字. March 2010

  • jiāng - ginger

    Victoria made a very nice experimental dish that contained ginger, so I thought I should try to learn the word.

    这道菜有很多姜。
    This dish has a lot of ginger.

  • 玫瑰

    méiguī - rose

    This word keeps turning up in sentences on Smart.fm as a general noun, which often trips me up in dictation as I haven't learnt it properly. The below are some lyrics from a song I started to learn.

    玫瑰都开了
    我还想怎么呢

  • 耳朵

    ěrduo - ear

    I was reminded of this word yesterday when I was trying to think of the measure word for rose. The measure word is 朵, meaning 'earlobe', which I've always found odd. I knew that 耳 meant 'ear' from Japanese, but learnt 耳朵 from Tintin because the title of one book I have is 破损的耳朵, The Broken Ear.

    神像的右耳朵有一点儿破损。
    The right ear of the idol is has a bit of damage.

    The word is also in my favourite Chinese song in the phrase:

    不相信我的耳朵
    I don't believe my ears

  • jué - cut short; extinct; absolutely

    This is yet another Smart.fm word, but one I don't think I've encountered before. And yet it seems very useful. The opposite of 绝对 [which I later found I had come across - it is on Smart.fm], absolutely, is 相对, which came up recently in the word, 相对论 - the theory of relativity.

    绝对不可能的!
    Absolutely impossible!

  • 恐龙

    kǒnglóng - dinosaur

    One of the Smart.fm sentences for yesterday's word contained the wonderful word 恐龙. The English word for dinosaur comes from the Greek meaning 'terrible lizard', and the Chinese word is literally 'terrifying dragon'. 恐, meaning 'terror' is another cool Smart.fm word.

    恐龙已经灭绝了。
    Dinosaurs are already extinct.

  • miè - extinguish

    This character appeared in yesterday's sentence in the word, 灭绝 - extinct. It is the first word pronounced mie that I've come across. It appears to be quite a rare sound. Other mie-words include those meaning 'the bleating of sheep', 'squint', 'bamboo splits for baskets', 'minute flies' and 'defiled with blood'. Chinese is a great language.

    请将香烟熄灭。
    Please extinguish your cigarettes.

  • 进行

    jìnxíng - conduct, carry out; in progress

    I'm sure this word keeps coming up on the Smart.fm dictation, but I can only find one example of it in my sentences. Either way, it seems to be a useful word.

    联合国对难民进行救济。
    The UN carries out emergency relief to help refugees.

    The word also appeared in this sentence in Tintin, which contains a lot of handy words covered by Smart.fm:

    还好, 我们知道他与他的同伙通过电台进行联络。
    Fortunately, we know he and his accomplices use radio to contact each other.

  • 碰面

    pèngmiàn - meet

    For once this word hasn't (yet) appear on my Smart.fm course, which seems odd given that it's quite a basic word. It also seems quite common as I've seen it in Tintin and the HSK tests.

    我今天碰面了我的朋友。
    I met my friends today.

  • zhì - character, quality; pawn; hostage

    This character has appeared in Smart.fm in a couple of compounds, but today it appeared as an individual character. I was surprised to see that it can mean 'hostage'.

    她读了很多书,文化素质很高。
    She reads many of books and is very cultured.

  • 突破

    tūpò - make a breakthrough

    Today both 突 and 破 came up on Smart.fm, both of which I already knew. However, I didn't know that they could be combined to create this excellent science word.

    实验取得了突破。
    The experiment caused a breakthrough.