I thought this might be good for some of our gamers out there. I have also seen the majority of these words from playing video games in Chinese and from signing up to websites. On a side note, I absolutely love the word 魅力. I learned it while playing Final Fantasy XI Online in Japanese. The character 魅 is very aesthetically pleasing and together with 力 it completes my little OCD heart.


Some basic computer vocabulary for you. I have my own system in Chinese (zh_TW) and I have seen all of these words except for Microsoft, Mac, and CPU, just from using my computer. Those three words are usually just written in English. An add-on word for you that wasn’t in this book is 應用程式, which means an app or application, such as those on your smart phone. 核心字彙 微軟 – Microsoft 麥金塔 – Mac 系統 – System 視窗作業系統 – Windows 處理器 – Processor 記憶體 – Memory (RAM) 位元 – Bit 版本 – Version 硬體 – Hardware 軟體 – Software 程式 – Program 驅動程式 – Driver 使用者 – User 磁碟 – Disk 中央處理器 – CPU (Central Processing Unit) 輸入 – Input 輸出 – Output 檔案 – File 界面 – Interface 安裝 – Install


So we have some Western-style breakfast foods vocabulary. I thought this might be useful for being able to talk about what you’ve had for breakfast. I used a lot of these words when I was in Taiwan ordering 蛋糕 🙂 核心字彙 培根 (péigēn) – Bacon 奶油 (nǎiyóu) – Butter 鼓片 (gǔpiàn) – Cereal 咖啡 (kāfēi) – Coffee 玉米片 (yùmǐ piàn) – Cornflakes 糖霜玉米片 (tángshuāng yùmǐ piàn) – Frosted cornflakes (雞)蛋 (jīdàn) – Egg 法式土司 (fàshì tǔsī) – French toast 燕麥捲 (yànmài juǎn) – Granola 火腿 (huǒ tuǐ) – Ham 果醬 (guǒjiàng) – Jam 貝果 (bèiguǒ) – Bagel 美奶滋 (měinǎizī) – Mayonnaise 英式鬆餅 (yīngshì sōngbǐng) – English muffin 鬆餅 (sōngbǐng) – Waffle 煎餅 (jiānbǐng) – Pancake 蛋包 (dànbāo) – Omelet 燕麥片 (yànmàipiàn) – Oatmeal 薯餅 (shǔbǐng) – Hash browns 烤土司 (kǎo tǔsī) – Toast

Learning from your phone, pt. 2

So here’s another screenshot that we can use to grab some simple vocabulary. This image was taken from the “Attach” button when sending an SMS message on my Android phone. Here’s our breakdown: 附加: Attach/Additional 附 here means “to attach” and 加 means “to add”. The noun that you will probably see with this is 附件 “attachment”. 圖片: Picture Pronounced tu2 pian4. 圖 is a “picture” or “diagram”.

Learning from your phone, pt. 1

Learning another language doesn’t have to be all about books and studying. You can learn by having fun or just doing day-to-day activities. Something that most of us use constantly everyday is our phone. If you have a smart phone, you can easily learn very useful vocabulary from it. Here I’ve got my Android phone’s settings page in both in Mandarin(Taiwan) and in English. For the Mainland Chinese version, see the bottom of the post.


ㄑㄧㄤˊ ㄅㄧˋ qiángbì a wall Quite simple, this one. It means wall. You will also see 牆 used by itself or with other 漢字 where its meaning is still “wall”, e.g., 防火牆 (firewall). 例子 「我的房間牆壁發霉了表面沒有裂痕沒有剝落﹍」 “The wall in my room has become moldy. There are no cracks and it is not peeling…” ↓簡體↓


ㄒㄧㄢˋ ㄐㄧㄥˇ xiàn jǐng a trap For some reason 井 always makes me this of this word. I believe I first saw it when playing Final Fantasy VII in Chinese. Unfortunately, I don’t have a screenshot of it, so this will have to do. “They’re here. Or is it a trap?” This one is very straightforward. I will mention two things though. The 「一」 is omitted here since it is casual speech.


ㄗㄠˊㄐㄧㄥˇ záo jǐng to dig a well This is a really fun one. So 鑿 means “to chisel” or “to bore a hole” and 井 means “a well”. Simple enough. I love the complexity of the character 鑿. Etymologically it is quite a melting pot. I’m not going to go completely into its etymology, maybe in a future post, but for now you can content yourself with this.


ㄇㄞˊㄈㄨˊ mái fú to ambush; ambush So after writing the previous post, I liked this word and figured we should make it a vocab word. 🙂 It is one of those interesting ones. Interestingly enough, 埋 means “to bury” and “伏” means “to lie low” (among many other meanings). You may not use this one everyday, but it’s a fun one to know. 🙂


ㄌㄧㄢˊㄧ lián yī a ripple I found this one when reading 龍騎士(Eragon). Here’s the actual sentence from the book. The full sentence from this is… 「三個騎著白馬的騎士向埋伏慢慢跑來,他們的頭高傲的抬著,外衣在月光下像液體的銀一樣起了漣漪」 “Three horseman riding white horses slowly raced toward the ambush, with their heads raised proudly and clothing rippling like liquid silver in the moonlight.” More literally — “Three riding-white-horse horsmen toward ambush slowly came running, their heads proudly raised, coats under the moonlight resembled liquid silver the same as ripples.