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. 🙂