Chinese

Fluffy kitty arm cushion provides the utmost relaxation for patients

Remember Tama, that adorable calico kitty who in 2007 was promoted to the rank of Station Master at in Wakayama Prefecture’s Kishi Station? Thanks to her, it seems like more and more felines are now taking a leaf out of her book and wanting to climb their way up the (corporate) ladder.

But it’s a harsh world out there, and cats just entering the workforce don’t exactly have endless opportunities. So what’s a new feline graduate just out of school to do? Well, it would seem that kitty recruits do seem to have good prospects in one area of specialization–as long as they don’t mind working as arm cushions at traditional Chinese medicinal clinics, that is!

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New app helps you translate Japanese and Chinese offline using smartphone camera

With their complex writing systems, getting around in Japan or China can be stressful for even the most seasoned of tourists. Sure, you could carry a travel dictionary in your pocket while you go sightseeing, but how are you supposed to look up all those funny looking sticks and squiggles when you don’t even know how to pronounce them? Often the locals try to be helpful by providing an English translation, but there are reasons why that doesn’t always work out. If only there was a way to just wave your magic smartphone over some unintelligible text and have it provide a reliable translation on the spot. Well, as we discovered over at Shanghai Listthere’s an app for that.

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Japanese internet user’s amusing interpretation of a sculpture in San Francisco

We’ve all seen a strange work of public art at some point while traveling–you know, that piece that makes you scratch your head and look at it upside-down to try to figure out just what the heck is going on. Fortunately for the residents of San Francisco, they have their very own bizarre–and ginormous–piece of public art to contemplate whenever they feel like it.

Japanese internet users recently stumbled across photos of this particular sculpture created by Chinese artist Zhang Huan and were quick to comment on its unique appearance. One fan even decided that it resembled nothing other than the final boss of a video game. While we’re pretty sure that’s not the interpretation that the artist was going for, the fan’s cleverly manipulated photo still gave us a chuckle.

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19 Chinese expressions with amazing literal translations

The Chinese language is widely regarded as one of the most difficult languages to learn.

There are more than 80,000 Chinese characters in existence, although a non-native speaker can get by with 1,000 of the most frequently used.

To make matters more complicated, the characters that make up each word or phrase individually carry different meanings based on the context in which they’re used. For example, the Chinese character 吃 could mean “eat,” “drink,” “bear,” or “take,” depending on the phrase that surrounds it.

As hard as the language is, it can also be incredibly poetic when translated character by character into English, and sometimes hilarious.

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This Chinese tongue twister will melt your brain

Everyone loves a good tongue twister, especially when getting to grips with a new language. I’ve had fun being challenged by Japanese coworkers at drinking parties to get my mouth around phrases like basu gasu bakuhatsu (“the bus gas explodes”) five times in a row, or aka-makigami ao-makigami ki-makigami (“red paper roll, blue paper roll, yellow paper roll”) on many occasions, but this Chinese tongue twister blows them all out of the water.

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Chinese accuse Korean golfers of lacking manners, some courses refusing entry

Xinhua News Agency, China’s official news wire, recently reported animosity towards Korean golfers was growing at courses across the country. According to Xinhua and a popular Chinese magazine, Golf Weekly, reasons for the resentment include, “taking too long to hit,” “poor tipping” and “bad manners.” Discontent has built to the point where some courses are now reportedly refusing to let South Korean golfers play.
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