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This a rather random set of associations that happened when working with my teacher 老师 - lăo shī on a Mandarin conversation about how to ask for a raise.
The conversation went something like this:
"Some vocabulary you'll need is 薪水 xīn shuĭ ..."
It was at this point that my mind switched off while the twitching little interpreter in my head worked overtime trying to figure out why she was talking about new water or 新水 xīn shuĭ. (Of course it's a different character for xīn but I did not realize that at the time because it would be pronounced exactly the same way.)
She looked at me and said, "no, no, it's celery"
Then the twitchy little man in my head started working on the connection between 薪水 - xīn shuĭ - celery and 水果 - shuĭ guŏ - which means fruit.
Again thinking about celery, I thought, okay that makes sense. Fruit has a lot of water (水果 - shuĭ guŏ) and I guess that celery is a pretty water-intensive vegetable (whatever the hell that means) but it was close enough to remember.
"oh a raise is called celery, interesting."
It's impressive how earnestly people can shake their head to display just how wrong you are. Of course she hadn't said celery but instead had said salary - 薪水 xīn shuĭ.
That odd set of connections has ensured that I remember how to say salary but as I started writing this I realized I forgot how to ask for a 'raise'. Anyone know?
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