Category Archives: Vocabulary

What is a ‘sheep station’?

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Suppositories

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布鞋 and шаахайтнууд

Recently I bought myself a pair of Chinese cloth shoes, known as 布鞋 bùxié in Mandarin. In its most typical form, the traditional Chinese cloth shoe is black with a white sole, as shown in the photo below. These are … Continue reading

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素质 / 素質, quality, and natural endowments

(Revised and expanded) The other day, a friend asked me to translate this sentence into English: 人们的整体素质相当较高。而且是个现代化都市。 Rénmen de zhěngtǐ sùzhì xiāngdāng jiào gāo. Ěrqiě shì ge xiàndàihuà dūshì. The meaning is literally: ‘The overall suzhi of the people is … Continue reading

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写真 / 寫眞

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Days of the Week in Mongolian and Buryat

The very first article at cjvlang back in 2000 was Days of the Week in Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese. I don’t remember why I chose the topic, but I soon found myself drawn deeper and deeper into an ancient, confusing, … Continue reading

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货车 / 貨車

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Mongolian/Inner Mongolian vocab differences

I once had occasion to pick up some Mongolian vocabulary cards in Hohhot. After figuring out what the incredibly attractive but hard-to-understand letters meant, I noticed that while much vocabulary is the same in the two standard varieties of Mongolian … Continue reading

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Raccoons

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候机楼 (‘wait plane building’)

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