Apr 3, 2008


Originally uploaded by Life in Nanning

Jun 19, 2007

A Swan Feather from a Thousand "Li" Away

S is for Swan
Originally uploaded by Elyssa
Chinese Idiom: 千里送鹅毛 (qian li song e mao)
During the Tang Dynasty, a local official ordered an attendant to take a swan as a gift to the emperor. It was a long journey and, on the way, the attendant gave the swan a bath in a lake. But the swan flew away leaving behind just a single feather. The attendant had no alternative but the present the feather to the emperor. He attached a poem to the feather which included the words, "However small a gift may be, it comes from afar and carries with it the sincere wishes of the sender."

This idiom is said of a gift which although small, carries with it the deep feelings of the sender.

Note: "Li" is a Chinese unit of distance equivalent to 0.5km (0.3m). So a thousand "li" is equivalent to 500km or around 300 miles.

Frog in a Well

Chinese Idiom: 井底之蛙 (jing di zhi wa)
A frog living at the bottom of a well was very happy with his lot in life. However, one day a turtle from the sea found its way to the edge of the well. The frog described how wonderful the well was to the turtle. But after the turtle described what the sea was like, the frog fell silent.

This idiom is used to describe someone with a limited outlook or a narrow view of the world.

Jun 1, 2007

Foreign Currency Tools

Here's a useful Foreign Currency calculator.

Chinese Languages Tools

The meaning behind some Chinese Characters can be discovered with this tool from Zhongwen.com

The following is an Chinese Audio Flashcard complete with English meaning. Click the play symbol below the character to hear how it is pronounced. Click refresh to see other characters. Can you hear the different tones?

Here's a English-Chinese Audio Dictionary. Just type in an English word and up comes the related words in Chinese together with pronunciation.