User Comments - pearltowerpete

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Posted on: Picking things up: 拿、带、取
December 02, 2009, 09:27 AM

Liliana is an excellent addition to Qing Wen.

As for the perspective she brings, I would say it is that of someone who has clearly mastered at least one foreign language (English). With that record of success, her insights on learning yet another (Chinese) are valuable to learners like us.

With that, I retire to my organic farm and bottomless mug of tea.

Posted on: Farewell, Sweet Pete
September 14, 2009, 08:38 AM

Hi all,

Thanks again for your generous words. I'm deeply touched.

Hi huasen,

There is a phrase, 鹤立鸡群 he4li4ji1qun2, a crane among chickens, but I am a long way from deserving that. But thank you for the kind remarks.

Posted on: Assembling IKEA Furniture
September 14, 2009, 06:34 AM

Hi ai1pi2

Thanks for the counterpoint. Even the fact that we are bothering to discuss the environmental practices of a major company is a big step forward. And I did not know about IKEA's greener policies.

Hi henning,

There was an interesting article in the LA Times not long ago about the appeal of IKEA in China.

The tone of the piece is a bit snide, but it does make some excellent points about the emergence of middle class values and aspirations in China.

We can't read too much into it, but the development of a large Chinese middle class would do a lot to move the country toward democratization and liberalization. It worked for South Korea and Taiwan...


Posted on: Assembling IKEA Furniture
September 14, 2009, 01:40 AM




Posted on: Farewell, Sweet Pete
September 14, 2009, 01:20 AM

Hello all:

Your kind comments have overwhelmed me.

Some of you know my feelings about the excesses of modern technology. But, to give the Devil his due, this technology has allowed a marvelously diverse group of people to come together and discuss literature, language and learning.

I'm very grateful to be living in these times, with such dedicated and curious friends as you.

I will respond to your personal emails as soon as possible.

Posted on: Farewell, Sweet Pete
September 13, 2009, 02:01 AM

Hi all,

Thank you for the kind words. Working for you has been an honor and a pleasure.

Thanks as well to Jenny, Jiaojie, Connie, Shenyajin, Xu Zhou, and Yana. Working with you has been educational and delightful.


Posted on: The Pen and Paper Mystery
September 11, 2009, 07:07 AM

Hi wwolfeld,

Tal is correct. If you want to convey the idea of "writing XYZ down [on a piece of paper, etc.]" you can say 把 XYZ 记/写下来."

This is a directional complement, different from the softening "一下” which is sort of like "a bit" in English, except that we wouldn't say "Can you write it a bit" so I chose the next best translation.

Posted on: Discussing Eating
September 10, 2009, 04:41 AM

Hi nudeaintrude,

Chinese is often frustratingly vague. Like so much in this language, the answer to your question depends on context.

To be more specific, you can refer to Chinese food as 中国菜 and lunch as 午饭. Both of these terms have exclusive definitions.

Posted on: Looking for Someone Else
September 10, 2009, 01:57 AM

Hi bababardwan,

Needless to say, I heartily approve of your second photo.

Hi all:

Please note that I have translated the expansion sentence 王老师
(Are you looking for Mr. [or Ms.】 Wang?)

with Mr. or Ms. instead of "Teacher," which sounds Chinglishy.

Posted on: Star Trek
September 09, 2009, 01:52 AM

Hi sfrrr

"What goes around, comes around" is 善有善报,恶有恶报, (shan4 you3 shan4bao4, e4 you3 e4bao4) literally, "good deeds have good rewards, bad deeds have bad rewards."

Hi tal,

Glad you liked it. Writing snappy intros is a game for the young ;-)

I thought inviting William Shatner and Captain Picard to read the vocab list was a nice touch, too.

Hi all,

Please note that I have rendered 苏联人 as Russians. Literally, the word means someone from the Soviet Union.This was a difficult call, because Lt. Chekov appeared back in the 1960s when it seemed that the USSR was invincible. When events proved otherwise, it seems odd to continue to call him, who was born about a few hundred years from our current time, a member of a non-existent state. That is, of course, unless you believe that the USSR will reunify ;-)