Monday, April 9, 2007

how to translation chinese menu

When I browse some webs on China, I read a very interesting argument about how to translate the Chinese menu into English, translate the menu directly following its Chinese name, or elucidate the ingredients.

Foreign visitors might misunderstand what the dish is if translating directly; if just interpreting the ingredients, the derivation and legend of the dish would be omitted. Take “pearl, emerald and white jade soup” as an example. It is not really made from pearl, emerald and white jade, but from meatball, tofu, and spinach. I guess some of you might be astonished by this name, and ask why we call the soup in that way. There is a legend of the soup. The emperor lost his way when he hunted. He felt hungry and exhausted. At this point, a kindly old woman took the king to her house and cooked for him. The old woman was poor, but she did her best to serve the king. What she cooked for the king was the meatball, tofu, and spinach soup and she called it pearl, emerald and white jade soup. The king thought the soup was the most delicious food he had ever eaten, and send a lot of treasure to the old woman. After coming back his palace, he asked his chefs to do the soup for him, but he was unsatisfied what they did because he thought their tastes were less appetizing than the old woman did. Therefore, he required all the chefs to cook the soup, and if he was content with what chef did, the chef would be award the title “the best chef in the kingdom”. From then on every chef exerted his best to do the soup and “pearl, emerald and white jade soup” became very famous dish.

If you know the story “pearl, emerald and white jade soup” is the proper name, but if not, you might think the name of the soup is weird, or you might think the restaurant cheats you. Hence, the translation of the menu should include their direct translation, ingredients and the explanation of the names if they need. If illustration with pictures, it would be better to know what the dish is.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The First Long Travel

It is first time that I traveled so long without my family , so my parents and relatives gave me a lot of advice on the travel. before I left China. They urged me to keep awake in the plane, keep my luggage in my vision, and not to talk to strangers. I wanted to follow their advice, but it was difficult, because it was a long travel, and it took me almost 15 hours from Beijing to Chicago. So I suffered myself from tiredness but keep my eyes open in the first several hours, but I fell in sleeping at last because all the people around me were in the dreamworld. After I waked up, the passenger sitting next to me began talk to me, and we knew each other, and keep connection until now. He gave a lot of help when I transferred the plane from Chicago to Washington D. C. He helped me fill out some paperwork, transfer my luggage to anther plane, and take me to the waiting hall where my flight took off. Without his assistant, I might miss my flight. So I think their experiences are useful, but the time changed, and everything changed. Therefore, what I will do if I meet the similar situation? I think I listen and pay attention to your advice, but not just do what they told us to do, and I make the correct decision according to the actual situation.

Friday, March 2, 2007

I was so nervous about the exam I took last Friday since the professor did not tell us the grades, and what he talked is the grades from 20 to 80. I don’t think the exam is easy for me because a lot of questions need to discussion, and I don’t know how to discuss. I wrote down few things. I HOPE I CAN PASS THE EXAM!

Monday, February 26, 2007

I had the first midterm exam of biochemistry this Friday, and it is also my first exam in university of Maryland. It drove my mad to prepare the exam during the week. A lot of things are needed to be remembered and understood, and I always stayed up after midnight.

Friday, February 16, 2007

I made a oral presentation yesterday about a video of Jane Goodall: A life in the wild. Dr. Goodall had been to China several times. When she came to China on 2000, she delivered a speech at Peking University. Some friends and I listened to her to describe the her life and study with chimpanzees in the wild. The most interesting is her description of a chimpanzee family—“F family”, every member’ name initialized with F. It consist of 5 female chimps: grandmother, mother, daughter, and granddaughter. Their daily life is so similar to ours.
There is a similar research in China about panda. Professor Pan with his students observe the panda population in the wild, and hope to find out a way to keep the panda population, since pandas almost extinct. His remarkable discovery challenges our commonsense that we always think low rate of successful reproduction of pandas is the main reason that results in their almost extinction. In fact, the loss of food and habitant are the key point. He also disagreed a research on cloning panda .

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I like snow, which make the world look silver and purity. It washes off all the dusts in the world. I took photograph of the beautiful scene.
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Friday, February 9, 2007

the first week

It is a busy week. I must get up early every Monday, Wednesday and Friday since I have a biochemistry class on 8:00. Sometimes the shuttle is not on time, so I have to walk to school, which takes me about 20 min. In the biochemistry class, I study process of photosyntheis, even I had studied the topic in China, I still didn’t catch up the professor’s meaning exactly. What I do is to record the lecture and listen to it after class over and over again. In the English class, I feel better. We study together about grammar, including the use of noun, pronoun and noun clause, and the writing strategy which are both useful for me. After class, I read the novel, and I think it is more interesting than biochemistry textbook which I also I have to read. I feel a little tired at the end of the week, however, I also think it is a good start.

Saturday, January 27, 2007


My name is Tian Fei and Tian is my family name which means field in Chinese, and Fei means flourish of the flowers, so my name reflects my parents’ best wish that I can grow up healthy and happy like the flowers in the field. I was born in Beijing, the capital city of China, one the biggest cities in China. However, in my childhood, I preferred to life in the countryside because I like the natural environment here, flesh air, the aroma from flowers and plants, and some lovely animals. I was able to play in the hill or the field or anywhere since I am the only child of my family and the big city makes me alone. In my spare time, I like reading, traveling, hiking and running. I have run in the Beijing Marathon two times, and I have aslo run in an 8-km race and a 21-km race. I think I am a little bashful with strangers, and to some extent, it blocks me to communicate with others, but basically I have a friendly personality.