Andrew is slowing learning the Chinese language of Mandarin. To learn Mandarin, missionaries first learn to speak and read by using the phonetic system of Pinyin. Pinyin uses letters to sound out words. For example, "Ni hao ma?" sounds like, "Knee how ma?" This means "How are you?" Once missionaries learn to speak Mandarin using Pinyin, they start to memorize kanji. Kanji are characters that represent words that cannot be sounded out. The meaning and sound of the different kanji have to be memorized. Also, Mandarin is a tonal language, meaning that there are four different tones that are used to say different words. For example, "ma" in Mandarin means four different words depending on what word you are trying to say. Ma can mean horse, ant, mother, or scold, depending on what tone you use to say the word. The picture illustrates this concept.