Tuesday, 1 January 2008


The first character is tiào, 跳, which means to jump, and the second one is shuǐ, 水, which means water. So, tiào shuǐ is the art of jumping into water, or diving.

tiào is pronounced teow, to rhyme with meow. It has the 4th or falling tone. A good mnemonic for this might be to think of the diver falling into the water as you say the word.
shuǐ is pronounced shway, and has the 3rd or falling and rising tone. To remember this tone, think of the water falling and rising.

Notice that you have actually learnt three words today. The Mandarin language often uses combinations of two or more simple words, to create other words.

China has been leading Olympic diving for twenty years now, so they will expect to do well at the Beijing Olympics.