Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

控枪——美国政治的斗争与谎言

June 15th, 2016 No comments

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毒喊捉毒的反鸡汤

January 4th, 2016 No comments

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A wonderfully peculiar book

June 19th, 2015 No comments

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唐杜里考(伪)

May 3rd, 2015 No comments

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当浮一大白

March 26th, 2015 No comments

当浮一大白

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On moving

March 31st, 2014 4 comments

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A life of games

June 25th, 2013 1 comment

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To celebrate the recovery of the site

June 18th, 2013 1 comment

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Building a Chinese Vocabulary

February 18th, 2013 No comments

Exploring new words is always an enchanting experience. Since English is my second language, I still remember the hours I spent in college working on those GRE word books. Many of those “advanced” words really look esoteric at first glance, especially when they come in huge flocks with very brief explanations in Chinese. Only when I later encountered them in newspapers and magazines did I find them so expressive in the context. There are quite some vocabulary books with well-explained words meticulously picked, and apart from the bland gossips on Facebook and Twitter, I can see people still cherish and take effort to build their vocabulary.

When I reflected on the situation for my mother tongue, I was astonished to find that I just cannot remember the last time I saw a Chinese vocabulary book. We don’t have a vocabulary-focused verbal test such as SAT or GRE, and the Chinese language tests for our college entrance is more of a farrago of literal criticism, ancient Chinese analysis and prose writing. Are the Chinese people really good at their language? I doubt so. I miss the excitement of finding an inspiring new word in reading. We don’t even have proper word books. Of course there are dictionaries, or dictionaries of “Chinese Idioms” or 成语, but dumping 50,000 words at you without discretion is not helpful. We don’t need to waste time on the most common ones, and many a word is literally “dead”, as you can hardly find an example of usage in modern Chinese and dictionaries give nothing but their origins.

Here I made my humble attempt. I took the Contemporary Chinese Dictionary, assuming most of the words therein are still arguably “alive”. Then I picked out those words marked “〔书〕” (literal text). This list is not perfect for sure, but it does remind me of some words that I should have learnt to use.

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Trap of Yellow Light

January 5th, 2013 No comments

China recently enacted a new regulation prohibiting drivers to pass the line during yellow light, which in my opinion totally defies the purpose of the light. Now I dread driving in China even more. I translated this piece into Chinese, just to add to the discussion. If you are interested to see the translated article, please switch to CHINESE.

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