鸭梨(yā lí): The original and literal meaning of the word is a kind of pear grown in the Hebei Province of Northeastern China. The word has become Chinese slang for “stress” or “pressure.” This is because the Chinese word for stress (alternately burden or pressure), 压力 (yā lì) is very similar in pronunciation, albeit with a [...]
Tag Archives | funny
You know that feeling when you say something and as soon as it leaves your mouth, you pause thinking, “wait, that didn’t sound right..” ? You get the feeling that it was wrong because the other person’s response is silence, a confused look or laughter. Well, recently I had a few very funny and awkward [...]
You know you’ve seen them before. You can spot these walking by a park or on the way home from a restaurant in China. What are they? Those Chinglish signs! They make you stop, do a double take, and squint your eyes to make sure you’ve read the sign right. You furrow your eyebrows a [...]
Is it just me or is it too fast to be seeing red, hearts and teddy bears everywhere? (the abundant chocolate is great though!) I feel like we just got into 2013 but with all the decorations and featured items, Valentine’s Day’s around the corner. To all of you that have gotten that invite out of pity, duty or [...]
The end of the world (世界末日: shì jiè mò rì) in 2012 has been the buzz lately. Did the Mayans predict right? Since we won’t be around in the next few days, should we just spend what’s left in our savings and go out with a bang? Recently, in China people are talking all about [...]
We’ve learned not to confuse “soup” for “sugar” or “church” for “caramel” in Chinese from last time’s fayin messups post. From a lot of our language learner interviews, we know that pronunciation is important. Here are some more entertaining stories related to food (since we aren’t done eating despite the Thanksgiving feast) of why! [...]
Tones and characters and chengyu, oh my! Pinyin and stroke order and final particles? OH MY!! There are so many things that can make learning Chinese tricky. One of the main challenges for an English speaker tackling this beast is understanding the different tones and having proper pronunciation (标准发音 －biāo zhǔn fā yīn). Yes, they do [...]
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