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December 11, 2007

December Update of Albert Chang

It just struck me that I hadn't been posting anything yet on my blog in such a long time. So, I would like to apologize to those who come visit my blog more often than not.

It just struck me that ... 我突然想到
post 刊登
apologize 抱歉
more often than not 常常

The original idea of my building this blog was that I wanted to post my writing somewhere on the Web, so my friends and my students would get to know more of me. I am not an writer; however, I'd just like to tell people that it will be great if they can benefit from reading my blog in terms of improving their reading skill. All the words and phrases I use in my writing are all plain and easy-to-read stuff. So, just enjoy browsing my blog.


original 最初的
build 建造
however 可是
benefit from... 從...獲益
in terms of 就...而言
improve 改善
phrase 片語
plain 平淡的
stuff 東西
browse 瀏覽

At last I would like to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you in advance.

at last 最後
in advance 預先

October 16, 2007

What has been on my mind

Well, there is actually not a lot on my mind. It is just that my son really pisses me off sometimes. First, I think he is neither like my wife nor like me. We always keep ourselves active in things we are working on. Instead, he lacks ambition to care about stuff around him, which nevertheless can be good for him. Moreover, it appears that only things like watching TV and playing on-line games can arouse his interest. At times I feel so frustrated being his old man, and I hope that he really thinks about how to improve his life as well as his school studies.

a lot on my mind 很多困擾的事情
piss me off 讓我火大
neither...nor 既不...也不
keep active in 保持積極
instead 反而
lack 缺乏
ambition 野心;雄心;抱負
stuff 東西
nevertheless 但是
moreover 再者
it appears 似乎是
arouse 激起
interest 興趣
frustrated 挫折的
old man 爸爸
improve 改善
as well as 和

August 14, 2007

Monthly update of Albert

I haven't written anything here yet since June. For those who want to know how I have been doing recently, here is what I am going to tell you.

First of all, I am still alive 活著. Though sometimes I feel like busy as hell 忙得跟狗一樣, I never stop to complain about 抱怨 anything. Instead 反而, I think I am getting more energy 能量 out of my job. To let more people know that I am a hard-working guy, I have made my own learning forum 論壇 for my readers, so from it they can soak up 吸收 new stuff in English by downloading Podcast, reading new phrases 片語 and vocabulary 字彙, posting 刊登
questions, and so and so forth 等等. I feel quite happy when seeing so many visitors come to my Web. For that matter就那而言, You really should make the best use of it 好好利用. I mean it 我說真的.

Next, my son is with me now at all times during this summer. His mom has found a new job in the city, so I have to become a all-time babysitter 保母. Well, actuallt 事實上he is no more a baby now, but he is turning a third-grader 三年級 for teh ipcoming 即將來到的 semester. Well, time flies when you're having fun 時光飛逝!'

So, that's all I must tell you about myself. If you wish to keep in touch, please drop me a line 寫電郵 and tell me what you are getting on as well 也. Catch you later 再見.

June 26, 2007

The social problem-- Marriage, birth, and divorce

A reliable source of information indicates that the marriage rate has been going down down on a annual basis, which has been accompanied by a low birth rate as well. The increasing population of the elderly is causing an aging society.

reliable 可靠的
indicate 指出
on a annual basis 每年地
accompany 伴隨
increasing 增加的
population 人口
the elderly 老人
aging 老化的

The more developed the society is, the higher standard has been required by those who look for a spouce. On the other hand, more of those self-determined minds have led to the choice of being single.

developed 發展的
standard 標準
require 要求
spouce 配偶
on the other hand 另一方面
self-determined 自主的
lead to 導致

Marriage is accomplished by a couple wishing to form a family, and a firm economic basis is the essence of it. However, due to the economy which has been in a sorry state for a long while, many people still choose to hold off getting married.

form 形成
firm 穩固的
economic basis 經濟基礎
essence 必要性
due to 由於
in a sorry-state 糟糕的狀態
hold off 停止


It isn't an easy job to increase both the marriage and the birth rate. Before doing that, the authority should first consider how to save people from the problems of the recession.

authority 當局
consider 考慮
recession 不景氣

Maintaining a family in harmony is the key to a happy marriage. Therefore, choosing the right companion other is an important step.

maintain 維持
in harmony 和諧地
optimum 最適合的
companion 伴侶

As far as the high divorce rate and the low marriage rate are concerned, not only the government but also every citizen should tax their strength to solve this social problem, shouldn't we?

as far as ....is concerned 至於
divorce 離婚
not only... but also 不僅...也
citizen 公民
tax their strength 花他們的力量
solve 解決
social problem 社會問題

June 21, 2007

Spiritual or Material?

An improved life has little to do with materials but more with spirit
improved 被提昇的,改進的
material 物質的
spirit 心靈的

For the average people like you and me, the foremost concerns for how to live better lives in this material world seem to involve buying more luxurious houses, posher set of wheels and outfits, higher position at work, more relations in sex, and just to name a few. Therefore, making more money to fulfill our needs in this material world has become the only solution to the pursuit of better life. We can't criticize those for what they are doing. Neither can we tell them what is the right nor wrong thing to do. After all, I still think what people wish to do is by their own will.

average people 普通人
foremost 最重要的,首先的
concern 關心
involve 牽涉,有關
luxurious 奢侈的,豪華的
posh 流行的,第一流的
set of wheels 車子
outfit 服裝
position 職位
relation 肉體關係
fulfill 滿足,成就,實踐
solution 解決方法
pursuit 追求
criticize 批評
neither 也不

Nevertheless, here I would like to refer to the ground of a spiritually improved life, which is by all means against the material. A spiritual life means simplicity by nature, and you will decrease the desire of concerning with money and possessions once you know what is more important for you. You will learn to cherish everything around you, to love your family, friends and colleagues, and to help those who are in need of help. As a result, being more affluent means little to you, and that is the improvement of a spiritual life.

nevertheless 但是
refer to 提到
ground 主題
by all means 當然
against 反對,不同於
simplicity 簡樸,單純
by nature 本質上
decrease 減少
desire 欲求
possession 擁有物
cherish 珍惜
colleague 同事
as a result 結果
affluent 富裕的
improvement 改良,改進

The evidence shows that people seem not to get happier once they become materially richer. The materialistic value is apparently not the remedy for unhappiness. The two things are just on the opposite side of the scale. Which one do you prefer to be heavier, my friend?

evidence 證據
materialistic value 物質化的價值
apparently 明顯地
remedy 治療
opposite 相反的
scale 天平
prefer to 寧可
heavier 較重的

June 01, 2007

In-calss writing

I got a chance to be a subsitute teacher for a writing class last night. The topic of the night was "Writing Descriptions". During the class, I asked each of the students to work on a translation practice. They all seemed to pretty enjoy themselves while working on that. Here is the original text in Chinese following an English translated sample:

昨天下午3點30分左右,市中心第一聯邦銀行發生一宗搶案。兩名搶匪闖入偷走了300萬元台幣。根據警方的調查,兩名搶匪戴著太陽眼鏡,面罩及頭盔。他們大約相同的高度,大約175公分。其中一名有黑色直髮然而另一名有不尋常的染金捲髮。兩個人都穿黑色夾克而且他們的褲子都是藍色的。看起來豐滿的這個搶匪穿著白色球鞋,瘦的這個則是穿涼鞋。搶完銀行之後,他們騎摩托車逃走並且30秒內在街角消失。幸運地是這個事件中沒有人受傷。這是今年城市警局所報出的第二件搶案。

Around 3:30 pm yesterday afternoon, a robbery occurred at the downtown First Federal Bank. Two robbers raided it and stole 3 million NT dollars. According to the police investigation, both robbers wore sunglasses, face masks and helmets. They were about the same height, around 175 centimeters tall. One of them had black straight hair while the other one had unusual dyed blond curly hair. Both of them had black jackets on and their pants were blue. The plump-looking robber wore a pair of white sneakers, and the sandals were worn by the skinny one. After robbing the bank, they made their escape on their motorcycle and disappeared round corner within 30 seconds. Fortunately no one was hurt in this incident. This is the second robbery case reported this year by the city police.

April 25, 2007

Personal endeavor

Few days ago I bumped into a guy who used to be in my class before. I caught his eye while entering the lobby of the building where I usually had class at. I run into people I know here more often than not because this gate seems to be the only access to the building for all workers of the company for the sake of security.

personal endeavor 個人努力
bump into 碰到
used to 曾經
catch one's eye 四目交接
enter 進入
lobby 大廳
run into 遇見
more often than not 常常
gate 大門
seem to 似乎
access 通道
for the sake of security 為了安全的理由

I greeted him as usual by saying how he had been doing recently. He did the same thing to me in the same manner as well. Suddenly he just thought of something and started speaking to me raising his voice. He said he really appreciated my teaching because he registered for one official TOEIC test shortly after the wrap-up of my TOEIC lessons. He scored 805 in the real test and from that moment on he would never have to worry about it any more; a sufficient TOEIC score has always been taken into account by the management when one in this company works his or her way up the corporate ladder.

greet 問候
as usual 通常
recently 最近
manner 姿態
as well 也
suddenly 突然地
thought of 想到(think of 過去式)
raise 提高
appreciate 感謝
register for 報名
official 官方的,正式的
shortly after 馬上在...之後
wrap-up 結束
score 得分
from +time+ on 從...開始
worry 擔心
sufficient 足夠的
take into account 考慮
management 資方
work one's way up the corporate ladder 在公司向上晉升

I could see why he got into ecstasies and then I congratulated him on that. I told him by the way it was due to his own endeavor and teaching him in preparing for the test was only my job. Then I entered the revolving door.

ecstasy 非常高興,狂喜
congratulate 恭賀
by the way 順便說
due to 由於
prepare for 準備,應付
revolving door 旋轉門

I was being so happy the whole evening.

April 18, 2007

Unexpected compensation

I would like to tell you a true story about myself. It just happened last night and the moral of it is how important cooling down yourself can be.

unexpected compensation 不預期的賠償
moral 寓意
cool down 冷靜

I pulled my car into the nearest gas station of my home on Tuesday night, as usual. On Tuesdays this station provides its customers with much cheaper gas price than others-- normally around 1.5 NT per liter less than the fixed price if paid by cash. For me it is a real bargain, so I would never let the chance go.

pull a car into 把車開進
gas station 加油站
as usual 通常
provide sb with st 提供某人某物
customer 顧客
gas/ gasoline 汽油
normally 正常來說
NT 台幣
per liter 每公升
less than 少於
fixed 固定的
cash 現金
bargain 便宜貨

In Taiwan almost all the gas stations offer only full service to their patrons instead of self service. That is, drivers don't have to get off their cars to get their babies filled up by themselves. All you have to do is stay inside and tell the clerk how much fuel you want and the class of the gasoline you prefer and they will serve you in no time.

almost 幾乎
offer 提供
full service 全服務
patron 顧客

self service 自助服務
get off 下車
fill up 加滿
clerk 職員
fuel 燃料
prefer 較喜歡
serve 服務
in no time 馬上

I told the young man that I only wanted 500 NT of 92 gas for my car. I opened the lid of the gas tank and he immediately triggered the "gun" of the gas pump, then he left.

lid 蓋子
gas tank 油箱
immediately 馬上
trigger 啟動
gun 槍
gas pump 加油機

I looked at the meter of the pump blankly, thinking about picking something up at he grocery store later. Suddenly I found the numbers on the meter didn't seem to stop at "500" dollars but kept rolling. I called the clerk who just served me and told him to stop the pump right away. He, having a chat with his fellow worker just seconds ago, started realizing that he had forgotten to set the pump to stop at "500". It was finally stopped at "678" dollars and then I began to worry whether I had enough money to pay. He looked worried too, because I could sense that. I opened my wallet and counted the bills I had; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6...Oops! there were only six hundred NT... then I looked into the coins I got...Two fifty-NT coins!! Now I got enough to pay but began to get annoyed.

meter 表
blankly 茫然地
pick up 買
grocery store 雜貨店
suddenly 突然
chat 聊天
fellow workers 同事

realize 了解
whether 是否
sense 察覺
wallet 錢包
count 計算
oops 糟糕
coin 硬幣
annoyed 不高興

I was about to blame this guy for his carelessness because I had already told him how much gas I wanted, but he seemed to turn his deaf ear to what I just told him to do. I managed to cool myself down this time, so I didn't say anything to him. He got my money and got back to the cash register. When he returned, he gave me my change and receipt plus a stack of toilet tissue boxes. He apologized to me about his mistake and wish me to come back again.....

blame 責備
guy 傢伙
carelessness 粗心
seem 似乎
turn one's deaf ear to st 把某事當耳邊風
manage to 設法
cash register 收銀機
return 回來
receipt 收據
plus 加上
a stack of 一疊
toilet tissue 面紙
apologize 抱歉

Well, on my way home I was thinking if I had shouted at him last night at the gas station, I might not have got so many boxes of toilet tissue. I had successfully managed my EQ fairly well this time.

shout 大叫
fairly well 還不錯

March 14, 2007

A reply to David

Dear teacher,

Thank you so much for the Business English course. I am now reading English grammar by myself.

The textbook is "Tunghua Contemporary English Grammar". This book is intended for those Chinese learners of English who range in their background from the first year of senior high to the freshman level of college, said by the author.

It is difficult for me to read, because this book is written in English. But there are some sentence examples in each section. Please could you advice if it is suitable for me at this time frame?

Thanks and best regards,
David
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dear David,

I think every grammar book has its own advantages. Yours is no exception to that. However, reading a grammar book from the first page to the end will probably be the most boring thing do. I myself can not even achieve that. So, I would just suggest you use it as a reference book. Flip through the pages for clues before you are to write or say something, and don't just study the whole book because it won't badly help you improve your language proficiency that way.

Don't study hard, study smart.

Best regards,

Albert

February 17, 2007

Monthly Charges

I recently found that my bank had been continuously charging me 25 dollars each month.

recently 最近
continuously 不間斷地
charge 收費

I just couldn't believe what I saw as I was viewing my account information on the bank's Website. I rarely do the checking on my account since I believe there shouldn't be no problem with that. Normally most banks in the U.S. won't charge their clients if they have saved adequate amount of money, usually as much as several thousands dollars or more. Now I assume that the reason why I was charged by them is that the bank didn't recognize me having enough money saved in there. The truth is I do have enough money, however. In order to save myself out of trouble, I wrote the bank an email telling them what had been going wrong and requesting to get the extra charges back to me. So far I haven't received any answer yet. I hope the bummer can be sorted out smoothly and as soon as possible.

view 觀看
rarely 很少
adequate 適量的
assume 認為
recognize 辨認
request 要求
extra 額外的
receive 收到
bummer 令人不高興的事
sort out 解決

What's fun is that maybe I should take the complaint letter to my class and show it as a live example of business writing.

complaint 抱怨
live 活生生的

February 02, 2007

Harry Potter and English Reading

Dear friends:

Here I would like to make a pleasant announcement about English reading. My long-time friend Bruce Lin is going to open a few English reading activities in Taipei. He will be working with you on several issues including finding the beauty of English reading, acquisition of language, use of Harry Potter series, and so forth.

Bruce is not only a learned person but also an experienced teacher in teaching English. His techniques in the field has attracted countless students to his class. My advice for you is that you should not miss out his class, I am telling you. To get more information, please go to the following site:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/extensionreading/

Best wishes

Albert Chang

January 11, 2007

Why the hell should I be prouid of it?

It is supposed to be a great thing to see the grand opening of Taiwan High Speed Railway (HSR) which has been on its trail operartion for a few days. However, I just can't convince myself to be proud of it, seeing so many problems come up over the past few days. Maybe I shouldn't be so mean to them, seriously. I understand that the lousy situation will be eventually under control, but I also want to complain about its steep price that not everyone can afford. For one-way traveling from Banqiao to Kaohsiung, the fare is $1490 NTD. Do you know how much the average wage of a Taiwanese college graduate can earn in one day? The answer is $ 830 NTD. That means they can't even purcahse a one-way with their one-day pay, much less the round-trip. What the hell!

be supposed to 應該
grand opening 開張
trail operation 試營運
convince 說服
be proud of 驕傲
mean 刻薄
seriously 嚴肅地
lousy 糟糕的
eventually 最後
conplain 抱怨
steep 高的
afford 負擔的起
fare 車價
average wage 平均工資
college graduate 大學畢業生
one-way 單程
round-trip 來回
purchase 購買
much less 遑論
What the hell! 表達驚訝的意思

Last but not least. The high speed railway system is made by Japanese, not Taiwanese at all. To be more specifically saying, though the HSR trains are manufactured by Japs, some European companies also involved designing the controlling stuff in some respects. Hmm...it sounds like it's not like an name-brand PC but just a compatible one.

last but not least 最後但仍是重要的
specifically 仔細地
manufacture 製造
European 歐洲的
involve 牽涉
in some respects 某些方面
name-brand 名牌
compatible 相容的