少見多怪

rypervenche Post in 成語
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ㄕㄠˇ ㄐㄧㄢˋ ㄉㄨㄛ ㄍㄨㄞˋ

shǎo jiàn duō guài

lit. rarely seen, very strange (idiom)
to express amazement due to lack of experience
naive expression of excitement due to ignorance

This is a cool one. It’s very simple, and has such an honest meaning. Not much else to say about it even. Enjoy 🙂

↓簡體↓

風→风

rypervenche Post in 簡化
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So that last post irked me a little bit. 風. Let’s take a look at it.

風 is comprised of 凡(fán, all) and 虫(chóng, insect). It seems to be slightly disputed on its etymology, but both make sense. One way views 凡 as the phonetic component and 虫 is its semantic component; think bugs flying in the wind 😉 . Another is just that, 凡 as a sail with 虫 flying in the wind. Regardless, it has some sense and most agree that 凡 is the phonetic component.

 

Now let’s take a look at the simplified version.

So what do we have here? 几(jī, table) and 㐅(wǔ, five). This㐅 is the archaic form of 五. So now this character has no meaning, it makes no sense. Five inside table? We might as well make up anything we like. There is no point in keeping the shape if it has lost its meaning. A few squiggly lines would portray more meaning to what wind is than this.

While it is easy to write and remember, if all the Chinese characters were made up like this, the language would be a difficult one and would not last for centuries as it has before.

無風不起浪

rypervenche Post in 成語
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ㄨˊ ㄈㄥ ㄅㄨˋ ㄑㄧˇ ㄌㄤˋ

wú fēng bù qǐ làng

lit. there are no waves without wind
there’s no smoke without fire
there must be a cause for this
there must be a reason

So when I was writing the post for 漣漪 I learned this 成語. What I found interesting was that the verb used with waves and ripples is 起. We saw it in the 漣漪 post and now we’re seeing it again here. I don’t have much else to say about this one. Keep it in your arsenal, it’s a good one. 🙂

簡體

OK,  so I’ve got beef with this one. Let’s make this our next post, shall we?

井底之蛙

rypervenche Post in 成語
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ㄐㄧㄥˇ ㄉㄧˇ ㄓ ㄨㄚ

jǐng dǐ zhī wā

lit. the frog at the bottom of the well

fig. a person with a very limited outlook and experience

So all of these posts with 井 in them made me want to share a 成語 with you. This is one of my favorites. Most 成語 have a story attached to them. I’m not going to presume to be good enough in Chinese to be able to accurately share these stories, but you can rather easily find them on the net. This one is in 三國演義 (The Romance of the Three Kingdoms). Basically, if you think of a frog at the bottom of a well, all he can see is the sky, his view is limited. This can be said of anyone whose knowledge is very superficial.

簡體

↑跟繁體一樣↑

陷阱

rypervenche Post in 字彙
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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.

 

「他門在這裡。或者是個陷阱?」

“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.

Also, both 「還是」 and 「或者」 can be translated as “or” in English, however, there is a difference. It is a little difficult to explain, so I will show you with two examples.

「你要吃漢堡還是麵條?」

「你要吃漢堡或者麵條?」

Both of these mean “Do you want to eat hamburger or noodles?”, but the first is asking which one you want to eat, whereas the second is asking if you want to eat either of them. For the first you would answer either “hamburger” or “noodles” and for the second you would answer “yes” or “no”.

Perhaps I’ll make a future PDF about the differences between them, but for now I just wanted to give a little extra information.

簡體

↑跟繁體一樣↑

Posting schedule

rypervenche Post in 新聞
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So I now plan on posting every Monday. If/once more people start viewing my blog then I may start copying xkcd’s schedule and posting every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This keeps my posts consistent and doesn’t wear me out too quickly. No more giant lulls where I don’t do anything for months. One post a week, for good. If you want more, then leave a comment.

What say you?

鑿井

rypervenche Post in 字彙
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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.

Unfortunately, I found no fonts that could display the second character here so I decided to use 小篆 pictures instead. With each arrow, a new grapheme is removed. Also, 金 is the semantic component for 鑿, the phonetic component is the character below it only without the 米. When it combined with 金, the 米 was replaced. Confused? Good.^^ That character’s pronunciation is ㄗㄨㄛˋ(zuò), which is the second pronunciation for 鑿.

As for 井, it is simply a pictograph of a well.

簡體

丵 which means “thick grass” and 凵 which means “receptacle”.

RSS feed!

rypervenche Post in 新聞
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So we have an RSS feed now. Click on the link in the “Useful Links” to get instant notifications when a new post is made. If you don’t know how to use RSS, and have a Google account, you can use Google Reader. If you have any questions, leave a comment and I can help you get it set up.^^

埋伏

rypervenche Post in 字彙
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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. 🙂

簡體

↑跟繁體一樣↑

漣漪

rypervenche Post in 字彙
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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.”

As for the simplified version, nothing special, pretty straightforward.

簡體