字.

  • 争气

    zhēngqì - work hard for something, resolve to improve

  • àn - dark, gloomy; hidden, secret, obscure

    Because the clocks went back at the weekend and because I worked late, it was very dark when I left work today. I remember learning this word a while ago when I decided to see whether I could learn all the words on my hanzi cards beginning with A. I didn't manage it, but I did learn this one.

    这是一个黑暗无月的夜晚。
    It's a dark and moonless night.

  • xià - scare

    I picked this word because it's Halloween and a couple of years ago I had an idea to do something similar to this 字 blog, only to combine it with a 365 days Flickr project, so I would have to take a photo related to the day's word. Luckily I realised that that you very quickly become difficult (doing either project separately would be hard enough). I did however take one photo for Halloween, and the word was 吓.

  • 叉烧

    chāshāo - char siu (barbecued pork)

    I've seen this word a lot recently, in supermarkets and restaurants. I picked it today as I went to the Chinese grocery to buy some char siu, only to find it shut. I had to go to Sainsbury's to find a substitute.

    我要做叉烧包。
    I'm going to make pork buns.

  • 共识

    gòngshí - consensus

    Today I started work on my program to create a consensus protein alignment. After thinking about how to go about this problem for several weeks now, I think I have an idea how it can be achieved and have made some progress.

    此前我们已经对这件事达成了共识。
    We have reached a common view on this matter before.

  • 二极管

    èrjíguǎn - diode

    Today, the setting up of the microscope continued, but was halted by a malfunction LED. The word for LED in Chinese is 发光二极管, which is literally a 'emit light diode', the word for diode literally being 'two pole tube'.

    这台显微镜丢了一个发光二极管。
    This microscope is missing an LED.

  • 设定

    shèdìng - set up, install; settings, preferences

    Today our new TIRF microscope was set up. I like this word because both characters are very useful and appear in all sorts of words.

    很多时候,我们要给自己设定一个够得着的目标。
    On many occasions, the goal we set for ourselves shall be achievable.

  • 错觉

    cuòjué - misconception, illusion

    Today I watched a great Horizon program on the iPlayer about sensory illusions.

    利用敌人的错觉和不意来争取自己的主动
    Exploit the enemy's misconceptions and unpreparedness to gain the initiative

  • 抽取

    chōuqǔ - extract

    Today I tried to extract DNA from my cells and again failed to get a reasonable yield, which is very annoying.

    我将从患者身上抽取一些血液。
    I will extract some blood from the patients.

  • huò - harvest, catch

    A good old fashioned word, but I'm sure it will be useful to know. The Chinese character has lots of useful meanings. Today we went to Victoria's allotment and picked the last of the apples, raspberries and apples.

    这项发明获得大奖。
    The invention was awarded the grand prize