Chinese

Chinese Poem: 咏鹅 yǒng é Singing Goose

咏鹅 yǒng é is a classical Chinese poem written by 骆宾王 luò bīn wáng during the Tang dynasty. 鹅,鹅,鹅,曲项向天歌。 白毛浮绿水,红掌拨清波。 É, é, é, qū xiàng xiàng tiān gē. Bái máo fú lǜ shuǐ, hóng zhǎng bō qīng bō. Here’s my English translation: Goose Goose Goose, Curved neck melody, sung to the sky, White feathers float atop jade waters, ...

Chinese Poem: 早发白帝城 (Zǎo fā bái dì chéng)

Here’s another Chinese poem I’ve recently memorised, named 早发白帝城 (Zǎo fā bái dì chéng) by 李白 (Lǐbái) :   朝辞白帝彩云间, 千里江陵一日还, 两岸猿声啼不住, 轻舟已过万重山. Zhāo cí bái dì cǎiyún jiān, qiānlǐ jiānglíng yí rì huán, Liǎng’àn yuán shēng tí bú zhù, qīngzhōu...

Shawn Powrie
1 min read
Chinese Nursery Ryhme: 小白兔 little white bunny

My daughter recently taught me this nursery rhyme. I really like it so I’m going to do a translation: 小白兔,白又白, 两只耳朵竖起来, 爱吃萝卜和青菜, 蹦蹦跳跳真可爱! Xiǎo bái tù, bái yòu bái, liǎng zhī ěrduǒ shù qǐlái, ài chī luóbo hé qīngcài,...

Shawn Powrie
2 min read
Chinese Poem: 春曉(chūnxiǎo) Spring Dawn

In celebration of the first day of spring, here’s a beautiful Chinese poem called 春曉 chūnxiǎo (Spring Dawn) that comes to mind: 春眠不觉晓, 处处闻啼鸟, 夜来风雨声, 花落知多少. Chūn mián bù jué xiǎo, chùchù wén tí niǎo, Yè lái fēngyǔ shēng, Huā luò...

Shawn Powrie
2 min read
Chinese Phrase: 一桶水不响, 半桶水晃荡

One of my personal favourite Chinese phrases that resonates deeply with me is 一桶水不响, 半桶水晃荡 yī tǒng shuǐ bù xiǎng, bàn tǒng shuǐ huàngdang. “A full bucket of water is not noisy, A half bucket of water sloshes.” — here’s a...

Shawn Powrie
52 sec read
Chinese poem — 静夜思 (jìngyè sī) Nostalgia

One of the most famous, classical and beautiful poems in Chinese was written in the Tang dynasty by the poet Li Bai. Like many famous poems in Chinese this one has been translated into English by a number of people...

Shawn Powrie
55 sec read
Chinese poem — 悯农 (mǐn nóng)

One of the most famous and meaningful poems in Chinese is called 悯农 (mǐn nóng). Most young children in China, even from the age of three or four know this poem. It traces its origins to ancient Chinese so the language...

Shawn Powrie
43 sec read
Chinese four character idiom 入乡随俗 (Rù xiāng suí sú)

“When in Rome, do as the Romans do” Occasionally there is a Chinese phrase which translates very neatly into English through an equivalent phrase, this is one of those cases, you already know what “when in Rome, do as...

Shawn Powrie
1 min read
“Yes” and “No” in Mandarin Chinese

It’s a simple question right? How do you say “yes” or “no” in Mandarin Chinese? Unfortunately sometimes simple questions have complex answers, and in this case something as simple as “yes” and “no” has a relatively intricate answer — that’s what...

Shawn Powrie
3 min read