字. January 2010

  • 洗碗

    xǐwǎn - wash up

    Today, while washing up, I tried to answer Victoria's frequently asked question "你在做什么?", thus learning 洗碗. I have long known 洗 and have come across 碗, though it's not really stuck. I was quite pleased that when I tried to answer the question, I at least realised that an object had to follow 洗; maybe if I'd thought about it, I could have guessed 碗. So it seems that in Chinese, you only eat bowls of rice (吃饭 and 洗碗).

    我喜欢洗碗。
    I like washing up. (This isn't really true, but I like the way it sounds.)

  • 敏感

    mǐngǎn - sensitive

    I did smart.fm dictation for the first time in ages and did really badly. One sentence that I made so many mistakes on is the one below. I've made it today's sentence purely in the hope it has works its way into my brain. It has nothing much to do with today; it's not even a good description of the guy in Science of Sleep, which we watched today.

    他回避敏感的问题。
    He avoids sensitive questions.

    The sentence also contain another useful word: 回避, which I should also attempt to learn.

  • kǎo - roast

    There are so many different words for cooking in Chinese, and I only know a few. Here's one more to learn

     我们今天晚上吃了烤羊。
    This evening we ate roast lamb.

  • 豆芽

    dòuyá - bean sprout(s)

    I learnt this word when Victoria asked me 你在吃什么?

    我们在吃豆芽, 沙门鱼和饭。
    We are eating bean sprouts, salmon and rice.

  • pāi - take a photograph

    Ironically I seem incapable of learning any word related photography. 拍 keeps coming up in the HSK and I always get it wrong (I generally confuse it with 怕). I also got 照相 wrong when it came up on the HSK flashcards.

    昨天我们拍了照片。
    Yesterday we took photos (of herbs).

  • 驾车

    jiàchē - drive a car

    Victoria taught me this word. Previously, I'd only come across the more generic 开车.

    I drove the Ka home today.

  • 修理

    xiūlǐ - repair

    I attempted to fix my computer at home, but failed. 修理 is a word that has come up a couple of times on Smart.fm and so I'm quite familiar with it.

    我还没修理我的电脑。
    I still haven't fixed my computer.

  • zhù - help

    I didn't really recognise 助 in the compound 自助 (self service), despite being very familiar with the word 帮助. I think with the latter I only really look at the first character, so now is the time to learn the second. This is the third time this month that 洗 has appear, which goes to show how much washing we do.

    明天我们应该去自助洗衣店。
    Tomorrow we will have to go to the laundrette. 

  • 平行

    píngxíng - parallel, simultaneous

    A good maths word, chosen today because Victoria learnt to parallel park.

    恬学会了平行停车。
    Tian learnt to parallel park.