Chinese Resources

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Eight New Words

I just finished reading a New York Time's article about the latest greatest iPad. In the spirit of this blog I read the article in Chinese. Armed with my PeraPera popup dictionary I was ready for whatever wacky words the NYT Chinese translators were ready to throw at me.

I enjoyed the article and what it had to say about the propensity of tech companies to release new products every year. I also enjoyed the commentary about what this could do to the industry, especially since most large tech producers are all aiming for products that are more-or-less similar in design and feel. As a language learner, however, I had to quell the urge to "learn" everything I didn't already know from this single article. Instead, I asked myself what was important, and what kind of language would actually help me talk about similar topics with my friends?

In the end, I would estimate that I used the popup dictionary on roughly 50 Chinese words. Out of those 50 words, I decided that only eight actually fit the "talk about similar topics" criteria. They are:

矩形- rectangle
計劃性淘汰- planned obsolescence
更新- replace (I didn't know it was pronounced gēng)
營銷策略- marketing strategy
高端產品- high-end goods
款- version of software, device etc.
把戲 - trick
壽命- life span (who knew it could be used for inanimate things like phones?)

As for the other 41 I had to look up... maybe I'll learn them the next time they appear, but for today I can say with certainty that I learned eight new words. And that's good enough for me.

1 comment:

  1. Although I agree with you in general (I add very few words indeed these days), I don't think this is true for beginners or intermediate learners. When every word you see is within the [a few thousand] most common words, I really think quantity is king. You've passed that a long time ago, so quantity has been dethroned. I have written about my focus on quantity here:

    The importance of knowing many words.


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