being intermediate-advanced in a second language: the struggle
There are only two modes:
1. You say something so flawlessly, so beautifully. People stare at you in awe. Some native speakers wipe tears from their eyes. 2. You suddenly and inexplicably say “jam, jam!”. No one knows what to do. “Did she just say ‘jam jam’?! What does it mean? Should we say something?” they whisper. People stare at you in awe. Some native speakers wipe tears from their eyes.
So everyone read the update… We all saw that He tian said Next Saturday right? But Does it really mean next Saturday or This Saturday.
It’s Friday. All of this has taken place in this one day which is Friday. Which means the next day for them is Saturday. Chinese schools have school on Saturday. So the question I propose to you guys is, Does He tian actually say THIS Saturday (or just tomorrow as in Saturday) or, just like almost all the translations say, NEXT Saturday?
I did a little “research” on some translations and stuff and the most similar translation i saw were these
Most of the translators say “Tomorrow, Saturday” so Who knows?Is it this Saturday, or next Saturday?
Hongs were the areas in Canton that the Chinese permitted western countries to set up warehouses for the exchange of goods. At the height of the China trade with Salem as many as 60 ships a year traveled between the two cities. This painting is from about 1840 and shows the American Garden in front of the American warehouse.
Notes: this is a collection of short stories recently published by Future Fiction. It’s quite a special project since it’s a bilingual (chinese / italian) anthology.
The collection contains four stories, and I already wrote in the past about two of them. I told you about Chen Qiufan’s The Coming of Lighthere, a story that I translated from Ken Liu’s english translation into italian: what happens if a marketing expert is asked to work on a strategy to sell a new app, and he contributes to the creation of Buddhagram, which has some unexpected side effects? I reviewed a collection of Xia Jia’s stories here, and the one who was chosen for the Nebula collection is Tongtong’s Summer, the story of a young girl, her grandpa and the android that has to take care of him.
Another story you can read here is Yuanyuan’s Bubbles by Liu Cixin (yes, the author of The Three-Body Problem), the story of Yuanyuan, who grows up in a small town in a constant drought and loves blowing bubbles. When she first saw bubbles, as a little kid, she fell in love with it and she kept blowing bubbles all her life, from her school years through her years as a grown up woman who has founded a successful company, which will help her find a practical use for her little obsession.
Then there’s Wu Yan’s To Print a New World, the story of an university that risks getting closed so everyone working there decides to work hard to make it absolutely necessary and irreplaceable. It works, but with some surprising side effects.
What do all these stories have in common? Many things, of course, but what struck me most was how modern they all felt. Sure, Chen Qiufan is nicknamed the William Gibson of China, but he doesn’t stop at old timey cyberpunk, no, he focuses on smartphones and apps (at least in this story), because that’s what the readers experience right now. Xia Jia writes about old people and the need to care for them, an issue that is strictly a contemporary one, since the number of elderly grows and the number of children is getting lower. Liu Cixin’s story deals with droughts and, indirectly, with climate change. Wu Yan’s tale focuses on modern universities and the problem of pollution.
From an Italian point of view, it’s great to have such a collection since we do not get much in terms of new sci-fi (besides maybe The Expanse series), let alone sci-fi that doesn’t come from english-speaking countries, and the vast majority of the readers have to rely on translated material since they can’t read english. Collections like this one are a great way to start exploring new realities in terms of sci-fi, and the book as an object is not only well made, but it contains a foreword by Wu Yan and an afterword by Takihara Tōya, a japanese university professor that explains an interesting concept about the two kinds of science-related fiction styles in China.
All these stories are a good way to demonstrate that, no, science fiction doesn’t have to stop at rockets or glittering cyberspace cities, it can actually go further and be inspired by the issues of our time. After all science fiction never was about the future, it has always been about the fears and hopes of the time in which the stories were written.
An Antique Chinese Dao Sword (AKA Chinese Broadsword)
Looking at an original antique Chinese dao of quite large proportions. The dao is a general name for a sword type found all over China for hundreds of years - there are many varieties, one and two-handed, large and small. They were carried by all types of soldiers as sidearms. They can be found in all kinds of qualities, from mass produced government-issue to top quality heirloom weapons. This example is at the lower end of the scale and was probably produced for the Boxer Rebellion.