Published Sunday, 29 May, 2016
linguistics , literature , quoteworthy
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!
Published Wednesday, 25 May, 2016
‘It’s too hot for palavering!’ Sounds like almost every other day on our sunny island set in the sea.
Published Monday, 23 May, 2016
Minatory means ‘expressing or conveying a threat’.
Published Sunday, 22 May, 2016
An argosy is a large merchant ship.
Published Tuesday, 10 May, 2016
To prevaricate is to speak or act in an evasive way.
Published Tuesday, 3 May, 2016
linguistics , sociopolitics
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.)
Published Saturday, 30 April, 2016
Supposititious means ‘substituted for the real thing’.
Published Thursday, 21 April, 2016
Something being gimcrack means it is showy but cheap or badly made.
Published Sunday, 10 April, 2016
Perspicacious is a nice bombastic synonym for sagacious.
Published Saturday, 9 April, 2016
amusings , digital life , les amis , linguistics
My JC senior Cheryl, a teacher, posted this status on her Facebook wall earlier today:
Published Thursday, 7 April, 2016
amusings , linguistics , literature , quoteworthy
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
Published Wednesday, 30 March, 2016
culture , gastronomy , linguistics
Recently found out what wassail (mmm sounds delicious) and wassailing are.
Published Wednesday, 23 March, 2016
goals , linguistics , literature
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’
Published Friday, 18 March, 2016
A hippophile is someone who loves horses. ‘Hippo-‘ originates from hippos, the Greek word for horse. And…… hippopotamus is Greek for ‘river horse’!
Published Thursday, 17 March, 2016
gastronomy , linguistics
The prongs of a fork are also called tines.