chinese

“Meow” Is Just Another Name for “Cat”

Jennifer Ball Soochow University, Suzhou, China Email: originofalphabet@me.com How to cite this paper: Ball, J. (2019). “Meow” Is Just Another Name for “Cat”. Open…

Read More

Gender and Grammar in Chinese With Implications for Language Universals

Gender and Grammar in Chinese With Implications for Language Universals 中文里的性别和语法 ——对语言共性的影响 Dr. Catherine S. Farris University of Washington 凯瑟琳·法里斯 华盛顿大学 First published in…

Read More
david-at-trb-1-cropped

“Covert Sexism in Mandarin Chinese” by David Moser

Sino-Platonic Papers Number 74 January, 1997 David Moser Dept. of Asian Languages and Cultures University of Michigan     Introduction Western linguists have been…

Read More

The Role of the “Groove” 卯 Character in Chinese Writing: 69 characters and 22 definitions

byJennifer Ball and Xu ChaoUsing a Hanzi substructure-search engine designed by Xu Chao and Jennifer BallNov. 11, 2018 Thanks to Chinese Text Project, zhdict.net/dictionary,…

Read More

The Role of the “Youth/Essence” 青/靑 Character in Chinese Writing

byJennifer Ball and Xu ChaoUsing a Hanzi substructure-search engine designed by Xu Chao and Jennifer BallNov. 11, 2018 Thanks to Chinese Text Project, Wiktionary,…

Read More

Are Jiahu Symbols Writing? Probably

In Chinese, a common type of sentence is four characters; this four-character sentence is known as a “chengyu” 成语. A chengyu is not dissimilar…

Read More

Duh, I own it: Possession is Universal

的 de (no tone) = of (possessive), target, bull’s eye Portraying ownership was one of the first usages of writing. “This is mine” was…

Read More
david-and-maggie-at-trb-cropped

汉语里的隐性性别歧视 作者:David Moser (莫大伟) 密歇根大学亚洲语言文化学院 1997年 译者:李琪(Maggie Li)——苏州大学 译于2017年10月31日

导语

西方语言学家对于英语语言当中性别歧视现象各个方面的研究已经持续了几十年。继罗宾拉考夫(Robin Lakoff,1975),米勒凯西以及凯特斯威夫特(Miller Casey,Kate Swift,1977)等人发表了具有影响力的论文之后,更多的学者开始识别并且归类诸如词汇,语法,语篇,甚至是语调等语言特性中所体现的性别歧视现象。(关于英语语言中性别歧视的历史概述可参见巴伦(Baron)1986年的论文。其余近期的研究包含斯坦利(Stanley)的论文1977a,1997b…

Read More

We all emerge from an egg stored in a secret place — 我们都来自隐秘在某处的一枚卵

excerpt: 我们都来自隐秘在某处的一枚卵

请注意以下中国汉字间的联系:

Read More

Hair as a Medium for Communication

One’s hairstyle projects one’s status. Female hair telegraphs availability. Certain styles indicate “not yet: this wearer is too young to bear children.” Early communication was often about a female’s ability to carry offspring.

Read More
Princesses celebrate with hidden word "princess"

乳房,阴道以及工具: 对英语字母系统的思考

如果你要向彼此语言不通的人描述一件事情,最简单的传达意思的方法就是画一张图。

“一图胜过万语千言”,因为不需要任何约定俗成的书面或口语表达就可以将信息传达出去。这种视觉的交流方式不需要面对面的互动,任何人都可以画一幅图,其他任何人都能够看到这幅图。只要信息发出者与接收者的思维方式大致相同:那么,传输完毕。现代人就都满足这样的要求,因为我们都是通过自然选择进化而来的,这个过程既不是民主选择又不是个人独断,而是方向始终如一,不可阻挡的进化过程。从几十万年前起,人类就一直延续着基因上的相似性,因此,我们的基本需求是一样的。早期人类将其反应在字母的形状和发音上,也就是说,我们的字母表就是人类基本需要的层级图。

Read More
Chinese cat script superimposed over Ancient Egyptian cat script.

“喵”是“猫”的另一种说法

Chapter 2 “喵”是“猫”的另一种说法 包珍妮 著于 2010年9月3日     李琪 译2013年7月30日    喵”是“猫”的另一种说法 包珍妮 著于 2010年9月3日 李琪 译2013年7月30日 汉字“猫”— mao (一声)的 发音是一个 持续的高 音,就像猫 的叫声。这 个汉字大概…

Read More

The shape of “V” means “female” in three different cultures and times

Read More

Chinese word for “heart” 心 comes from a penis

The website http://hanziyuan.net/ (originally ChineseEtymology.org) is phenomenal, and the amount of work put into it is impressive, but I think it’s pretty clear from…

Read More
I can almost speak fluent Chinese

Prototype for a Substructure – Searchable Database of Hanzi

Let’s say you wanted to find all incidents of 卯 in every Chinese character, which right now you cannot. You would take a cursor…

Read More
Chinese cat script superimposed over Ancient Egyptian cat script.

“Meow” is just another name for “cat”

Meow. We know this is the sound a cat makes. Five thousand years ago, so did the Ancient Egyptians. They just pronounced it “miw,”…

Read More
Princesses celebrate with hidden word "princess"

Breasts, Vaginas, and Tools: Musings on the roots of our alphabet

If you want to describe something to someone, but neither of you speak the same language, drawing a picture is the simplest way to…

Read More

Maggie Li’s Speech: When Socrates Meets Confucius

Maggie Li, whose real name is pronounced “Lee Chee” (Li Qi is the pinyin) is a friend and student of mine who came in…

Read More
Some of my Soochow Nanotech 2013 students

Nanotech at Suda is the Best – Spring 2013

Chinese Nanotech Students sing

Read More
Sporky with umbrella hat

我的猪”Sporky”的故事

我最好的朋友:撒泼 包珍妮(Jennifer Ball) 著 李琪(Maggie Li) 译 撒泼今天遭遇了玻璃劫。他意识到眼前这个透明的物体已经超出了他的理解范围,也没有办法穿越。对我们来说一扇滑动玻璃门并不复杂,但对于他来说却像是一个恶作剧,阻止他去做自己最擅长的事情:吃。他尝试去推开那扇玻璃门,但几次未果后就放弃了;我一直站在一旁观看,可以看得到他在失败后撅起了嘴巴,假装出不在意的表情。此时他可以看得到玻璃门对面的我,却没有办法用嘴拱我(他第二擅长的事情),因此他觉得受伤了。他一屁股坐下来,等待着,与他往常恳求的姿势一样。我有些于心不忍了,就滑开门,然后快速地闪到一旁,为他迅猛地从地上弹起奔向厨房的动作让路——他知道食物已经在那里恭候他多时了。在他眼里,与晚饭相比,这个对玻璃门的探索过程只不过是个小插曲而已。 由于我还没有做好要孩子的准备,我就买了一只宠物猪;撒泼满足了我的要求——弱小,要人照顾,但是却不需要上大学,或者专门为他腾出家庭谈话的时间。我思忖着,如果宠物猪计划失败的话,至少还可以“饱餐一顿”,但对孩子就不适用了。 但后来我发现,养猪场的场主对我隐瞒了许多关于袖珍猪的“习性”,比如他拱东西的习惯。仔细想一想的话,也许大多数人都会记起来,猪确实是会拱地的;但是单单“拱”这个字已经无法完全表现出猪对这种行为的狂热程度了。和我一样的“养猪新手”会理所当然地认为只有法国的“松露猪”才会那样去翻开泥土寻找松露。事实上,在买猪之前我甚至做了很多“功课”(老公强迫我的)——我坐在摊开的百科全书前,记录下猪最喜爱的食物(偏爱的烹调方法),最舒服的抓痒的地方等等,但却没有一处提及他们拱东西的习惯。现在看来,鉴于我们厨房中的地皮裸露大半的情况,这一条习性非常有必要被记录下来。 后来我们也收到了养猪场寄来的一些“养猪指南”,但其中也没有一条是关于猪会宣称自己的“领地”这一点的。或许是因为比起乔治亚,“领地”这个词在圣地亚哥已经不需要再专门说明了吧。直到后来,有一位朋友向我谈起她与家人在周末度假时差点收到一张罚单的经历时,我才意识到这个词的含义。我知道她们是在沙漠里过的周末——我觉得沙漠又遥远又荒凉,不太会吸引有钱有势的人前往,于是我就问她发生了什么。 “噢,事情是这样的,有一群警察乘着直升机飞过,但我的爸爸却告诉他们,他们侵入了私人领空,最好现在离开。” 我的词典里面没有“私人领空”这个概念,因为我要腾出空间给“电动工具”,“粪便肥料”和“高能猪粮”(撒泼的推荐口粮)等词语。我觉得这些词语才能够立刻抓住人们的注意力,喜剧演员们也喜欢使用这些词——我曾与一个喜剧演员约过会,所以我知道这一点。 我这位朋友的父亲是一家微芯片公司的创始人之一,非常富有。在我看来,这样的人在说出“私人领空”这样的词语时从来都是理直气壮的。 “那你最终被开罚单了吗?”我问道,其实并不是想催她。 “他们准备因为我们骑了四驱摩托而给我们一张罚单。” 我立刻想到三轮车是已经被取缔了的,但是四驱摩托应该是形似三轮车的机动车辆,并且理论上来说,四个轮子也可以使它行驶起来更稳定些。 “骑四驱摩托也要被开罚单吗?” 她用充满厌恶的口吻回答:“我们当时正骑着摩托经过一个国家公园,所以他们很生气。” “这是违法的吗?”我随口问道。 “他们最近刚将其定为违法。” “为什么要这样做呢?” “噢,因为他们认为这种行为会侵蚀土地。” “真的会吗?”…

Read More
Soochow Nanotech Students 2013

A video I made for my Soochow University Nanotech English Spring 2013 students:

My wonderful students  

Read More

Chinese Quadruple Radicals

By Jennifer Ball and Maggie Li (李琪) Quadruple radicals are not common, but they do give a sense of what one character means four…

Read More

Chinese Triple Radicals

If one radical means X, three radicals should mean 3X, so studying triple radicals, even if some are archaic, tells you a lot about…

Read More

Seal-Ovum-“gp”-Shaped Analysis

卵 ovum – luan3 (leon2 leon5 lo5) 孵 hatch, sit on eggs –  fu1 (fu1) 㲉 eggshells – kai4 ke2 (dik1 hok3) 毈 fertile eggs;…

Read More

Females in Chinese script

Females in Chinese Script by Jennifer Ball © February 16, 2011 Why is “Y” at the end of our alphabet? Because the shape of…

Read More

Cantonese characters for penis and vagina

Read More

Biking in China: 在中国, 我骑自行车

Men and Girls 男和妞: Pictures From China

Read More

4 = West = Wine

A Structural Analysis of Written Chinese The book Reading and writing Chinese: a guide to the Chinese writing system, the student’s 1,020 list, the…

Read More
Worm in flower cave

CAVes and VAGinas are the same concept in Chinese

Mandarin II Berkeley Extension – Class 2 – Feb. 6, 2012 425 Market Street San Francisco, CA Homework: Workbook, pages 52-53. Make a copy…

Read More
Female body parts are at the root of written language

“Slave Girl” in Chinese and “female” in Sumerian are oddly alike

丫= “slave girl” in Chinese    = “woman” in Sumerian This similarity should make you think about the alphabet’s letter Y. It starts words…

Read More
Graffiti in 798 Art District, Beijing

Mandarin II to you too

Putonghua Uncensored Class 1

Read More
The bow and arrow provides the source material for many a metaphor

Interesting Chinese Characters #6: To Shoot; To Spurt

㢩 to shoot; to spurt, (same as 的) target for archery di4 ( Cantonese: dik1 dim3 tiu4) 的 = of, “de” in Chinese and…

Read More

Interesting Chinese Characters #4 and #5: Cunning involves holding something in one’s mouth

刁 tricky, sly, crafty, cunning diao1 (diu1) 叼 holding in mouth diao1 (diu1) http://ctext.org/dictionary In order to be cunning, what do you suppose one…

Read More
tiger

Interesting Chinese Character #3: Ghost of One Devoured by Tiger

倀/伥 Ghost of one devoured by tiger; groping; rash; reckless Pinyin: chang1 Cantonese: coeng1, zaang1 http://ctext.org/dictionary.pl?if=en&char= 伥 http://www.mandarintools.com/

Read More
Harem

Interesting Chinese Characters #2: “Profundity”: you know this has to mean “sex”—in the form of a harem

㽎 The profundity of the harem, the mysterious and profound of the forbidden palace, the flourishing and exuberant of the flame. Pinyin: dǎn tán.…

Read More
Sexy Cow

Tarte de la vaca

Ms Lin’s corrections: The equivalent symbol for $ (US dollars) to yuan 元 is ¥  yuan 元 is the same as ¥ ¥ Renminbi…

Read More
Millet

Grain has symbolic meaning in China

Mandarin I Berkeley Extension Class – 11 – Nov. 22, 2011 425 Market Street San Francisco, CA Professor: Virginia Mau Homework: Menu Include:Name of…

Read More

The word for “Eat” looks a lot like a head

Mandarin I – Berkeley Extension – Class 10 Nov. 15, 2011 425 Market Street San Francisco, CA Professor: Virginia Mau 餐厅 can1 ting1 =…

Read More

The sound “be” means “vagina” in Chinese. To be or not to be: up to the vagina

Mandarin Uncensored In which we discover that the worst word in English is the same part of the female body as the worst word…

Read More
Japanese T-shirt

Why is “woman”女 in the character for “Japanese”倭? Is this an insult?

Mandarin I Berkeley Extension Class 8 Nov. 1, 2011 425 Market Street San Francisco, CA Professor: Virginia Mau Homework for next class 11/8: Lesson…

Read More

Now we know why they have to be funny…

Clowns have breasts but no milk by Jennifer Ball 笨 笑 哭 Meaning: foolish laugh cry Characteristics crinkly eyes, funny face crinkly eyes, open…

Read More
mythical animal eats mother in Chinese

Interesting Chinese Characters #1: Mythical Animal that Eats Its Mother

獍 A mythical animal that eats its mother when it is born; Manchurian tiger. Pinyin: jing4. Cantonese: ging3. Very few animals eat their mothers; occasionally some insects and…

Read More
Puyi had a wet nurse (not shown) until age 14

Puyi had a wet nurse (not shown) until age 14

Mandarin I Berkeley Extension Class 7 Oct. 18, 2011 425 Market Street San Francisco, CA Professor: Virginia Mau Test 11/1 (next class): Comprehensive –…

Read More

You say “gege,” I say “gugu”; you’re Chinese, I’m Akkadian, and we’re both talking about virgins

Mandarin I Berkeley Extension – Class 6 – Oct. 11, 2011 425 Market Street San Francisco, CA Professor: Virginia Mau “Ge ge” (guh-guh) means…

Read More
Rice congee looks a lot like semen

The roots of “Please 请” are kind of messy

请 Please qing3 = please   The right-hand phonetic 青 is also in the word for“semen”: 精 jing1. This makes sense: the bottom is the moon stand-in…

Read More
"Cuckold" is "tortoise" in Chinese.

Wang ba is a cuckold which is a tortoise

Mandarin I Berkeley Extension – Class 5 – Oct. 4, 2011 425 Market Street San Francisco, CA Professor: Virginia Mau Notes taken and commentary…

Read More
Bubble tea

Bubble Tea – Boba Nai Cha – and the biggest-breasted woman in China

Mandarin I Berkeley Extension – Class 4 – Sept. 27, 2011 425 Market Street San Francisco, CA Professor: Virginia Mau Notes taken and commentary…

Read More

Was Chinese simplification a way to make the characters look less like pictures?

Sept. 20, 2011 Class 3 Berkeley Extension 425 Market Street San Francisco, CA Professor: Virginia Mau (pronounced “Mew”) Notes taken and commentary (marked by“Note:”)…

Read More
Grand Tetons

太太, tt, TT, דד all mean “boobs” in Chinese/English/Hebrew

太太 = Mrs. tàitài tai4 tai4 Think about a “Mrs.” at a time of no birth control. These two “tais” represent breasts. “Tài tài”…

Read More
Leopard hunting at night with yellow eyes

It takes sharp eyes 色 to see at night 晚

Mandarin I Berkeley Extension – Class 2 – Sept. 13, 2011 425 Market Street San Francisco, CA Professor: Virginia Mau (pronounced “Mew”) Email: vmmauhk@yahoo.com…

Read More

Mandarin Uncensored – Class 1

Mandarin I Berkeley Extension – Class 1 Sept. 6, 2011 425 Market Street San Francisco, CA Professor: Virginia Mau (pronounced “Mew”) Email: vmmauhk@yahoo.com Notes…

Read More