Archive | April, 2013

It’s another Spring! – Let’s learn some Chinese words about Spring!

12 Apr

            As the day (白天 báitiān) length (长度 chángdù) increases (增加 zēngjiā), we notice (发现 fāxiàn) that Spring (春天 chūntiān) is coming. The sunshine (阳光 yángguāng), the blossoming (花开 huākāi), the recurrence (再次出现 zàicì chūxiàn) of the color green (绿色 lǜsè) make people want to sing for it. Ever since ancient China, Spring has become the most poetic (有诗意的 yǒushīyìde) season and numerous poets have written lines to praise (赞美 zànměi) the beauty of Spring. Among all the loveliness of Spring, nothing can compare with the Spring rain (春雨 chūnyǔ) that has raised the most attention (关注 guānzhù). There is an old saying “春雨贵如油” (chūnyǔ guì rú yóu), that rain during Spring time is dearer than oil. It awakes (唤醒 huànxǐng) and irrigates (浇灌 jiāoguàn) life and makes the world prettier (更美丽 gèngměilì). Chinese also use “一年之计在于春” (yìnián zhījì zàiyú chūn)- A year’s plan starts with Spring-as a simile to tell people to start planning things earlier. Du Fu (杜甫 Dù Fǔ), one of the greatest poets in Tang Dynasty once wrote:

好雨知时节,当春乃发生。
Hǎoyǔ zhī shíjié, dāngchūn nǎi fāshēng.
Pleasant rain came in a perfect time when Spring arrives.
随风潜入夜,润物细无声。
Suífēng qián rù yè, rùnwù xì wúshēng.
Sneaking in by night with wind, it touches everything with soft hands.

Let’s plan and get started earlier in this Spring with SpeakMandarin.com. Learn more useful Chinese Language from now on!

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Chinese Calligraphy — 中国书法 / Zhōngguó Shūfǎ

9 Apr

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Writing (写字 xiě zì) has been a way to express the Chinese culture (文化 wén huà). Using a writing brush (毛笔 máo bǐ), dipping in Chinese ink (墨水 mò shǔi), then, calligrapher can dance (跳舞 tiào wǔ) in a piece of rice paper (宣纸 xuān zhǐ). Many (许多 xǔ duō) ancient (古代 gǔ dài) calligraphy works (作品 zuò pǐn) were preserved (保存 bǎo cún) by being carved (刻 kè) onto steles (石碑 shí bēi). Calligraphy styles vary (不同 bù tóng) from dynasty to dynasty. Kǎishū (楷书) is regular and very (非常 fēi cháng) classic; cǎoshū(草书) is written with less constrains in very fast movement. If you have a chance to visit to the Forest of Steles in Xi’an (西安 碑林 Xī’ān Bēilín), you will be able to explore the full beauty of Chinese calligraphy.

But at present, less of people know how to use writing brush to write. It’s a great pity for Chinese culture! To practice calligraphy is a very good way to understand Chinese ancient culture and Chinese characters very well. And it is also a great way to cultivate of one’s temperament. It’s certainly worth a try.