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Mandarin Moment

From: Australia South Australia Adelaide @melcyan Time : 2017-03-31 07:20:53

I have recently started a new habit. Each morning before breakfast, I write two or three sentences in a Chinese journal. I then practice my Chinese vocab for 30 minutes.



 



I try to get through the words as fast as I can. Mistakes are inevitable and so is the occasional utterance of "f#ck" from my lips. Today, I confused the words for "mum" and "well" because they have the same beginning to the double character. 妈妈 mama, mum  好好haohao, well.  (Being slightly dyslexic doesn't help either.)



 



Without thinking, my response was a rapid "f#ck,f#ck". Maybe I am becoming Chinese? I will just have to wait wait and see see.


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From: China 山东(shan dong) 济宁(ji ning ) @paulfox1 Time : 2017-03-31 13:29:30 #1


@melcyan

At least you didn't confuse 'meimei' with 'meimei' (one means sister, the other one is reference to a woman's private parts, lol)

Characters suck, too!

Take the character for 'small' (xiao) and then the one for 'heart' (xin). Now put them together and instead of meaning 'small heart', it means 'be careful'.....nightmare, lol.

From: China 湖北(hu bei) 黄冈(huang gang ) @rose377 Time : 2017-04-01 13:05:32 #2
hard_working.I also believe you will learn Chinese well.你很勤奋噢!我相信你很快会是一个中国通
From: Australia South Australia Adelaide @melcyan Time : 2017-04-03 05:44:37 #3

@paulfox1

 

It is not difficult for me to accept that xiao xin means "to be careful" because in English big-hearted can mean bold, brave and tireless. Often used in this sense in describing a sportsperson. However, I do find it interesting that Chinese do not use 大心 da xin or big heart. My partner says these words do not go together. Why not?

 

@rose377 Thank you!

From: China 山东(shan dong) 济宁(ji ning ) @paulfox1 Time : 2017-04-03 13:08:43 #4


@melcyan

Sorry, Melcy, but access to Chinese characters is a pain-in-the-ass for me, so you'll have to make do with pinyin.

As far as I know, the equivalent metaphor to 'big-heart' in Chinese is Lei(3) Luo(4), but I do follow your logic.

To be honest, it's actually how I manage to remember characters, ie, by breaking them up into individual words. For instance, the Chinese word for 'context' is shang4 xia4 wen2, which, when broken down into 3 individual characters means, 'up down language', lol

From: Australia Victoria Melbourne @DoggyLove Time : 2017-04-06 02:54:21 #5

@melcyan,

I am Cantonese.

Try 大膽 (==guts) instead. Big guts is brave or courage. Small guts is scared person. No guts actually means the same in english. :-)

Then big or small 心. Big 心 is a person who over looks a lot. Small 心 is a meticulous person.

Cheers,

Ning

 

From: Australia South Australia Adelaide @melcyan Time : 2017-04-06 20:56:00 #6

@DoggyLove

Thanks Ning. I found 大胆 bold but I could not find 小胆

Eventually I found 胆小 timid. Can you tell me why it is 胆小 and not 小胆 ?

Anonymous25772
@Anonymous25772 Time : 2017-04-07 21:58:09 #7
胆小,小胆mostly it's the same meaning
From: China @QinQL Time : 2017-04-07 23:02:38 #8


@melcyan - Can you tell me why it is  胆小 and not 小胆 ? Good question(y). It sounds logical though you know which is right or not:D You are good at learning Chinese. 

From: China 广东(guang dong) 深圳(shen zhen ) @Amanda2001 Time : 2017-04-08 00:38:32 #9


@paulfox1
Hi Paul,  i read the article...feel funny when this word was understood literally.  

小心 xiao  xin ,  here, the " xiao" is not Adjective, it is verb, means, to be small, become small, got small. it is an order , a suggestion...   means,  let heart become small. or: should become small heart.

I think, in Physiology,maybe when people in the nervous status, in concentrate status, heart at contract status more, became small ( this is what i guess, not 100% sure).  Small heart caused by an concentrated status, an "pay attention" status.  so  the Chinese  ancients used this Physiological phenomena to mean: to pay attention,to be  concentrae, to be careful..

Well, maybe " 心 xin"  in here "  小心 xiaoxin", should not just understand " heart" , it would be " mental", "Consciousness" .  then, " xiao 小”,  it is also verb.  to become tiny, sensitive..to become tiny mental, to become sensitive mental---then means, be careful, attention, concentrate...

Just talking about my understanding to this word" xiaoxin 小心“, briefly speaking, here, ”xiao" not Adjective, more Verb.

If above was not correct, please forgive it

Have nice day:)

From: Australia South Australia Adelaide @melcyan Time : 2017-04-08 15:36:52 #10

Thanks everyone for your input, I find the differences in meaning intriguing.

From: Australia Victoria Melbourne @DoggyLove Time : 2017-04-09 21:33:17 #11

 

 

@melcyan,

Because Chinese is a literal observation of life, you will come across many crazy and fascinating meaning from words. There are a lot of injokes and prejudices. Once you understand what the words are trying to convey and man are the creator of the original contexts of the words, it's is amazing in today's PC word. I will let you discovered them and wish you a fun journey...

Ning

From: Australia South Australia Adelaide @melcyan Time : 2017-06-19 00:09:57 #12

My partner has finally accepted that I am not going to give up trying to learn Mandarin. She is now helping me learn. (dance) (party)

 

We were searching for some Chinese movies on my iPad last night. I have not yet got the function for writing by hand in Chinese installed on my iPad.  We had the comical situation of me listening to her Mandarin followed by me typing in the pinyin. She then chose the correct characters from the options.

 

It was a slow process but it worked. She knew how to write pinyin 40 years ago but a lack of practice has meant that she can no longer write Chinese words in pinyin. I think that was a big part of the problem of her not supporting my efforts to learn Mandarin in the beginning. She did not want to admit that she has almost completely forgotten how to write in pinyin.

 

Anonymous25835
@Anonymous25835 Time : 2017-06-21 22:44:21 #13

@Melcyan, amazing how Chinese people will do anything to "save face"  I wish you well on your Manadarin adventure....you are a brave man....

From: Australia Queensland Brisbane @Barry1 Time : 2017-06-22 12:35:28 #14


@melcyan

 

" I think that was a big part of the problem of her not supporting my efforts to learn Mandarin in the beginning. She did not want to admit that she has almost completely forgotten how to write in pinyin."

 

 

Lots of laughs, Melcyan.  I'm glad you eventually solved the riddle!  :D

 

Though on a more serious note, I have no idea why you want to put yourself through the ordeal of learning one of the world's most difficult languages.  Why not do something easier, such as climbing Mt Everest barefoot?  At least then, you could write a bestseller about the project or maybe even get a movie deal!  (sweat)

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