User Comments - davidfong

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Posted on: Mountain Bike
September 05, 2013, 11:36 AM

It is a little sad that in the past ten years in the very flat city of Xi'an the number of people cycling for commuting purposes has dwindled, no doubt, as Vera says, because the increasing number of cars and other powered vehicles have made cycling more dangerous, as well as less 'trendy'.

In my visit to Xi'an this year, however, I saw an increasing number of drop-bar 'road-bikes' (how do I say that in Chinese?), some colourful 'fixies' (for Chinese hipsters, no doubt. I wonder what the Chiniese term for that is, too!) and had an interesting chat with apparently wealthy local university students who raced both road-bikes and 山地车 at various events around the country, and also went on long bicycle tours e.g. Chengdu to Lhasa.

Posted on: Let Me Off!
July 04, 2013, 04:57 AM


Posted on: Let Me Off!
July 02, 2013, 08:17 AM

Well, I found it very difficult to hear, but did the announcement  before the main dialog actually say the next stop was '世纪公园' (shìjìgōngyuán Century Park), or another stop name?

Posted on: Not Feeling Well?
June 27, 2013, 10:10 AM

For those of us who need to refer to mental illness in a professional context, I have been told that there is a difference between jīngshénbìng (精神病 - a more formal word for mental illness) and shénjīngbìng (神经病 - can still mean mental disorder, but is more likely to mean 'crazy').

Unfortunately for us medical language learners, we hear the second expression far, far more often in public, typically when people argue!

Posted on: Snake on a Plane
March 10, 2013, 07:54 AM

Was it that easy to catch? Perhaps 'Furtivo' found the Scottish weather a little too chilly to wake-up! 为什么这么冷! 算了, 我不要醒了!

Posted on: Snake on a Plane
March 06, 2013, 10:27 PM

Sure doesn't make sense!

I think the real reason is that there were probably occasional incidents of unfortunate souls who threatened people with authentic-looking toy guns...and then being shot dead in the process, either by the police, or perhaps by all those owners of real guns.

Posted on: Making Soup
January 26, 2013, 04:25 AM

Is that ’gǔwù‘ = 谷物? useful word for whenever I am next in a foreigner-oriented supermarket in China....

Posted on: It's Time You Got a Smartphone
November 10, 2012, 10:42 AM

I think the iPhone camera has a narrower field of view (in 35mm terms, approximately 30-37 mm depending on the iPhone model, whereas most other camera phones are closer to 28 mm). The iPhone field of view would be more flattering for 'head and shoulder' shots e.g. by making the nose appear smaller. 28 mm field of view is usually more appropriate for scenery, or where people are 'actors on a stage' i.e. actually being photographed doing something. However, serious head-and-shoulder shots with dedicated cameras are usually done in the range of 50-100 mm, or even more. With a 'zoom' camera, it is usually better to take photos of people by 'zooming in', rather than standing very close to your subject, as long as you have a steady hand!

Apple has also adjusted the iPhone to adjust the colour in a way which most people find pleasing. I prefer either neutral colours (e.g. Nokia N-series), or "Olympus colour" myself....

Posted on: Fast Cars and Shallow Women
September 17, 2012, 12:17 PM

For a more contemporary story, even from the Sydney Morning Herald, perhaps do an English web-engine search 搜索 sōusuǒ for Ferrari (法拉利) , your favourite country of interest, crash 撞上 zhuàngshāng, your newspaper of choice, and the same kind of office that the JFK once held in the United States.

Well, speaking of JFK, I suppose a superficially similar event happened in the USA, just a few decades ago...

Posted on: A Detained Package
September 16, 2012, 12:03 PM

I was also of the (perhaps mistaken) understanding that 正好 zhènghǎo could also mean 'just right', as well as the 'by chance' meaning given in this dialogue.

So I would be involved in a discussion like this...

病人 bìngrén Patient : 我的血亚怎么样? wǒde xuěyā zěnmeyàng? How is my blood pressure?

医生 yīsheng Doctor : 收缩压 一百二十三, 舒张压 七十五。 正好. shōusuōyā yìbǎier4shísān, shūzhāngyā qīshíwǔ. zhènghǎo. Systolic 123, Diastolic 75, just as it should be.

Should I have noticed a quizzical look on the patient's face?