User Comments - silktown
Posted on: Calling an AmbulanceJanuary 16, 2010, 10:58 PM
I was driving in London when I heard a blaring siren. In my rear-view mirror I could see a huge red object covered in blue flashing lights, ladders and hoses. "What on Earth's that?" I thought. A flamboyant window cleaner? As it came closer, I could read "Fire Engine" [US: Fire Truck?] in my mirror. Aha! I got out of the way. Mirror-writing on emergency vehicles saves lives!
(Sorry, I stole this observation from a comedian. Frank Skinner?)
ambulance - 救护车 jiu4hu4che1
fire engine - 消防车 xiao1fang2che1 (lit. vanish defence vehicle? I don't get this word. Does 消 here mean "extinguish"? It has the water radical.)
Posted on: Warm Winter ClothesDecember 05, 2009, 04:43 AM
Truth is, the Chinese I know here in England think we're insane to keep the house too warm in winter, then wander about in our T-shirts. What a waste!
They're quire right, too. We won't look so clever when the North Sea oil and gas runs out, in a few years time.
Cold? Wear more clothes!
Posted on: Warm Winter ClothesDecember 04, 2009, 08:04 PM
So, 秋裤 qiu1ku4 = autumn pants. I think these hideous long-johns should be called 丑裤 chou3ku4 - ugly underpants （or 小丑裤 - clown trousers）.
After life-threatening arguments about their use (compulsory), especially at night, I found a psychological trick and learned to love them, because I was starring in a Western. I would pretend I was a cowboy "relaxing" upstairs at the saloon. Yeeee haaaaa!!! Cowboy pants!!
Posted on: Hang Up and Ride!December 03, 2009, 01:36 PM
I don't know about abandoned bikes in China, but I remember a similar thing in Holland, about 30 years ago. There, they turned it into ghostly surreal art: someone would spray each dead bike in a dayglo colour - the entire bike, tyres, saddle and all. Rather beautiful. All over the cities.
很都的每色的自行车 hen3 dou1 de mei3 se4 de zi4xing2che1 - lots of bikes in lots of colours. Is that correct Chinese?
Posted on: Hang Up and Ride!December 02, 2009, 12:23 PM
At first, I thought the man was saying: "我在汽车 wo3 zai4 qi4che1 - I'm in the car." Of course, it's "我在骑车 wo3 zai4 qi2che1 - I'm riding my bike." I must listen to the tones!
Would "I'm in the car" be "我汽车上 wo3 qi4che1 shang4"?
Posted on: A Thanksgiving Phone CallNovember 26, 2009, 11:23 AM
So, 我想你 means "I miss you."
How about: " I'm thinking of you."? or "I do think of you."? - words you might well say when you ring someone from 8,000 miles away? Is it the same thing?
Posted on: A Thanksgiving Phone CallNovember 26, 2009, 11:13 AM
Like jwhitson, I didn't hear "ren", I heard "zhen" (not Chinese "zh", but the "s" sound in the middle of English "leisure"). Then I remembered John's excellent Pinyin Program, where he says that the Chinese "r" sound is created in almost the same way as the "leisure" sound, your tongue is in almost the same position. Perhaps that's why a native speaker produces almost the same sound, sometimes?