Some Things I’ve Learned on the Way
Where am I
I have long thought that prepositions are the most annoying feature of English for students of that language. Why is it “in the night city of time”? Why am I “in the house” but “at home”? Why is “of example” wrong, but “by way of example” is correct?
Thinking about thinking
So how to translate different conceptions of the English verb “to think” into Chinese? I don’t claim to have entirely resolved it, but this is how I, well, think about it.
One of the most important tasks in becoming truly fluent in a language is to pronounce its sounds properly.
The holiday season in Taiwan
In this piece I share some thoughts on Christmas (圣诞节 Shèngdànjié) and New Year’s (新年xīnnián) in Taiwan.
In this article I want to discuss several aspects of Chinese sentence construction that don’t always come naturally to English-speaking students.
Leading to frustration
They are 使得(shǐde), 讓(ràng) and 令(lìng). They all seem to mean “lead to,” “induce,” “bring about.”
Speech of parts
But in Chinese, apparently, these components fall into two categories, with different words.
In Chinese, it’s never relative
One of the workhorse parts of speech in English and in most European languages is the relative pronoun. These include that, when, which, who/whom/whose, where and a few other less frequently used ones. Usually they …
Searching for the meaning of “找”
As you can see already, English and Chinese words do not exactly match one to one.
How to receive things in Chinese: 收（shōu）vs. 受（shòu）
In English among many other things one can “receive” a piece of mail, and one can “receive” good or bad emotional news. In each case, the verb is “to receive,” and we think of those …