Coronavirus in Chinese

Coronavirus

Coronavirus

今天是国际妇女节.
Jīntiān shì guójì fùnǚ jié
It’s International Women’s Day today.

我向世界上所有妇女致敬!
Wǒ xiàng shìjiè shàng suǒyǒu fùnǚ zhìjìng!
Salute to all the women in the world!

As you know, 女人 (nǚrén) and 女子 (nǚ zǐ) both mean women. 妇女 (fùnǚ) is a formal and more polite way of referring to women.

On this International Women’s Day, I’ve been busy dehydrating cabbages and making rusks. Thanks to the threat of an impending coronavirus pandemic, I’ve let the Internet educate me on how to prepare emergency foods that can be stored long term without spoiling. Stored in a sterilized Mason jar with oxygen absorbers, properly dehydrated vegetables could last for years. Hardtacks will keep for decades, but I’ll settle for the plain rusks. If properly prepared and stored, plain rusks made from store-bought plain white bread can last up to three months; and they are yummy. Of course, I will also follow my own recipe to make some dried minced salmon, or 鲑鱼松 (guīyú sōng). A whole salmon will yield about 1 quart of dried minced salmon, seriously reducing the required freezer storage space.

(guān) is a crown, (zhuàng) means a shape, and 病毒 (bìngdú) is the Chinese word for virus. Not surprisingly, the Chinese translation of the coronavirus is 冠状病毒 (guān zhuàng bìngdú).

COVID-19 症状是发烧, 咳嗽, 和呼吸急促.
COVID-19 zhèngzhuàng shì fāshāo, késòu, hé hūxī jícù.
The symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, coughing, and shortness of breath.

该病毒对国王, 贵族和平民一视同仁.
Gāi bìngdú duì guówáng, guìzú hé píngmín yīshìtóngrén.
The virus treats kings, aristocrats and the commoner equally.

保持距离并用肥皂和水洗手有助于预防疾病.
Bǎochí jùlí bìng yòng féizào hé shuǐ xǐshǒu yǒu zhù yú yùfáng jíbìng.
Maintaining a distance and washing hands with soap and water can help prevent the disease.

许多商店的洗手液都卖完了.
Xǔduō shāngdiàn de dōu mài wán le.
In many stores, the hand sanitizers have been sold out.

最好避免旅行以及參加公共聚会.
Zuì hǎo bìmiǎn lǚxíng hé cānjiā gōnggòng jùhuì.
It would be best to avoid traveling and attending public gatherings.

Many countries are now in the throes of a war against the dreadful virus. This ought to make one stop to think about why we make wars against one another when we already have so many natural disasters and treacherous viruses to deal with. This is the underlying philosophy of the novel “My Fatima” that I published last year. Another novel that I wrote, “The Little Monk”, also advocates religious tolerance. World peace (世界和平 shìjiè hépíng) is possible only if we can respect each other’s beliefs as well as everyone’s rights to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.

From 3/10/20 to 3/12/20, you can download the following eBooks from amazon.com for free.

“My Fatima”

“The Little Monk – English Edition”

“The Little Monk – Chinese Edition”

祝你健康!
Zhù nǐ jiànkāng!
Here’s to your health!

Man, a radical?

Have you noticed that 爷爷 (yéye grandpa) and 爸爸 (bàba papa, dad) share the radical (fù father)?

Now, check the following list and see if you can point out the common root shared by these words.

(rén person, human being)
(dà big, large)
(tài too, excessively, top-most)
(rén dog, canine)
(tiān sky, heaven)
(fū husband, man)

That’s right. The root of the above characters is (rén human being). Whereas 女人 (nǚrén) is a female person, or a woman, 男人 (nánrén) is a male person, or a man. The top part of the character (nán male person) is (tián), which means fields or cropland; and the lower part is (lì), which represents physical strength. So, men are those human beings who work in the fields.

If you first make a horizontal stroke then add a (rén) to it, then you would get the character (dà), which stands for “big” or “large”. We know that 小孩 (xiǎohái) is a child. The word for an adult is 大人 (dàrén).

Add an extra tick below (dà big, large), and you’d get the word (tài), which means “excessively” or “supreme”. As a bonus for learning this character, 太太 (tàitai), is how one refers to one’s wife. It also represents the title “Mrs.”.

It matter where you place the tick mark in a character. If you place it in the upper-right quadrant of (dà), you’d turn it into the formal word for “dog”, . The everyday word for “dog” is (gǒu).

It also matters whether a vertical stroke pokes out of a horizontal stroke or not. For example, make a horizontal stroke then add the character (dà) beneath it. You’d get something that is bigger than “big”, namely, the sky, (tiān). If you let the first stroke of (rén) poke out of the character for sky, then you’d have written a totally different character, (fū), which means “husband”, and also stands for “man”. 夫人 (fūrén) is a respectful way of addressing a lady. So, for example, 王夫人 (Wáng fūrén) is a more respectful way of addressing Mrs. Wang than 王太太 (Wáng tàitai).

%d bloggers like this: