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A Rhyme---AI
April 08, 2008 10:22 PM PDT

Hi, I hope you all, old and new friends, are well. Recently I have written some little Chinese rhymes (or doggerels). Firstly, I think they are for kids. But maybe you like them too after learning a lot of solemn Chinese lessons. This time I would like a real language exchange. I paste the text here. If you like it and send me the correction of my translation, I will send you the audio file of it. Please send to kittykittygo@gmail.com or ellenschinese@podOmatic.com

ai āi ái ǎi ài

Written by Ellen Ba
(The character is a calf. )








English Translation:

Mother cow is out.
Father ox has not come back.
Don't ask me if I am well-behaved or not.
And don't look at me agapely.
Standing on the roof, I have no way to get down.
So I won't sell the milk.

祝大家圣诞节快乐/ Merry Christmas to all of You
December 24, 2007 01:19 AM PST


Periscope on Beijing Opera(Jing1 Ju4), Hong Niang (Red Girl)
December 02, 2007 08:52 AM PST

Click the following to watch the video:

Here is the text part:

When I was very young, I was taken to a theater to see Beijing Opera once by my parents. What I can remember is that I played at the resting hall most of the time. How could a child bear they sang a word in two minutes with a strange noise. Untill last year I gathered up courage to see a performance of Kum Qu which is a similar kind of Beijing Opera. The lyrics and subtitles projected onto a side-screen. At least, in this way I could understand what they were singing and followed the story.

Since the Beijing Opera is getting well-known, I would like to choose a short video show as my podcast material. But this one has little part for singing. If you like to see more Beijing Opera, maybe this is another choice : http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_cz00XNTg0NzE0NA==.html

I have to say, I begin to like listening to an actress of Beijing Opera, Zhang Huoding. Her voice is really special. Here is her show http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/xWPFf7ZW330/ and http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_cz00XODY2MTg3Ng==.html
For man's voice, many Chinese people like this actor http://www.56.com/u43/v_MjI5NDEyODA.html

阿豪今天十岁了 Ahao is ten today
November 26, 2007 07:13 AM PST

Hi, sorry for one day late to post the text part. Here it is: http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=d4dxh9f_14gsztp4

Utmost Chinese, 施(shī) 氏(shì) 食(shí) 狮(shī) 史(shǐ)---Level C
October 28, 2007 09:10 AM PDT

This short story was written by Zhao Yuan Ren (1892-1982) in the style of Classical Chinese. All the characters of it are pronounced shi, but in different tones. Even our Chinese can not understand it when just listening to it.

Please click the link below for the words and explanations

笼子里的松鼠 The Squirrels in the Cage---Level B
October 21, 2007 08:07 AM PDT

Please click here to see the literal part and explanations. http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=d4dxh9f_9gnpmjm

' 环境问题 Environmental Problem', Level A
October 07, 2007 08:17 AM PDT

' huánjìngwèntí '

ā háo: wǒ xiǎng ràng zhū lín dào zánmen jiā lái yī tāng , kěyǐ ma?
māma: bùxíng!
ā háo: wèishénme yā?
māma: tā de jiǎo tài chòule , shàngcì tā dào zánmen jiā lái , zǒule zhīhòu , chòuwèir hǎojǐ ge xiǎoshí dōu sǎn bù qù。 zhēn qíguài le , zhème xiǎo de háizi , jiǎo zěnme zhème chòu ā!
ā háo: wǒ ràng tā chuānzhe xié jìnlái , bù tuō xié。
māma: nā jiù gēngbù xíngle! nǐ kàn , wǒ xīnkǔ le bàntiān , gāng bǎ dì cā gānjìng le。
ā háo: māma , qiúqiú nǐ le , wǒ yǒu yī guān yóuxì dǎ bùtōng , wǒ xiǎng qǐng tā lái bāng wǒ dǎtōngle。
māma: nà yě bùxíng! shéi lái dōu kěyǐ , zhǐyǒu tā bù kěyǐ。 tā de jiǎo tài wūrǎn huánjìng le , nǐ yào zhīdào , zài dāngjīn shèhuì , huánjìngwèntí shì fēicháng zhòngyào de wèntí , shì bùnéng tuǒxié de。
ā háo: māma , nǐ kě zhēnshìde!

' 环境(huánjìng)environment(al) 问题(wèntí)problem'

阿(ā)豪(háo):我想(wǒ)(xiǎng)I am going to 让(ràng) let朱(zhū)林(lín) 到(dào)to 咱们(zánmen) our家(jiā) home来(lái) come一趟(yītàng)once,可以(kěyǐ)ok吗(ma)?
妈妈(māmā):他的(tā)(de)his 脚(jiǎo) feet/foot太(tài) too/so臭(chòu) smelly了(le),上次(shàngcì)last time 他(tā)到(dào)咱们(zánmen)家(jiā)来(lái),走了(zǒu)(le) went之后(zhīhòu)after/later,臭味儿(chòuwèier) smelly smell好几个(hǎojǐ gè) several/many小时(xiǎoshí) hour都(dōu)here means even散(sàn)fade/disperse不去(bù)(qù)not away。真(zhēn)really/so奇怪(qíguài)strange了(le),这么(zhème)so/such小(xiǎo)的(de) 孩子(háizi)kid,脚(jiǎo) 怎么(zěnme) how/why这么(zhème)so臭(chòu)smelly啊(ā)!
阿(ā)豪(háo):我(wǒ)I/me让(ràng)let/want他(tā) him穿着(chuānzhe)wearing 鞋(xié) shoes进来(jìnlái)come in,不(bù) not脱鞋(tuōxié)take off shoes。
妈妈(māmā):那(nà)that就(jiù) just/then/would更(gèng) more/much不行了(bùxíngle)no way!你(nǐ)you看(kàn)look,我(wǒ) 辛苦(xīnkǔ) word hard了(le) 半天(bàntiān)quite a while,刚(gāng) just把(bǎ) it is used to put the object nouns ahead of the verb地(dì) ground/floor擦(cā) to clean干净(gānjìng) clean/neat了(le)。
阿(ā)豪(háo):妈妈(māmā),求求(qiúqiú)entreat你(nǐ)了(le),我(wǒ)有(yǒu)have一(yī)one关(guān)here means the level of a game, a pass/an entry 游戏(yóuxì) game打(dǎ)play不通(bùtōng)not pass,我(wǒ)想(xiǎng)请(qǐng)invite他(tā)来(lái)come 帮(bāng)help我(wǒ) 打通(dǎtōng)play to pass了(le)。
妈妈(māmā):那(nà)也(yě)also/still不行(bùxíng)!谁(shuí)who来(lái)come都(dōu)all可以(kěyǐ)ok,只有(zhǐyǒu)only 他(tā)不(bù)可以(kěyǐ)。他(tā)的(de)脚(jiǎo) 太(tài) 污染(wūrǎn) pollute环境(huánjìng)environment了(le),你(nǐ)要(yào)should知道(zhīdào)know,在(zài) in当今nowaday(dāngjīn) 社会(shèhuì)society,环境(huánjìng) 问题(wèntí) problem是(shì) be非常(fēicháng) very重要的(zhòngyào)(de) important问题(wèntí),是(shì) 不能(bùnéng) can not妥协(tuǒ)(xié)compromise/give in的(de)。
阿(ā)豪(háo):妈(mā)妈(mā),你(nǐ) 可(kě) truely/really真是的(zhēn)(shì)(de)a discontented expression to somebody!

English Translation

'An Environmental Problem'

Ahao: I am going to let (invite) Zhu Lin come to our home, Can I?
Mama: No, you can't.
Ahao: Why?
Mama: His feet are too smelly. Last time he came to our home. The stink could not disappear even hours later after he went out. It is strange. He is only a child. How could his feet be so smelly!
Ahao: I will tell him come in with his shoes on, not take the shoes off.
Mama: That will never do! Look, I have just cleaned the floor after working hard for quite a while.
Ahao: Mama, please, please. I can not pass through a level of (computer) game. I want him to come to help me play it through.
Mama: Still no. Every one may come, only he is not allowed. His feet pollute the 'environment' too much. You should know, in nowaday society, environmental problems are very important problems. We shouldn't make any concession.
Ahao: It truly is? Mom?

Introduction of Song Ci
October 01, 2007 01:00 AM PDT

It is very difficult for me to translate this essay. It took me a whole week. But I would like to do it for I believe many of you may be interested in our Chinese culture and Literature. There must be many improper usage in my translation. Please correct at least one of them if you like to read it and this will encourage me to do more.

The Chinese writer of this essay is the famous writer and philosopher in China, Zhou Guoping. It was written for a reciting performance of Tang and Song poetry. Because the author declares that the excerpting is not permitted, I do not paste it here. If you want to read the original characters (You must be a Chinese expert), please click http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_471d6f6801000ak8.html

Chord Songs of Song Dynasty

Prelude: Art Entertainment

Tonight, let's sail backward along the time river and disembark on the beach of Yangtze River a thousand years ago. The view that is opening up before us is a celebrated dynasty in our history. It was extremely glorious and extremely humiliated. It left us endless memory and endless sigh.

Song Dynasty lasted over three hundreds years. It had an united and prosperous first part, however, in the last part it forfeited the sovereignty and impotently settled for new capital in other place. It had too much mirth and too much tear. However, the mirth and the tear together produced a magic flower in Chinese culture, Song Ci.

Now we comes to the capital of Northern Song Dynasty, Bianjing, now called Kaifeng where you might not imagine its luxury at that time. On the extensive streets galloped fine vehicles and horses, People and visitors roamed on the busy roads. Look around, everywhere was engraved house, drawn pavilions, ornamented doors and red curtains. Along the the deep streets and lane lined side by side the song houses that the number was over ten thousands. The most unusual thing was that when all the whorehouses, song houses, tea-houses and pubs in the city were full of orchestral string and flute music. What a luxuriant scene. No matter you were an ordinary citizen or a dignitary, you could go there. No dynasties could overtake Song Dynasty that supplied the scholar-bureaucrat munificent life. So they led easy lives. Feast and drinking prevailed. Geishas played an important role Whatever in public entertaining places or private feats. Chord songs were a necessary program. Their melodies were ready-composed and literators and poets wrote lyrics enthusiastically. Once an excellent lyric come out, the song would soon be sung all over the country.

Today you may not believe it that China once was a world of popular music for seven hundred years during the Sui, Tang and Song dynasties. The vivid and fast Indian styled music, which was from the Central Asia and Turkestan, once became a rage all over the China and overwhelmed (captivated) both the court and public. So the Chinese ancient music with slow tempo and monotone was left out in the cold and only used in sacrifice rites. In two dynasties, Tang and Song, the Courts set up training houses which were actually the court orchestra and national music college, for rehearsing, educating and composing popular music. There was a 大晟府(literally means big bright prefecture) in Song Dynasty. if it was translated into modern Chinese, it would be called national music administration which exerted as national music press to compile and publish prevalent song scores. At such zealous atmosphere, the writing of Ci became the most fashionable thing and the art of Ci reached the peak in history. Song Ci is regarded as literary treasure of Chinese that can be on a par with Tang Poetry and Yuan songs.

Writers of Ci were literators and scholars, while singers were mostly pubescent girls. This produced subtle connections between them. There is no other types of literature that was deeply influenced by female. For example, in one of Song Ci, "Her eyebrows are like the moon/smiles with /her two dimples are on her smile face/ She sings a song lowly." Of cause the Ci that was song by a beauty by the flowers under the trees should be affectionate. So for a long time, the topics of Ci were mainly about sentimentality for season changing, feelings of parting and love stories, with main style delicate, graceful and restrained. Ci and Shi (poem) began to take different and unwritten roles. Shi conveyed will while Ci conveyed feeling. Shi needed to be solemn but Ci pursued charm. It seemed that all the feelings about love between male and female and about the unheroic loving thought which could not be written into poems (Shi), however, could be thoroughly expressed in Ci. Ci was dedicated to transmit euphemistic and touching feelings and to describe deep and refined emotion. It developed such subtle aesthetic taste into superlative. In the ancient China that characters were generally used to bear and spread thoughts and theories, Song Ci may be the unique literature of aestheticism. No styles of literature can match up to Song Ci on esthetic sense in word, artistic conception and music.

Of course, graceful and restrained was not the only style of Song Ci. Su Shi was the first man who blew a strong, bold and unrestrained wind to Ci. Then Shin Qiji did the same. The boundary between the Shi and Ci was broken up by their influence. The topic scope of Ci enlarged. Ci developed into a new poetry style that could express both feeling and will. After the Accident of Jingkang ( in 1126, Song was invaded by the northern country Jin. One of the royal members escaped into southern China and set up Southern Song Dynasty), the poets in Southern Song imposed sad for land separation into the grace and restraint and mixed grief for undone ambitions into the unrestraint in Ci.

Song Ci is the product of music and the lyrics of popular songs. It is a pity that the song scores have been lost. With Song Ci's passing on along the history, it has separated from music for a long time and been appreciated as literature. Tonight Let us inquire after the Song poets with the music by today's musician, and the songs and recitals by today's performers. We will present our admiration to those litterateurs a thousand years ago who were expert in melodies and poetry formats.

September 24, 2007 10:33 AM PDT

Ancient Chinese Peotry is the most highlight of Chinese literature. Among the countless poems, they are mainly classified as Shi and Ci. Shi follows rhymes while Ci follows different formats.

I more like Ci for its elegant cadences and rich feelings.

At the day of Moon Festival (Mid-Autumn Festival), I’d like to introduce a Ci written at a night of full moon (1076) by a poet of Song Dynasty of China, Su Shi (1037-1101)


  明月几时有?把酒问青天。不知天上宫阙,今夕是何年? 我欲乘风归去,惟恐琼楼玉宇,高处不胜寒.起舞弄清影, 何似在人间?
  转朱阁,低绮户,照无眠。不应有恨, 何事长向别时圆?人有悲欢离合,月有阴晴圆缺, 此事古难全。但愿人长久,千里共蝉娟。

水调歌头 (Ci Fornmat) --苏轼(Su Shi)
When is there bright moon? I ask the sky, with a cup of wine in my hand.
I wonder what day tonight would be in the heaven palace.
我欲乘风归去, 又恐琼楼玉宇,高处不胜寒,
I'd like to go there by the wind. Yet I fear the coldness so high up in the crystal and jade-like palace.
I dance and play with my moon-lit shadow here, How can it come up with our human world?
The moonlight rounds the red pavilions, Stoops into fine doors and windows, Then shines upon the sleepless people.
Bearing no grudge, Why does the moon tend to be full when people are apart?
People may have sorrow or joy, be near or far apart,
  The moon may be dim or bright, wax or wane,
  No one can change it since the beginning of time.
May we all be blessed with longevity and lasting friendship and love. Though far apart (a thousand miles away), we are still able to share the beauty of the moon together.

*婵娟 means beauty of women, Here specially means the girl who lives on the moon in Chinese myth story. Finally it represents the moon.
A song that its lyric is this peice of Ci

贝多芬的学生 Beethoven's student, Level A
July 14, 2007 09:24 AM PDT

bèiduōfēn de xuésheng

māma: ā háo , jīntiān gāngqín xué dé zěnmeyàng?
ā háo: yǒu yījiàn shì ràng wǒ tèbié gāoxìng。
māma: shénme shì yā?
ā háo: gǒng lǎoshī shuō tā de lǎoshī de lǎoshī de lǎoshī de lǎoshī shì bèiduōfēn。
māma: nàjiùshìshuō , gǒng lǎoshī shì bèiduōfēn de dì wǔ dài xuésheng le。
ā háo: wǒ yě shì bèiduōfēn de xuésheng!
māma: wā , zhēnde yā! nǐ yīdìng hěn zìháo lóu! nà nǐ háishì hǎidùn de xuésheng ne!
ā háo: zhēn méixiǎngdào , wǒ jìngrán néng hé bèiduōfēn yǒuguānxì!
māma: nà nǐ liàn qín de shíhou , yīdìng yào rènzhēn ō!
ā háo: nà dāngrán le。
māma: wúlùn nǐ jiānglái gàn shénme , tā de zài tiān zhī líng yě huì wèi nǐ gǎndào zìháo de。

贝多芬(bèiduōfēn)的(de) 学生(xuéshēng)(student)

妈妈(māmā):阿豪(āháo),今天(jīntiān)(today) 钢琴(gāngqín)(piano) 学(xué)得(dé)(学/learn/study, verb+得+ complement*) 怎么样(zěnmeyàng)?
阿豪(āháo):有(yǒu)一(yī) 件(jiàn)(measure word) 事(shì) (thing)让(ràng) (let, make)我(wǒ) 特别(tèbié)(specially) 高兴(gāoxìng)(happy, glad)。
阿豪(āháo):巩(gǒng) 老师(lǎoshī)(teacher) 说(shuō)他(tā)的(de)老师(lǎoshī)的(de)老师(lǎoshī)的(de)老师(lǎoshī)的(de)老师(lǎoshī)是(shì)贝多芬(bèiduōfēn)。
妈妈(māmā):那(nà)就是说(jiùshìshuō)(that means),巩老师(gǒnglǎoshī)是(shì)贝多芬(bèiduōfēn)的(de) 第五代(dìwǔdài)(the fifth generation) 学生(xuéshēng) (student)了(le)。
阿豪(āháo):我(wǒ) 也(yě)(also, too) 是(shì)贝多芬(bèiduōfēn)的(de)学生(xuéshēng)!
妈妈(māmā):哇(wā),真的(zhēnde)(really, indeed)呀(ya)!你(nǐ) 一定(yídìng)(must) 很(hěn) 自豪(zìháo)(proud) 喽(lou)!那(nà)你(nǐ) 还是(háishì)(also is) 海(hǎi)顿(dùn)的(de)学生(xuéshēng)呢(ne)!
阿豪(āháo):真(zhēn)(really) 没(méi)(not) 想到(xiǎngdào)(bethink of),我(wǒ) 竟然(jìngrán)(unexpectedly) 能和(nénghé)贝多芬(bèiduōfēn) 有关系(yǒuguānxì)(have relationship)!
妈妈(māmā):那(nà)你(nǐ) 练(liàn)(practice) 琴(qín)(instrument) 的(de)时候(shíhòu)(when…),一定(yídìng) 要(yào)(should) 认真(rènzhēn)(be careful) 噢(ō)!
妈(mā)妈(mā):无论(wú lùn)( whatever, no matter how/what) 你(nǐ) 将来(jiānglái)(future) 干(gàn)什(shén)么(me),他(tā)的(de) 在(zài)天(tiān)之(zhī)灵(líng)(ling2/soul/spirit, zhi1/的de/of) 也(yě) 会(huì)(would ) 为(wéi)(for) 你(nǐ) 感到(gǎndào)(feel) 自豪的(zìháo de)(proud)。

* verb+得+complement, 跑(pǎo)得(dé)快(kuài)(run fast). 飞(fēi)机(jī)飞(fēi)得(dé)比(bǐ)鸟(niǎo)高(gāo)(Airplanes fly higher than birds.)

English Translation

Beethoven’s Student

Mom: Ahao, How is your piano lesson today?
Ahao: I am very glad at something.
Mom: What’s that?
Ahao: Teacher Gong said that his teacher’s teacher’s teacher’s teacher was Beethoven.
Mom: That means Teacher Gong is the fifth generation student of Beethoven.
Ahao: I am Beethoven’s student either.
Mom: Wow, indeed you are! You must be very proud of that! You are also a student of Haydn.
Ahao: I couldn’t dream of it that I can have relationship with Beethoven.
Mom: So you must be careful when you practice on the piano.
Ahao: Of course, I will.
Mom: Whatever you will do in the future, his soul in the Heaven would be proud of you too.

BTW, Ahao is in summer vacation now. He has so much time spending at home. So I am trying to tell him English Stories. I know there are many audio storeis online. But they are too difficult for him to understand. I have simplified and explained a story about turtle and picnic to him, Here I'd like you, if you like our recordingds, to record this(http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=d4dxh9f_0gdb6q4) simplified story for him with an active tone and slow speed, like you are telling a story to a kid.

I would like to thank Barry who kindly recorded The Selfish Giant and The Princess and the Pea for Ahao. I know most of you kindly like to do it but do not know how to record with computers. I use a free recording software downloaded from website, Audacity, ( http://audacity.sourceforge.net ), ( http://lame.sourceforge.net/index.php )
Of course, there are other softwares for recording audio files, but I am not familiar with. Actually, in this websit, my podmail: ellenschinese@podomatic.com can record and send mp3 mails. But its recording quality is too poor.


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