Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I can has babelfish?


OH MAN. (With the help of a great many cobbled-together technological aids), I'm understanding Chinese! Yes, I'm getting way too excited about this, but look, I get hyperactive about everything, okay?

世界 = (shi jie - both 4th tones) means "world." The characters, individually, mean something like "era" and "divided." I had to look this one up. I'm still not sure where they got that from. (I'd like to think the world is more than a bunch of divided eras.)

正在 = (zheng zai - both 4th tones) means "is in the middle of doing." The characters, individually, mean something like "correct/righteous" "at/exist," so it's talking about an ongoing process that's positive. I had to look the two up together - I hadn't seen them in a pair before.

傾訴 = (qing su - 1st then 4th tone) is something related to being interested, along with the word for "announce." Together they (apparently) mean "to pour out one's heart." I had to look this one up and I'm still not entirely clear on the exact usage, but eh.

你 = (ni, 3rd tone) "You." Yeah, pretty simple.

聽見 = (ting jian, 1st then 4th tone) means "listen." The first character is an ear and a bunch of other stuff. The second character is the symbol for "eye" over one of the variants for the symbol for "person."

了嗎 = (le ma - no tones) make it a colloquial question.

So... shi jie zheng zai qing su ni ting jian le ma = World is currently pouring out its heart (and this is an awesome thing to do). You listening, dude?

And then we check it against the actual Global Voices slogan, and sure enough...

The world is talking. Are you listening?

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