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> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Donald J.
HARLOW

> Je 10.06 atm 2007.05.27, Dana NUTTER skribis (inter aliaj)
> >
> >I've even noticed
> >sometimes that they will mix up "he" and "she", something
that
> >is probably the result of only one Mandarin only having a
single
> >third-person pronoun, even though they seem to have no
problem
> >distinguishing the inanimate "it".
> 
> This is something that regularly occurs when Chinese speak
English, 
> but I've never noticed it happening when Chinese are speaking 
> Esperanto. This made no sense to me, since "he" and "she" are
used in 
> English almost (and I use the term because I'm just being my
usual 
> cautious self) identically with the use of "li" and "s^i" 
> respectively in Esperanto.
> 
> One suggestion (from a Chinese speaker of both English and
Esperanto) 
> is that the problem in English derives from the fact that the
tongue 
> articulations for "he" and "she" are so similar, whereas those
for 
> "li" and "s^i" are quite different. I don't much like this 
> explanation, but I can't think of a better one ...

But Mandarin has more distinctions than English in that area
with <h>, <x> and <sh>.


> Written Chinese distinguishes between the pronouns for "he"
and 
> "she", probably due to European influence.

I don't know if European influence has anything to do with it.
But there's also an inanimate character for <ta1> (= "it") as
well as a few others.

	? = he; him
	? = she, her
	? = it (used for things)
	? = it (used for animals)
	? = he, it (pronoun used for God)

This also doesn't take into account the plural forms created by
adding ?/? (men).

BTW: This is a very good online dictionary for Mandarin:

	http://www.mandarintools.com/worddict.html