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.