like, find a Youtube video that explains and demonstrates the tones (like this one, for example - there are so many you can choose from!). Work on pronouncing the tones along with the video until you’re comfortable with both listening to and producing them.

Once you’ve got that down, you can start small by practicing tone pairs. This means working through a chart or list of two-syllable words to practice pronouncing one tone in combination with another. You can find tone pair drills (like the one in this blog post) by Googling for them. This will help you actually apply the tones to real words rather than practicing them in isolation. It can also help you get familiar with Mandarin’s tone sandhi, or tone change rules, which you can find an explanation of here. If you come across a syllable you’re not sure how to pronounce, you can use a pinyin chart with audio like this one to hear what it should sound like.

After you’re comfortable with the tone pairs, you can use the Read Chinese! website as an excellent resource. I would recommend choosing one article at a time to focus on. Pinyin and an mp3 recordings are provided for each one. Since your goal is to practice pronunciation, read ONLY the pinyin, and read it aloud. Don’t get hung up on the characters or on trying to understand what it means. (If you want to work on that, do so after you feel comfortable reading it.) Start out reading as slowly as you need to, exaggerate the tones, mark the places that get you tongue-tied and work especially on those. Keep at it with the same article for a few days at least. Read it again and again until you’re sick of it, then read it a few more times, and THEN pick a new one. I know it sounds boring, but I did this literally for months and it works if you take it seriously and put in the time and effort.

Finally, something that really helps keep me aware of tones as I learn new words is color-coding. When I make my vocabulary flash cards, I always write the characters and corresponding pinyin in one of 5 colors (one color for each tone including the neutral tone). The Chinese dictionary on my phone has a setting to color-code this way, as well, so I’ve matched the colors in my dictionary and on my flash cards. (I have Hanping Chinese Dictionary, which is only available for Android, but I believe Pleco has the same kind of setting.) This might help you out with enforcing the tones for words you already know, as well as learning them from the outset with new vocab in the future. Personally, I color code as follows: 1st tone - red/pink; 2nd tone - orange; 3rd tone - green; 4th tone - blue; neutral tone - black/gray. But you can choose any colors you like! If you want to see what my color-coding looks like in action, there are some pictures here and here.

I hope this helps! If you have questions about anything or need any other advice, feel free to send me another ask or a private message! 加油!

5SOS PREFERENCES #109: "BUT..."
  • Luke: "But, babe," Luke pouted like a child. "No 'but's Luke. There's no way I'm using that costume in public", you pointed to the computer screen, on which there was a picture of the kitten costume Luke wanted you to wear the the boys Halloween party, "Where did you even find this?! It looks like something that came off from a porn movie." "I was just googling and I cam across it", he sighed. "Yeah, sure", you giggled, pecking his cheek. "Please?", he tried again, looking at you with those irresistible blue eyes. "I'm sorry, Luke. But I'm not wearing that in front of everyone", you played with his hair, "Maybe when we're alone..." "Really?!", he stood up excitedly, like a little kid on Christmas day. "Maybe, yeah", you laughed and he took the computer away from you, purchasing the costume.
  • Ashton: "But, (Y/N)" Ashton whined, "I'm hungry." "Make yourself a sandwich," you sighed, too focused on your reading. "But it doesn't tastes as good as when you make it", he pouted. "That's a shame now, isn't it, Ashton?", you giggled. "I cannot believe you're going to let me starve!", he exclaimed. "Stop being a drama queen, Ashton," you laughed, "I just don't want to make you a sandwich right now." "You're the worst girlfriend ever!", Ashton child likely said. "Oh, really? You didn't seem to think that last night," you spat at him. "You know what? I just thought of something that always tastes really good when I'm eating it," he smirked, grabbing your feet and pulling you closer to him. "Ash," you giggled, wrestling to get out of his grip. "Nah-ah", he said, "I'm starving and you know just what I like to eat," he regained controls on your legs and pulled you closer and closer to him.
  • Michael: "But," Michael started. "No, Michael, we're not getting a puppy." "But, (Y/N), look at those eyes! We can't just leave it here! It's already attached to us", he argued. You knew coming to this adoption thing Michael had insisted was a stupid idea, but you came anyways. "Michael, we won't be able to take care of it." "We'll learn how to!", he said, picking it up, "It'd be just like practicing for a baby eventually." "You're not actually comparing that puppy to a baby, are you?", you said sternly. "C'mon, (Y/N). Please? I just want to be with a family that treats me well and loves me," he put the puppy in front of his face, mocking a possible voice for it. "Oh, God, Michael stop it," you giggled. "Who's Michael?", he continued, "I'm betting he's a hot boyfriend you might have. And I bet he'd love to take me home. Please, (Y/N), don't leave me here alone." "Oh, God, fine Michael", you rolled your eyes, taking the puppy in your arms, "We're taking you home, okay?", you told it in a high pitched voice.
  • Calum: "But... But," Calum tried to get out. "No 'but's, Calum, you lost the game," you smirked. It was actually Calum's idea that you should play 'too hot', and you were a little unsure at first. But, you figure that, even if you lost, you'd end up winning. "How did I lose it?!", Calum muttered to himself. "It was on the moment I bit your lip and you grabbed my bum, if you're wondering," you teased him. "Well, I guess I'm your slave now," he bit his lip, wrapping his arms around your waist and pressing your chest to his. "That sounds nice," you giggled, playing with his hair, "I have to thing what I'm going to do with you now." "I can help you come up with a few ideas," he purred, running his nose along your jaw line. "Yeah? I'd like that, please," you bit your lip to repress a smile. "Let's begin, then," he smirked, pressing your lips together.

anonymous asked:

I'm hoping you may be able to help an Arrow fan out. I've googled and googled but I can't find an official Arrow t-shirt anywhere. Have you heard of any coming out?

Anon, I know I’ve been sitting on your message for quite awhile now.  Apologies for that.  I haven’t been ignoring it.  I’ve actually been hunting for your answer.  Can you believe that the only shirt I’ve seen labeled as “official” Arrow merchandise is this one?  I found it on Amazon as well, with the seller identified as DC Comics.  I have found zero other official shirt merchandise anywhere from anyone, not the cwnetwork, thecwarrow, warnerbrostv, or DC Comics.

The same site carrying the above identified official shirt also has this one.

I did find other official Arrow merchandise at WBShop.com’s Arrow page. but… well… you’ll see what I mean when you look.

*sigh*

And now I’m going to be blunt.

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