top menu

The Many Faces of Chinese Names

Why do Chinese people choose English names? Every Chinese person I have met has had an English name. Whether they were living in Taiwan, living in the United States, or on a cruise ship, each one of them has introduced themselves by their English name. They would only tell me their Chinese name when I […]

Continue Reading 0

Are You Coming or Going 進來或出去 in Chinese

People are always coming and going. Suppose someone asks you:   你知道我的兒子在哪裡? (你)(知道)(我的)(兒子)(在)(哪裡) (ㄋㄧˇ) (ㄓ ㄉㄠˋ) (ㄨㄛˇ ㄉㄜ˙) (ㄦˊ ㄗ˙) (ㄗㄞˋ) (ㄋㄚˇ ㄌㄧˇ) (nǐ)(zhī dào)(wǒ de.)(ér zi.)(zài)(nǎ lǐ) (you)(to know)(my)(son)(at)(where) Do you know where my son is?   And suppose you saw him leaving the house. How you answer will depend on your location compared […]

Continue Reading 1

Chinese Lesson Blurb: Key Chains and Donuts

A fun word association that came up in my Chinese lesson today is going to help me remember how to say “key chain,” or more accurately “key ring,” in Chinese. 鑰匙圈 means “key chain.” Let me break it down. 鑰匙    ㄧㄠˋ ㄕ˙ (yào shi.) means “key” 圈        ㄑㄩㄢ (quān) means “circle, […]

Continue Reading 0

Are You Finished 你完成了嗎 in Chinese

The other day I accidentally told my Chinese tutor that I was perfect.   我說「我完全了!」 (我)(說)「(我)(完全)(了)!」 (ㄨㄛˇ) (ㄕㄨㄛ) [(ㄨㄛˇ) (ㄨㄢˊ ㄑㄨㄢˊ) (ㄌㄜ˙)] (wǒ)(shuō) [(wǒ)(wán quán)(le.)!] (I)(to say, to speak) [(I)(complete, whole, totally, entirely)(intensifies preceding clause)!] I said, “I am perfect!”   I was trying to explain that I had finished something.   她覺得好笑! (她)[(覺)(得)](好笑) (ㄊㄚ) […]

Continue Reading 2