Fortuitous Encounter in Chinese

Zucchinis coming out of my ears

Zucchinis coming out of my ears

As part of my disaster preparation effort this year, I sowed quite a few zucchini seeds in the spring. Zucchinis are known to be very prolific, but at this time I’m still waiting to see the explosion of zucchini fruits to come out of my ears. Should that happen in the near future, and we have extras not consumed with our regular meals, my plan is for these nutritious summer squashes to go into the freezer, the dehydrator, the zucchini breads and, of course, my neighbors’ homes. Yep, that’s what neighbors are for. 😉

Well, today I mainly want to share with you another wonderful encounter with a cute little humming bird in my yard. Hopefully this will help you forget for a moment the disasters and turmoils currently taking place at home and abroad. (Click here to read my previous blog post about a happy encounter with a hummingbird.)

Jīntiān zǎochén wǒ zài yuán lǐ jiāoshuǐ de shíhòu,
This morning while I was watering in the garden,

yòu tīng dào fēngniǎo zhèn chì de shēngyīn.
again I heard the sound of a hummingbird flapping its wings.

Zhè huí shì yī zhǐ gèng xiǎo de fēngniǎo.
This time it was an even smaller hummingbird.

Tā xiàng mìfēng yīyàng wéirào zhe wǒ fēile yīhuǐ’er,
It flew around me like a bee for a while

ránhòu zhuǎn tóu fēi xiàng yóu shuǐ guàn sǎ chū de xì shuǐzhù,
then turned and flew toward the thin column of water from the watering can,

xīle jǐ dīshuǐ zhīhòu cái xīnrán lí qù.
and sucked a few drops of the water before departing cheerfully.

Zhēn kěxí nà shí méiyǒu lìngwài liǎng zhī shǒu
What a pity that at that time there was not another pair of hands available

kěyǐ bāng wǒ lù xià zhè qíyù.
to capture on video this fortuitous encounter for me.

浇水 (jiāoshuǐ) means watering.
(yòu) can mean once again or also.
蜂鸟 (fēngniǎo) are hummingbirds.
振翅 (zhèn chì) means to flap the wings .
(gèng) means to a greater degree or extent.
这回 (zhè huí) means this time. It has the same meaning as 这次 (zhè cì).
蜜蜂 (mìfēng) are honeybees or bees in general.
像 . . . 一样 (xiàng . . . yīyàng) means to be same as.
围绕 (wéirào) can mean to go around or to surround.
转头 (zhuǎn tóu) and 转身 (zhuǎn shēn) both mean to turn around or turn away.
(xī) is to suck or suck up.
欣然 (xīnrán) means joyfully or gladly.
可惜 (kěxī) means too bad or it’s a pity.
另外 (lìngwài) as an adjactive means some other. As a conjunctive adverb, it means moreover or in addition.
(lù) is to record or to write down.
奇遇 (qíyù) is a fortuitous encounter.

Chinese word radical – Mouth

(kǒu) is the formal word for the mouth. It also means an opening or a gateway. For the sake of safety, when you are inside a large building, always make sure you know the location of the nearest exit, or 出口 (chūkǒu).

Qǐngwèn chūkǒu zài nǎli?
Please, where is the exit?

请问 means “May I ask …” This is a very important word to know by heart. Asking questions is an effective way to obtain the needed information.

开口 (kāikǒu) means to open one’s mouth and start talking. When asked why you failed to borrow some money from a friend, you might say:

Wǒ bùhǎoyìsi kāikǒu.
I’m too bashful (or embarrassed) to bring it up.

闭口 (bì kǒu) means to close one’s mouth.

开口闭口 (kāikǒubìkǒu) means whenever one opens one’s mouth to speak.

Tā kāikǒubìkǒu shuō tā yǒu duōme hǎo.
He never fails to mention how nice she is.

There’s a Chinese adage that emphasizes the importance of watching what comes out or goes into one’s mouth: “Trouble comes from what you say; illness comes from what you eat.” If you don’t remember this Chinese saying, please review the article I posted on 2/22/12 .

In everyday speech, we refer to the mouth as (zuǐ) or 嘴巴 (zuǐba).

嘴脸 (zuǐliǎn) is one’s countenance. This word is usually employed in a negative sense.

Tā děi kàn tā lǎobǎn de zuǐliǎn chīfàn.
He has to cater to his boss to earn a living.

嘴甜 (zuǐtián) is to be sweet-talking, such as in 她嘴甜. (Tā zuǐtián. She is honey-tongued.)

多嘴 (duōzuǐ) is to say things that should probably not have been said.

回嘴 (huízuǐ) or 还嘴 (huánzuǐ) is to talk back or to retort. When you do that to your boss, he or she may yell, “闭嘴! (Bì zuǐ! Shut up!)” or “住口! (zhùkǒu! Stop talking!)”

亲嘴 (qīnzuǐ), like 接吻 (jiēwěn), means to kiss.

If you need to buy a nipple for your baby’s feeding bottle, ask for a 奶嘴 (nǎizuǐ).

It is interesting to note that 嘴角 (zuǐjiǎo) are the corners of the mouth, while 口角 (kǒujué a quarrel or to quarrel) has a totally different meaning.

We have already come across a number of word particles that make use the mouth radical, such as (ma) and (ba). Following are a few additional examples of words that involve the mouth.

(xī) is to inhale, to suck up, or to draw in. 吸管 (xīguǎn) is a drinking straw.

(tūn) means to swallow, while (tù) means to vomit, as in 嘔吐 (ǒutù).

also means to spit out. In this case, it may be pronounced in the third tone or in the fourth tone. Generally, use the third tone when by spitting out you mean “to utter”, as in 吐露 (tǔlù to reveal or to disclose). Use the fourth tone for a more forceful expectorating action, as in 吐血 (tùxiě spitting blood).

吞吞吐吐 (tūntūntǔtǔ) describes how one hems and haws around, unable to be forthright with what’s on one’s mind.

(chuī) is to blow, to play a wind instrument or to brag. Colloquially, it also means to have broken up or fallen through. 吹牛 (chuīniú) is to blow one’s own horn. 吹风机 (chuīfēngjī) is an electric blower, like a hair dryer.

Tāmen liǎng gè chuī le.
The two broke up.

打嗝 (dǎ gé) is to belch.

叹气 (tànqì) is to sigh. How do you sigh in Chinese? Following is an example.

唉! 真可惜.
Ái! Zhēn kěxī.
(Sigh) What a pity! (Too bad!)

(mà) is to scold or to curse.

(yǎ) means dumb or mute.

Tā zhuānglóngzuòyǎ.
He pretends to be deaf and dumb.
(He feigns ignorance.)

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