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Energy Saving Mode: ON

I saw this on a person’s shirt:

I’m not lazy, I’m just on energy saving mode.

For the last few days, I have been on energy saving mode. Other than not writing any posts, my life continues. I actually have done more reading and resting for the past week. 

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There is a Chinese idiom that can be used for this situation: 休息是为了走更长的路。

休息 = rest

是 = is (verb-to-be)

为了 = in order to

走 = walk / travel

更长的路 = a longer way


休息是为了走更长的路 means people should take a break to travel a longer journey. If you keep walking or travelling without a break, you may get exhausted. In learning or working, we need to take a break once in a while, so that we can make a review of what we have achieved, what we could have done better and what is our next course of action. Even Sleeping Beauty sleeps to wait for the love of her life. 

The equivalent English idiom is “After dinner sit a while, after supper walk a mile.” There are also other equivalent Chinese idioms, for example: 休息是为了走更远的路 (to travel further) and 休息是为了走更长远的路 (to travel longer and further).




Have you had enough rest? Yes, rest does not mean you are lazy, it just means you are on energy saving mode. The energy saved will be used for more productive applications.

Learn Chinese Language From a Song — 爱就一个字

爱就一个字 is a touching love song. Though it is a love song, it is the theme song for 宝莲灯 (Lotus Lantern), which is based on the love between a mother and a child. The lyrics is simple and keep repeating. The big picture of the song is a boy (the child) uses his love, action and persistence to find his mother.

张信哲 (Jeff Chang) sings the song. He is the Prince of Love Songs (情歌王子). Thus, a song sang by the Prince of Love Songs is inevitably a touching song.

Disclaimer: The lyrics of the song is for learning purpose.


曲:Jean-Michel Ou

拨开天空的乌云 像蓝丝绒一样美丽

我为你翻山越岭 却无心看风景

我想你 身不由己 每个念头有新的梦境

但愿你没忘记 我永远保护你

不管风雨的打击 全心全意

# 两个人相互辉映 光芒胜过夜晚繁星

我为你翻山越岭 却无心看风景

我想你     鼓足勇气 凭爱的地图散播讯息

但愿你没忘记 我永远保护你


% 爱就一个字 我只说一次


承诺一辈子   守住了坚持


* 爱就一个字 我只说一次


任时光飞驰   搜索你的影子


Repeat # % * % *


Chinese Language Learning Corner

  • 天空 — sky
  • 乌云 — dark cloud
  • 蓝丝绒 — blue velvet
  • 美丽 — beautiful
  • 翻山越岭 — climb over mountains
  • 无心看风景 — not in the mood to enjoy the scenery (because I have an important mission)
  • 我想你 — I miss you
  • 但愿 — hopefully
  • 忘记 — forget
  • 永远 — forever
  • 保护 — protect
  • 全心全意 — wholeheartedly
  • 爱就一个字 我只说一次 — Love is a word (就 is used to emphasize), I only say this once.
  • 你知道我只会用行动表示 — You know that I will only show (my love) with actions

Hope you have learnt some Chinese words while listening to the song. No matter you are singing this song to your parents or your significant other, this song certainly makes them feel loved. Enjoy!

饮料 (Beverages)

After you decide what to eat (rice or noodle), you need to decide what drinks to have. There are many types of beverages available, but you may not get all the choices in the same restaurant.




Chinese Language Learning Corner

  • 饮料 — beverages
  • 冷,热,温 — There are hot and cold beverages. 冷 = cold and 热 = hot. If you want something in between hot and cold, you can use 温, which is warm. “请给我一杯温水。” = Please give me a cup of warm water.
  • 咖啡 — coffee
  • 茶 — tea. Some common tea drinks that you may hear are (a) 绿茶 = green tea, (b) 中国茶 = Chinese tea, (c) 奶茶 = tea with milk, (d) 凉茶 = “cooling” tea, this is herbal tea in general.
  • 薏米 — barley. Barley is famous for its “cooling” effect on the body. Thus, if the restaurant does not have 凉茶, you may want to try your luck at 薏米.
  • 加奶 — 加 = add, 奶 = milk. 咖啡加奶 = coffee with milk. You may notice that coffee with milk and tea with milk are said differently. Though 茶加奶 is correct, we are more used to the term 奶茶.
  • 糖 — sugar. If you want less sugar, you say 少糖. A cup of coffee with milk and less sugar is 咖啡加奶少糖.
  • 口渴 — thirsty. “我口渴了,想喝点水。” = I am thirsty, I want some drinks. 水 is water, but it is also used to refer to any drinks unspecified.
  • 冰 — ice. 咖啡冰 or 冰咖啡 are both acceptable for a cup of coffee with ice.
  • 汁 — juice. As long as the fruits or vegetables can be squeezed into juice, you just add the name of the fruit or vegetable to 汁. (a) 橙汁 = orange juice, (b) 苹果汁 = apple juice, (c) 萝卜汁 = carrot juice
  • 酒 — alcoholic drinks in general


The vocabulary can be used when you want to order a drink. Enjoy the language and the drinks!

Learn Chinese Language From a Song — 碎花

碎花 is a soothing song. You know it when you hear the song. The lyrics is written in a poetic way. Thus, 碎花 is a good song to learn Chinese language for advanced learners. Nonetheless, if you find the lyrics difficult to understand, just sit back and enjoy the song. Learning Chinese language does not have to be difficult.

Similar to 爱不胜防, 碎花 has the ending words that rhyme (垂、吹、归、醉、灰、回、谁). Yet, 碎花 is a sad song in a subtle way because you need to understand the lyrics to know that it is a sad story. A person is waiting for another person that will never come back. We cannot see happy ending at the end of the tunnel.

李偲菘 and 李伟菘 sing the song. They are brothers and both are good at composing songs. You may want to search the song in YouTube by the keywords: 碎花。

Disclaimer: The lyrics of the song is for learning purpose.



一任竹帘深垂 依稀树曳风吹

等待的人最苦 离去的人不归

情浓似酒会醉 一朝心碎如灰

岁月流水不回 幽上眉头是谁

我已经尝遍了 最甜最苦的滋味


你的眼 你的眉 你的笑 你的泪


抓不住 找不回 忘不掉 人憔悴



Chinese Language Learning Corner

  • 碎花 — 碎 means something has broken into pieces. Matching with flowers, 碎花 means a lot (pieces) of flower petals. We also use 碎花 for floral pattern, as in 姐姐穿了一件碎花图案的裙子。(Elder sister is wearing a skirt with floral pattern.)
  • 竹 — bamboo
  • 树 — tree
  • 风吹 — blowing wind
  • 等待的人最苦 — the person who waits is the most miserable
  • 离去的人不归 — the person who has left will not return
  • 谁 — who
  • 我已经尝遍了 — I have tasted
  • 最甜最苦的滋味 — the taste of the sweetest and the most miserable. 滋味 is taste, but it is used for taste of life, not taste of food.
  • 梦见碎花如雨随风飞 — 梦 = dream (verb), 如雨 = like the rain, 随风飞 = flying with the wind. The person dreams of a scene, the flower petals falling down like rain when the wind blows. What does the dream indicate? The person perceives the dream as a sad ending where the person he misses will not return (fall as the flower petals).
  • 你的眼 你的眉 你的笑 你的泪 — Your eyes, your eyebrows, your smile and your tears. It means everything about you.
  • 抓不住 找不回 忘不掉 人憔悴 — Cannot hold it, cannot find it back, cannot forget it, the person is languishing.

The lyrics is beautiful; imagine the time when the flower petals falling down with the wind. Hope you have learnt some Chinese words while listening to the song. Even if you do not understand the lyrics, listen to the soothing tune. Enjoy!

Translation of Phrases

I teach my students to use Chinese language idioms or phrases in their composition so that they can get higher marks. Unfortunately, with their English-speaking family background, most of them can write well in English language but not Chinese language. One of my students even told me that there is no equivalent translation of Chinese language for some common English language phrases. (She wants to translate directly from English language to Chinese language). I want to prove her wrong.

1. 狼吞虎咽 → wolf down

狼 = wolf

虎 = tiger

吞、咽 = swallow

This idiom means someone eats hurriedly and hungrily like a wolf and a tiger.

Example: 他已经一天没有吃东西了,一看到食物就狼吞虎咽地吃完。

He has not been eating for a day; once he sees the food, he wolfs down the food immediately.

2. 一眨眼之间 → in a blink of an eye

一眨眼 = a blink

之间 = in between

This phrase means something happens so quickly that it is done before you realize it.

Example: 妈妈一眨眼之间就煮了一桌晚餐。

Mother prepares the dinner in a blink of an eye.

3. 热锅上的蚂蚁 → like a cat on hot bricks

热锅上 = in the hot pot

蚂蚁 = an ant / ants

This idiom indicates an ant in a hot pot, which means a person is anxious or nervous.

Example: 妹妹失踪了,妈妈急如热锅上的蚂蚁。

The younger sister is missing; the mother is like a cat on hot bricks.

There may be no direct translation between the two languages, but we can try to find similar phrases that have the same meaning. Instead of using Google Translate, we can try Google Search to search the phrase, you may be surprised that there is an equivalent phrase. Are there other phrases or idioms in English language or Chinese language that you find difficult to translate?

母亲节 Mother’s Day


Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May every year. How do you celebrate Mother’s Day?




Chinese Language Learning Corner

来临 — Coming, 来临的星期天 = this coming Sunday

星期天 — Sunday, 星期日 is also used as Sunday

一年一度 — once a year

母亲 — mother, 母亲 is used in formal occasions. 妈妈 is less formal and is normally used in composition or conversations with friends. At home, the least informal 妈 or 马麻 is used.

打算 — plan (to do something)

如何 — how

Queen — 女王、王后


Happy Mother’s Day!


母亲节快乐!Happy Mother’s Day!


My mum, my queen

A Story for a Song — 责任 (The Story)



“你走吧!我不想再见到你。” 小惠哭着说。






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This is a short story inspired by the lyrics of the song 《责任》. When I first heard the song, I imagined the music video would have some strong feelings like love and hatred at the same time and the bang of the door. But the music video does not give me that feeling. Thus, I write my own story for the song. I hope you like both the song and the short story.

A Story for a Song — 责任 (The Song)

张宇 (Phil Chang) is one of the famous singers of my era. Though I have been listening to his songs for some years, I first heard of 责任 recently from a friend’s CD. I fall in love with the song immediately. Subsequently, I search for the lyrics and the music video.

I love sad songs, I love the lyrics and I love the “story” of the song. I want to write a story for this song because the music video does not bring out my feeling towards the lyrics. Before that, let’s look at the lyrics.

Disclaimer: The lyrics of the song is for learning purpose.



我听着妳上了锁     重重靠在门的背后

哭着用力地说     既然去留都错     非要铁心拒绝我

我只跌坐在门口     想像门后妳的反驳

就算爱也足够     毕竟责任太多     怎么才能让妳懂

心里的痛难受     选择的路难走     了解的话没有人肯对我说

想给妳的越多     辜负妳的越多     有谁会知道我承受的折磨

心里的痛难受     选择的路难走     我最爱的妳连眼神都空洞

越在乎的温柔     伤我伤的越重     得到和失去竟都在这个时候


Chinese Language Learning Corner

  • 责任 — responsibility
  • 锁 — lock (verb)
  • 背后 — behind, 门的背后 = behind the door
  • 错 — wrong
  • 拒绝 — reject
  • 想像 — imagine
  • 爱 — love
  • 足够 — sufficient
  • 太多 — too much, 责任太多 = too much responsibility
  • 懂 — understand
  • 心里的痛 — the pain in the heart
  • 选择的路 — the chosen road
  • 了解的话 — the understanding words
  • 折磨 — torturing (noun), 折磨 can also be used as a verb
  • 温柔 — tender, as in love and tender
  • 得到和失去 — obtain and lose

Listen to the song a few times. Do you have a story of your own from the lyrics? Let’s go to my story now!