儺 – Nuo2 – Exorcise
From the advertising for this one you’d think it would be a horror movie. A better title would have been The Trial About The Exorcism Of Emily Rose.
寧 – Ning2 – Tranquil
安寧 – An1 Ning2 – Peace Tranquil — Serenity
What are the chances that some obsessed fan has exhaustively cataloged every Chinese phrase used in every episode of Firefly, and the Serenity movie, and has listed how to write them (simplified AND traditional) with their pronounciations and definitions, as well as cross references to similar phrases and phrases in other episodes? On this internet, 100%.
金 – Jin1 – Metal, Gold
金字塔 – Jin1 Zi4 Ta3 – Gold Word Tower — Pyramid
I’ve been told that the mip in Trilinear Mipmap Interpolation stands for “Multiple Image Pyramid”, which makes sense. However, the paper that popularized the word (according to Wikipedia) says “Mip” mapping is a particular format for two-dimensional parametric functions, which, along with its associated addressing scheme, has been used successfully to bandlimit texture mapping at New York Institute of Technology since 1979. The acronym “mip” is from the Latin phrase “multum in parvo,” meaning “many things in a small place.”
鍵 – Jian4 – Key
鍵盤 – Jian4 Pan2 – Key Tray — Keyboard
I don’t remember if this one was the alpha or omega, but either way, I got it! Tomorrow: coolness points DOUBLED! Productivity, unfortunately, HALVED. I never look at the keyboard normally, but I’m sure with the letters missing I’ll be all psyched out.
孝 – Xiao4 – Filial
孝順 – Xiao4 Shun4 – Filial Obey — Filial Piety
This page has some stories of filial piety. Jenny knows the one with the mosquitoes and she also told me another one: A mother used to whip her son when he was bad. He would usually take the punishment quietly, but one day when she whipped him he began to cry. She asked him why, and he said “You aren’t whipping me as hard as usual. I think you are beginning to become old and weak!”
順 – Shun4 – Arrange, Obey, Smooth, Flowing
Recently at work I’ve been trying to make a certain 300 millisecond long animation absolutely perfectly smooth, which means I get to use all sorts of really cool tricks.
大 – Da4 – Big, Great
Can you believe it took me this long to realize what a fertile source of Word of the Day ideas the ENDLESS stream of mario sheet music queries is? Also, this is just kind of cute:
小提琴 – Xiao3 Ti2 Qin2 – Small Raise Instrument — Violin
中提琴 – Zhong1 Ti2 Qin2 – Middle Raise Instrument — Viola
大提琴 – Da4 Ti2 Qin2 – Big Raise Instrument — Cello
至 – Zhi4 – Arrive, Until, Extremely
至日 – Zhi4 Ri4 – Arrive Day — Solstice
夏至 – Xia4 Zhi4 – Summer Arrive — Summer Solstice
冬至 – Dong1 Zhi4 – Winter Arrive — Winter Solstice
Tune back in three months for “equinox”! I bet you can’t stand the suspense!
Update: ALL LIES!
This story is just too perfect to be true. A student at UMass Dartmouth was working on a research paper and did an interlibrary loan request for Mao’s Little Red Book. This triggered a red flag in some comptuer buried under Washington DC, and soon enough the student was visited by two agents from the Department of Homeland Security.
Once you pick your jaw up off the floor, get this: the class the student was taking was Fascism and Totalitarianism! I guess they learned a little more than they expected.
殼 – Ke2, Qiao4 – Shell
蛋殼 – Dan4 Ke2 – Egg Shell
地殼 Di4 Qiao4 – Earth Shell — Crust
I found out recently from a cow orker that in Danish, kneecaps are “Knee Shells” (knæskallen). I tried to dazzle him with my encylopediac knowledge by replying “Oh yeah? In Chinese, fingernails are FINGER ARMOR!” He was insufficiently impressed.
化 – Hua4 – Transform, Change
化學 – Hua4 Xue2 – Change Study — Chemistry
I think the generic commercials have now officially crossed over into the the twilight zone. Foods like Beef, Cheese, and Pork came first, then things got a little strange with commercials for Plastic and even Plywood. But now I’ve seen one that completely blows my mind: Chemistry! A commercial for CHEMISTRY!
My friends and I were trying to figure out where these commercials could go next. It was a tie between “The Weak Nuclear Force: it’s not just for W bosons anymore!” and “Enthalpy saved my dad.” I guess, though, truth being stranger than fiction, this has already been brought to its completely inescapable and absurdist conclusion with the VERB: it’s what you do campaign.
冬 – Dong1 – Winter
冬蔭功 – Dong1 Yin4 Gong1 – Tom Yum Goong
泰式酸辣湯 – Tai4 Shi4 Suan1 La4 Tang1 – Thai Style Sour Spicy Soup — Tom Yum Goong
Warning: Movie spoilers ahead!
In Tony Jaa’s first movie, Ong Bak, bad guys come to his simple country village and steal their small statue, causing Tony Jaa to have to leave the village and go out into the world to try to get it back. He meets some people from home who will help him, and eventually, through the use of an amazing amount of flying knee attacks, incredible stunts, and crushing elbows to heads, gets the statue back…. but then suffers a defeat! He is too late to save a larger statue! But, turning defeat into victory, he manages to use the statue as a weapon to finally destroy the bad guys altogether.
Now replace every instance of “statue” with “elephant”, and you have the description of his latest movie, Tom Yum Goong!
民 – Min2 – People, Civilian
公民 – Gong1 Min2 – Public Person — Citizen
We’ve finally seen “The Best Movie Ever Made Ever In The History Of The Universe”, Citizen Kane. Meh.
嚇 – Xia4 – Scare
A common expression is 你嚇我一跳 – Ni3 Xia4 Wo3 Yi1 Tiao4! – You Scared Me One Jump! This leads to the obvious conclusion that the unit that fear is measured in is “the jump”.
磁 – Ci2 – Magnetic
磁鐵 – Ci2 Tie3 – Magnetic Iron – Magnet
Do you have a magnet with your phone number on it?
味 – Wei4 – Taste
Beware incorrect Chinese lessons on the backs of fortune cookie fortunes! I got one the other day that said “Flavor” is written 口味 and pronounced Wei Dao. But 味道 is actually Wei4 Dao5! 口味 is actually Kou3 Wei4. They’re both legit ways to say “flavor”, but they mixed up the pronounciations and the characters.
Instead you should CLEARLY get your Chinese lessons at sketchy websites by American guys who post boring anecdotes from their lives that are tenuously linked to random Chinese words late at night. That’s the ticket.
流 – Liu2 – Flow
流感 – Liu2 Gan3 – Flow Feeling — Flu
I’m pretty sure Jenny and I both caught the flu. She’s now all better and I’m getting worse! If my sickness continues to follow the same track as hers I now have a Very Wonderful Week to look forward to. The Official Flu Homepage confirms what I already knew: there’s not really much you or a doctor can do, other than the normal rest and fluids and over-the-counter stuff for the symptoms.
Luckily, as weeks go, this will be a reasonable one to miss work, if needed. The funniest part of all this is about two weeks ago they came over the loudspeaker and said “Anybody who wants the flu shot, please come to conference room A. Thank you.” I thought to myself “Ha! Flu shot? Who gets that?”
症 – Zheng4 – Disease
Jenny has been sick for almost a week with the most horrible cold ever: it started with a slight sore throat, then quickly exploded into full-on sickness including 24×7 coughing, so much coughing that it’s hard for her to sleep. She seems to now be slowly getting better, which is good, but just today I noticed that I have… a slight sore throat. VERY VERY BAD.
建 – Jian4 – Establish, Build, Construct
Working on a large software system with a high rate of change in the application software is hard. Working on a project with a high rate of change in the base APIs is even harder. Working on a project that has both of those things, AND a constant stream of changes to the BUILD SYSTEM… is almost impossible.