June 09, 2009

Words Truly Have Meaning in Chinese

In Chinese:

The word for sad is "shang xin" (both first tone) meaning "hurt heart"

The word for joyful is "kai xin" (both first tone) meaning "open heart"

The word for violin means "small thing you pick up and play"

The word for tomato is "xihongshi" (first, second, fourth tones) meaning "western red thing"

The phrase for one finger typing is "yi zhi chan" (first, third, fourth tones) meaning "One finger kung fu"!

The word for fast food is "la ji" (both first tone) meaning "garbage"!

To get married is "jie hun" (second and first tones) - hun means dizzy or confused, jie means connect... marriage is the connection two dizzy and confused people!

To do something immediately is to do it "mashang", or "on a horse". (I've been told that this can't be translated too literally.)

Ari turned four on the eighth of June. We had great plans, but all of them were foiled so we had to improvise the whole way. First we planned to go to the water park, but it rained for three days in a row on the weekend (in Beijing, this is very rare). So instead we went for a boat ride on a huge pond with canalways and giant edifaces along the edge. Then James was going to buy a cake (since we didn't have the ingredients to make something fun), but he only only had 35RMB on him (~$6) at the bakery, so instead we got four chocolate covered donuts. Then both options A and B for his birthday present disappeared into thin air (literally, one of the stores just disappeared with a big hole in its place).

But he enjoyed his donut and there were some other gifts to open (puppets from Grandma Barclay, face paints from our MCC reps, a hand made card from one of our teachers). And since we didn't have any candles, Ari got to blow out a lighter. Now that's classy.

All in all it was good. Yesterday I found a present, a stuffed Bugs Bunny, who already apparently needs mending since he's losing his inerds through a hole in his neck. If he had a jugular, he'd be dead. Might explain why the sales lady was so eager to sell him to me at a discount. Oh well, I have a sewing machine!


Sue said...

Hi! I just wanted to introduce myself as a friend of Steve's from Houston (and we know James, Diana, and Laura too). We got to meet Theresa a couple of months ago, or whenever it was that they were on their way down to Mexico.
Anyway, I love reading your blog. My husband, Mike, and I have been to China twice--Inner Mongolia--on medical msion trips with C. Medical and Dental Association (he's a family doctor). We're planning to go back again this year (starting Sept. 11th) and will try to contact you and James then.
I'm actually up to lesson 7 on Pimsleur's Mandarin 1! (wow, impressive, huh?!)
Our daughter Emily (20 yo; Rice U. student) is in Nanking this month with a C. campus organization. She and her team are having a great time.

The Freys said...

Its a pleasure to "meet" you! Its always nice to know when people are reading the blog. We would love to be in contact when you find yourself back in China!