Directly and indirectly in Chinese

Diameter 直径 (zhíjìng)

Diameter 直径 (zhíjìng)

The opposite of (wān curved or bent) is (zhí), which means straight, directly, straightforward, upright or just.

直接 (zhíjiē) means direct, directly or immediately.

Nǐ kěyǐ zhíjiē hé tā liánluò.
You can contact him directly.

直达 (zhídá) means nonstop. Therefore, 直达车 (zhídá chē) is a bus that will go directly to the destination without making stops on the way.

We have previously (4/9/14) learned that 半径 (bànjìng) is the radius of a circular shape. The diameter is called 直径 (zhíjìng).

直流电 (zhíliúdiàn) is direct current. Alternating current is called 交流电 (jiāoliúdiàn).

直肠 (zhícháng) is the straight section of the large intestine, or rectum. On the other hand, 直肠子 (zhíchángzi) refers to a person who is straightforward and outspoken, or 直爽 (zhíshuǎng).

Tā gèxìng zhíshuǎng.
He is straightforward in personality.

You could also describe such a person by using a four-character Chinese idiom:

Tā xīnzhíkǒukuài.
He is frank and outspoken.

直截了当 (zhíjiéliǎodàng) means straightforward, blunt or pointblank.

Tā zhíjiéliǎodàng shuō tā bù ài tā.
He said pointblank that he did not love her.

As “he” and “she” sound exactly the same in Chinese, it will not be possible to tell whether a man is dumping a woman or a woman is dumping a man if you are not familiar with the situation and just heard someone utter the above sentence.

一直 (yīzhí) means continuously, always or all along.

Tā yīzhí bùtíng de kū.
She kept crying non-stop.

直到 (zhídào) means up until.

我永远爱你, 直到海枯石烂.
Wǒ yǒngyuǎn ài nǐ, zhídào hǎikūshílàn
I will love you forever, until the seas run dry and the rocks are totally eroded.

直觉 (zhíjué) is one’s intuition or gut feeling.

Wǒ de zhíjué shì tā méiyǒu chéngyì.
My gut feeling is that he is not sincere.

正直 (zhèngzhí) means honest, upright and fair.

理直气壮 (lǐzhíqìzhuàng) means acting bold and assured because one has justice on one’s side.

间接 (jiànjiē) means indirect or indirectly.

间隔 (jiàngé) is the interval between two events or the space separating two objects.

房间 (fángjiān) are rooms that are separated from each other by walls.

间断 (jiànduàn) means interrupted or disconnected.

我和他通信多年, 没有间断.
Wǒ hé tā tōngxìn duōnián, méiyǒu jiànduàn.
I corresponded with him for years without interruption.

中间 (zhōngjiān) means in the middle or being between two things or persons. Therefore, a middleman is called 中间人 (zhōngjiānrén), and a spy is called 间谍 (jiàndié).

“Directly” and “directly” are adverbs. You might want to review Chapter 17 of “Learn Chinese through Songs and Rhymes” for the correct placement of an adverb in a sentence.

Sing Que Sera Sera in Chinese

Some Chinese people believe that everyone’s fate is compiled in a celestial book called 天書 (tiānshū). In fact, the main character in the novel titled 红楼梦 (Hónglóumèng Dream of the Red Mansion) managed to get a glimpse of this heavenly book in one of his dreams. As 天書 (tiānshū) is in Chinese, the more reason for you to master the written Chinese language. Just kidding.

You’ve probably wondered why you are who you are, where you are and how you are. Is it all in the genes, is it due to your parents’ and your own efforts, or is it the outcome of a predetermined sequence of cause and effect admixed with a bit of magic at times? We will leave the argument of nature versus nurture to the philosophers. The correct answer for us today is, “Que sera sera.” That’s Spanish for “What will be, will be.”

“Que Sera Sera” is a song written by the Jay Livingston and Ray Evans songwriting team and made internationally popular by the adorable Doris Day. The lively tune buoys our spirits despite the fact that there is not really an answer to the big question. Click on this link to hear the Mandarin version performed by Teresa Deng.

The Mandarin lyrics can be found at this link.

世事 (shìshì) is the abbreviation of 世界上的事 (shìjiè shàng de shì), i.e. the affairs of life. Therefore 世事多变化. (Shìshì duō biànhuà.) means things in life change.

(wèn) means to ask. 问题 (wèntí) are questions. 好些问题 (hǎoxiē wèntí) means a good deal of questions.

将来 (jiānglái) means the future or in the future.
幸福 (xìngfú) means well-being or living happily.
或是 (huò shì) means or, perhaps.

有一番道理 (yǒu yī fān dàoli) means makes sense. You could also say 有道理 (yǒu dàoli).

未来 (wèilái future) means the future or future (adjective). 怎能 (zěn néng) means “how could one”. 料得及 (liào de jí) means able to predict. The complete line means “How could one predict the future?”

人生 (rénshēng) is life. 本是 (běn shì) is short for 本来是 (běnlái shì) means “after all is”. (mí) is a riddle. So, life is after all a riddle.

结婚后 (jiéhūn hòu) means “after getting married”. 夫唱妇又随 (fū chàng fù yòu suí) comes from the Chinese idiom 夫唱妇随 (fū chàng fù suí), which literally translates to: “The husband sings and the wife follows.” The traditional Chinese view is that a good wife should dance to her husband’s tune. This line describes a harmonious married life.

不止一回 (bùzhǐ yī huí) means not just once, or more than once.
是否永久 (shìfǒu yǒngjiǔ) means “whether or not if will be forever”.
多虑 (duō lǜ) means worrying too much.

现在的 (xiànzài de) is an adjective that means current or present. 儿女 (érnǚ) are one’s children.

伶俐 (língli) means bright and clever.

提起好些问题 (tíqǐ hǎoxiē wèntí) means to raise quite a few questions.

前途 (qiántú) is one’s future or prospect. 如意 (rúyì) means to have one’s wishes fulfilled.

(quàn) is to advise or to persuade somebody.

(mò) is the formal word for “don’t”, “not” or “no”. 莫多虑 (Mò duō lǜ.) means “Don’t worry too much.” In everyday speech, you would say: 別想太多. (Bié xiǎng tàiduō. Don’t think too much.)

May the New Year bring you health, happiness and good fortune!

Xīnnián rúyì!
May your wishes come true in the new year!

How to say the splendor of love in Chinese?

光彩 (guāngcǎi) means splendor, luster, radiance or glory. 光辉 (guānghuī) also refers to the radiance, brilliance and glory such as that of the bright sun. Therefore, one could speak of the splendor of love as 爱的光彩 (ài de guāngcǎi) or 爱的光辉 (ài de guānghuī).

The traditional American folk song “Down in the Valley” provides a simple tune to which many trite love verses have been fitted. Here is one of the well known rhymes:

蛇 (shé) Snakes

蛇 (shé) Snakes

Roses love sunshine;
Violets love dew.
Angels in heaven
Know I love you.

Méigui ài yángguāng,
Roses love sunrays,

Lán ài yǔlù.
Orchids love rain and dew.

Yǒngyuǎn dōu bù wàng
I’ll remember always,

Fēi nǐ mò shǔ.
I belong to you.

Click on this link then select “Roses love sunshine” to hear a recording of the Chinese verses.

(shǔ) as a verb means to belong to. (mò) and (fēi) are both terms of negation. You know from your algebra classes that the product of two negative values is a positive value. Therefore, “If not to you, then I won’t belong.” is the same as “I will only belong to you.” The following example illustrates the same idea:

Wǒ juéxīn fēi tā bù qǔ.
I’m determined to marry no one but her.

敢情 (gǎnqing) is the colloquial way of saying “indeed” or “I dare say.” Don’t confuse it with the word 感情 (gǎnqíng), which is a noun that means feelings or emotions.

Remember the song “Love Somebody” that we sang a couple years ago? If you are quite sure your affection will be reciprocated, then you could substitute the last line with the following:

Gǎnqing wǒ yě shì tā de xīn shàng rén.
And I know somebody loves me, too.

When talking about love, probably the last thing that comes to mind is a snake. Well, there is a fascinating Chinese tale called 白蛇传 (Báishézhuàn Legend of the White Snake), in which the heroine is a powerful white snake fairy who took on a lovely and graceful human form and married a mere mortal (and a weakling at that) with whom she fell in love. Add to the cast a faithful friend, the 青蛇 (qīng shé, blue snake), who is also a mystical being, and a meddling, unsympathetic Buddhist monk, the 法师 (fǎshī) or 和尚 (héshàng), drama ensues. There are many different versions of this beautiful and moving story of love, friendship and struggles against external interference of the unnatural union. You can get some details at this link.

Bái shé tóng qīng shé chéng le jiébài jiěmèi.
The White Snake and the Blue Snake become sworn sisters.

Xǔ Xiān yǔ Bái Sùzhēn jié wéi fūqī.
Xu Xian and Bai Suzhen tie the knot and become husband and wife.

Fǎhǎi héshàng yào zhuōná bái shé.
The monk, Fahai, wants to capture the White Snake.

If you are ambitions and want to see how much you can get out of a Beijing opera movie with only Chinese subtitles provided, then click on Legend of the White Snake.

Traditional Chinese operas, referred to as 京戏 (jīngxì) or 京剧 (jīngjù), are staged with little or no prop, and the performers use a set of established theatrical gestures to help project an emotion or an action involving an object (which is invisible to the audience). The female characters usually sing in a high-pitched voice that could sound annoying to the untrained ear. When these ladies sing rhyming verses to describe a beautiful scenery or to express their inner thoughts, a word (note) could be held for quite a long while. I think this Legend of the White Snake movie can serve as a good introduction to Chinese opera. Featuring Chinese subtitles, real-life scenes, and even special effects, it should be less of a cultural shock to you than a traditional Chinese opera performed on stage. The dialog is somewhat off from the standard Mandarin pronunciation and intonation, and may sound strange to you. The actors do a fabulous job with body language, though. And many of the scenes are slow enough to permit you to take a good look at the displayed Chinese characters. Perhaps you could make a Lunar New Year’s resolution to study and understand all the subtitles for this movie by the end of this year, 今年 (jīnnián), or next year, 明年 (míngnián), or the year after, 后年 (hòunián)?

Zhù nǐ yǒu gè yúkuài de Qíngrén Jié!
Have a pleasant Valentine’s Day!

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