February 20, 2010

The derivation of Gong Xi Fa Ci

Gong(恭)Xi(喜)發(Fa)財(Ci), whose literal meaning is "congratulations for getting rich", is commonly used in Chinese societies during Chinese Lunar New Year. It is derived from the time when Japanese was eventually defeated by the Allies in 1945. In China's Sichuan province back then, people began to use such expression, "恭喜", to congratulate one another on Jap's surrender. However, we seem to forget its original meaning but now turn to add two more characters "發財" to wish people around us a wealthy life.

derivation 來源
literal 字面的
congratulations 恭賀
commonly 普遍地
societies 社會
lunar 農曆的
derive 源自
eventually 最後地
defeat 擊敗
The Allies 同盟國
Sichuan province 四川省
back then 那時候
expression 表達方式
surrender 投降
original 原來的
turn to 轉向
wealthy 富有的

February 10, 2010

A problem on traveling

Something went wrong while I was taking a trip a long time ago. Probably 10 years ago. I remember I was taking a trip to Las Vegas from San Francisco in 1999. I went down there with my family during the Labor day holiday. It was a long weekend, so I decided to go somewhere farther. It usually takes about 12 hours driving down to Las Vegas, which is in Nevada state. And, you know that the city of San Francisco, where I used to live, is in Northern California.

probably 大概
Labor Day 勞工節
farther 更遠一些

The first mistake I made was that I hadn't made a hotel reservation before I took off. It was about ten o'clock in the evening when we got in L.V. I realized that I had totally underestimated the situation because there was not even one hotel which could offer a vacant room at that moment. The whole city seemed to have been“intruded upon ” by the tourists from wherever on that weekend.

reservation 訂位
took off 離開
realize 了解
underestimate 低估
situation 情況
vacant 空出的
at that moment 當時
intrude upon 入侵
wherever 不論何處

In the beginning I thought I would find a hotel. But as time ticked away, I was getting anxious because I really couldn't get any. I drove around the city again, and again. Finally I found a small hotel with a compact vacant room. Guess what? They charged triple the regular price. If memory serves, it was $199 per night. I felt like I had been ripped off by a profiteer.

time ticks away 時間流逝
anxious 焦慮的
compact 小的
triple 三倍
if memory serves 如果沒記錯
rip off 剝削
profiteer 奸商

I think I have learned a lot from that experience. My advice for all travelers is, always reserve a room before you start on your trip.

experience 經驗
advice 忠告
reserve 預訂
start on 開始

February 08, 2010

Check and Clarify

I found there were some errors in my writing for the Business English Unit 4 example. Here is the final version:

errors 錯誤
version 版本

You are calling some agency to get help from its customer service. Before you are further assisted by one of its representatives, there are a few things that need to be clarified, such as your full name, ID number, etc. Do a role play like this with your partner.

agency 服務機構
further 進一步
assisted 被協助
representatives 代表
clarified 搞清楚
role play 角色扮演

ABC com: Thank you for calling ABC company. If you know the extension of the person you are calling, please dial it now, or press 9 to speak with our customer service representative. (Dial 9 ...) Please stay on the line while your call is being transferred.

extension 分機
dial 撥
stay on the line 待在線上
transferred 轉接

Rep: Hi, thank you for calling ABC, my name is Maggie, how can I help you today?

Chen: Hi, my name is Mr. Chen. I have a question regarding my bill for this month...

regarding 有關
bill 帳單

Rep: Sure. Before I can further be any help to you, may I ask you a few questions to clarify your identity?

identity 身份

Chen: Yap, go ahead.

Rep: Thank you. Would you please tell me the last 4 digits of your ID number?

Chen: It's 9902.

Rep: And the name appearing on your bill is …?

appearing 出現

Chen: Shui-bian Chen.

Rep: And the phone number you registered with us is …

registered 註冊

Chen: 0933-999-878.

Rep: Thank you Mr. Chen. Now we can make sure it's you. Did you just say you had a problem with your bill?

Chen: Yes, Uh ... there is a problem with ….

… (minutes later)

Rep: OK, Mr. Chen. The problem has been solved, and are there any other questions?

Chen: Yeah, I also want to update my email address.

Rep: OK. Could you let me know your new email address?

Chen: It's

Rep: Could you spell it for me?

Chen: Sure. My email is s for star, b for boy, c for car, h for happy, e for eye, n for Nancy, at yahoo dot com dot tw.

Rep: That's clear, Mr. Chen. Anything else?

Chen: I think that's all.

Rep: OK, Mr. Chen. If you need other assistance, please call back during our business hours. Thanks for your call and have a great day. Good bye.

January 14, 2010

The hardest decision I have ever made. (Revision)

revision 修改版

The hardest decision I've ever made was about whether I should move back to Taiwan in 2001. Back then I was working for a marketing company in Fremont, California. Just as with other companies in Silicon Valley which were suffering the big business downturn mostly due to the bubble economy in the US, my company started to lay off its employees in order to stay in business.

hardest 最困難的
whether 是否
back then 回到那時
marketing company 市場行銷公司
just as with... 就如同...
Silicon Valley 矽谷
suffer 受苦
business downturn 生意下滑
mostly 主要
due to 由於
bubble economy 泡沫經濟
lay off employees 裁員
stay in business 繼續營運

Just before I was locked in for unemployment by the management, I had no idea if I would be shown the door somewhere down the line or remain employed. I had no clue about it, and there was nothing I could do at that moment. Situations had turned so uncertain that each and every day staying at work was a torture for me. I was getting so tired of waiting for the outcome, and it had made me go schizophrenic. Therefore, I decided to submit my resignation to my boss one day. He "acted" shocked, yet soon he approved my request without saying anything. That was a relief to me. I got everything wrapped up and left the company which I had worked at for a couple of years in one month. That's the hardest decision I've made.

locked in 被鎖定
unemployment 解雇
management 資方
be shown the door 走路
somewhere down the line 某個時間點
remain employed 維持被雇用
no clue 不知道
situation 情況
uncertain 不確定
each and every day 每一天
torture 虐待
outcome 結果
go schizophrenic 變精神分裂
submit my resignation 提出辭呈
acted shocked 假裝震驚
approve 核准
request 請求
relief 解脫
wrap up 打包

January 04, 2010

2009 Review

A few months have passed since I last put some words on my blog. I feel like saying something now before the end of the year, just as with other bloggers who would do the same thing on their own sites.

blogger 部落客
site 網站(Website)

First off, 2009 feels like a plain but somehow exciting year to me and my family. This has been our second year since we relocated to the beach side. So now we can get to see lovely scenery at the beach, and from time to time we go for bike rides along the trails. To decently describe what my life is like now, "a pastoral life with peace and quietness" may hold true for this.

first off 首先
feel like 感覺像是
somehow 有一點
exciting 精彩的
relocate 搬家
beach side 海邊
get to see 有能力去
lovely 美麗的
scenery 景色
from time to time 偶爾
go for 追尋
bike ride 腳踏車騎乘
along the trails 沿著步道
decently 像樣地
describe 描寫
pastoral 田園的
hold true 適用; 適合

Secondly, I think I will plan to take a two to three-day vacation somewhere next year. Frankly, I haven't done so in ages, so I am pushing myself to work on it. I feel that I have hit a wall at my work, so getting myself unwound seems really essential for me now.

secondly 其次
frankly 坦白說
in ages 很多年
hit a wall 碰到瓶頸
unwound 放鬆(過去分詞)
essential 必要的

Last but not least, all I want to say to all my friends is, "Wherever you are, may 2010 be a year filled with love, hope, peace and prosperity for you." Catch you later.

last but not least 最後一項要點是
be filled with 填滿
prosperity 成功