字. September 2010

  • 任意

    rènyì - arbitrary; at will; at random

    I came across this word while reading old emails, as I once like to do. It was in an email from 2006, which mentioned, among other things, trying to learn Chinese and making a simulation of particles. It seems that little has changed. Anyway, though I knew both characters, I still didn't know this word and it turns out to be an excellent, and most useful word. I'm very pleased to have discovered it. I just need to work out how I can use it.

  • 方面

    fāngmiàn - respect, aspect, field; side

    I realised today that despite being made of two simple characters, I didn't actually know what this word meant. I think it's because it has one of those vague, generic meanings that so many Chinese words have. I must have learnt it as meaning side, but it has more abstract meanings.

    教育方面,包括道德教育。
    Ethics is included in the field of education.

  • 请客

    qǐngkè - give a dinner party, treat someone

    For the first time ever, I bought a meal for my parents, which was very satisfying. It was a very good meal too (at The Fishes in Oxford), and my parents bought us Champagne - the first time I've ever had it in a restaurant. I also treated Victoria, buying her the steak I'd promised her.

    我请客。
    It's my treat.

  • 转车

    zhuǎnchē - change trains (or buses, etc.)

    I returned to Oxford for the first time in about a month and it took four hours and involved four changes of train.

    我应该再度转车。
    I have to change trains again.

  • 毕业

    bìyè - graduation

    Today was my PhD graduation and although being quite nervous, I enjoyed it a lot more than my MBiochem graduation. There was lots of Latin and bowing and general silliness, and I met a couple of people I hadn't seen for ages. I probably goes without saying that this word was on my Smart.fm course.

    我今天毕业了。
    I graduated today.

  • 龙虾

    lóngxiā - lobster

    I like this word because it is literally "dragon shrimp". I chose it today because Victoria and I had lobster ravioli at Chibo's in Oxford and it was very good.

    龙虾有八条腿两条爪子。
    Lobster has eight legs and two long claws.

  • 头痛

    tóutòng - headache

    I've know this word for a while, but it was sadly relevant today.

    我头痛。
    I've got a headache.

  • gǔn - boil; roll; get lost

    I came across this character in this unfortunate story (I also like the four 鬼-based characters). The characters are in the phrase 日本滚蛋, get lost Japan (which isn't very nice). I'd not seen this character before (and it took me a while to work out the strokes), but I like its varied meanings.

    滚石不生苔。
    A rolling stone gathers no moss.

  • 落地

    luòdì- something that sits on the floor; drop; the ground; have one's head cut off; to be born

    I came across this word in a friend's Facebook update. I think it referred to the plane they'd been on having landed. In general, the word seems to be used to refer to things coming towards the ground, but I find it funny that it can be used therefore to mean 'have one's head cut off' and 'be born'. It is literally, 'fall ground'.

    观众静得连别针落地的声音也能听见。
    The audience was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop.

  • 改变

    gǎibiàn - transform, change, alter

    I picked this word because today I transformed my cells (by firing DNA on gold with compressed helium). I'm not sure that this is the right word for the biological technique, but it's appeared on my Smart.fm list, so I picked it.

    我已经改变主意。
    I've already changed my mind.