flwyd: (step to the moon be careful)
Acai (more properly açai) products, generally targeted at health or weight loss, have been a hot spam item in the last year or two. One slipped through SpamAssassin today with a link to www.permanent-honorable-fruit.cn. Fitting that such a domain is in China, because "perfect honorable fruit" sounds exactly like the sort of phrase that's beautiful and insightful in Chinese and completely befuddling in English.

Intrigued, I looked up[1] the Chinese translation for each word. One possibility is héng zūnguì guǒ:
恒 - héng permanent / constant
尊贵 - zūnguì - respected / respectable / honorable (from zūn - respect, revere, venerate; honor and guì - expensive, costly, valuable)
果 - guǒ - fruit / result (guǒ is the character used in "fruit juice," "fruit tree," and several fruit names)

But then I noticed another option for fruit:
实 - shí - real / true / honest / really / solid / fruit / seed
shí is also the pronunciation of my family name, 石 - Stone (and the number 10 and lots of other things). It amuses me that shíshí can be 实石, "fruit stone." As [livejournal.com profile] mollybzz and I worked out one day, "Trevorberries are peaches. Fuzzy on the outside, sweet on the inside, and with a stone in the middle."

[1] Mad props to MDBG Chinese-English Dictionary. Without that fine website, I'd get absolutely nowhere on Chinese.
flwyd: (Trevor Stone Character)
Two follow-up thoughts to my post about writing systems yesterday:

The obvious advantage of simplified Chinese characters over traditional characters is that they're easier to learn. The People's Educators have taught a couple hundred million people how to read and write a very complicated writing system, so using 门 instead of 門 as the foundation for a big pile of characters makes it a little easier. But there's a more subversive effect: It makes it harder for people to read old books. If the only books printed in simplified characters were approved by the Communist Party, young impressionable minds wouldn't be exposed to the books that slipped through the cracks of the cultural revolution.

In the way that some people form book clubs, I should join a Wikipedia club. Every week we pick a topic and share what we've learned about it from the Internet.


In other news, I seem to get stupid when I'm sick. I've been fighting a cold for four days and just now realized that I have Emergen-C at home, at work, and probably in my backpack somewhere.
flwyd: (Trevor Stone Character)
I admit that one reason I want to learn Chinese is so I can play silly with words as in Lion-Eating Poet in the Stone Den. I'm curious if Mandarin has more senses of "li" or of "shi." Language is so cool.

5/20, Everyone!

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008 07:28 am
flwyd: (tell tale heart)
In Mandarin, the digits 5, 2, 0 (五二零) are pronounced as wû èr líng. The phrase I love you (我爱你) is pronounced wô aì nî, which sounds close enough that young Chinese will use 520 in text messages as a code for "I love you." I hear the number 520 bus is a popular scenic route today among couples.

So whatever else happens today, remember that 520.

Not Of

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008 05:44 pm
flwyd: (Trevor Stone Character)
Buddha is 不的.
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