Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Chinese websites

You use these websites all the time, but do you know how they are called in Chinese language? Here are the Chinese names of some popular websites:
谷歌(Gǔgē): Google
雅虎(Yǎhǔ): Yahoo
必应(Bìyìng): Bing
维基百科(Wéijībǎikē): Wikipedia
脸书(Liǎnshū): Facebook

And below are some really popular Chinese websites:
百度(Bǎidù): Chinese Google
阿里巴巴(Ālǐbābā): combination of eBay and Amazon
淘宝 (Táobǎo): Chinese eBay; owned by Alibaba group
优酷(Yōukù): Chinese YouTube
新浪微博(Xīnlàng wēibó ): Sina Weibo; combination of Twitter and Facebook

Hope this is useful. Feel free to add to this list.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

my chinese poem . . .

This is my 100th post and I would like to share something special. This is the only poem I have written in Chinese language. Actually it is the only poem I have written in any language. For one of my Chinese courses, I had to write a poem describing a picture I took in China. Below is a picture I took in Emei Shan and the poem I wrote about it. Hope you like it.
And here is the English translation:
On Emei Shan
You and I stand in front of candle lights
I feel warm on this cold day
Is it the candle flame, or you?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

That’s wonderful

We just learned a new word 马马虎虎 (mǎmǎhǔhǔ). But where does it lie in the range of expressions used to describe the qualities of things?

好极了(hǎo jíle) ,太好了(tài hǎole)
非常好(fēicháng hǎo) ,很好(hěn hǎo) ,好 (hǎo)

不错 (bùcuò) ,还可以 (hái kěyǐ) ,马马虎虎(mǎmǎhǔhǔ)

不太好 (bù tài hǎo)

不好 (bù hǎo) ,差 (chà) ,坏 (huài)

It goes from That’s wonderful (好极了) to bad (). Now I hope you know how to express exactly how you feel.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Some Chinese words I love

When I first started learning Chinese, there were few words that instantly became my favorites. Today I am going to share them with you.
糟糕 (zāogāo): too bad

马马虎虎 (mǎmǎhǔhǔ): so-so

糊里糊涂 (hu li hú tu): confused

公共汽车 (gōnggòng qìchē): bus
You can see a trend here. They all became my favorites because of the way they sound. Do you have any you can add to this list?

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

People’s Republic of China

We learned that China is called 中国 (Zhōngguó) in Chinese language. And maybe you also know that the official name of China is People’s Republic of China. But do you know how to say that in Chinese?
Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó
People’s Republic of China

Where else have we seen 人民 (Rénmín)? Do you remember this?
人民币 (Rénmínbì): People’s currency
人民币 (Rénmínbì) is the official currency of China.

Below are few other instances where you can find 人民 (Rénmín).
Zhōngguó rénmín jiěfàngjūn
People’s Liberation Army

Rénmín guǎngchǎng
People’s Square

Zhōngguó rénmín dàxué
People’s University of China

Sunday, March 31, 2013

What about the ugly people?

We already talked about the Tall, rich and handsome men and White, rich and beautiful women. What about the ugly ones? Yes, there is an expression to describe people like me as well.
矮丑穷 (ǎi chǒu qióng): short, ugly and poor
(ǎi): short
(chǒu): ugly
(qióng): poor

There is also another expression, a bit shorter, used for short, ugly and poor people.
屌丝 (diǎosī)
屌丝 (diǎosī) has become a very popular word among the Chinese youth. Many of them also use this expression to describe themselves in order to distinguish them from the ‘Tall, rich and handsome men' and ‘White, rich and beautiful women’. So it is not necessarily a derogatory term.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

It’s been two years …

I started this blog exactly two years ago. Can’t believe it’s been two years already. This is my 95th post today, so that is almost 50 posts a year on average.  I couldn’t write as much during this year due to work and other obligations, but I hope to keep writing as much as I can. I have tried to cover as varied topics as I can. Let me know what you think. Anything you want me to write about?
And of course a big thank you to you all for reading my blog and leaving comments. If you keep reading, I will keep writing. Let the third year begin.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

White, Rich and Beautiful

We just had a post on good looking men. Some of you might be waiting for a post about pretty women. Here it is.

So what is the female version of Tall, Rich and Handsome?
白富美 (bái fù měi): White, rich and beautiful
(bái): white
(fù): rich
(měi): beautiful

And here is another expression used for extremely pretty women:
倾国倾城 (qīng guó qīng chéng): drop dead gorgeous
(qīng): collapse/overturn
(guó): country
(chéng): city
She is so beautiful that she can sweep a city or even a nation off their feet.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Prince on a White Horse

We just talked about the ‘leftover women’. Maybe the reason they are single is because they are waiting for their prince charming. In Chinese language, these men are called ‘Prince on a White Horse’
白马王子 (bái mǎ wáng zǐ): Prince on a White Horse
白马(bái mǎ): White horse
王子 (wáng zǐ): Prince

Here is another Chinese expression to describe good looking men
高富帅 (gāo fù shuài): Tall, rich and handsome
(gāo): Tall
(fù): Rich
(shuài): Handsome

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Leftover women

Recently I came across a very interesting article. Apparently, unmarried female who are older than 27 are labeled as ‘leftover women’ in China. Leftover? That’s a harsh word to use.
As we always do, let’s learn how to say the phrase in Chinese language:
剩女 (shèngnǚ): leftover women
I normally use the word leftover when referring to food. So let’s learn how to say that as well:
剩菜 (shèng cài): leftovers
剩饭 (shèng fàn): leftovers
And below is a sentence showing a general use of (shèng):
Hái shèng duōshǎo?
How much is leftover?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Jasmine Flower

It’s been a while since we learned a song. So let’s learn a very popular Chinese folk song today. Click here for the full lyrics.
茉莉花 (Mòlìhuā) Jasmine Flower
Hăo yì duǒ měilì de mòlìhuā.
What a beautiful jasmine flower,

Hăo yì duǒ měilì de mòlìhuā.
What a beautiful jasmine flower.
Fēnfāng měilì măn zhī yā,
A spray of fragrance and lovely petals,

Yòu xiāng yòu bái rénrén kuā.
Everyone loves your snow-white buds.

Ràng wǒ lái jiānɡ nĭ zhāi xià,
Let me pick a jasmine flower,

Sòng gěi biérén jiā.
And give it to others.

Mòlìhuā ya mòlìhuā.
Jasmine flowers, jasmine flowers.
Why did I pick this song? Not because this is one of my favorite, but because Celine Dion sang this song in Mandarin for a New Year Gala show. If you didn’t already know, February 10 was the Chinese New year and this is the year of snake. Check this post to learn how to say Happy New Year in Chinese language.
And below is a video of Celine Dion singing the Jasmine Flower song.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

You get what you pay for

I flew Ryanair recently and thought of the expression ‘you get what you pay for’. For those who don’t know, Ryanair is a budget Irish airline which is notorious for its service.  Out of curiosity I looked up how to say ‘you get what you pay for’ in Chinese language and this is what I found.

Yī fēn qián, yī fēn huò
One cent money, one cent goods

(qián): money

As you might already know 人民币 (Rénmínbì) is the official currency of China. 人民币 (Rénmínbì) translates to ‘people’s currency’. (Yuán) is the primary unit of 人民币 (Rénmínbì).

1 (yuán) = 10 (jiǎo)
1 (jiǎo) = 10 (fēn)

In everyday Chinese, money is referred as (kuài) instead of (Yuán). So, 100would be called 一百块 (Yī bǎi kuài). (kuài) is also a measure word for money.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I will love you forever

We just learned how to say ‘I will love you forever’ in Chinese language. Here it is again:
Ài nǐ yī shēng yī shì
Love you forever

What are some other ways of saying the same thing?
Wǒ huì yǒng yuǎn ài nǐ
I will love you forever

Wǒ huì ài nǐ bèi zi
I will love you forever

So here are few ways of saying ‘forever’ in Chinese language
一生一世 (yī shēng yī shì): for life; forever
永远 (yǒng yuǎn): forever; always
一辈子 ( bèi zi): all life

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Love you forever day

I recently read an article that thousands of couples in China were rushing to get married on January 4, 2013. The reason? In Mandarin, January 4 2013 sounds similar to the phrase ‘I will love you all my life’.
In an earlier blog post, we learned that we always use (year) (month) (date)format when writing dates in Chinese. So January 4, 2013 would be:
2013 1 4
Èr líng yī sān nián yuè

Now take only the parts in bold above, that is only the numbers from the date, and you get:
Èr líng yī sān  yī sì

And this sounds very similar to:
Ài nǐ yī shēng yī shì
Love you forever

That is the reason why this day is also known as the ‘Love you forever’ day.
一生一世 (yī shēng yī shì): for life; forever

Check this post to find out on which another date the Chinese couple were rushing to get married.