Language Exchange

For this past week or two, I’ve been meeting some people for language exchange; I help people with their English and they help me with Cantonese. Some conversations are held solely in English and some in Cantonese. There are definitely many words that I am learning and trying to remember and learn how to write the characters. Two summers ago, I learned a bit of Mandarin and simplified characters and I have already forgotten how to write quite a bit due to a lack of practicing. Also, I am trying to learn traditional characters since that is what they use in Hong Kong. I wish I would have brought my workbooks and character books!

With one of my language partners, we have been working on the meaning of some radicals and its combination to make words. We talked about 切 which means to cut. In the dictionary, they give a lot of different meanings that relates to this word like 割 which also means to cut but she said that it’s more on a larger scale like a farmer cutting the grass (so maybe to reap?). She sent me a video on rice reaping which then lead me to this video on how rice is made:

It is pretty interesting to see how a Chinese dictionary works since it’s so different than an English dictionary. Since Chinese doesn’t have an alphabet, it is split into different radicals or characters. Then with those radicals or characters, they will have other words with those radicals or characters. 


For example, the radical 刀, meaning knife, starts on page 45. We started with the word 分 which has several meanings. The first meaning is to separate, which is 分䦎.




Watching how rice is made lead me a video on how flour is made. I never knew that there were different amounts of protein in all purpose flour, bread flour and cake flour and that is one of the distinctions between different types of flour. 


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