Friday, September 30, 2011

破镜重圆 The Broken Pieces of Mirror Joined Each Other Again


This expression is now used to describe that a separated family got reunited.  Many traditional Chinese dramas have an ending of happy reunion like this one.
The Lantern Festival falls on the 15th day of the Chinese New Year.
NanJing was the capital city of the country at that time.

从前南京城里有一个人, 姓徐, 刚刚结婚, 夫妻俩非常恩爱,幸福。可是,那个时候马上要打仗了,大家都逃到乡下。 徐先生怕万一他和妻子路上走丢了怎么办? 就把家里的一面镜子分成两半, 一半给他的妻子, 一半自己留着。说好元宵节时,他们在街上, 一个人买镜子,一个卖镜子,用这样的方法来找到对方。

仗打起来以后,徐先生的妻子真的走丢了。徐先生非常想念妻子,元宵节那天就去街上找卖镜子的人。他看到一位老人正在卖半面镜子, 就拿出自己的半面镜子,两面镜子正好对上。原来是他的妻子让老人替她卖镜子找丈夫的。 徐先生就这样找到了他的妻子。

cong2qian2  nan2jing1  cheng2li3  you3  yi2ge4 ren2,  xing4 xu2,  gang1gang1  jie2hun1,  fu1qi1lia3  fei1chang2  en1ai4,  xin4fu2.  ke3shi4,  na4ge4shi2hou  ma3shang4 yao4  da3zhang4le,   da4jia1  dou1  tao2 dao4  xiang1xia4.  xu2xian1sheng1  pa4  wan4yi1  ta1 he2  qi1zi  lu4shang4  zou3diu1le  zen3me ban4? jiu4ba3  jia1li3de  yi2mian4 jing4zi  fen1cheng2  liang3ban4,  yi2ban4  gei3  ta1de  qi1zi,  yi2ban4  zi4ji3  liu2zhe.  shuo1hao3  yuan2xiao1jie2 shi2,  ta1men  zai4 jie1shang4,  yi2ge4ren2  mai3jing4zi,  yi2ge4  mai4 jing4zi,  yong4  zhe4yang4de  fang1fa3  lai2  zhao3dao4  dui4fang1.
zhang4  da3qi3lai2  yi3hou4,  xu2xian1sheng1  de  qi1zi  zhen1de  zou3diu1le.  xu2xian1sheng1   fei1chang2  xiang3nian4  qi1zi.  yuan2xiao1jie2na4tian1   jiu4 qu4  jie1shang4  zhao3  mai4  jing4zi de ren2.  ta1 kan4dao4  yi2wei4  lao3ren2  zheng4zai4  mai4  ban4mian4 jing4zi,  jiu4  na2chu1  zi4ji3de  ban4mian4  jing4zi,  liang3mian4  jing4zi  zheng4hao3  dui4shang4.  yuan2lai2  shi4  ta1de  qi1zi  rang4  lao3ren2  ti4 ta1  mai4 jing4zi  zhao3  zhang4fu de.  xu2xian1sheng1  jiu4  zhe4yang4  zhao3dao4le   ta1de  qi1zi.

Translation:
Long time ago,  in the city of NanJing lived a man, whose family name was Xu. Xu had just got married. The couple loved each other very much, and lived happily together.  However, at that time a war was about to break out, and everybody escaped to the countryside. Mr. Xu was afraid what to do in case he and his wife got lost on the way. So he separated one of their mirrors into two halves. He gave one half to his wife and he himself kept the other half.  They arranged a way to find each other later. On the Lantern Festival day,  one of them would try to sell mirrors in the( main) street, and the other would try to buy a mirror.
After the war started, Mr. Xu's wife did get lost. Mr. Xu missed his wife very much. On the Lantern Festival, he went to look for sellers of mirrors in the street. He saw an old man selling half of a mirror, so he took out his own half of the mirror. The two halves matched each other. It turned out that the old man was asked by Xu's wife to sell the mirror to find her husband. In this way, Mr. Xu found his wife.

小剪刀 My little Scissors







Paper cuts are traditional Chinese handicrafts. Some dexterous masters can cut out virtually everything you can think of, like the one in the rhyme.

小剪刀,嚓嚓嚓,
xiao3 jian3dao1, ca1ca1ca1,
我和姐姐剪窗花。

Sunday, September 25, 2011

梁上君子 The Gentleman on the Beam

你知道为什么中国人把小偷也叫做“梁上君子”吗? 中国汉朝有一个陈先生, 很会教育人, 所以他的孩子都很听话。 有一天晚上,一个小偷来到他家,蹲在他家的屋梁上,正准备下来偷东西,没想到陈先生从外边回来了,他一进来就看见了小偷。但是他没有马上叫人来抓他,而是假装没看见,把自己的孩子叫来, 很认真的对他们说: “一个人要经常提醒自己不能做坏人。 坏人不是生下来就是坏人, 而是因为经常做坏事, 慢慢地才变成了坏人, 就像梁上的哪位君子一样。”小偷听了吓得从屋梁上掉了下来。
  
ni3  zhi1dao4  wei4shen2me  zhong1guo2ren2 ba3  xiao3tou1  ye3 jiao4zuo4 "liang2shang4   jun1zi ma?  zhong1guo2  han4chao2  you3 yi2ge4  chen2xian1sheng1,  hen3hui4  jiao4yu4 ren2,  suo3yi3  ta1de  hai2zi  dou1hen3 ting1hua4.  you3yi4tian1  wan3shang4,  yi2ge4  xiao3tou1  lai2dao4 ta1jia1,  dun1zai4  ta1jia1de   wu1liang2shang4,  zheng4  zhun3bei4  xia4lai2  tou1dong1xi,   mei2xiang3dao4  chen2 xian1sheng1  cong2  wai4bian1  hui2lai2le,  ta1 yi2jing4lai2  jiu4  kan4jian4le  xiao3tou1.   dan4shi4  ta1 mei2you3   ma3shang4  jiao4ren2  lai2  zhua1 ta1,  er2shi4  jia3zhuang1  mei2 kan4jian4,  ba3 zi4ji3de  hai2zi   jiao4lai2,  hen3 ren4zhen1de  dui4  ta1men  shuo1: "yi2ge4ren2  yao4  jing1chang2  ti2xing3  zi4ji3  bu4neng2  zuo4  huai4ren2.  huai4ren2  bu2shi4  sheng1xia4lai2  jiu4shi4  huai4ren2,  er2shi4  yin1wei4  jing1chang2  zuo4  huai4shi4,  man4man4de  cai2  bian4cheng2le  huai4ren2,  jiu4xiang4  liang2shang4de  na4wei4  jun1zi3  yi2yang4."  xiao3tou1  ting1le  xia4de  cong2  wu1liang2shang4     diao4le  xia4lai2.

Translation:
Do you know why thieves are also called "gentlemen upon the beam" in Chinese?  There was a Mr. Chen in the  Han Dynasty in China, who was good at giving people lectures. So all of his children were very obedient. One night, a thief came to his house and was squatting on the beam of his house. He was about to come down to steal things when unexpectedly Mr. Chen came home from outside. As soon as he entered the room he spotted the thief. However, he didn't call others to catch him right away. Instead, he pretended to have not seen the thief, and summoned his own children. He said to them very seriously: " A man needs to remind himself frequently not to be a bad guy.  A bad guy was not born to be bad.  But because he often did bad things, he would gradually turn bad...  just like the gentleman on the beam!"  Hearing this, the thief was so scared that he fell down from the beam.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

这人生来性子急 This Man was Born Impatient

This rhyme is hilarious if you can imagine the picture in your mind.  In Chinese culture, it's a great virtue to take everything easy and do it in a relaxed manner, especially for a young person. So we've got plenty of stories that mock people of hotheads.

这人生来性子急,
清晨早起去赶集。
错穿了绿布裤,
倒骑了一头驴。

zhe4  ren2  sheng1lai2  xing4zi  ji2,
qing1cheng2  zao3qi3  qu4  gan3ji2.
cuo4  chuan1le   lv4  bu4ku4,
dao4  qi2le  yi4tou2 lv2.


Translation
This man was born of impatient disposition.
One day he rose at early morning to hurry to a fair.
He put on (his wife's) green cotton pants by mistake.
And he rode his donkey with his face toward its tail!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

画蛇添足 Add Feet When Drawing a Snake


Is it silly to add feet when drawing a snake? Well, I've made similar mistakes like this many times. Sometimes, only a cup of wine was lost, but other times more can be missed.

古时候,有一个人请朋友们喝酒。但是来了很多朋友,他原来准备的的酒不够多。于是,他对朋友们说: “ 这些酒你们几个人喝,不够。 一个人又喝不完。请你们在地上画一条蛇,谁先画完,谁就先喝酒。好不好?” 大家都同意他的建议。
有一个人画得特别快,第一个画好了。他高兴地拿起酒杯喝了一口酒,看见别人都没画完,得意地说: “我还能给我的蛇画上脚呢!”说着他继续画。 但是,他还没把脚画好, 另一个人就把一条蛇画完了, 把酒杯拿过去说: “蛇本来没有脚, 你怎么能给蛇加上脚呢?这酒应该是我的。”说完他就把酒都喝了。

gu3shi2hou,   you3  yi2ge4ren2  qing3  peng2you3men   he1jiu3. dan4shi4  lai2le  hen3duo1  peng2you3,  ta1  yuan2lai2   zhun3bei4de  jiu3  bu2gou4duo1.  yu2shi4,  ta1  dui4  peng2you3men  shuo1: "zhe4xie1jiu3   ni3men  ji3ge4ren2  he1,  bu2gou4.  yi2ge4ren2  you4  he1bu4wan2.  qing3  ni3men   zai4  di4shang4   hua4  yi4tiao2she2,  shei2  xian1  hua4wan2,  shei2  jiu4  xian1  he1jiu3.  haobu4hao3?"  da4jia1  dou1  tong2yi4  ta1de  jian4yi4.

you3  yi2ge4ren2  hua4de   te4bie2kuai4,  di4yi1ge4  hua4hao3le.  ta1 gao1xing4de  na2qi3  jiu3bei1  he1le
yi4kou3jiu3,   kan4jian4   bie2ren2  dou1  hai2 mei2  hua4wan2,  de2yi4de  shuo1: "wo3  hai2neng2  gei3  wo3de  she2  hua4shang4  jiao3ne!"  shuo1zhe   ta1  ji4xu4  hua4.  dan4shi4,  ta1  hai2mei2  ba3  jiao3  hua4hao3,  ling4yi2ge4ren2  jiu4  ba3  yi4tiao2she2  hua4wan2le,  ba3 jiu3bei1   na2guo4qu4  shuo1: "she2  beng3lai2  mei2you3  jiao3,  ni3  zen3me   neng2  gei3  she2  jia1shang4  jiao3ne?"  zhe4  jiu3  ying1gai1  shi4  wo3de. ” shuo1wan2  ta1  jiu4  ba3  jiu3  dou1  he1le.

 
Translation


In ancient time,  a man invited his friends to drinks. However, many friends showed up, and the winel he prepared originally was not enough. Therefore,  he said to his friends: " the wine is not enough for all of you, but it is more than one person can drink. Would you please draw a snake on the ground? Whoever finishes drawing first will drink first, OK?" Everyone agreed to his suggestion.
One man drew very fast and finished the first. He happily picked up the glass and took a drink. Seeing the others were still not done, he said in elation: "I can still add some feet to my snake!" Then he went on to draw. However,  before he could finish drawing the snake's feet, another man was done with drawing his snake. So he took the glass and said: " Snakes don't have feet anyway. How can you add feet to your snake? This drink should be mine."  That said, he drank up the wine

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Try this simple food recipe if you are suffering from Gout

Besides avoiding food with high purine content, you can also try the some herbal tea of sarsaparilla, yarrow, rose seeds or peppermint, etc.
Eating lots of cherries can also help easing the pain.
I'm introducing one more simple food recipe here to those who are suffering from gout.

Materials:
1. venigar made of grains (4%-5%): 12 bottles (1lb each)
2. fresh lemons: 10 lb
3. orange peels: 0.5lb
4. sugar: 8-12lbs as you prefer
5. egg shells: 25

Procedure:
1.slice lemons (The thinner the better)
2. place the lemon slices in a glass container
3. pour in venigar
4. add orange peels and egg shells
5. add sugar
6. mix and seal for 2-3 months.
7. strain and pour the liquid back into the original vinegar bottles.

Usage:
Add 20--30cc vinegar eggshell liquid to 200-300cc water. Combine and drink it.
This special drink can also encourage better metabolism, defer senility, get rid of fatigue and dark spots on the skin.

Food as Medicine (Reposted FYI)

How can you prevent hey fever or lessen its symptoms? I think the following tip #10 makes sense to me. There is no harm trying it, so why don't we give it a try?

Warning:
Don't replace your regular medicine with the following food. The following tips can only be used mainly as preventative measures. However, there will be no side-effects from eating too much of some of these food.

1. ASTHMA - EAT ONIONS!!!!


Eating onions helps ease constriction of bronchial tubes.


2. BLADDER INFECTION - DRINK CRANBERRY JUICE!!!!


High-acid cranberry juice controls harmful bacteria.

3. BLOOD SUGAR IMBALANCE - EAT BROCCOLI AND PEANUTS!!!


The chromium in broccoli and peanuts helps regulate insulin and blood sugar.

4. BONE PROBLEMS - EAT PINEAPPLE!!!


Bone fractures and osteoporosis can be prevented by the manganese in pineapple.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

养只猪, 吃口肉 Raise a Pig for Pork

After reading this nursrey rhyme, you probably would think: "uhm,  Chinese people are indeed vey practical." In fact, Chinese people traditionally are not good at expressing their love vocally, especially to their close ones. So don't be horrified if you hear old wives calling their husbands "the one worth a thousand slashes" instead of "honey".




养只猪, 吃口肉;
养只鸡, 吃个蛋。
养只狗,会看家。
养只猫,会抓鼠。
养你这孩子有啥用?


yang3  zhi1  zhu1,  chi1  kou3  rou4.
yang3   zhi1  ji1,  chi1  ge4  dan4.
yang3   zhi1  gou3,  hui4  kan4  jia1.
yang3   zhi1 mao1,  hui4  zhua1  shu1.
 yang3    ni3  zhe4  hai1zi   you3  sha2yong4?




A pig will leave us with a bite of pork;
A hen will leave us with an egg;
We keep a dog to guard the house;
We keep a cat to catch the mouse;
But what 's the use of raising a child like you?

Monday, September 5, 2011

东施的故事 The Story of Dong Shi

That explains why a lot of times we bought clothes that look so nice and elegant on the model, but found they look awkward even ugly on us. In fact,  I myself made a lot of mistakes like this when I was younger.
I heard some girls spent a lot of money adding a mole on the face, thinking it's as sexy as the one of Cindy Crawford. Anyway, that's what  fashion is about.

Xi Shi is considered one of the four beauties in Ancient China.  Later, she died tragically in order to win the war against the enemy state called Wu.



中国古代有一个村子,村子的西边住着一个姑娘,名叫西施,大家都认为她长得非常美。 村子的东边住着一个叫东施的姑娘,她看见西施那么好看,听见别人都说西施漂亮,非常羡慕。有一天,西施病了,皱着眉头,从东施的家门口走过。东施看见了,觉得西施皱着眉头的样子比平时还要好看, 就模仿西施的样子,整天皱着眉头走来走去。没想到,大家见了她,不是赶紧关上门不出来了,就是赶紧走开了。东施觉得很奇怪,她不明白为什么西施皱眉好看,她皱眉就不好看呢?

zhong1guo2  gu3dai4  you3  yi2ge4  cun1zi,  cun1zi de  xi1bian1  zhu4zhe  yi2ge4  gu1niang,  ming2 jiao4  xi1shi1. da4jia1  dou1  ren4wei2  ta1 zhang3de  fei1chang2  mei3.  cun1zi de  dong1bian1  zhu4zhe yi2ge4  jiao4  dong1shi1de  gu1niang,  ta1 kan4jian4   xi1shi1  na4me  hao3kan4,  ting1jian4  bie2ren2  dou1  shuo1  xi1shi1  piao4liang,  fei1chang2  xian4mu4.  you3yi1tian1,  xi1shi1  bing4le,  zhou4zhe  mei2tou2,  cong2  dong1shi1de  jia1men2kou3  zou3guo4.  dong1shi1  kan4jian4le,  jue2de   xi1shi1  zhou4zhe  mei2tou2 de yang4zi  bi3  ping2shi2  hai2yao4  hao3kan4,  jiu4  mo2fang3  xi1shi1 de yang4zi,  zhen3tian1  zhou4zhe  mei2tou2  zou3lai2zou3qu4.  mei2xiang3dao4,  da4jia1  jian4le ta1,  bu2shi4  gan3jin3  guan1shang4men2  bu4chu1lai2le,  jiu4shi4  gan3jin3  zou3kai1le.  dong1shi1  jue2de  hen3 qi2guai4,  ta1  bu4 ming2bai2  wei4shen2me  xi1shi1  zhou4mei2  hao3kan4, ta1  zhou4mei2  jiu4  bu4 hao3kan4 ne?

Translation

There was a village in ancient China. On the west side of the village lived a girl called Xi Shi. Everybody thought  she was extremely beautiful.  On the east side of the village lived another girl called Dong Shi. She was very envious when she saw pretty Xi Shi, and when she heard all the compliments to Xi Shi. One day, Xi Shi was sick. Dong Shi saw her when she  was walking past the front of Dong Shi's house, frowning.  Dong Shi thought Xi Shi looked even more beautiful than before when she frowned. So she tried to mimic the way Xi Shi frowned and walked about in that way. To her great surprise, people either turned away in a hurry, or hurriedly closed their doors.  Dong Shi felt very puzzled. She didn't understand why Xi Shi looked so cute frowning, but she looked terrible when she tried to copy Xi Shi's frowning.