As the merchant clipper sailed north, the leaden gloom that had settled on its crew gave way to levity. With the treacherous passage around Cape Horn complete, the sailors began to speak of their arrival as a fait accompli, driving the cabin boy so positively giddy with anticipation that he begged them to regale him time and time again with stories of the riches that awaited them in Peru. These tales then grew in the telling until the mere sight of a seagull would stir them all to dreams of a wealth beyond imagination.

Looking for a taste of something different? Let us be the first to admit our Chinese podcasts are occasionally somewhat eclectic. And this is among the more eclectic of them, so if you're easily offended please stay away and spare us the lecture. That said, we believe this is genuinely useful material to know, and you're not likely to learn it anywhere else. So if you've already got a fair bit of Chinese under your belt and want to know the language inside out, join us for this Intermediate lesson. You'll be speaking like a sailor in no time.
 said on
September 18, 2011
haha, awesome! I didn't catch the Beijing word for dung beetle. Can you please tell me the pinyin and hanzi?
 said on
September 18, 2011
haha,HUH???!!!

I'll have to clean the 耳屎 from my ears and listen to this dialogue again, for a second there I thought it was about 鸟屎.
 said on
September 18, 2011
@Samanthaj,

Haha, HORK!!!

The word you're looking for is, 屎蚵螂。shi3 ke1 lang2.
 said on
September 19, 2011
Isn't 眼屎 just called 'sleep' in English?
 said on
September 19, 2011
 said on
September 19, 2011
Ok guys, I'm voting this up there as among the most disgusting comment threads we've ever had. Although sort of useful -- I personally didn't know ear wax was called 耳屎 and have since had occasion to use the word.

p.s. afaik, it's commonly known as eye cruft in Canada.
 said on
September 20, 2011
I just came across this on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhUQMrOLyVU

Was this possibly the inspiration for this lesson

Here's the article I fond it in - http://www.theage.com.au/technology/technology-news/conquering-china-one-viral-video-at-a-time-20110916-1kdm7.html

 said on
September 20, 2011
@Monigeria,

We usually call them "sleepers" in English. Which is a much more pleasant way of calling it than the Chinese 眼屎 "eye dung", which is inherently a highly unpleasant name. i asked my friend if there was another name to which she replied,"没有啊。就是眼屎呗!"
 said on
September 20, 2011
@crusty_138,

Hadn't heard of this actually -- the word from the dialogue was 鸟屎 and the rest flowed through association. Interesting to see this coming from the VOA though.

Best,

--david
 said on
September 20, 2011
@Xiao Hu,

Agree, although I think the Chinese win on clarity here. Reminds me of translating medical documents where you see the disease name and... well... have no idea what it is but know exactly what it does to you.

 said on
September 21, 2011
@Trevelyan,

True, true. English names for diseases are so scientific, being derived from Greek or Latin, if you don't know what it is you have absolutely no clue what effects the disease have on the human body. Although, as far as I know, the Greek language parallels Chinese in that each word is made up of smaller parts that each have a meaning, so if you know what the components are, then you can figure out the meaning of the longer word. The meanings of all those complicated, scientific and medical words could be deduced quite simply, just by knowing the components.

Yet another point in favor of our Popup ancient Greek and Latin.

BTW: Good to have the three of you reuinted once again on this Podcast.
 said on
September 22, 2011
@Trevelyan

Sorry, didn't mean to imply plagiarism. Guess I need a "taking the piss' emoticon. Anyways, this wins on the gross factor - ”吃不完那么多鸟粪“ and is far less annoying than that frat girl haha
 said on
September 23, 2011
@Crusty_138,

I checked out 白洁's videos on Youku, and she had me conquered, one sunny, smily, giggly, viral video at a time.

Upon viewing the first in her series of self-proclaimed "OMG-美语" instuctional videos, I was impressed by her rapid-fire, off the cuff, naturalistic 普通话.

Then, at around the 8th video mark, there came a rapid beating in my bosom, a fervid...amore spilling forth like a 黄河洪水 for this vivacious, bubbly, little blonde-haired, blue-eyed ray of sunshine.

By aroung the 11th or 12th video mark, I caught myself stifling back a yawn for this, pervasively beaming, cackly, flash of perfect pearly whites.

By around the 15th video she truly had me, not only conquered, but also subjugated...surrendered actually, one concerted, ostentatious jump cut at a time.
 said on
September 23, 2011
I'm really looking forward to discussing this lesson with Gail right after I have breakfast tomorrow morning! You should have added 呕吐 to the vocab!
 said on
September 23, 2011
crusty_138 - Oh, I didn't take it the wrong way at all. And thanks for sharing the video. Like Xiao Hu, I liked the show. The VOA has been struggling for a while here, so it's nice to see them come out with something good! :)
 said on
December 3, 2011
the male host mentioned various phrases using the word 屎。One I recall in a book many years ago is: 狗改不了吃屎的本性. I always like it when a Chinese expression draws my attention to a natural phenomenon I had not previously noticed.

Also, regarding what to call the gunk in the eyes: if I recall correctly my American childhood of 40 plus years ago, we would say "wake up with sand in the eyes."

 said on
May 15, 2012
This sentence is mysterious: "你很快就会有属于你的那份了." My dictionary translates 属于 as "belong to", although I don't see how that fits in here. The meaning here is about having/owning the bird poo, not belonging to it. Also, "你的那份" seems weird to me. Is "你的那。。。" a common construction or can it only be used with 份?
 said on
May 15, 2012
The subordinate relationship indicated by 的 runs the other way. In the simpler phrase 我的车, the car is subordinate to me. The general category comes first, then the subordinate particle 的 and finally the specific object which falls into that category. Which car? My car. The car which is "of me".

It is exactly the same in this sentence -- the guano is defined as falling into the category of things which are described as 属于你的. So this is not just any guano we are talking about, but "the portion which belongs to you" or "the amount which is your due". If we wanted to translate it really literally, we might say that the guano is "of that which belongs to you".

Note -- you can get away with dropping 属于 completely and still have a correct sentence, but in that case it would just be "your portion" and we'd lose some of the emotional nuance.


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