字.

  • 请客

    qǐngkè - give a dinner party, treat someone

    For the first time ever, I bought a meal for my parents, which was very satisfying. It was a very good meal too (at The Fishes in Oxford), and my parents bought us Champagne - the first time I've ever had it in a restaurant. I also treated Victoria, buying her the steak I'd promised her.

    我请客。
    It's my treat.

  • 方面

    fāngmiàn - respect, aspect, field; side

    I realised today that despite being made of two simple characters, I didn't actually know what this word meant. I think it's because it has one of those vague, generic meanings that so many Chinese words have. I must have learnt it as meaning side, but it has more abstract meanings.

    教育方面,包括道德教育。
    Ethics is included in the field of education.

  • 任意

    rènyì - arbitrary; at will; at random

    I came across this word while reading old emails, as I once like to do. It was in an email from 2006, which mentioned, among other things, trying to learn Chinese and making a simulation of particles. It seems that little has changed. Anyway, though I knew both characters, I still didn't know this word and it turns out to be an excellent, and most useful word. I'm very pleased to have discovered it. I just need to work out how I can use it.

  • chòu - stench, stink, smelly

  • 水族馆

    shuǐzúguǎn - aquarium

    Today I went to the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth and found it a bit disappointing. 水族馆 is quite an odd word. I literally mean 'water nationality building'. More confusingly 水族 is actually the name for the Shui ethnic group.

    我去了水族馆,很不争气!
    I went to the aquarium, it was disappointing.

  • 物理

    wùlǐ - physics, physical

    I spent most of the day tidying up and expanding on my Pygame physics tutorial, hence my word for today. When learning languages at school, you tend to learn the word for school subjects quite early on, but I've realised I know very few of them. Physics is literally the logic of matter.

    我喜欢化学甚于物理。
    I prefer chemistry to physics.

  • 无聊

    wúliáo - bored, nonsense

    Today, I actually felt bored, which hasn't happened for a while. For some reason, I just couldn't concentrate on programming. 无聊 seems to literally mean 'without chatting', which is interesting; maybe you get bored when there no one to talk to. Luckily, I had A Fish Called Wanda on DVD and the new series of QI to entertain me.

    I think I first came across the word at the start of Alice in Wonderland (which I have started many times, but not finished).

    爱丽丝开始觉得有点无聊了。
    Alice was beginning to feel a bit bored.

  • wāi - askew, devious

    This word was in a Smart.fm sentence today, though the actual word I was learning was 领带. I liked the word 歪 because it is formed of the characters 不, meaning 'not', and 正, meaning straight.

    你的领带歪了
    His tie isn't straight.

  • wěi - entrust

    I picked this word because it is on an old Smart.fm list and I still can never remember it. For some reason it just won't stick. Maybe this will help.

    他们接受了委托
    They received a commission.

  • 飞钱

    fēiqián - an early form of paper money

    This is probably the most useless word on my blog, though both 飞 and 钱 are useful words. I picked it today because I heard it on Radio 4's History of the World in 100 objects.

    飞钱是中国历史上早期的汇兑业务形式。

    "Feiqian" is an object from Chinese history that indicated that funds for a professional service were owed.