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

can1 ting1 = dining hall, reception hall, big room (though this phrase looks like in would be pronounced“canteen,” it is “tsan-teen,” still close with essentially the same meaning, though this is a fancy restaurant)

OED: Canteen: Etymology: < French cantine , < Italian cantina cellar, cave, of doubtful deriv.

= eat, meal

= reception hall, offce

At the bottom of 餐 can1 is 食 shi2

食/飠/饣= eat; food

Compare 飠 to the Sumerian character for “eat, consume”:  which is “gu” a recorded 1,672 times. They both resemble a capital G, and “guh” is the sound of swallowing.

 飠 G
Chinese Roman Sumerian

食堂 = dining hall (less fancy)
shi2 tang2

= ① (main) hall ② large room for a specific purpose ③ relationship between cousins etc. on the paternal side of a family ④ of the same clan ⑤ classifier for sets (or suites) of furniture, classes etc.

= ① always ② ever ③ often ④ frequently ⑤ common ⑥ general ⑦ constant ⑧ surname Chang酒店 = ① wine shop ② pub (public house) ③ hotel ④ restaurant
jiu3 dian4
① = inn ② shop ③ store

客栈 = motel or B&B, less high than 酒店 jiu3 dian
4ke4 zhan4

饭官 = rice restaurant
fan4 guan3

饭店 = smaller restaurant
fan4 dian4

快餐店 = fast meal shop
kuai4 can1 dian4

or 快餐 = fast meal
kuai4 can1

chu2 le = except (according to Ms. Mau; says this character means: “①besides ② apart from (… also…) ③ in addition to ④ except (for)”

当然 = ① only natural ② as it should be ③ certainly ④ of course ⑤ without doubtdang1 ran2
① couple ② pair ③ to be opposite ④ to oppose ⑤ to face ⑥ versus ⑦ for ⑧ to ⑨ correct (answer) ⑩ to answer 11) to reply 12) to direct (towards sth) 13) right

对 = ① couple ② pair ③ to be opposite ④ to oppose ⑤ to face ⑥ versus ⑦ for ⑧ to ⑨correct (answer) ⑩ to answer 11) to reply 12) to direct (towards sth) 13) right

风水 = wind water
feng1 shui4

几个人? = how many people?
ji3 ge ren2

ji3 wei4 = ① several people (honorific) ② Ladies and Gentlemen! ( (Ms. Mau said, “How many? (more polite)”Will check on this.

请坐 = Please sit
qing1 zuo4

坐下= sit! (to children, for instance)
zuo4 xia4

洗燥间 = ① bathroom ② restroom ③ shower room
xǐ zǎo jiān

洗手间在哪儿? = Where is the bathroom?
xi1 shou3 jian1 zai1 na er2?

服务员 = waiter
fu2 wu4 yuan2

clothes; dress; garment; submit; take (medicine)
affair; business; matter
person; employee; member

请来一下 = Please come in for a little bit (“Please come one second”kind of)
qing1 lai2 yi1 xia4

lai2 = ① to come ② to arrive ③ to come round ④ ever since ⑤ next

xia4 = ① down ② downwards ③ below ④ lower ⑤ later ⑥ next (week etc) ⑦ second (of two parts) ⑧ to decline ⑨ to go down

请等一下 = Please wait for a little bit
qing1 deng3 yi1 xia4

deng3 = ① class ② rank ③ grade ④ equal to ⑤ same as ⑥ to wait for ⑦ to await ⑧ et cetera⑨ and so on ⑩ et al. (and other authors) 11) after 12) as soon as 13) once

什么事? = What? Which? (Ms. Mau: What do you want? What’s the matter?”
shen2 me shi4

= ① dish (type of food) ② vegetables ③ vegetable ④ cuisine
cai4 (remember that “c” is pronounced “ts”)

菜牌 = menu (with lots of pages)
cai4 pai2

pai2 = ① mahjong tile ② playing card ③ game pieces ④ signboard ⑤ plate ⑥ tablet ⑦ medal

菜单 = menu (single page)
cai4 dan1

= ① bill ② list ③ form ④ single ⑤ only ⑥ sole ⑦ odd number

Ni3 yao3 ke shen2 me = What do you want to drink? (“You want drink what?”)

qian2 pan2= appetizers (“before plate”)

zhu3 cai4= main dish/veggies/food

tang1 = soup

sha1 la1= salad (phonetic, so probably a more recent idea)

tian2 pin3 = sweet item (“tongue sweet”; “pin3” is used for taste or style says Ms. Mau.)

rou4 nei4 = meat inside

nei ren = wife (inside person)

wai ren = foreigner (outside person) (Ms. Mau said “husband”) Check on this: all sources say non-relative.

ji1 = chicken, fowl

niü2 = ox, cow, bull

yang = sheep or sometimes goat, but usually sheep

zhu1 = pig

gou3 = dog

mao1 = cat

tu4 = rabbit

hu3 = tiger

驼 = ostrich

填鸭 = duck
tian4 ya1

蛋 = egg

hai3 xian1 = sea fresh

鱼 = fish

鲜 鱼 = fresh fishy

虾 = shrimp

蟹 = crab

Analysis of the character for crab xie2:

jie3 = to divide / to break up / to split / to separate/ to dissolve/ to solve/ to melt/ to remove/to untie / to loosen / to open / to understand / to know / a solution / a dissection.

龙 虾 = lobster (“dragon shrimp’)
long2 xia1

章 鱼 = octopus
zhang1 yu2

= chapter, seal, section, movement (of symphony), camphor laurel tree, lumber

八爪鱼 = octopus (Cantonese)
bā zhuǎ yú

鱿鱼 = squid
you2 yu2

鱿 = cuttlefish

 = shell, cowry, valuables

乌龟 = turtle
wu1 gui1

 = a crow, black

 = tortoise, turtle

土豆 = potato (“earth beans”)
tu3 dou4

番茄 = tomato
fan1 qie2

茄子 = eggplant
qie2 zi

蘑菇 = mushroom
mo1 gu

炒番 = fat white noodles
chao3 fan1

炒面 = round yellow noodles
chao3 mian4

青椒 = green pepper
qing1 jiao1

红椒 = red pepper
hong2 jiao1

 for vegetables means “fresh”

绿 = green (other meanings)

玉米 = corn
yu4 mi3?

sheng1 = ① to be born ② to give birth ③ life ④ to grow ⑤ raw, uncooked

生菜 = raw vegetables
sheng1 cai4

葱 = onion (smart)

 = ginger (brave)

 = garlic (organized)

First day of school students carry all of these spices to school in a red envelope.

fa cai = black vegetables ① long thread moss (Nostoc flagelliforme), an edible algae ② alsocalled faat choy or hair moss (the YouTube was not for the faint of heart).

san jiao = three screams (fresh newborn mice, served as a dozen with sauce; 1st scream, chopsticks;second scream, sauce; third scream, mouth. Schadenfreude.

蟑螂 = cockroach
zhang1 lang1

 = cockroach

 = mantis, dung beetle

鱼眼 = fish eye
yu2 yan3

Ms. Mau: “Chicken brain tastes like cheese.”

pi2 = ① leather ② skin ③ fur ④ surname Pi ⑤ pico- (one trillionth)

饺子 = dumpling, potsticker
jiao3 zi

手纸 = toilet paper or small tissue
shou3 zhi3

手指 = finger
shou3 zhi3

早点 = early morning snack
zao3 dian3

蛋糕 = cake
dan4 gao1

 = snow, ice

 = cold

冷饮 = cold drink
leng3 yin3

热饮 = hot drink
re4 yin3

红豆汤 = red bean soup
hong2 dou4 tang1

月饼 = moon cake
yue2 bin3

= ① round flat cake ② cookie ③ cake ④ pastry


Sumerian characters and definitions from:

Chinese characters and definitions from:

Jennifer Ball

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