Tag Archives: Chinese

Shanghai hen leng

Shanghai hěn lěng!

Today was my first day of Chinese lessons! Well…at least of my second attempt to learn Chinese in class. This time with a lot moe motivation, a lot more time (3 mornings per week, 2.5 hours each), a lot better teacher and a lot more costly… 😉 But it’s definitely worth the money as I think I can already judge after the first day. Certainly, I can’t tell if all teachers are that good, but if you need a professional language school in Shanghai (or Guangzhou as I just figure it when linking the web site), give iMandarin a try…OK, enough advertisment for them 😉 Continue reading Shanghai hen leng

Water the Flowers

Here’s finally a gag for my Chinese friends…or those who want to learn Chinese:

I had a nice bug in yesterday’s Chinese class…my poor teacher couldn’t stop laughing: She was questining me for vocabulary, at that time focusing on the usage of “给” (gei) like 给你打电话 (“gei ni da dianhua”, to give you a call).

The Sentence to be translated now: “Water the flowers / give the flowers water”.

Birger’s answer: “Gei hua shui jiao”.

Funny, isn’t it? 🙂 Continue reading Water the Flowers


“Du” vs. “Dich”

A real life chat log of today:

[13:33] Birger: 今日暑天

[13:37] Friend: wowowow

[15:40] Friend: ich mag kochen 😀

[15:52] Friend: dich mag nicht chicken feet

[15:52] Friend: 😉

[15:59] Birger: 🙂

[16:01] Birger: Unfortunately, our Grammar is more complex…without good reason, as I apparently understood you well. But correct would be:

“Du magst Hühner-Füße nicht.” oder, besser, “Du magst keine Hühner-Füße.”

[16:02] Birger: Ill-thinking people could, based on “dich”, interpret it the other way round: “Chicken feet do not like you” 😉

[16:15] Friend: u mean dich mag nicht chicken feet=Chicken feet do not like you?

[17:01] Birger: I mean: Can be interpreted as such. It’s not a correct sentence.

[17:01] Birger: But the form “dich” is used to express, TO WHOM something happens (so-called accusative case).

[17:01] Birger: While “du” is used to express, WHO DOES something.

[17:02] Birger: (nominative case)

[17:04] Birger: The Chinese language regulates that (to my knowledge) mostly with the position in the sentence:

Wo xihuan Chicken-feet [“du” case]


Chicken-feet xihuan Wo [“dich” case]

Wow, that’s Birger-grammar

[17:04] Birger: 😉

[17:06] Birger: Well, I just noticed I left out a few bu’s (不) here…

[17:07] Birger: And should have replaced wo with ni….well, I still need to practice Chinese a bit…

[17:07] Birger:

Ni bu xihuan Chicken-feet [“du” case]

Chicken-feet bu xihuan ni [“dich” case]

[17:09] Friend: Ich mag dich gramma

[17:10] Friend: Du gramma sounds interesting

[17:12] Friend: oh, should i replace mag with magst?

[17:22] Birger: No, was correct:

“Ich mag”

“Du magst”

“Er/sie/es mag”

“Wir mögen”

“Ihr mögt”

“Sie mögen”


But “Deine Grammatik”, instead of “Du Grammar” 😉

[17:23] Birger: Ah, maybe I got what you thought wrong….

[17:23] Friend: german magst complicated lauguage

[17:24] Birger: You can say:

“Ich mag dich.”

“Du magst mich”


“Ich mag deine Grammatik”

[17:25] Birger: German IS a complicated language when you come from Chinese and English.

It’s simple if you come from, hm, Latin, Russian, or some other easter European languages

[17:26] Friend: ok, can’t change that

[17:26] Friend: but ich mag german, du magst chinese?

[17:26] Birger: genau!

[17:28] Friend: but i am not sure whether german mag mir, or chinese magst dir 😉

[17:29] Birger: well, me neither…

[17:30] Friend: hehe

Added 10-Oct: Ja/Nein

[17:51] Friend: ich bin serious!!

[17:52] Birger: Du meinst das ernst?

[17:54] Friend: genau!

[17:55] Friend: ich meine

[17:55] Birger: That’s again a very Chinese way of saying ‘Yes’. 😉

[17:56] Friend: warrum?

[18:01] Birger: Chinese sentence structure (sorry don’t get that in Chinese now that quicky):

question: 你去上海吗? Ni qu Shanghai ma?

Anwer: 我去! Wo qu!


Q: You’re going to Shanghai?

A: Yes. […I will go]

german the same:

Q: Du gehst nach Shanghai?

A: Ja. […ich werde gehen]

We answer primaril with Ja/Nein. The additional part […I will go] is optional.

Chinese, however, usually repeats the verb like you just did.

[18:02] Friend: got it

[18:03] Birger: We westerners struggle quite a bit with the fact that the Chinese language has no simple “Yes” or “No”! 😉

[18:03] Friend: ahh??!!

[18:06] Birger: Probably closest comes 是 / 不是. But it would be the wrong answer above:

question: 你去上海吗? Ni qu Shanghai ma?

answer: 是! Shi!

(according to my books that’s wrong, or at least unexpected)

Categories: Shanghai

Originally Created: 09/19/2005 12:39:54 PM
Last Edited: 10/10/2005

About Taxis on Chinese, Fools, and Book Stores

I got up late today, some when in the middle of the day, as I worked late on an Update Notification mechanism for Sonux.net, soon to be released, but not yet ready… I saw bright sun shine and thought that I ought to have to go to down town again, where I haven’t been for quite some time.

Taxi I

As our Chinese teacher keeps insisting that we have to practice our Chinese a bit more in real life I decided to try my Chinese on taxi drivers today. I wrote down a couple of terms and street names (as so often, just writing it down helps remembering the phrases), ordered a taxi at the reception (that still in English) and were perfectly able to tell the taxi driver in a complete Chinese sentence that I want to go to People’s Square (“Wo you qu Ren Min Guangchang”, if anybody cares to try it himself). He repeated, I confirmed, and 20 minutes later I was there. Continue reading About Taxis on Chinese, Fools, and Book Stores

Cleaning a Pool

Cheap Work Again

Today again another example of too cheap working resources…

Between our project site and the next building there is a pool with fountains. Its a very shallow one, just 10 centimetres in depth, tiled in light blue. But it covers a large rectangular area: About 100 meters long, 30 meters wide. It is cut into squares of about 10 meters width by the white bars, on which the fountain pipes sit. The beauty of that installation is arguable, but not our topic today. Continue reading Cleaning a Pool