虽然习惯了与野生动物共处,但Pittwater动物医院的员工们看到这个巨型蜥蜴被带进来的时候还是深了一口气。
Although accustomed to being with wild animals, the workers at Pittwater veterinary hospital gasped when this giant lizard was brought in.

This was the first paragraph of an article in today’s 澳洲新快报 (New Australian Newspaper), a Chinese language newspaper based in Sydney.

The article goes on to describe how a woman noticed the 1.2 meter, 3.45 kilogram reptile, which was looking sick after swallowing a fish hook. She brought it in to the hospital, where it underwent surgery. I chose this story because it is quite unusual. It’s not unusual in that a woman found a sick animal, but finding one that big is definitely strange!

Only after being away for so long have I noticed how much wildlife we have in Australia. It’s common to see spiders and ants around, but you also regularly see pelicans, ibises, bats, seagulls, and other kinds of animals. I found a snake in my cousin’s front yard. It scared the life out of me! When, in a panic, I told him about, he didn’t seem to be surprised. His response was “yeah, didn’t you know?”.

Anyway, enough about Australian wildlife!

The sentence I have quoted uses a very common sentence pattern. 虽然。。。,但。。。(suī rán…, dàn…). It roughly translates as “although <something>, <something>”. It’s used very often.

Here are some more examples. The first is a condensed, easy version of the original sentence quoted above.

虽然习惯了与动物在一起,但Pittwater员工们看到这个蜥蜴还是深了一口气。
Although used to being with animals, the Pittwater workers still gasped when seeing this lizard.

我虽然年轻,但我还是很聪明。
Although I’m young, I’m really smart.

他虽然胖,但是他还是健康。
Although I’m fat, I’m still healthy.

我虽然读了很多次,但还是不懂。
Although I read it many times, I still don’t understand (it).

I hope you don’t have occasion to use that last sentence in your studies. And I hope you know what to do when you see a giant lizard in an Australian drain.

In today’s Japanesepod101.com lesson was a dialogue about cars. I asked my girlfriend Aika some questions about what cars she likes.

The questions were,

“Dono kuruma ga ichiban suki desu ka?”

“Unten ga suki desu ka?”

“Menkyo motte imasuka?”

We get a bit off track, and the conversation wanders around a bit, but those are the three questions I had written in front of me when I did our little “interview”. Why not try it out with a Japanese friend and let us know the results!

Melodie

I recorded this not 10 minutes ago. The marvels of modern technology!

You can get big thick books of piano music in China. They are about 5cm thick (don’t ask me what that is in inches!) and crammed full of good stuff.

But sometimes at the end of a piece there are 2 or 3 lines of music left. Instead of leaving a blank page, they put in short pieces, like the one today, Melodie by Massenet or the one I recorded the other day.

I like playing these short things; they’re like punk songs, short and easy. Finding an interesting 1 minute piece feels like you’ve actually put some effort into it, instead of flipping to something that everyone knows and playing that.

Like I said last time, I’m still working on getting an RSS feed that you can plug into iTunes so you can listen to all my stuff as it is published. Sorry for the wait.

Music!

I started playing piano when I was 5, stopped when I was about 22-ish, and started tinkering away again recently. One of the reasons I’m so keen on blogging/podcasting is that it gives me a creative outlet (ie excuse) to start playing and recording again.

Here’s something short I recorded the other day.

Stay tuned for longer music, and an rss feed that you can stick into iTunes and thereby automatically hear everything I make. This modest tune will have to do for now!

As a response to a story about a woman running out on a Japanese man after only 3 days of marriage, 钱烈宪 has written a funny sendup. He has named it 一个女人和很多个男人的故事 OR The story of a woman and several men. [CN]

It tells the (fake) story of the former boyfriends of 安小姐 ān xiǎo jiě or “Miss ān”. Her (first) former boyfriend tells us about himself:

我身高1.80M 月收入4000元,还有一辆电动车
I’m 1.80 meters tall, earn 4000元 a month, and I have an electric bike.

He continues to say that even though he has all these things, he loses 安小姐 to a Japanese man (the man in the actual story).

The next paragraph is from the point of view of the Japanese man, who stole 安小姐 from him, but was married to her for only 3 days. He also tells us his height, monthly wage, and the vehicle he drives.

Although he is shorter than 安小姐’s (first) ex-boyfriend, he makes more money and drives a better car. But he has a similar story; after three days of marriage 安小姐 was stolen by a 沙特阿拉伯 (Saudi Arabian). Unfortunately for the Japanese guy, the Saudi has more money, even though he is shorter again.

And so it goes on. The Saudi is upstaged by an even shorter, richer man, who is upstaged by another shorter man…

Have a look and see how much you can follow. There are a lot of difficult parts, but since it’s quite repetitive the intermediate learner might find it useful. Here are some words you might find useful:

  • 身高 shēn gāo: Height
  • 收入 shōu rù: Income
  • qiǎng: To steal, to grab

You might have to search around the story for the instances of 抢. Here are some to get you started:

。。。把我的女朋友就抢去了 。。。
…stole my girlfriend away…

。。。我就是那个抢你女朋友又跑了的小日本。。。
I’m the little Japanese who stole your girlfriend and ran…

。。。可刚抢了你女朋友没几天。。。。
But I’d only stolen your girlfriend for a few days, (when)…

Good luck! And if you have any problems, leave a comment!

Wow! Another blog. Hopefully this address will last longer than the others.

My name is Max, and this blog will be about my interest in languages. I speak English, Chinese, Japanese, and I’m working on Korean.

I’ve always been interested in writing, and blogging. I’ve always been slack with writing, so feel free to pester me if a long time passes between posts.

Testing

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3…


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