A guide to understanding the Chinese that provides an irreverent look at the oriental outlook of the largest nation on earth.
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J.C. Yang was born in England. He passed his first 20 years in total ignorance of China, and then spent the next 40 years trying to remedy the deficiency. He has worked and traveled extensively in China and now speaks more than one of its many dialects.
The Chinese word for 'having a good time' is re-nao, which means literally 'it's hot and noisy'. If it is quiet then by definition a good time is not being had.
The Chinese have a genius for recycling words for new concepts. English goes haring off to Latin or Greek when confronted with the need to make a new word, but Chinese just adapts an old word. Dian was the word for lightning, but it was used for electricity when the need arose, and then combined with other old words to order – lightning chariot (tram), lightning speech (telephone), lightning child (electron), lightning seeing (television), lightning report (telegram), lightning pond (battery), and so on. It makes new ideas seem rather less frightening.
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Book Description Oval Books, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P111902825225