Random Bits

Just a few random bits that have been floating around in my brain.

  • The USA is know as Mei Guo (美国).  It means “Beautiful Kingdom”.
  • China is Zhong Guo (中国).  It means “Middle Kingdom”.
  • The average young housewife in Kunshan, if moved to Madison, would probably be mistaken for a prostitute.
  • Learning Chinese is actually learning 2 different languages–one written, one spoken.  Because they use ideograms (each “character” represents a complete word or idea), you can’t “sound out” the words.  You have to learn the spoken and written versions separately.
  • The way the Chinese language “thinks”–for lack of a better word–is interesting.  The ideograph for “heart” (心), for example:  Xiao xin (小心), literally “little heart”, means “caution” or “beware”.  Zhong xin (中心), literally “middle heart”, means “center”–such as “city center” (市中心)
  • I learned a new idiom last weekend:  ren shan ren hai (人山人海).  Literally:  People mountain people sea.  It means “a lot of people, a big crowd”.  Our  version would be “a sea of people” or “people as far as the eye can see”.
  • “Long time no see”, almost certainly, came from Chinese.
  • I have been here for 9 months, and I still have not chosen a Chinese name.  I think I’ve finally decided:  Huo Long (火龙).  It means “Fire Dragon”.  A friend had suggested “Long”, but I just couldn’t bring myself to say “Hi, I’m Long” with a straight face.  🙂  I do, however, like the idea of the dragon.  Dragons are revered in China, and represent passion, wisdom, and strength.  Adding “fire” ties in with “Blaze”.  So… I’m thinking that “Huo Long” is a good name.  And.. it doesn’t hurt that it’s easy to write.  🙂

Leave a Reply