金曜日, 12月 17, 2004

四字熟語 Quiz Answers

1) 両得  "With one action, receive two benefits." 一挙両得
The meaning is similar to 一石二鳥, "Hit two birds with one stone." Pronounced いっきょりょうとく.

2) 絶後 "Never before and never again." 空前絶後
It means something that is extremely rare. 空前 means without precedent, and 絶後 means that it will never happen in the future either. Pronounced くうぜんぜつご.

3) 転嫁 "Blame it on your second wife." 責任転嫁
To shift the blame from yourself. 責任 is responsibility, 転嫁 is your second wife. Pronounced せきにんてんか.

4) 徒食 "Eating without working." 無為徒食
Living aimlessly, not doing anything. Get a job, you slacker! Pronounced むいとしょく.

5) 青松 "White sand, blue pines." 白砂青松
Beautiful beach scenery. You see this on travel brochures. Pronounced はくさせいしょう.

6) 縦横 "Down and across, without limit." 縦横無尽
You have complete freedom of motion, like in the new Dragon Quest game for PlayStation. Pronounced じゅうおうむじん.

7) 空中 "Castle in the sky." 空中楼閣
A pipe-dream. I think English also has the similar expression, "castle in the sand." Pronounced くうちゅうろうかく.

8) 衆人 "Being observed from all sides." 衆人環視
衆人 means many people. 環視 means being observed from the outside. Therefore, you are being observed by many people who surround you. As a teacher you may have this feeling a lot. Pronounced しゅうじんかんし.

9) 同床 "Same bed, different dreams." 同床異夢
Similar to the English expression "strange bedfellows." Describes people who are on the same side, but for different reasons. Pronounced どうしょういむ.

10) 不易 "The eternal and the changing" 不易流行
This phrase is associated with poet Matsuo Basho. It is too deep for me to fully understand. 不易 is "unchanging," and 流行 refers to those fads and fashions of the day that do change. But how do you use it in a sentence? Pronounced ふえきりゅうこう.

After all of that mental effort, how about a candy cane martini?


  • At 12:55 午後, Blogger Matt said…

    I'm so gonna have to start blaming things on my second wife. "But Matt, you don't have a--" "That's also her fault."

    In English, don't we say "building castles in the sky" too?

  • At 10:20 午前, Blogger Evelyn said…

    Hi - I just noticed that you made links to my website - thanks =)
    i like the 空中楼閣 expression - but wouldn't have known it without seeing the answer. it reminds me of 空中庭園 in Osaka.

    責任転嫁 - seems a little bit funny - 転嫁 by itself means to remarry to someone else.
    in chinese, 嫁 means literally for the bride to go to groom's (other party) house - (in a sense, parents are giving her to the groom)
    嫁禍 in chinese means to blame to trouble / problem on someone else - to give to trouble to other party
    (Or were you trying to make it easier to remember the phrase? ^_^)

    side note: if you want to read more Chinese online - here's a popular site http://blog.sina.com.tw/weblog.php?blog_id=138 written by a Japanese, a lot of trends and observations about Tokyo. He said he might put up another site of the original articles in Japanese before he translated to Chinese.

  • At 9:55 午前, Blogger butterflyblue said…

    Thank you Eveyln. Do you know "Reading Tutor"? (http://language.tiu.ac.jp/index_e.html click on the "Toolbox" to use it--you don't have to download anything) It is a program that hyperlinks Japanese text for you so you can click on the words you don't know and get definitions. Do you know of anything like that for reading Chinese?
    The person who wrote that blog must be really good at Chinese. Really impressive. How did he learn Chinese so well?

  • At 12:47 午後, Blogger Evelyn said…

    Hi - congratulations on passing the chinese level 3 exam and have a good time in taiwan =)
    i don't know of any good online dictionary or reading tutors - i still use a physical paper dictionary for chinese - someone recommended the dictionary below to me, but the site does not seem to be stable, not accessible all the time. i feel bad that there isn't more good online learning tools in chinese ...
    Mr. Ueda said he studies by himself for 5+ years - maybe he is naturally talented. you can leave comments for him in japanese too =)

  • At 3:44 午後, Blogger butterflyblue said…

    Wow, only 5 years...I have studied Chinese for that long myself, including high school and college classes. He is really good.



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