Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Back in T-town

I've been back in Taiwan for a couple days now... Really haven't felt like posting much. However, today, I did want to make a comment about Chinese. There is a reason Chinese is so hard to understand. I will give you an example why.

The number 4 is considered a bad number in Chinese. Why?

Four is pronounced Si (starting from a high tone, going to low). This also means temple.
Death is pronounced Si (starting from high tone, going to low, then returning to high).
Si (starting high and staying in a high tone) means to tear... and silk... kind of.

That is 5 meanings for one word. This is common place. Another example:

Ma (staying in high tone) is like a question mark.
Ma (high, low, high) is horse, as well as a yard(measurement).
Ma (low high) is mother.
Ma (high low) is a curse.

Ma (high, low, high) fan means troubles. Well, is that ma part of mother, is he talking about a horse? Is he cursing me? OR does the fan go with the ma? You just don't know. Sigh...

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