Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Life on a String 边走边唱 Biān zǒu biān chàng

Life on a String
simplified Chinese: 边走边唱;
traditional Chinese: 邊走邊唱;
pinyin: Biān zǒu biān chàng;
literally "Walking and singing at the same time"

A 1991 Chinese film by acclaimed film director Chen Kaige.

Life on a String is an intimate and philosophical affair, telling the story of a blind sanxian player and his young disciple. The film was based on the novel by Shi Tiesheng.

A blind man's master told him that after he has broken 1000 strings on his Banjo, he can open the Banjo to get a script for his eyes. After 60 years he broke the 1000th string...

Monday, March 7, 2011



The medicines, equipment, and techniques available to a medical practitioner.
The resources available for a certain purpose: "the entire armamentarium of electronic surveillance".

coruscate (v.) 1705, from L. coruscatus, pp. of coruscare "to vibrate, glitter," of unknown origin. Related: Coruscated; coruscatin





Reduplicative - (e.g. hello hello = hullabaloo,Hanky-Panky,  Hodge-podge, hob-nob, boogie-woogie, helter-skelter,  higgledy-piggledy)

murmuration - 1/ a flock of starlings 2/ an instance of murmuring

Sunday, March 6, 2011

翻譯此頁 Dragon Head-Raising Day (2nd day of 2nd month)

The second day of the second lunar month in China, is a traditional festival, called Dragon Head Raising Day. In Chinese legend, dragons dominate wind and rain. There is a folk ballad singing:

On the second day of the second lunar month,
Dragons are beginning to raise their heads.
The weather is quite favorable to the crops,
And bumper harvests we are going to reap.
Look! The maize sticks are very big and thick.
Sorghum and millet dance their very big heads.

On the day in ancient time, farmers and villagers made an ash path into the houses and kitchens, then wind around the water vats from the outside. This is called leading the dragons back to houses. Nowadays, some old people still keep the custom to have their hair cut or wash hair today. Women are not allowed to do needle-works. It is said that when dragons raise their heads to look at the human world, needles will hurt their eyes. People like to eat noodles and deep fried cakes this day. Well in northern China people in the countryside have the custom to eat fried bean. That caused from a legend story.

When Wu Zetian, the only woman emperor in China, ascended the throng, the Jade Emperor in the heaven got so angry. To punish the human, he transmitted the order to the Dragon King do not give rains to the earth for three years. Before long, the Dragon heard the miserable crying from the human world and saw so many people dead because of the famine. So he defied the command, gave a heavy rain to the earth. When the Jade Emperor realized that, he demoted Dragon down to the human world and lay under a huge mountain for thousand years. Did not allow him going back to the heaven unless the gold beans blossom.

In order to save the Dragon, people looked for the blossom gold flowers everywhere. The day of Feb 2nd of lunar month, when people basked their corns, they happened find if they fry the yellow corn beans, the dissilient beans just like blossom gold flowers. So every family began frying the corn beans, and made altar in their courtyard, burned incense to notice the Jade Emperor in the heaven. When the Jade Emperor saw all of these, he had to release the Dragon King. But this custom still come down to nowadays.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

四大名著 sì dà míng zhù - Four Great Classical Books

四大名著 sì dà míng zhù - Four Great Classical Books of Chinese Literature

四 sì (4)

大 dà (big (great))

名著 míngzhù (famous book; famous work)

are the four novels commonly counted by scholars to be the greatest and most influential of classical Chinese fiction. Well known to most Chinese readers of the 21st century, they are not to be confused with the Four Books of Confucianism.

The works are considered to be the pinnacle of China's achievement in classical novels, influencing the creation of many stories, theater, movies, games, and other entertainment throughout East Asia, including China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam.

In chronological order, they are:

  • Romance of the Three Kingdoms (Chinese: 三 國 演 義; pinyin: sān guó yǎn yì) (14th century) more recently translated as, simply, Three Kingdoms
  • Water Margin (Chinese: 水 滸 傳; pinyin: shuǐ hǔ zhuàn) also known as Outlaws of the Marsh (14th century)
  • Journey to the West (Chinese: 西 遊 記; pinyin: xī yóu jì) (16th century)
  • Dream of the Red Chamber (Chinese: 紅 樓 夢; pinyin: hóng lóu mèng) also known as The Story of the Stone, (Chinese: 石 頭 記; pinyin: shí tóu jì) (18th century)

逼上梁山 [bīshàngliángshān]

逼上梁山 [bīshàngliángshān]

(driven to join the Liangshan)

one word phrase taken from one of the four classic novels: Water Margin (Chinese: 水 滸 傳; pinyin: shuǐ hǔ zhuàn) also known as Outlaws of the Marsh (14th century)

Means something like 'everyone has a reason to join the group to fight the government'.