Words I Never Thought I’d Understand the First Time I Heard Them Posted by Transparent Language on Dec 13, 2009 in Vocabulary
Below is a list of words that I never thought I’d end up hearing or speaking.
摩丝码 – (mo2si1ma3) – morse code. I would not have understood this word if it were not for the context. Understanding 码 as “code” when it is connected to other words can be very helpful. If someone has a 解码器 (jie2(3)ma3qi4) – decoder, they can properly view downloaded videos. If you want to 打破密码 (da3po4mi4ma3), or “break a code” then that’s the word you would use.
信号 – (xin4hao4) – service/signal. Whenever your cellphone has (or does not have) service, you can say 有/没有信号. The way that people refer to the number of bars of service their cellphone is displaying is by using the word 根 (gen1) – stick. 我有三根信号 (“I have 3 bars of service”).
提现 – (ti2xian4) – withdraw cash. Usually 提 can be used for “withdraw”, and 现 can be used for cash. Also along these lines, 兑现 (dui4xian4) can mean to convert something (such as checks or casino chips) into cash.
后现代主义 – hou4xian4dai4zhu3yi4 – post-modernism. 后现代主义. This term only made sense in context, but you can break it down into its component terms. 后 can often be taken to mean “post” such as in 博士后 (bo2shi4hou4) – postdoc. 现代 can be used to mean “modern” (also the auto brand Hyundai). 主义 can be taken to mean “-ism” such as 资本主义 (zi1ben3zhu3yi4 – capitalism).