First essay

We just had our first essay homework. I’m fairly pleased with the result, even though the language content is infantile and the writing is on a low amateur level. I even had a wrong stroke, changing the meaning of a character.

We are progressing reasonably quickly, so my next essay will hopefully contain more words, and more mature grammatical structures. Next week I’m also starting calligraphy class, so the writing craftmanship will no doubt improve as well 🙂

First essay

A trip to Taipei

I’m taking a trip to Taipei between February 16th and June 6th.

I have enrolled at the Mandaring Training Center/National Taiwan Normal University to study Chinese for one semester. I hope this will give me a solid foundation for understanding Chinese.

I do not have a lot of plans yet, but as I am staying over 3 months, I guess something interesting will happen. I will blog about my effort to learn Chinese, and about life in Taiwan.

Seasonal Greetings in Chinese

I’m practicing my Chinese greetings and salutations. Common for all the forms presented here is the ending 快樂 – kuàilè – literarily “quick music”, the word being “happy” or “merry”.

My friend just had a birthday; the proper form is 生日快樂 – Shēngrìkuàilè. Broken down it litteraly means: 生 Shēng – to be born, 日 rì – day. So 生日 is birthday, and the whole phrase is “Happy Birthday!”

Soon, Christmas is coming. The proper greeting is 聖誕快樂 – Shèngdànkuàilè. The first syllable is almost the same as the previous example, just a tonal difference. But in this case 聖 Shèng means “holy”, and 誕 dàn is “birth/birthday”. So, “holy birth” = “Christmas”. The whole form then becomes “Merry Christmas!”

In the western world, New Year is fast approaching after xmas. In China, the Chinese New Year is still one month away, but… The proper seasonal greeting is 新年快樂 – Xīnniánkuàilè. This one is easy; 新 Xīn is “new”, and 年 nián is “year”. So it is not difficult to arrive at “Happy New Year!”

So, whatever your occasion; have a happy one!