Anybody know Chinese? June 13, 2004


Hello in Chinese   This should be Mandarin Simplified Chinese. 

Our day has been Great!!  We went to an "estate sale" (glorified inside the house garage sale).  It was the last day, and things were half off. It was late in the day too.  (The best time to go as they really want rid of things by this point.)  Spent $10.00 and got a bunch of stuff, including a desk.  The desk has drawers. One is missing half the front of it.  But otherwise it is structurally sound.  And the way it will get treated, as a writing/computer desk will be rough.  I saw simple put together desks without drawers for about $100.00 at "Staples".  But I wanted something with character and drawers.  So I found this old one for $7.50 and that isn't bad.  It looks better than it sounds.  And the drawer missing half the font, can be fixed.  They even threw in the postcards, flashlight bulbs and other assorted "junk" in the middle drawer.  I knew I would find a desk somewhere.   I also found a Kodak book "How To Make Good Pictures".  I have at least two already.  The edition I got today, is good, because it tells you how to use the Kodak Autograph camera.  We found one of those cameras in the house here.  I always wondered how it worked.  Not that it will work now as Kodak doesn't make that type of film anymore!!!  This was a camera that had a little window at the back that allowed you to write onto the film with a stylus.  You could caption your pictures with the date and subject as you took the pictures.  It wasn't until modern times that this idea caught on.  I remember in the 1980's when I first saw a fancy 35mm camera that would stamp the date etc. onto the negative.

I have taught my computer how to type in Chinese.  Not that I will do that much at all.  It is just fun to be able to do it.  My friend in China was teaching me a few phrases in Mandarin Simplified Chinese.  I was typing from a sheet I pulled off the Internet.  It is set up so that when I type the Chinese in our English letters (Pinyin), the Chinese characters then appear on the screen.  But I was getting different characters than on my sheet.  It is because my system was set up to do the Traditional characters. I was looking at Simplified characters.  The text meant the same things.  That is what is amazing.  I couldn't read it but looking at the lines and shapes I could see they were different. My friend told me that the text meant the same thing.  I just do not know how to make it do the Mandarin Simplified.  If you know how to make “Word” do Mandarin Simplified, let me know.  I have installed the right things off the Windows XP disk that came with the computer.  I even set it up with, “Chinese Simplified—Microsoft Pinyin IME 3.0”.  I click on “Chinese (PRC)” to type in the Pinyin.  But I get Traditional characters instead of Simplified.  Don’t know how to fix it.  I am not into becoming a Chinese language expert!!  I just want to learn a little bit about it and maybe a few phrases.

Lately, my Chinese friend and I have been using Microsoft Messenger to “chat” back and forth. The really interesting thing about writing back and forth to my friend in China is the cultural exchange.  I am learning some things about China and the culture that I did not know.  For example, the Chinese would never name someone after someone else.  They don’t give animals names.  I can understand that. My grandfather didn’t like to take the farm dog to the vet.  It wasn’t like it was his cow, horse or pig.  He didn’t really look at cats and dogs the same way as “city people” do. I guess it is like that in traditional Chinese culture.  So, to name an animal after a person is really serious.  Then we get into talking about The Bible.  He asks me questions. That makes the conversation very exciting for me. 

Recently I sent him via E-mail a chart I found online.  It compares Buddhism, Christianity and Islam.  Both of us have no experience with Islam really.  I have very little experience with Buddhism.  He may not be a Buddhist, I don’t know, but that is what he knows.  And of course I know Christianity.  I asked him if he had read the chart.  He said yes, but he didn’t know the religions.  I said that the chart compared them.  He began to ask me about the benefits of Christianity.  He said that in Buddhism you work your whole life to prepare for the next life.  He asked if it was the same in Christianity.  I said no.  In Christianity “Eternal Life” starts the moment you are “Born Again”. The benefits begin immediately. 

Here is an example. When we give a Tithe to God he pours out a blessing unto us.

Malachi 3:10 Let your tenths come into the store-house so that there may be food in my house, and put me to the test by doing so, says the Lord of armies, and see if I do not make the windows of heaven open and send down such a blessing on you that there is no room for it. (Bible in Basic English)

Here is the relevant part of the conversation.


China friend says:

in Buddhism, people lived in this world it is thought they are suffering so if they obey to Buddhism, when they dead, they can go to heaven or they must go to hell and continue suffering so all they do is to prepare their feature (after death)


That is not what the Bible teaches.

China friend:

just like you plant a tree, but you can not enjoy shadow when you are alive


shade is different from shadow . You mean shade

China friend:

oh, thank you


The shadow is the dark mark on the ground that people or objects make when the sun shines.

China friend:

God told his people, when you believe in God, you can get good feedback even when you are alive, am I right?



Yes!!! The blessings start the day you believe!!!! Eternal life starts the day you get "Born Again".

China friend:

so if I was a businessman, I prefer God

the feedbacks get too late in Buddhism

who know what happend after death?


The Bible teaches that too!!!!

I was very excited by this conversation.  But when he chats with me, it is around 3:00 in the afternoon where he is.  But here it is 3:00 in the morning. 

Some time ago, I had tried to explain to my friend the concept of God being the Shepherd and us believers being the “sheep”.  I sent him Psalm 23 in an E-mail.  I wasn’t having much success explaining, that according to The Bible, people are not literally “sheep”. The next conversation we had after the one above, my friend was asking me some more Biblical questions.  He was telling me that (in Buddhist teachings) some of the Buddhist monks had sacrificed themselves to allow animals to live.  I asked him why?  I said that in the Bible humans are greater beings than animals.  He agreed with me.  Then he asked about the Bible calling people sheep.  I had tried to explain God being the shepherd and people being the sheep before.  We aren't literally sheep.  It is a figure of speech.  Finally this time I got through.  I said that God takes care of us like a shepherd with his  sheep.  I thought I had gotten through before, but it is good to see the light of recognition---even if you can't see it on their face.  It can be difficult to chat like this sometimes as you don't know what is going on at the other end.  You have to time your responses.  If he is writing as I send something he won't always see what I sent.  If you are sending something important you have to make sure the first thought is read.  Then you have to ponder whether he is “thinking” at the moment.  He could be composing his next thought mentally, or maybe he is working on something else as well as chatting. 

Psalm 23

:1  <A Psalm of David.> The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

:2  He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

:3  He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

:4  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

:5  Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

:6  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

This is the Mandarin Simplified (Chinese Union Version).


I have a lot of stuff come up in the “garden” in the back yard.  The pumpkins have survived.  We had a



“wonderful” hail storm.  I found out what farmer’s must go through emotionally when they realize they have been “hailed out”.  (crops destroyed by hail)  It looked like a war zone in a way.  All the plants were beat to pieces.  I had the pumpkins double planted.  That means that I was impatient and thought I planted the first set too early.  I stuck some more seeds into the ground.  When I initially stuck the seeds in the ground, I did it without much rhyme or reason. (There was a little bit or reason to it.)  I do that sometimes.  Especially when I am in a hurry.  That isn’t the best way to do a garden.  I tell myself that I will read the books, and get more organized “next year”.  “Next year” is like “tomorrow”, it never comes.  I had some seed packets some I got for this year, and some from recent years past.  I can’t remember now what I planted.  Then I don’t always know the plants as seedlings.  I almost pulled up the black eyed peas thinking they were weeds.  Now I have some things growing that I don’t recognize.  But they look too “sophisticated” for weeds.  I let them grow a while and then I decide whether or not to pull them.  The weeds didn’t get as damaged by the hail as the plants I wanted. 

I have discovered some interesting programs on “The International Channel”.

Morning Television here is so soundbiteish.  They have weather and traffic every so many minutes.  It gets old.  They only give the headlines of local news mostly.  I caught Douglas watching an ancient episode of Gunsmoke recently.  He can’t always deal with “news” in the morning.  He likes to keep up with current events but not every day.  He likes to know the weather mostly. 

The “national” morning programs are worst.  They are trying to get a 30 minute story into 2-3 minutes, and do it live.  They always sound as if they are rushed for time.  There is a kinder gentler morning television program. 

There is this program from TV5 in French Canada.  It is a morning program.  It isn’t as “frantic” as our morning television programs.  Télématin is the name of the program.  The program originates from TV 2 in France.  We get this program via The International Channel on our cable.  (“The International


Channel” saves the cable company from having a separate channel in Chinese, French, Italian, etc.  They have separate channels here in Arabic already.  FCC regs. I take it.)  Of course I don’t know any French really, but you can basically figure out some of what they are saying.  It is a really interesting program.  They give the weather for France.  It is not a delayed program, it is very much up to date.  You don’t know how old some of the International Channel programs are at times.  This is sort of a news magazine in a way, so it is current.

The other day this program had their tech guy on.  He was talking about the latest digital cameras.  Another day recently he was talking about this gadget.  It was almost like an ATM machine. Only it was for photos.  You put in your little “card” from your digital camera.  I assume you put a credit card in it.  You can edit and put your photos onto disk.  It has a video or computer screen.  It was user friendly.  We have similar things in shops (stores) now.