Liuzhou Laowai

Random thoughts on life in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China

Archive for the ‘Languages’ Category

The End of Chinglish?

Guangxi’ government has launched a drive to correct all the ridiculously badly translated signs in public places. Of course, Liuzhou has been roped in. A campaign has started in the local rag inviting residents to report any examples they notice. This has had a mixed result. Some perfectly correct English has been denounced for being […]

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Zhuang Yawn

I’m sure that, being the good citizens you are, you have all been enthusiastically celebrating the 55th anniversary of the State Council’s publication of the “Zhaung Script System” as exhorted by the propaganda banner outside the Party HQ on San Zhong Road 三中路. The fact that I’ve never met a Zhuang speaker who can actually […]

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Waiter! There’s a Lion in my Soup!

I have mentioned before that many locals struggle with written Chinese, just as many English speakers ain’t grate at speling. I particularly notice this in relation to Liuzhou’s most famous dish, 螺蛳粉 or spicy rice noodles in a snail soup. Everyone knows the dish, but few can write it correctly. A few years ago, I […]

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Pinyin Popups

你好 Thanks to a plugin from Sinosplice, I’ve added a new feature to the blog. From now on, when I use Chinese characters, to see an enlargement and the Pinyin for the pronunciation, you just need to hover your mouse over the Chinese and it should pop up. Hope this is more helpful. You can […]

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The Rice Paddy

In the far north of Liuzhou prefecture lies Sanjiang county. Sanjiang town itself is of little interest, but the surrounding countryside, with its ethnic minority villages attracts many visitors. The area is predominantly inhabited by the Dong ethnic minority whose “wind and rain” bridges and their drum towers are well known, especially the bridge at […]

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Friday Food 9 – Ci gu

Friday food is a weekly article about one of the more unusual food items to be found in Liuzhou that week. This week arrowhead tubers. Every year, around now these turn up in the markets and supermarkets. They are the tubers of  a flowering plant, Sagittaria sagittifolia,  sometimes known as arrowhead because of the shape […]

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Hello! Drink up!

Anyone who has been in China for more than five minutes will have come across the hello wallahs. These are people who yell “hello” at passing foreigners in some Pavlovian reaction. They are usually young and male, but not always. Notice I said ‘say “hello” at’ not “hello to”. The “hello” is usually followed by […]

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Zhuang Rocks!

Thanks to reader, Frank, who commented on my earlier post about Zhuang Exams, here is a video of a rock song sung in the Southern Zhuang language. The song is subtitled in both Zhuang and Chinese, but not English. They are singing about getting drunk! The music is that of a popular Chinese rock song which was used […]

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Zhuang Exams

Odd story in the online version of People's Daily today. According to the article,the State Ethnic Affairs Commission (SEAC) plansto introduce an exam in the Zhuang language in order to “to promote the use of the tongue, which, unlike many languages belonging to ethnic groups, is still in wide currency.” “Some 17 million Zhuang live […]

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Mr Iron

It is not often a story with a title like “Liugang No 2 converter put into production” attracts my attention. Especially from India. But something caught my attention. The story is about Liuzhou's main polluter employer, Liuzhou Iron and Steel Group and announces the stunning fact that convertor No 2 is in production and that […]

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