One of the big headaches about learning Chinese is the relative dearth of cognates and loanwords. None of that “car” is “carro” stuff you get when you start learning Spanish. In fact, when you do learn words that were transliterated into English from Chinese (like 麦克风 for “microphone”), the result is often bizarre and a lot harder to learn than if it had been “more Chinese” (keep in mind that you also have to learn all the …
This video is too amusing to just let it go by… This guy on his scooter is so comically bad that it almost feels engineered. Like it’s meant to be some kind of allegory or something. Anyway:
Here’s the 4.5 MB animated GIF version (blown up 2X):
[Sorry, had to remove the GIF… it was getting too much traffic, and it’s a fairly large file!]
This GIF had the title “humanity is powerless to stop him from riding his scooter” …
It’s April Fool’s Day (愚人节), and I don’t have anything special, but I just thought I’d share this cute photo I saw online:
Here’s the original text:
Here’s the text with punctuation (and pinyin tooltips added):
And the translation:
School’s out. I’m so happy! Lao Hu, hurry up!
OK. Just packing up my book bag.
Have a good April Fool’s Day, 童鞋们 (that’s cutesy talk for 同学们).…
I saw an interesting Chinese forward called 小学生造句 (“elementary school students make sentences”). Obviously, the sentences produced are not exactly what the teacher was looking for. Here are some of the more amusing ones (some understanding of Chinese grammar may be required):
Although never studying it too diligently, I’ve always suspected that the syllable “gang” plays a prominent role in Shanghainese. Then I got this forward which proves it (see image at right). Don’t spend too much time trying to make sense of the Mandarin; it’s just a silly story about 江江, 杠杠, 傻傻, and 岗岗 calling each other dumb (傻). And yes, it’s pretty contrived. But the Shanghainese version is hilarious.
If you can read Chinese, …
Recently the WeChat app was kind enough to alert me to this news story:
This, as you know, is an apolitical blog, and stories like this are among the least interesting to me personally. But this guy’s name demands to be noticed. His name is 刘铁男. That’s “Liu Iron Man.” His parents named him “Iron Man.” That’s kind of awesome. I haven’t been forced to take notice of a name like this since I discovered the lovely lass …
We’ve been doing some video clip dubbing experiments for fun on the AllSet Learning YouTube page. We started with Downton Abbey, and did Dracula for Halloween. That one was a bit on the discouraging side (although what can you really expect from Dracula?), so we decided to do a much more upbeat one. The result is this classic clip from Animal House dubbed to be about learning Chinese.
Our intern Jack has been doing a good job and having …
A half-Chinese, half-American actor by the name of Mike Sui (Mike 隋) has been making quite a stir on Weibo and on the Chinese web with his recent video in which he plays the part of 12 different nationalities/personalities. He does various accents in both English and Chinese (and he’s clearly fluent in both). My favorite is the Taiwanese one (starting at around 7 minutes). Take a look if you haven’t seen it already:
(More details about the video …
A friend of a friend has started a new video series in Beijing called No Drama Real China. The host is a Chinese girl named Rachel Guo. The concept is simple: ask a cross-section of Beijing’s population some interesting questions related to Chinese culture, and present the hodge-podge of answers in all its heterogeneous glory for the benefit of cross-cultural understanding (so, with subtitles, obviously). The result is interesting, funny, and perhaps even educational (especially for all you students …
Via John Biesnecker:
Sorry, I can’t credit the original author because I don’t know it. I added the Chinese translation into the mix (蝴蝶).
This is especially hilarious to me personally because I know very little German, but I actually learned the German word “schmetterling” long ago by chance, and found the word enormously amusing. Guess I’m not the only one!…