Friday, 28 August 2009

Goodbye Goodnight

Two and a half months living on the bank of the Murray river has come to an end. We've picked the last bin of oranges and pruined the last grapevine. The stonefruit trees are blossoming and some of the vines in the district are stirring from their winter sleep. Now it's time for a break. Next week Jen flies to Taiwan to spend time with her family, and I'll be doing a little travelling, to New Zealand, Taiwan, Czech Republic, Austria and Switzerland. It's perhaps a good time to leave, the weather is getting warmer, and in this part of the world a hot day can nudge 50 C or 122 F. The mosquitos are becoming braver and the barley grass is drying and will soon be embedded in socks and trousers.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Chinglish Part Twenty - Do It Yourself

It's been some time since my last Chinglish post, in fact any posting has been intermittent of late, we've been busy picking navel oranges and pruining wine grapevines. Jenny has been more diligent with our G&J blog, but it's for the most part all in Chinese for the benefit of our friends in Taiwan, and if your computer isn't set up for Chinese characters then all you'll see is a screen of oblongs, question marks or absolute jibberish, and if your computer is able to display Chinese characters, unless you are able to read them they might as well be oblongs or otherwise....... Just for a laugh I put part of her last post into one of the free online computer translators which are available,you just copy and paste the Chinese (or other language) text in one box, clickety click, and some english appears in the box below. Translating written Chinese into English is difficult at the best of times (believe me I know, although it's very good at improving your skills with a Chinese-English (as opposed to an English-Chinese) dictionary), hence the proliferation of Chinglish. Automated translation programs have obviously a long long way to go in their development. At present they seem to only make direct translations of the words or characters, and are unable to make allowances for differences in sentence structure.Below is the result of my experiment, which you may find amusing. It also explains a little of what we've been getting up to here in Goodnight. Actually the more I read it the more I like it - it fits into my Mandarin "mind" or "way of thinking", which sometimes can be quite poetic and beautiful, but at other times vexing, like bashing my head against bricks, and sometimes makes me wish I had taken on a second language as a child, but if I had I would not be where I am now,and where I am now is where I want to be, so it's all grand. Language is an amazing thing, but it can also be a kind of prison, especially when you posess only one, and one which is very localised and full of local colloqualisms loaded with meaning only for you and your contemporaries (this is tolerable for conversation, but can inhibit thought). Not only that - if I could speak Chinglish, this is very much what I would like to say........

Enters and is stationed in to this beautiful Goodnight small town already more than two months, with the outside exchange tool, (does not have signal nearby) besides side handset, (most time only receives Chinese and Indian Broadcasting station) with a 70's two short wave receiver, standard portable computer, although is unable to make something a matter of political line, but should also be enables us slightly with on the time footsteps! Few days ago, the orange recovery completed, starts to prune the vineyard the vine; This near 25 hectare farm, probably some 90% area is plants the Australian Big Brewery fermentation red and white liquor the grape. Compares, puts together the physical strength to pick the fruit work, comes with the trim grape vine compared to, the latter compares has the technical nature relatively, the step also relaxes many.Afternoon 4 o'clock put down work, strolls to turn back nearby the river valley farmhouse hut, detours sedulously to the big river bank nearby; Is willful walks in this piece of cover green forest footpath, the idle few person mark footpath disperses the intimidated Paris green grass, between the lawn is emitting many orange florets; In woods colorful parrot, unique melody of an aria magpie and mischievous willy wag-tail (All is the Australian primary birds), really many too numerous to cite individually….A small crowd of emerald lawn parrot. Really was fine spring day Ye ~ spring already does not have the sound to meet!Right front a veteran, some 2 huge kookaburra bird, the calm and steady seat on the treetop, leisurely and carefree the Mo stranger who sizes up my this outside areas to come…The kookaburra cry is extremely distant brightly, sounds apes and monkeys on likely the wooded mountain between! The native 暱 is called rain bird (rain bird), the fable kookaburra cry gets up, after three days can under the rain come! (Did not know in network meteorological observatory whether by chance refers to this ancient fable) nearly to lose quietly in this piece by the human put behind in the life plentiful woods, this rare experience, as if lets me be humbler at present to the life experience and the respect.Was pondering the body for modern people's we, wants individual image, to open anxiously in public's platform, longed for seeks does with the world big stage shares and links ~ is the experience share? Satisfies the desire which the human nature performance or steals peeps? Has the demarcation line? Demarcation line in where? Let us for the time being these no matter is real, perhaps or the hypothesized image, returns to primitively, lays down the final protective line, so only then is possible truely to be frank the comfortable life.