Sunday, January 20, 2008

Rounding off the Basic level 3 flashcard file

I've added another Chinese character lesson to the level 3 flashcard file. This will be the last lesson for this file. I'll start the next file with a lesson on going shopping.

This lesson, which is number 33 is based on the earlier "Lesson 5 - Family".

All the flashcard files are available by clicking on the link at the top of this page.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

More Kenting

These are some more pictures of the southern Tip of Taiwan around Kenting.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Keelung City

Here is a short video showing the port city of Keelung in the North of Taiwan.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Reading Signs # 6

Some characters are a bit hard to read in this picture because of the lights shining on the sign. The shop is a however a bakery.

The first vertical line on the left is 專家 “zhuan1 jia1” which means “expert”. The next vertical line is 禮餅 “li3 bing3” meaning “ceremonial biscuit or cake”. And the final line is 訂婚 “ding4 hun1” which means “become engaged”. Therefore the left portion of the sign reads, 專家禮餅訂婚 (zhuan1 jia1 li3 bing3 ding4 hun1) or “Expert makers of engagement biscuits and cakes”.

The first word on the right hand side of the sign is 豆沙餅 “dou4 sha1 bing3” meaning “bean paste biscuit or cake”. The second word is 名產 “ming2 chan3” meaning “famous product”. And the third word is the name of the Taipei suburb in which the shop is located板橋 “ban3 qiao2”. So the right hand side of the sign reads豆沙餅名產板橋 (dou4 sha1 bing3 ming2 chan3 ban3 qiao2) which translates to “Banqiao’s famous bean paste biscuits and cakes”.

The two characters in the centre of the sign are the name of the bakery 長興 “chang2 xing1” which means “long prosperity”. I’m not sure why, but on the sign this is written back to front when compared to the rest of the sign as興長. Strictly speaking writing left to right or right to left is acceptable for signage, which can as this example shows make reading signs very confusing. Apparently (according to Wikipedia) in 2004 Taiwan mandated left to right writing to be used on signs, though I’m not sure
if that applies to all signs or just government signs.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Flashcard Lesson 16 - Shopping

liu3 cheng2 - Orange

ni3 mai3 shen2 me le - What did you buy?

wo3 yao4 mai3 shu3 pian4 - I want to buy thin sliced chips.

liang2 kuai4 qian2 - Two pieces of money (dollars).

ping2 guo3 - Apple

Wu3 kuai4 qian2 - Five pieces of money (dollars).

li2 - Pear

xiang1 jiao1 - Banana

wo3 yao4 mai3 han4 bao3 - I want to buy a hamburger.

wo3 yao4 mai3 dan4 gao1 - I want to buy a cake.

wo3 mai3 liu3 cheng2 le - I bought oranges.

pian2 yi2 - Cheap

yi2 kuai4 qian2 - One piece of money (dollar).

wo3 yao4 mai3 ping2 guo3 - I want to buy apples.

hen3 gui4 - Very expensive.

duo1 shao3 qian2 - How much money?

wo3 yao4 mai3 liu3 cheng2 - I want to buy oranges.

wo3 mai3 san1 ming2 zhi4 le - I bought a sandwich.

wo3 yao4 mai3 xiang1 jiao1 - I want to buy banana's.

shi2 kuai4 qian2 - Ten pieces of money (dollars).

ni3 yao4 mai3 shen2 me - What do you want to buy?

san1 ming2 zhi4 - Sandwich

wo3 mai3 xiang1 jiao1 le - I bought bananas.

wo3 yao4 mai3 li2 - I want to buy pears.

You can find the jMemorize flashcard files for all of the lessons by clicking on the link at the top of this page.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Asian Variations

Here is some good relaxing music from various Asian bands to chill out to. It is a complete album called Asian Variations released under a Creative Commons Music Sharing License and free to download. There is some good music here in a number of languages including Hakka, Taiwanese, Japanese and even English. Unfortunately there is not a lot of Mandarin. My favorite song is the first one on the album, “Black Heart” by Kou Chou Ching from Taiwan.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Kenting National Park

I haven't put any photos on here for a while so, here is a view of the peak in The Kenting National Park as seen from our hotel room window in the very touristy town of Kenting on the southern tip of Taiwan.