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Ed Jaggard's Chinese Words for Week of 01-05-98

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hao2 wei1 miao3


hao2 - milli-
wei1 - micro-; one millionth part of
miao3 - second (time)

From the Greek word nanos - dwarf. A billionth of a second. Also called a millimicrosecond. Many computer operations, such as the speed of memory chips, are measured in nanoseconds. Nanosecond is often abbreviated as ns.

January 11, 1998

Intel Museum - How Fast is a Nanosecond

A Concise Dictionary of Nanoterminology

fu4 zhi4 ren2 lei4

clone (human)

fu4zhi4 - duplicate; reproduce; make a copy of
ren2lei4 - humankind; human

Here is a word that I found in Mingbao newspaper on Friday, January 9, 1998. It's a word "in the news"!!!!

January 10, 1998

Check out - Clone, Inc.

Kool Site!!!

ye2 ya1 lian2 zhou2 jie2

hydraulic coupling

ye4 - liquid; fluid
ya1 - pressure
lian2 - to join; connect
zhou2 - axis; axle; pivot
jie2 - joint; node; knot

One of those describe-the-thing-that-it-is words. For a description of what a hydraulic coupling is, either follow the link I have provided or go to a search engine and look for > hydraulic coupling.

January 09, 1998

Gates MegaCrimp Hydraulic Couplings

shuang1 qu1 xian4

hyperbola [math]

shuang1 - a pair; things that come in pairs; two
qu1 - curve
xian4 - line

A curve with equation x2/a2 - y2/b2 = 1.

January 8, 1998

Conic Sections

Keplerian Elements Tutorial

bai4 huo3 jiao4


bai4 - to do obeisance; salute; pay respects to
huo3 - fire
jiao4 - a religion

Zoroastrianism is a religion dating back to the 6th century B.C. in Persia founded by the prophet Zoroaster. The supreme deity of Zoroastrianism is Ahura Mazda who contends with the evil spirit Ahriman.

January 7, 1998

dedicated to Zarathustra and Zoroastrianism


liang2 you2 chi3


liang2 - to measure
you2 - oil
chi3 - a foot ruler

Here you have a word that you don't normally think of in terms of another language like Chinese. My experience has been that these are good words to learn to reinforce the use of a new language. Next time you check the oil in your car, you'll know what to call the thing you're using.

It's also a good word to reinforce the difference between liang2 - to measure and liang4 - quantity. Personally, I find characters like this, that can have different meanings with different tones, a little confusing. It's useful to have a couple of good solid words containing the variant tones to lock in the meaning associated with each tone. Notice that this word also contains a second character. chi3 - a foot ruler, that has another meaning with another tone, chi2 - a unit in Chinese linear measurement slightly longer than a foot.

January 6, 1998


yi2 chuan2 gong1 cheng2

genetic engineering

yi2chuan2 - genetic
gong1cheng2 - engineering

A very straightforward word in Chinese just as it is in English. Beyond the word itself, the implications of what the word actually means are significant and far-reaching. Genetic engineering has already begun a revolution that impacts our lives in very fundamental ways. The discoveries already made in medicine, animal husbandry and agriculture (just to mention a few areas) are astounding. In the years to come, prepare to be amazed by discoveries linked to this concept!

January 5, 1998

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