Nin Hao from the Man Out My Window

I walked into my  apartment and it smelled like smoke. There was a loud noise and it looked like it was all coming from my room. Pulled back my curtains to see what all the commotion was… This man was looking at me dead in the face. "Nin Hao." That is all he said, then went right back to work. Going at the iron with a full fledge dangerous instrument, with sparks flying everywhere,

I just said, "Nin Hao," closed the curtain and the window then kept it moving. What else could I say?  What else could I do? 

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Here are China’s oldest living couple, Jin Jifen, 106, and her husband Yang Shengzhong, 109.  The couple has been married for almost 90 years and has established five generations of offspring.  They have been living in the same small village in Guizhou province for more than 100 years.

Yang describes his wife as saying, “She has been nice to me my whole life and still cooks for me,” while Jin describes it as such: “I can’t live without working.” 

Daily Tidbit: Instrument

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乐器 (yuè qì) Instrument

Can you play a musical instrument乐器 (yuè qì)? Learning to play an instrument is like learning to speak another language and can be challenging at times. You have to set time aside each day to practice, and then practice again and again. What musical instruments do you play? How long have you been playing your instrument?  Tell us!

Mini-Lesson: Computer and Internet Terms

Are you familiar with the Chinese names of many computer and internets terms?  Here are a few to get you more familiarized:

  • 设置 (Shèzhì) - to set up, to install
  • 安装 (ānzhuāng) - to install
  • 注册 (zhùcè) - to register, to sign up
  • 登录 (dēnglù) - to login
  • 推出 (Tuīchū) - to logout
  • 剪切 (jiǎn qiè) - to cut
  • 复制 (fùzhì) - to copy
  • 贴粘 (tiē zhān) - to paste
Suicidal Boy Saved by Kiss from Stranger: UPDATED

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UPDATE: Color pictures added July 5th, 2011

That settles it: China is a movie, we are all actors, and the world is all but a stage.

On June 11th, Liu Wenxiu was walking by a pedestrian bridge in downtown Shenzhen, Guangdong province when she came across a large crowd.  The crowd was watching a young man standing on the bridge above outside the guardrail; he was armed with a knife and threatening to jump.The local authorities had little effect reasoning with the suicidal boy and seeing that no one from the crowd was willing to do anything, Liu decided to act.

Liu says, “"He had to be saved - because I’ve been there before and I knew exactly how it was."   Having attempted suicide before, she sympathized with the boy and in order to get close enough to him she told police she was his girlfriend and was the very reason he was trying to commit suicide.   "The fact is I’d never seen him before, but that’s the only idea I could come up with at the time," Liu confesses.

"He told me he didn’t have a home anymore, nobody cared about him and no one trusted him. I said nothing but showed him the scars on my right wrist. I used to be suicidal - I’ve attempted cutting my artery, jumping from a high building and others," said Liu during a local TV interview after her successful rescue.

Growing up in Anhui province, Liu had many pressures of her own.  Her parents often quarrelled and she has a deaf-mute sister to be responsible for; furthermore, she was not able to finish high school but had to start working as a teenager.  When told this the boy seemed to sympathize with Liu, but remained determined to jump.

"He said he’s hopeless, ‘so don’t waste your time to save me’. But I told him, ‘I’m not saving your life, I just want you to realize how silly you are being. Look at me, I’ve been there and I’m now here,’" she said.

The negotiation ultimately came to a close when Liu hugged the boy and suddenly kissed him.  Seizing the opportunity, police disarmed the boy and pulled him back inside the guardrail of the bridge.  Liu says, "When I kissed him and when he put his hand (with the knife) on my waist, both of us were crying so hard," she said. "But I was happy as I knew I had saved him."

Wow!  It seems the only thing left is to cast the movie stars that will headline this movie; high drama like this doesn’t happen often outside the silver screen.  The idiom “一见钟情” (yī jiàn zhōng qíng) means “love at first sight”, but it doesn’t seem to be entirely appropriate here considering the circumstances; perhaps the changing it to “一见救命” (yī jiàn jiù mìng) might be more appropriate since it means “saving a life at first sight”!

Learn how to speak in Putonghua with ninhao!  Kissing not included!


ninhao's Daily Tidbit: 同时 Vs. 不约而同

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Sometimes there are some terms with which people get confused when first studying Putonghua; these are two of those tricky terms.  Though they are similar in nature, they are most definitely different.

同时 (tóngshí)means “simultaneous” and describes two things that happen at the same time; it is often used with “的” (de) and used to modify a noun, for example, “同时的事情” (tóngshí de shìqíng) meaning “a simulaneous event”.

On the other hand, “不约而同” (bù yuē ér tóng) describes a “coincidence” or two events that happen to coinicide”; while it is like 同时 in which two things are happening at the same time (simultaneous), with 不约而同 it is expressly stated that these two things are not happening in accordance with each other and is not planned or arranged.

To explain “同时”(simultaneous) we have the example:

  • "哇哦,那么巧!我们俩同时到了学校" (Wa ó, nàme qiǎo!  Wǒmen liǎ tóngshí dào le xuéxiào)

which means “Wow, what a coincidence!  We both arrived at school at the same time.”

On the other hand, to explain “不约而同”(coincidence) we have the example:

  • "虽然我们班只有二十几个学生,但是今天四个女学生不约而同地穿上红色的毛衣。" (Suīrán wǒmen bān zhǐ yǒu èrshí jǐ ge xuésheng, dànshì jīntiān sì gè nǚxuéshēng bùyuēértóng de chuān shàng hóngsè de máoyī 。)

which means “Even though our class only has about twenty students, four girls [in the class] are coincidentally all wearing red sweaters today.”

Do you want to start learning Putonghua?  Make reading this post a happy coincidence!  Sign up with ninhao's free lessons today!

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