Archive for the 'linguistics' Category

you learn something new every day

Chinese translator of Don Quixote dies at 105

BEIJING • Chinese playwright, author and translator Yang Jiang died yesterday at the age of 105, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences told Xinhua news agency.

Madam Yang was fluent in English, French and Spanish, and her translations of classics such as Don Quixote and French picaresque novel Gil Blas remain the definitive versions for Chinese readers.

Born Yang Jikang in Beijing, Madam Yang studied at Soochow University and then Tsinghua University in the 1930s. She was married to Mr Qian Zhongshu, well-known for his novel Fortress Besieged that depicted the lives of Chinese intellectuals in the 1930s. Mr Qian died in 1997.

Madam Yang’s death was the top search term on the Chinese microblogging site Weibo yesterday, Associated Press reported.

The Straits Times, 26 May 2016

Read the following brief and misread ‘picaresque novel‘ as ‘picturesque novel’ at first, and wondered what kind of book it was. Did a double take and realized it was a totally different word!

you learn something new every day

‘It’s too hot for palavering!’ Sounds like almost every other day on our sunny island set in the sea.

you learn something new every day

Minatory means ‘expressing or conveying a threat’.

you learn something new every day

An argosy is a large merchant ship.

you learn something new every day

To prevaricate is to speak or act in an evasive way.

you learn something new every day

Prince or Princess of Asturias is the official title given to the heir to the Spanish throne. Ten-year-old Leonor, the elder daughter of King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia, is the current holder of this position. The (far more well-known) British equivalent is of course Prince of Wales. (His spouse will then be known as Princess of Wales. Thus far no woman has held this title in her own right.)

you learn something new every day

Supposititious means ‘substituted for the real thing’.

you learn something new every day

Something being gimcrack means it is showy but cheap or badly made.

you learn something new every day

Perspicacious is a nice bombastic synonym for sagacious.

不翼而飞

My JC senior Cheryl, a teacher, posted this status on her Facebook wall earlier today:

改作文有感:认识“不翼而飞”这四个字的日子里,还没想过能这样用“盘子里剩下的最后一个鸡翅膀不翼而飞了!”

 

on co-operation

How to Co-operate

People are drawn together because some tasks are too big for one person. They say too many cooks spoil the broth, but they also say many hands make light work. The trick is having one person work on the soup and the rest on the electrics.

This was extracted from How to Be Normal by Guy Browning, which is a collection of short essays all titled ‘How to (Do Something)’. I didn’t really get its humour at all, and made myself finish it anyway. I thought the above snippet was the funniest part of the book! :P

you learn something new every day

Recently found out what wassail (mmm sounds delicious) and wassailing are.

white horse neighing in the west wind

But no matter how brilliant, how learned Habolamu was, there was one puzzle he would never be able to decipher, because even the all-encompassing Quran contained no answer: if the person you loved deeply, deeply loved someone else, was there anything that could be done?

I have never been gladder to announce that my translation of 《白马啸西风》 (Bai Ma Xiao Xi Feng, or White Horse Neighing in the West Wind), a wuxia novella by Jin Yong, is finally DONE!!! At long last! How I’ve waited for this day!

I started working on the piece after my ‘O’ Levels and posted my first instalment to the SPCNET Wuxia Translations forum on 18 November 2003. I had thought my work would take days, if not months, to finish- but who knew! It ended up taking way more time and effort than I had thought!

Continue reading ‘white horse neighing in the west wind’

you learn something new every day

A hippophile is someone who loves horses. ‘Hippo-‘ originates from hippos, the Greek word for horse. And…… hippopotamus is Greek for ‘river horse’!

you learn something new every day

The prongs of a fork are also called tines.


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