My first speech in Chinese

Post#20

I actually enjoy public speaking. Ever since my first speech class years ago, I have enjoyed mastering a topic or subject and speaking about it from my perspective. Well, this summer I was invited to give a brief talk ***in Chinese*** for the seventh grade class at our Chinese school in October. It was great practice for me to write and practice Chinese for this talk, and I actually got laughs from the one funny bit of my talk. Hopefully it helps the students see that with enough persistence anyone can learn to speak Chinese. I really enjoyed the opportunity and answering questions from the students.

The full talk as I wrote it is below.

大家好!我的名字是Scott Stanley. 你们可以叫我Scott。你们好。

我先想自我介绍。我是一个博士科学家,我在宝洁工作。你们知道宝洁是什么吗?(P&G)。我是一个科学家,我很喜欢科学,关于这个话题我总是可以跟你聊天儿。十年以前我结婚了。我的太太叫卉青。她是一个中国湖南人。我们有两个小孩,他们也学中文在我们的中文学校。第一个是我们儿子Andrew。Andrew七岁了。第二个是我们女儿Iris,她五岁了。她是一个小辣妹子。我们家还有我的岳母。

好。这是我的自我介绍。

今天我要分享三个话题:

1) 学中文不容易,

2) 我的经验学中文和说中文,

3)说中文给你什么好处。

1) 第一个话题,学中文不容易。

经常人们听我说中文的时候,他们不相信他们的耳朵,不相信一个老外人有中文在口里面。然后,他们问我:“你为什么会说中文?”我告诉他们我娶了一个湖南人,他们马上说:“啊 – – 当然,你的妻子教你中文!”

很多人觉得如果你和一个中国人结婚了,你自动会说中文。还有人觉得如果你的父母从中国来的,你自动会说中文。你们遇到过这种问题吗?我们都知道不是这样的。因为学中文真的不容易。其实,我的太太不教我中文。那么,为什么我要学中文?因为我们孩子们小时候,他们花了很多时间跟他们的外婆在一起。外婆只会说中文,所以我的孩子们开始说很多的中文。然后我很紧张 – – 我害怕我将来听不懂我的孩子们说话。所以我开始很努力地学中文。这是为什么我要学中文,但学中文不容易。

2)第二个话题,我学中文的经验。

我觉得最重要的事情是多开口说中文。例如,我记得,第二次我去中国,是和我的太太去她的老家结婚。当天有差不多两百多人来我们的婚礼。我站在台上,台下有所有的客人和家人。我想说一点的中文。所以我慢慢地说:“大家好。我是老婆。我爱我的老公。谢谢。”他们都觉得很好笑。以后,我用了很多不同的办法学中文。Rosetta Stone, Apps, 书,等等。我觉得对我最有帮助的是私教。过去三年,我每个星期用Skype跟一些老师学中文。我已经通过了HSK一,HSK二,HSK三。今年我开始写一个中文博客。我的博客是很简单的故事,目的是帮助我学中文。

总之,我用了很多办法学中文。最重要是每天说中文。

3) 第三个话题:说中文有什么好处。

我已经告诉了你们我工作在保洁。我的工作经常需要出差。我每年去亚洲一两次。我去过中国,日本,韩国,新加坡。我发现在这些国家我都可以用中文。其实在日本我听中文比日语多。因为现在中国有很多有钱人,他们经常出国,所以很多地方都会用中文。中国会越来越强大,越来越重要。会说中文很有用。

另外一个好处是,在美国你可以用中文说一些事情,然后别人听不懂。比如说:

“我想上厕所!”

“这个地方臭死了,马上要走!”

年惊人会说“你看,她很辣!”

今天我告诉了你们我的学中文经验。我希望你们觉得好玩,可能对你们学中文有一点点帮助。

谢谢。

Flower pepper

Flower peppers

Blog #12

3-16-18

A mutual friend introduced my wife and me while we were working at a government lab NIST. She always liked to share her Chinese culture with me. One night we went out to eat Chinese food. The menu had a spiciness scale for their dishes:

* : Spicy

** : Very spicy

*** : Extremely spicy

# : Numbing

“#? Numbing? What is that?” I though. That must be super spicy!

A few weeks later, this Chinese girlfriend brought me a real Chinese lunchbox that she had cooked herself. How romantic!

In our large NIST cafeteria maybe there are a few hundred people eating lunch and two microwaves to heat up lunchboxes. So, typically, there is a lot of waiting for the microwave.

My wife (girlfriend at that time) brought me a hot lunchbox and went back to heat up a second lunchbox. She told me to start eating and let her know what I thought. I opened the lid of the glass lunchbox and the steamy rice and veggies looked pretty good. There was a spice scent inside I did not recognize and so I started eating. About the fourth or fifth bite, something inside my mouth stuck me like a needle. I stopped chewing. Was it a piece of broken glass? What was this sharp thing? I spit out the food into a napkin. Then, my mouth started becoming numb. It felt like a dentist had given me a shot of anesthetic. I must be having some kind of food allergy! I stood up to find my girlfriend (wife) and she was already on her way back with lunchbox #2. I said “something is wrong, there was a sharp thing in the food, and now my mouth is going numb”. She just said “yes, that’s flower pepper.” At this point I still don’t know what flower pepper is, so I am still pretty worried.

I said – “I don’t know what is happening to me, my mouth is going numb.”

She said again, “oh, that’s just flower pepper. It is a little numbing”

“Numbing?” I asked “The food is numbing?”

Fun fact: Numbing is a hard word to say in English when your mouth is numb.

And then she added “maybe I added too much? I don’t really know how to cook with it.”

Well, it turns out I survived the flower pepper. She showed me what the flower peppers look like and it turns out about 1/5 of the dish was flower peppers. Some of them when dried can be quite sharp! All in all I learned that flower pepper is actually numbing, and that dried flower pepper can be quite sharp. And that Sichuan people are pretty bold.

You can read more about this spice here: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-szechuan-peppers-make-your-lips-go-numb-5668606/

一个朋友介绍我和我的太太认识。以前我们在同一个国家实验室,NIST工作。这个中国美女(我的太太)总是给我介绍中国文化。一天我们出去在中国饭店吃晚饭。他们的菜单上有辣度排名:

* 辣

** 很辣

*** 非常辣

# 麻辣

“#?” “麻辣?” 我觉得很怪,不懂它的意思。应该是非常非常辣的。

差不多三个星期以后,这个中国美女准备了一个盒饭给我。她自己做的。好浪漫。

在我们公司的餐厅,有两百人但只有两个微波炉,所以常常需要排队用微波炉。我的女朋友给我一个热的盒饭,她说了,”你开始吃饭,我去排队“。这是一个玻璃饭盒。我打开盒饭盖子,闻到一阵香味。里面有好看的饭和菜。我发现一种气味我不认识。我开始吃饭。第四五口饭,一个东西在口里面刺伤了我。我在想“这是什么?这是一片碎玻璃吗?

我把饭吐到纸上。我的嘴巴变麻了。像在看牙医,像在嘴巴里打针。我觉得可能是食物过敏!我站起来找我的女朋友,看到她回到我们的桌旁。我说“快快来我有一个大问题。我不懂为什么我的嘴巴麻木了“。

她说“这就是花椒。它会让你的嘴巴有一点儿麻。“

“麻?菜是麻的?“我说了。嘴巴麻的时候很难说“麻木“这个字。

我的女朋友说,“可能加了太多花椒。不知道应该加多少。我真的没有用过,没有办法用花椒做菜。“

我战胜了花椒。她给我看花椒是什么, 我发现我的盒饭差不多五分之一都是花椒。总之,我学会了,花椒菜真的很麻。花椒干可能刺你的嘴巴。我也学到了四川人可能很大胆。

Chinese medicine

Chinese Medicine in our house

下面我自己用中文来写这个故事:“我们家的中药”

Blog Post #11

3-8-18

I think since marrying my beautiful Chinese Hunan girl I am a more healthy person. I think that is mostly due to Chinese medicine. I have learned a lot about Chinese medicine. By now I am a kind of expert of the major classes of Chinese medicine. In my household we have two types. The first class of Chinese medicine is: drink more water. If you have a headache, drink more water. Cough? Drink more water. Too sleepy? Water again.

If this doesn’t work, you will need stronger medicine. I would recommend taking things to the next level of stronger Chinese medicine – drinking hot water. This one can tackle tougher problems. Bad cold? Drink more hot water. Flu? Definitely drink more hot water.

If you don’t believe me, give it a try!

We have other more advanced medicines as well, like wearing more clothes, but that we will have to cover in a future blog post.

我觉得和一个中国美女结婚了以后我越来越健康了。我觉最重要的原因是中药。我很清楚的了解中药。我现在是有点儿名的中药专家。

在我们家有两种中药。第一种是:多喝水。头痛?多喝一点儿水。咳嗽?多喝一点儿水。太累了么?再多喝一点儿水。

如果这种中药没用,你应该用重一点的药。我建议去采取下一步措施。另一种中药是:多喝一点热水。热水可以解决更多难题。你感冒了么?喝热水。有流感吗?当然要喝热水。你不相信,可以自己试试。

其实我们家也有其他中药(例如:穿多一点衣服). 我未来会写在我的博客上。

Art in Beijing and Self driving cars.

Blog post #10

3-1-18

On my recent business trip to Beijing I had some free time on the weekend and decided to go see the Beijing 798 art district. It was very cool!

There are many small galleries within the district and probably my favorite was the Hyundai gallery. I have an image of the artwork below. It shows a picture of a car surrounded by a circle of salt. I thought what in the world is this?

The artist’s caption says that the picture is about self driving cars and their relationship to the environment. OK. Here is where it gets neat – because the self driving car is not truely smart, it just responds to stimulus in the environment, for example, the car will not cross a white solid line. If someone were to put a white solid line around a self driving car, it would be trapped inside! What a neat idea. So, if someone steals your parking spot in the future, I suppose all you need is a little white paint to get even 🙂

(P.S. I taught my mother in law driving, you can read about it here.)

我最近在北京出差的时候,我周末有一点儿时间。我决定去看一看北京798艺术区。798真得很棒!它有很多小工作室。我最喜欢的工作室是Hyundai美术馆。里面有一张大照片。这张照片有一个大山和一条小路。在这条路上,有一辆车。这辆车在一个白色的圆圈里面。我在想-这是什么?

我读了艺术家的描述。艺术家说:这张照片关于无人驾驶汽车和环境的关系。自动汽车真的不太聪明。它只知道如果遇到了这种情况应该怎么做。例如如果自动汽车遇到了一条白线,它就知道不应该去。因此,如果你在自动汽车周围画圆圈,它会被困住。很有意思的方法!

在未来如果有人偷你的停车位,我想你只需要一点儿白色的油漆就可以扯平了。

(我叫了我的岳母开车,在我的博客上可以了解多一点。)

http://jamesbridle.com/works/autonomous-trap-001

Having a Dragon by the tail

Blog post #9

2-22-18

Having the dragon by the tail!

Happy new year!  Welcome to the year of the dog for 2018 in the Chinese lunar new year.  Our children participate in our local Chinese school – the Hua Xia Chinese school.  This year we were much more involved in the New Years gala.  Our kids had some dancing and singing performances.  There was also a Chinese dragon dance to open the show and the school needed volunteers because there were not enough people to hold it up.  My sister was visiting town and so we both volunteered to help carry the dragon.  We were the last two to join, so we were the tail of the dragon.  Our task was to run around the stage making big circles and stop, wave the dragon, and run around some more.  We quickly realized that the tail end has to run the fastest and turn the sharpest corners.  It was fun but a bit difficult to keep up.  Other than that it was pretty easy – you just do what the person in front of you is doing.  If I get to try it again, I would love to practice crossing the dragon over on itself and other moves.  Maybe next year.

新年快乐!欢迎狗年。二零十八是一只狗在中国月亮日历。我们孩子们参加我们城市的中文学校。它叫了华夏中文学校。今年我们都参加学校的新年节日。孩子们俩有跳舞表演,女儿唱了一个好可爱的歌曲。学校也要中国龙舞但人不过,他们还要两大人。其实我的妹妹已经打算来我们城市看看我们。我和我的妹妹自愿参加。我们是第两最后的自愿所以我们是龙的尾巴。我们的责任是跑一圈,然后停,然后把龙一边到一边。我们的责任是容易,但龙尾巴需要跑步非常快。除了这个,一共龙舞很好玩儿!

如果他们明年需要帮忙,我要帮助他们多一点。例如,我们可能跳的多一点复杂。

Teaching mother in law how to drive, part #2

Blog #8 Feb 11, 2018

If you haven’t read, make sure to start with:

Teaching mother-in-law how to drive, part #1

When we saw the police car, I wanted to tell Mom how to roll down the window. Here is one detail – on this car were driving, the windows are very dark black. The tint is actually limousine tint, which is illegal because police cannot see in. I am thinking about this, and all of the police shootings in the news recently.  And we have been driving around the bank. I cannot get Mom to roll down the window as the police starts to approach the door. I made the decision to open my door to speak to the police officer. This can be quite dangerous in the US, the police officer may think you are trying to attack or run away, you should always stay in the car and not make any sudden movements. I had been jumping around inside the car trying to reach the window, the police can’t see inside.

So I took a deep breath and opened the door, making sure to hold up my hands above my head when I said “heeeelllloooooo there!” “we are just doing some driving lessons”.

Then he smiled, relaxed and said, “oh, OK.”

He told us no problem, but that someone had called in to report suspicious driving. We chatted a bit and then he told us to please continue with the practice. He pulled off to the side and a second police cars arrived to the parking lot. We had a lot of police supervision, maybe the safest driving lesson ever. For the next lesson, we found a new parking lot to practice in and never returned to the bank again.

我们看警车的时候,我告诉妈妈停车,然后打开窗户。在美国,如果一个警车在你的后面以后,你就需要停车,打开窗户,等在你的车子里面。但是,我的岳母开不了窗户。警察离开他的车开始来看我们车。岳母还开不了窗户我很紧张。一个小细节,我们的汽车窗户都是很黑色的。从外面不能看里面。其实,这是非法的。我们这的看起来像银行劫匪。我也值得在美国现在有恨多警察枪杀人。我真的越来越非常紧张。

我决定打开我的乘客门。我先脱掉我的手套,然后开我的门,放我的手在我的头上面。我说“你好啊啊啊啊啊啊”微笑着,挥舞着你好。

警察看我,然后他放松了和我也放松了。我告诉他我较我的岳母开车。我们聊天儿一点,然后他说,“你可以恢复教学”。五分钟后,第二辆警车多来所以我们真的有地最安全的开车课。我们快一点完成了课。我们再没有回到这个停车管。

Teaching mother-in-law how to drive, part #1

Blog #7

Feb 8, 2018

In 2016, my wife and I set a New Years resolution to teach my mother in law how to drive. I have pretty good relationship with my mother in law who lives with us. She is about 60 years old, and had never before driven a car nor could she speak or read English. So, this was a big job, but something we really wanted to do to improve her quality of life living with us here in the US.

Every weekend we would practice using parking lots near my house. There was one big parking lot with several offices all connected. One Sunday, we were driving from the day care on one side all the way to loop around the bank in the other side. The bank had some very narrow lanes around the backside which made for good practice. Daycare to bank. Bank to daycare. Back and forth we drove. Perhaps around the third or fourth loop around the bank I though – we probably look like criminals casing the bank. Shortly after that, we were practicing parking into parking spots when a police car suddenly came rushing up behind us…

在2016上我和妻子决定我们要教我的岳母开车。我和我的岳母的关系是很好,她住在我们的家里。她差不多六十岁,以前没有开过车,看不懂英文,听不懂英文。所以这是一个很大的工作。但是我们要做这个因为可能提高她在美国的生活质量。

每一个星期天我们联系开车。我们本来用一个大的停车场。那个停车场有很多不同的店都在一起。一边有一育儿园另一边有一家银行。

我们在停车场里从一边的育儿园开始,到另一边的银行来回开。那家银行的后面有很窄的路,很好练习。然后,回来育儿园。来回开了三四次以后,我觉得我们看起来像两个小偷。看起来像抢银行。一会儿后,我们在联系停车。突然一辆警车马上到了在我们后面。