Wide Words

What is a word, exactly? With English, a word is ended with a press of a space bar, but in Chinese, there's nothing quite as distinct. Ideas which are one word in English can be anywhere between one and seven syllables in Chinese, and even the simplest, first sentence you may learn in Chinese throws … Continue reading Wide Words


I’m at Fault

In some languages, dictionaries are nice, concise books which help you find the word you're looking for. Of course, there are sometimes words which have more than one meaning, but these are often accompanied with little notes saying 'this one's a verb! don't be caught out!'. In Chinese, not so much. All words are equal … Continue reading I’m at Fault

Electric Shadows

"Words" in English are a nice construct, when you think about it. Every word I'm writing here has a distinct meaning, separated from the next with a nice spacebar to tell the world 'new-word-coming-now!'. In Chinese, very few characters translate as one word in English, and what we call a 'word' (something in a dictionary) … Continue reading Electric Shadows

Fingers Crossed

好运! Luck is one of the most perplexing things for foreigners about China - the number 4, the colour red, and something about a pear? However, that phrase 好运 looks oddly familiar - in fact, it's not a new word at all, it's two other random concepts stuck together! I find out that 运, apart from … Continue reading Fingers Crossed