Dreams of White Tiles . . .



Filed under: Uncategorized — Roddy @ 5:49 pm

Through running Chinese-forums.com I’ve come into contact with a number of people running fairly small, well researched and presented websites on China-related subjects.

Pinyin.info guides us through the rubble-strewn road of romanisation. It’s a great guide to a topic where misunderstandings are common, and provides as much information as anyone doing anything less in-depth than a graduate thesis will need.

Zanhe.com brings us closer to Shanghainese. There’s an interesting introduction, lessons complete with sound files, and plenty more I haven’t had time to look at.

Eating China treats Chinese food with the care and attention it deserves. It also raises the hand of the victor in the biggest food fight in East Asia, ‘Rice vs Wheat, who wins?’ and inspects the weapon technology behind Chinese cuisine’s very own roadside snack of mass destruction, Stinky Tofu.

Chinese-poems.com‘s recital takes us from the 4th century right up to only one millenia ago. This site wins bonus points for its use of literal translations of the Chinese – for example, from Mei Yaochen‘s ‘Staying Overnight with Xie Shihou in the Xu Family Library and Being Bothered By Hearing Rats’

Lamp blue person already asleep
Hungry rat little out hole
Stir upset plate cup make noise
Startle din dream stop

It may sound like a smurfophobic’s bad trip, but it’s actually a great way to get a feel for the way Chinese works. It also has a more conventional English translation

The lamp is blue, the men are all asleep,
Hungry rats start to emerge from a hole.
The noise of tumbling cups and plates is loud,
I’m startled by the noise: my dream is ended.

not to mention pinyin and both simplified and traditional characters (and if you don’t know what pinyin is, you haven’t been clicking where you should)

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