Link roundup — 31 May 2011

Fine wine for the month of May:

  • Before you click thru to, guess what English word is being borrowed with: 欧菲香 ōufēixiāng
  • A modern humanities prof could take a semester to deconstruct iamxiaoli’s “learning Chinese” videos. See John Pasden’s intro here. At least they’re better than the video that came in #1 on this Beijing Sounds post
  • Autonomous region points to Google & Wikipedia in Uighur
  • Green pea tofu (wāndòu dòufu 豌豆豆腐) and other delectable food terms from Beijing Haochi
  • ‘ngè’ — is it about eating, or pooping? Depends on the dialect… — at Bezdomny Ex Patria
  • How do you dry your clothes in Mandarin? Carl Gene says it depends on whether you’re from the north or south
  • In case you need to brush up on your evil cult publicity poster vocabulary and need a long list of vocabulary — China Hope Live
  • I’ll be the first to give the National Palace Museum a break for pinyin-typoing a “捍” instead of a “撼”. Maybe we should just eliminate one: there’s no shortage of hàn in China anyway… — China Hush
  • Homeboy in Chinese? Sinologistical Violincellist retranslates Kevin Garnett’s Chinese blog

and from Sinoglot’s own writers:

Link roundup — 3 May 2011

It’s been a month or so, but rumors of the demise of the Links post are still just rumors, dammit:

  1. In a piece on terms for “missing” in Japanese, some interesting discussion of Japanese vagaries of what we would call 多音字 (duōyīnzì = characters with multiple pronunciations) in Chinese. If you thought it was tough in Mandarin…
  2. What promises to be (when I get to read it online) an interesting article on ethnic groups — and presumably their languages — in Taiwan from Bruce Humes.
  3. Also from Humes: how much difference a 才 can make in a Dylan lyric translation
  4. Nuanced semantic discussion as always, from Carl Gene, this time about speech sounds that are not quite words
  5. Longest fourth tone sentence contest from Lingomi, which pairs nicely with some stats on which tone pairs are most common
  6. Maybe Frog in a Well should offer a “longest string of -isms / 主义 in a Chinese sentence” contest. First entry: “共和主义,革命主义,流血主义,暗杀主义,非有游侠主义 不能担负之
  7. Since you were wondering how to translate “扑街少女”, Roll, Roll, Run explains why “drop dead maiden” might work
  8. Pleasantly not dubbed, snapshots of “ordinary” Chinese in M. Scott Brauer’s “We Chinese” / “我们中国人” on The China Beat
  9. Weibo iPhone app interface offered in English (slightly against the usual linguistic/technology currents)
  10. Finally, a possible venue in case you’re having trouble getting that new interpretation of 道德经 published. is the shit.

I was looking for some obscure vocab in Mandarin a couple hours ago, doing my best to manipulate Baidu searches to produce the desired results. What I eventually found was a nice little dictionary site, (词博网). It’s just one more site to add to the arsenal when it comes to quick-and-dirty translations. I put in 酿酒 (brewing, winemaking) as a test. Here’s the beginning of the output:

扩 Saccharomyces cerevisiae rasse sake 清酒酿酒酵母 【主科技词汇 】
扩 brewing machinery 酿酒机 【航海航天词汇 】

Link roundup — 21 March 2011


*Seriously, I measure in right at six feet, but next to John I feel like I lost my lifts.

Link roundup — 28 Feb 2011


You're reading that right: "concentration camp"

Link roundup — 21 Feb 2011

The first two entries today illustrate the constant tug of language preservation and dominance in China. On the one hand, there’s a proposal that Mandarin should be renamed 中国语, Zhōngguó yǔ (a Danwei translation by Joel Martinsen) and given more “strategic” prominence than the “equal footing” it has with other languages these days. On the other, the People’s Daily publicizes a proposal by the State Ethnic Affairs Commission (SEAC) “to promote the use of [Zhuang language / Vahcuengh], which, unlike many languages belonging to ethnic groups, is still in wide currency.” H/T to Liuzhou Laowai, who acerbically notes that “almost no Zhuang speakers know the written form” and that Zhuang language includes “mutually unintelligible groups known as Northern and Southern Zhuang”.


Link roundup — 7 Feb 2011

Is it really time for Monday link roundup? Only the calendar says so. Otherwise, here in China, it’s unequivocally “The fifth day of New Year” (初五 chūwǔ), a time when the obsessive day-tracking of modern life fades into a blur of sloth and grog and dysfunctional family dinners. Even my parents, visiting from the States, have started using the X-day-of-new-year terminology since the days of the week have become meaningless.


Every time I light up a cigarette at this time
Thinking about home town and mother, as if they are in front my eyes

Link roundup — 31 Jan 2011

While you’re taking a break from launching artillery setting off new year’s fireworks:

Link roundup — 17 Jan 2011

  1. If no one has emailed you Amy Chua’s WSJ article about so-called Chinese parenting or you haven’t stumbled across it, I’ll give in and agree that you have no life and no friends. Copies are flying everywhere. Apparently, the piece has hit a nerve, and probably paydirt for Chua. But what’s that got to do with Sinoglot, since we’re about language, not parenting or making vast sums of money on trendy themes? In broad terms, I guess it’s the Pinyin found in mainstream media. That is, the most interesting tidbit from the most interesting response I’ve seen to the Chua article (well, I mean besides the video or the meta-parody) was the news that there exists “an online chat group on Douban called “Fumu Jie Huohai” [‘The Scourge of Studious Parents’]”. Atypical for mainstream media, the reference does not just use dubbing in print, but actually gives that Pinyin (albeit without tones) — which makes it easy to find. For the curious, then, here’s that group: 父母皆祸害.
  2. Chinese-specific instructions for How to Create an e-Book from an Online Reading Site on the Kindle.
  3. Discussion from Victor Mair on Language Log of what the new primetime prohibition against “Chinese dialects” might mean.
  4. An almost completely dubbed report from China Daily that features a new book of old Beijing sayings (h/t Bruce Humes)
  5. Sinocism notes the 106th birthday of Zhōu Yǒuguāng, one of the masterminds of Pinyin (here’s some old Zhou stuff on Beijing Sounds).
  6. A nice summary of some of the implications of 儿化音 (érhuàyīn = adding -r to a word) from An Imperfect Pen. Also from AIP: some fascinating discussion of late nineteenth century translations of western names and concepts into Chinese.
  7. From the always-interesting China Media Project, “a propaganda directive instructing [Chinese media] not to use the term “civil society,” or gongmin shehui (公民社会), in news reports
  8. From Sinoglot’s own Duncan, on Naxi Script Resource Centre, Family God Worship, or “Suzhu” [sɪ55 tɤ21]
  9. And finally, in a flagrant display of conflicted interests, a plug for “Many Heads / Cultural Revolution Medicine” from the long-neglected Beijing Sounds.