字. October 2010

  • chéng - succeed, complete

    I picked this word because for the first time in ages I succeeded in completing a month's worth of 字. Ironically, 成 is actually the last word I have written for this month (I've been cheating a bit), because I failed to complete October on time.

    拖了那么久,他终于完成了论文。
    After much delay, he finished his paper at last.

  • 土豆

    tǔdòu - potato

    Today, Victoria came and I made roast duck and roast potatoes. I also made apple crumble with the apples from her allotment. I was going to pick 'roast' for today's word as it is a very handy word to know when trying to read a Chinese menu. However, I've actually used it already, so I picked the word for potato (or ground bean) instead.

    我今天做了烤土豆。
    Today, I made roast potatoes.

  • 输掉

    shūdiào - lose (a game)

    Today I lost a game of go against Victoria, giving her an eight stone handicap. In my defence, I did make dinner during the game and was drinking wine.

    我恐怕他会输掉比赛。
    I'm afraid he is going to lose the match.

  • - chart, list; spectrum

    I discovered this character today when Victoria was looking for the Chinese characters for kifu, a game record (for Go); the word is 棋谱. The character is compose of the phonetic element,  and the speech radical.

    红色和紫色位于光谱相对的两端。
    Red and violet are at opposite ends of the spectrum.

  • 格式

    géshì - format, specification

    Today I worked on a project with Victoria. I wrote a program to interpret Go sames in the Smart Game Format, hence my word of today.

    这不是正确的格式
    This is the incorrect format.

  • - knee

    Today I got my new laptop, a MacBook Pro. There are a few words for laptop, and I picked 膝上型, because I liked it best. It is literally a 'on knee model'. I think 笔记本电脑 might be more common, but that's more of a notebook.

    书从我膝上滑落。
    The book slid off my knee.

  • - wave, ripple; storm

    Today we took the train to Teignmouth. It was quite pleasant, but there wasn't a huge amount to do there. We spent most of our time eating: a carvery and a cream tea, eaten in a beach hut, watching the waves.

    你同意光的波动理论吗?
    Do you agree to the wave theory of light?

  • - fog

    Today we hired a car and went to Dartmoor for a walk. Despite being very sunny in Plymouth, it was very misty in Dartmoor, which was a little scary, but we didn't get lost.

    Moor mist

    这样的浓雾里,我什么也看不见。
    I can't see anything in this dense mist.

  • 死机

    sǐjī - crash (of a computer)

    A useful bit of modern Chinese, chosen today because my brand new Macbook keeps crashing. Annoying though the phenomenon is, I do like the word. It is literally 'dead machine'.

    死机,在中国台湾及沿海地区又叫宕机。
    'Crash', in Taiwan and coastal areas of China is also called 宕机.

  • wù​ - mistake

    Today we went out to Dartmoor again, this time to a village called Postbridge. We planned to walk to Bellever Tor, which Victoria had found in my guide book. Unfortunately it was a bit of a rush because we left quite late, and I made a mistake (hence today's word), so we missed it. We were halfway up a hill to one tor when I turned round and saw our target in the distance. Even so it was great walk: the weather was perfect and the landscape magical.

    不要试图掩盖错误。
    Do not try to cover a mistake.