Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Interpreting Europe & Asia (1)--Role of the Interpreter

In your daily life, you probably play more than one role. Although you are still you, in various places or at various times of the day, you behave as somebody's son or daughter, friend, neighbor, student, boss etc. Because you have different roles to play, you don't talk to your parents in the same way you talk to your friends, neighbors etc.

How can this information serve you when you work as an interpreter? Watch these two videos and make up your mind. The first video comes from a series called "Interpreting Asia, Interpreting Europe. Although this is a Vietnamese version, English captions appear the second time, so don't worry if you don't understand Vietnamese!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


-ol = alcohol, cholesterol
-ose = sugar; fructose, sucrose, lactose, glucose

Diabetes is a disease
that make it difficult
for the cells of the body
to get the glucose
they need
to make energy

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Interpretation Final Exam

Please watch the following three videos from Audrey Ronquilo's very useful self-defense series for women who know nothing about martial arts:

How to Use "NO" for Women's Self Defense

How to Do the Horse Stance for Women's Self Defense

How to do Palm Heel Strikes in Women's Self Defense

For your final examination, you will be asked to interpret these English videos into Chinese. You will be graded for

1) fluency (lack of hesitation),

2) accuracy (correct translation of all topic-related terms), and

3) completeness (nothing was skipped: all significant content has been rendered)

 Audrey Ronquillo is a gorgeous
Résumé image from www.becomeahost.com

"Canadian born, second generation Filipino/Chinese-American. (Google's web cache is much faster than becomeahost)." You can watch her complete video series on YouTube, but watching it on eHow is better because they provide a transcript (with minor errors):


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Self Defense Notes

Useful self defense vocabulary:

640px-Pepper_spray_Demonstration (Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons)
If you carry a small can of pepper spray, you can blind an attacker by spraying it into his eyes. This will give you time to run away.

Your palm can be an effective weapon

A man who attacks a woman might get a knee in the groin

Some notes on today's videos:

video 1: 

your elbows back
wider than
attack ~ assault
"assault and battery"
with our fists pulled back

you can be in somewhat of a stance
you just need to aim
down, directly and hard
with focus and direction
you don't want to miss
the belly button
the thigh
put some shoulder into it

Notes for video 2 appear below:

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Chinese Restaurant Syndrome (中國餐館症候群)

Some westerners worry about Chinese restaurant syndrome ( known in Chinese as 中國餐館症候群) which is supposedly caused by MSG in their food. If you go to a restaurant with Americans or other westerners, remember that some people are allergic to certain foods. If they tell you about an allergy, this can be very serious. Pay attention! MSG probably doesn't make people sick, but be sure to ask your guests if MSG bothers them. If so, tell the staff to not use any.

Personally, I don't like to eat food with MSG. I feel that only lazy cooks use this to make bad food taste better. Smart cooks know how to make food taste good without adding MSG. What do you think? Does MSG bother you? Do you put MSG in your food?

Octopus, squid, and cuttlefish: What's the difference?

What is the difference between octopus, squid, and cuttlefish?

Chinese Wikipedia and Simple English Wikipedia give us useful information:

Cuttlefish 烏賊,本名烏賊為俗寫,又稱花枝、墨鬥魚或墨魚,是軟體動物門頭足綱烏賊目的動物。 與魷魚不同的是,烏賊有一船形石灰質的硬鞘。 烏賊的最大特色是它遇到強敵時會以「噴墨」作為逃生的方法,伺機離開,因而有「烏賊」、「墨魚」等名稱。皮膚中有色素小囊,會隨「情緒」的變化而改變顏色和大小。
Simple English Wikipedia: Cuttlefish are marine (海洋) Cephalopod (cephalo = head, pod =
foot 頭足綱) molluscs (軟體動物). They belong to the same class as squid, octopuses and the nautilus. Cuttlefish have an internal shell (called a cuttlebone), large eyes, and eight arms and two tentacles furnished with finely toothed suckers, with which they grab their prey. Cuttlefish eat small molluscs, crabs, shrimp, fish and other cuttlefish. Various sharks and fish prey on them. They live about 1 to 2 years.

Squid 魷魚,又稱句公、柔魚或槍烏賊,是軟體動物門頭足綱管魷目開眼亞目的動物。
Simple English Wikipedia: Squid, like cuttlefish, have eight arms arranged in pairs, and two longer tentacles with suckers.

Octopus 章魚,又稱八爪魚
Simple English Wikipedia: Octopuses have two eyes and four pairs of arms equipped with suckers. An octopus has a hard beak, and its mouth is at the center point of the arms.

Look at the pictures and take notes. 
You will be tested on the different names (English and Chinese).
Cuttlefish: 烏賊 Notice the fat body and shorter "arms" (tentacles): Cuttlefish, wwarby, CC BY, www.flickr.com--26782864 -AT- N00-4695864776

Octopus: 章魚 They only have eight "arms" (tentacles): Octopus fanned-out, caviness CC BY-NC-ND, www.flickr.com-15767043 -AT- N00/3242315

Squid: 魷魚 Notice how they have eight arms and two longer tentacles (like cuttlefish), but a longer body. Two Humboldt Squid, kqedquest, CC BY-NC, www.flickr.com-48372717 -AT- N00-2364117497

Only cuttlefish have a cuttlebone: ('Cuttlefish shell with drill hole') Paul J. Morris, CC BY-SA, www.flickr.com-32161280 -AT- N06-3052287581

Common Taiwanese Dishes

Here are reference translations and notes for some common Taiwanese dishes. Please leave any notes and comments in the notes.

I especially appreciate #15 (大腸包小腸 Two-in-One Sausage Wrap) for its clever English translation, which is similar in approach to the Chinese name.


#01 甜不辣, Tempura made by frying fresh fish and flour

#02 小籠包 Steamed Pork Dumplings Xiaolong Bao

#03 切仔麵 Soup Noodles

#04 羊肉爐 Mutton Hotpot

#05. 肉圓 Taiwanese Meatballs A sticky jelly-like dough filled with pork, bamboo shoots, shiitake mushrooms, and served with a savory sweet sauce.

#06 薑母鴨 Ginger Duck Soup With Chinese Herbs Put lots of old ginger into the rice wine hot pot.(no water) Then put the healthy Muscovy Duck 紅面番鴨 which is raised in the countryside. Cook it for about one hour. This kind of soup builds up your strength and strengthens your immune system very well. It's also a traditional Chinese dish for women who have just given birth

#07 珍珠奶茶 Pearl Milk Tea It is made from a mixture of black tea, milk, and sago pearls. The combination of fragrant tea and chewy sago has made this beverage popular not only in Taiwan but in other countries as well.

#08 臭豆腐 Smelly Bean Curd Deep fry the smelly bean curd, then stuff in some mashed garlic, chopped scallion. Finally, add some chili sauce and soy bean sauce. Don't forget the pickled cabbage.

#09 牛肉麵 Beef Noodles Red cooked beef (cooked in soy sauce) several kinds of traditional Chinese herbs are added to create a delicious flavor

#10 八寶冰 Eight Treasure Shaved Ice The ingredients usually include some of the following: taro, adzuki beans, mung beans, yams, sweetened peanuts, almond (custard) pudding, and grass jelly

#11 鹹酥雞 Salty Deep-Fried Pepper chicken A little bit salty, a little bit spicy, with juicy fried chicken. The best way to enjoy this dish is with beer.

#12 鱔魚麵 Eel noodles

#13 Braised (pot roast) Pork and Rice in Soy Sauce. Sometimes it is made with mushroom sauce and other ingredients.

#14 仙草芋圓, Grass Jelly and Ground Taro Balls Scientific name: Mesona chinensis

#15 大腸包小腸 Two-in-One Sausage Wrap Taiwanese 'pork sausage (placed) inside a (larger) sticky 'rice sausage (which has been slit down the middle)

#16 魷魚羹 Squid Thick Soup I know this dish very well because my parents have been selling squid soup for about 25 years

#17 木瓜牛奶 Papaya Milk Shake Cut up some papaya, add milk and sugar to taste, and some water or ice cubes. Blend everything until it is smooth. Don't wait too long too long to drink it. Otherwise, the drink will clot and turn bitter.

#18 鼎邊銼 Potside Scraping Soup Soup made with thick rice noodles scraped off the sides of the pot (Ding Bian Cuo)

#19 四神湯 Four Herb Soup

#20 筒仔米糕 Savory Rice Pudding In a Tube

#21 當歸麵線 Dang Gui Thin Noodles (vermicelli) Scientific name: Angelica sinensis

#22 棺材板 Coffin Bread (a Tainan delicacy) A sandwich made from a thick slice of bread with a hollow center filled with a mixture of chicken meat and liver, shrimp, carrots, potatoes, and milk covered with another piece of bread

#23 潤餅 Mixed Vegetable Roll (Taiwanese Burrito) Semi-crispy super-thin flour crepes filled with a variety of fillings, such as powdered sugar, peanut powder, boiled cabbage, bean sprouts, sliced fried eggs, barbecued pork, pork and even seafood. Taiwanese crepes are the made from the same dough as spring rolls (春捲) in Taiwan

#24 蚵仔煎 Taiwanese Oyster Omelet Made of Taiwanese oysters, vegetables, eggs and potato starch. Mix the potato starch with water, then add some oil in a pan and fry the liquid. Add some oysters, vegetables and eggs on the side. Add some sauce. Sea-fresh oysters are the most important ingredient in this popular snack. The oysters are coated in potato starch and tapioca. Eggs and leafy vegetables (香菜 cilantro) are added to the mixture, which is fried over a high flame. A sweet and sour sauce further adds to the delicious taste.

Here is (almost) the same text in prettier graphic form (click on each image to see it full-sized):