An American makes plans to move to Taiwan.


Top 10 List

This isn't related to Taiwan really but I wanted to list some of my favorite things as a top 10 list.
These are all special to me in someway or another, but not really definitive.
Listed in no particular order

Top Ten Movies:
  • King Kong (1933)
  • The Terminator (1984)
  • Batman Begins (2005)
  • The Matrix (1999)
  • Pulp Fiction (1994)
  • Apocalypse Now (1979)
  • Dawn of the Dead (2004)
  • Sin City (2005)
  • Jurrasic Park (1993)
  • Lord of the Rings (2001)
Top Ten Games:
  • Final Fantasy VII (PS1)
  • River City Ransom (NES)
  • Metal Gear Solid -series- (PS1, PS2)
  • Resident Evil -series- (PS1, PS2, GC)
  • Star Control 2 (PC)
  • Dungeon Master (PC)
  • Tekken -series- (PS2)
  • The Legend of Zelda -series- (GB, SNES, GC)
  • Battlefield 2 (PC)
  • Mario Kart -series- (SNES, GC)
Top Ten Animations:
  • Batman: The Animated Series
  • Dragon Ball Z
  • Bleach
  • Justice League Unlimited
  • Ninja Scroll
  • Spirited Away
  • Akira
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion
  • Ren and Stimpy


Chinese Language Craziness

Here I will describe the few facts I know about Mandarin, I can barely speak but I do know some basic concepts and structures.

First the writing. They use characters, not letters. Its not a phonetic alphabet. There are a few special combinations and such but generally each word has its own complex character to represent it. You need to just memorize them in order to write. In Taiwan they use the old traditional characters whereas in Mainland China they use a new simplified set that are slightly easier to remember. I think some of the simplified ones are less attractive but its understandable they'd want to make it easier.

Second is the tones. In Mainland china the tones are more obvious when spoken. There are 4 basic tones with some other confusing ones thrown in every once in a while. The tones are sort of like this:
/ up, \ down, ~wavey, and - flat. Its hard for me to describe but you need to sort of sing out the words with these inflections or people won't understand the word. The actual pronunciation may even be the same but by changing the tone of your voice while saying it the word changes meaning.

In English we can say Hello! or Hello? The first is a greeting, and we say it differently than when its used as a question. We use tones to show emotion, while they use it as part of the actual word.

That brings up another difference, when we ask a question we normally say the sentence with an inquisitive tone. In Mandarin you normally just add the word 'ma' on the end, sort of like a question mark. Also many words can be turned negative with bu. dui = yes, bu dui = no. yao = want, bu yao = don't want. You can even string them together. If you want if something is or is not you can just say shu, bu shu ?

These are not in depth descriptions, just some things I learned. I feel I understand a lot of the grammar and such things, as I learn more vocabulary I will be able to make much more complex sentences. luckily the grammar in mandarin is very simple. When you hear a Chinese person ask 'Where bathroom?' its partially because in their language that's all you need to say, there is no 'is' or 'the' in that sentence, its a simple structure. Objects like tables and chairs don't have sexes like in Spanish and there are less tenses. There is also no 'he' or 'she', just 'that person.'

Hopefully those who have no knowledge of Chinese can learn at least how different and challenging this language is by reading this little blog entry.