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Learn Chinese in China


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Lunchtime quiz



Easy questions today, as you're going to be busy figuring out the handscrawling I suspect.

1) What did I have for lunch?

2) What kind of restaurant was this?

3) You'll need to resort to the Internet for this one, but can anyone name the restaurant?

Everyone who gets it right receives pictures of the meal to print out and keep.


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I think you had some type of 炒饭. I don't know what type, the first character looks like 包 with a check-mark in front of it....

Regarding the previous two posts, I'll confess my ignorance.

I assume the link 889 shows is the guess at the name of the restaurant. How was this determined? I see the 韩餐 on the bottom left, but that's all the information I see.

And skylee lost me (which is probably my fault). What information there helps?

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The link shows the actual restaurant. And it's not a guess.

If you know how to Google, all the information you need is there. As I mentioned before, you have to treat these like puzzles. In particular, approach them the same way you would a 八破图.

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The location of the restaurant is on there (partially obscured, but usable) and you can see the type of cuisine. From that and a website such as dianping.com you can have a pretty good shot at identifying where I was.

What characters have 包 and some kind of radical to the left?

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What characters have 包 and some kind of radical to the left?

I'm sure I missed some B)

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You solve the puzzle by first reading the second character -- it's pretty clear, and a very common character in a restaurant context.

Then you make a reasoned guess at a couple of very likely readings for that first character that's stumped you.

Finally, you put the possible readings of the first and second characters together and look the results up in the ABC Dictionary, or just type them into your computer's Pinyin IME.

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You solve the puzzle by first reading the second character -- it's pretty clear, and a very common character in a restaurant context.

See, that's the issue. It's not clear to me. I feel like I should be able to read it, but I can't. It looks a bit like 菜, but I don't think it is.

Humm, what if it is 菜? Let's check MDBG for any something-with-包 followed by 菜.


Ok, I can see we're going to have to drag this one out of you

Yeah, I know. I usually only do these at work, where I have dual monitors so I can have the picture on one monitor and all my tools on the other.... This is why I don't do these on my laptop at home with a tiny screen....

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As mentioned before, there are some simplified forms used in handwriting that are exceptionally common; in this case, it's simplifying 三点水 to a vertical line.

I'll put in another plug for Chinese Cursive Script: An Introduction to Handwriting in Chinese, which is the only book I've found in English that gives a thorough introduction to these shorthand forms. Second-hand copies are available cheap.


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Just ordered the book, thanks for the recommendation!

A small hint on the second dish please?

When I can read this, I think I know how my three-year-old feels when she recognizes letters on signs. A couple of months ago when we were in Hong Kong, she looked out the hotel window and yelled "Angry Baby!" I had no idea when she meant, until I realized that she was looking at a sign that had an "A" in the middle, and she recognized it. She has a book that teaches the alphabet by associating each letter with a emotion, and has a picture of a baby with that emotion. "A" is for "Angry".

skylee, a quiz for you: the sign she saw was the big ad for "SHARP"; based on that, what hotel were we staying at? :P

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Hint 1: The principal ingredient's name -- the first two characters -- is borrowed from English via Cantonese. Speaking of Hong Kong hotels, the name of a famous Hong Kong hotel might give you a clue as to the Cantonese pronunciation involved. (Note that this Canto-English term for the ingredient isn't in a couple of dictionaries I checked, but it's easy to find on the web.)

Hint 2: (But only if you're really stuck.) A photo of the dish prepared one of many different ways:


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I think I got 3 of the 4:


I peeked to get the first two. I might have been able to figure it out by scanning for the second character, but that's doubtful. I've never heard that term before. [bTW, it is listed in this dictionary.] I only got the last character from xiaocai's hint.

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OH! I'm really really really embarrassed....

For some reason I assumed it had to be two two-character words. Not a three-character word and a one-character word.

I don't think I can ever find the courage to meet any of you face-to-face after that :cry:

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