字. August 2010

  • 焰火

    yànhuǒ - fireworks

    Today I went to see the British Firework Championships with happen to be held in Plymouth, right outside my lab. I took a few photos, but I don't think firework photos are particularly interesting. Maybe I could have played around with exposure times a bit more.

  • 评论

    pínglùn - discuss, comment; commentary

    Victoria sent me a link to a great site with some commented Go games. The Greatest Games ever played are particularly interesting. It's a shame there aren't more commented games. I think there are lots in Chinese - maybe one day I'll be able to understand them (both the Chinese and the Go).

    我认为他对这个问题的评论是不正确的。
    I think his commentary on this issue is not correct.

  • 金酒

    jīnjiǔ - gin

    Today I bought some Plymouth Gin. In Chinese, gin is 金酒, which literally means 'golden alcohol', but is of course phonetic.

    我今天买了一瓶金酒。
    Today, I bought a bottle of gin.

  • wēi - tiny, micro-

    I picked this character because it appears in the word for microscope, a word that I might need to use one day. The Chinese word for microscope is 显微镜 - a mirror that makes conspicuous tiny things.

    我今天使用了光学显微镜。
    Today I used the light microscope.

  • 鞭毛

    biānmáo - flagellum

    I'm surprised that I didn't think of including this word earlier given that its what I spend most of my time working on. Like many Chinese words, it has a similar etomology to the English word: it means 'whip hair', whereas the English word comes from the same origin as the word 'flagellate'.

    我研究鞭毛。
    I research flagella.

  • 芒果

    mángguǒ - mango

    I chose this word today because I made a mango smoothie. I also like the word because it sounds like the English yet isn't simply phonetic: 果 means 'fruit' and 芒 is apparently some part of grain.

    芒果是很好吃的。
    Mangoes are tasty.

  • cháng - length; long; forever

    This is a very basic word, but I never know when to pronounce it cháng, and when zhǎng. The latter, it seems is either a verb meaning to grow, to increase etc., or an adjective meaning head or chief. I picked the word today because I was hoping to record some flagella lengthening, but sadly failed. I'm still not sure that I picked the right pronunciation, but 加长 (jiācháng) means 'lengthen'.

  • 激光

    jīguāng - laser

    Today, I was set up an experiment to see the effect of calcium on flagellar length when the blue laser exploded with a big bang. 激光 literally means excited light, which makes sense.

    激光破坏了。
    The laser broke.

  • 理论

    lǐlùn - theory

    Today Victoria and I went to the Bang Goes The Theory road show. My word today is an excellent scientific word: 理论, which, like all good words, I learnt on Smart.fm.

    他传述他的理论。
    He explained his theory.

    Me and Dr Yan