Tuesday, 14 October 2008

How to say "I" in Chinese

My brother sent me this.
{translation in brackets like this}

(A foreigner, wanting to learn Chinese, travels a long distance to China to find a Chinese Literature professor. On first day, the foreigner wants to start with a simple term. He asks the professor the Chinese equivalant of "I".)

(Teacher explains: Chinese respects status. As your rank or status changes, “I” also has the different form. For example:)

(Like adjectives in English has different comparative degree, so is I. For instance, you being just came to China, do not have any status, you may use to an average person: “我、咱、俺、余、吾、予、儂、某、咱家、洒家、俺咱、本人、個人、人家、吾儂、我儂。”)

(If you see a teacher, an elder or a person at a higher authority, then should use:"區區、僕、鄙、愚、走、鄙人、卑人、敝人、鄙夫、鄙軀、鄙愚、貧身、小子、小可、在下、末學、小生、不佞、不才、不材、小材、不肖、不孝、不類、走狗、牛馬走、愚小子、鄙生、貧生、學生、後學、晚生、?學、後生晚學、予末小子、予小子、餘小子。")

After you become an official, when you see the higher authority and emperor, then should use: "職、卑職、下官、臣、臣子、小臣、鄙臣、愚臣、奴婢、奴才、小人、老奴、小的、小底"

(When you meet other colleague, you can use: "愚兄、為兄、小弟、兄弟、愚弟、哥們")

(In front of the subordinate, then may say: "爺們、老子、大老子、你老子、乃公")

(If you become the amperor, you say:"朕、孤、孤王、孤家、寡人、不轂")

(If you are not willing to be an official, and become a buddhist priest or taoist priest, then should say:"貧道、小道、貧僧、貧衲、不慧、小僧、野僧、老衲、老僧")

(Last, once you have retired, then all of a sudden you have lost the right and the status, you had to call yourself: "老朽、老拙、老夫、愚老、老叟、小老、小老兒、老漢、老可、老軀、老僕、老物、朽人、老我、老骨頭")

(The above 108 kinds of 'I', is for the male only. More ' I' explanation tomorrow.)

(After hearing all these, the foreigner feels like a bucket of cold water has poured all over him. That night, he cannot sleep. Next day, he says to the professor: "學生、愚、不材、末學、走。" Checks out from the hotel, buys an airplane ticket, returns home.)

Saturday, 4 October 2008

I have some questions for the religious evangelists

I have some questions for the religious evangelists. If you are willing to politely state your view, please leave comment as answer to my questions.

I check out wikipedia and found that about 28% people believe in Christianity and 22% in Islam.

As a religious evanglelist, you, I suppose, will argue for your faith. So my first question is why you are convinced that 3 quarters of the people in the world is wrong and you are right that your god is the true god?

A follow up question is for the Christian and Islam evangelists. Why the god of the other faith (e.g. if you are Christian, the other god is that from Islam) is NOT the true god?

Finally, please convince me that I should believe in your god. If you are attempting this part, bear in mind that I hate tactics like sending me to hell in the after life stuff. I won't buy. Tell me good things. For example, any good deed that normal people without religion will never do, i.e. good deeds that only religious people will do. Hint: you will need quite a lot good deed facts to counter-balance the bad thing religions have done to human civilization and human moral advancement. Mother Teresa of Calcutta is NOT a sufficient example as what she has done, while great and good in nature, can also be done by any good people without regilious belief. In fact, she later expressed grave doubts about God's existence and pain over her lack of faith. See this extract

Where is my faith? Even deep down … there is nothing but emptiness and darkness … If there be God—please forgive me. When I try to raise my thoughts to Heaven, there is such convicting emptiness that those very thoughts return like sharp knives and hurt my very soul … How painful is this unknown pain—I have no Faith. Repulsed, empty, no faith, no love, no zeal, … What do I labor for? If there be no God, there can be no soul. If there be no soul then, Jesus, You also are not true.