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I am the "IBM Collaboration & Productivity Advisor" for IBM Asia Pacific. I'm based in Singapore.
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20/10/2005

Writing Chinese in the Summer Palace

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When I see Chinese calligraphy I have a specific stereotype in mind: an old master with a long grey beard swinging the brush and uttering the deeper meaning of the words on paper. Seems my mental picture found its real life counterpart when I strolled Beijing's Imperial Summer Palace.

summerpalace.jpg

04/12/2004

If you are tired sit under a tree!

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If I need something to lighten my day I continue my studies of Chinese writing. Even simple words tell little stories, which makes them easy to remember:
The Chinese word for man/person is "rén": 人. It looks like somebody standing there with legs spread (for an marital arts exercise?). The sign for tree is Mù and looks like a tree with roots and branches: 木. Now imagine, that you are a hard working peasant in ancient China and you get tired? You would seek shelter from the summer sun by sitting or leaning under a tree. This would look like: 休. And in deed this is the word Xiū which means rest.
Most of the little stories are as old as the Chinese language. Some of them told today would make excellent material for a discrimination law suite, but that is another story for another time.

Update 2013: for a complete list of this stories head over to Chineasy or check this book on Amazon: Fun With Chinese Characters

17/11/2004

Net - Records

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WebLog Languages that can't combine sounds to form a new word face interesting challenges when expressing new concepts. Computer has been translated into "electronic brain" and computer trainer into "teacher of the electronic brain": 电脑教师. The term Blog, which is pretty new, has a nice symbol and meaning: 网记 Records (or Memories) of the net. So taken literally it means: Blogs are the memory of the internet. How thoughtful.

06/08/2004

Chinese insight in the I

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Chinese-I.gif
I'm studying Chinese writing for a while. Not very successful but steady. Since I'm bad at memorising things, I need reason, structure and the story where things come from.
When looking at the Chinese character for "I" (wo) I was puzzled: The character is composed out of two ancient weapons (they look a bit like Klingon swords) clashing onto each other.
The Chinese codified (or would I better say painted) thousands of years ago what is one of the deep insights in personality.
There can't be a "I" without a "You".
Only the dialog or conflict with someone perceived outside of us created our own awareness of the "I". If there is no interaction, there won't be an "I". So our communication shapes our personality more profound than we commonly perceive.
Happy talking!

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This site is in no way affiliated, endorsed, sanctioned, supported, nor enlightened by Lotus Software nor IBM Corporation. I may be an employee, but the opinions, theories, facts, etc. presented here are my own and are in now way given in any official capacity. In short, these are my words and this is my site, not IBM's - and don't even begin to think otherwise. (Disclaimer shamelessly plugged from Rocky Oliver)
© 2003 - 2017 Stephan H. Wissel - some rights reserved as listed here: Creative Commons License
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