Know Your Picture Characters Entry #95

April 4th, 2012 by Wordsman

A. 北京 B. 广州 C. 香港 D. 上海 E. 深圳 F. 天津

April Fool’s!  You were expecting this on Monday, weren’t you?  And you thought that This Day in History would appear on Wednesday, because that’s what I said it would do from now on.  Boy, I sure fooled you!  (By the way, this is totally something I had planned entirely in advance, and not at all an excuse I am making up on the spot to justify a rather large amount of forgetfulness on my part.  And hey, only one person responded to last week’s challenge, so I’m not the only forgetful one around here.  But I’m sure you all probably had better reasons for not getting to it than I do for not doing my job.)

Ahem.  Anyway, as a continuation of the “joke,” TDiH may continue to appear on Tuesdays for the rest of the month.  KYPC should hopefully go back to Mondays, though.  Hopefully.

But that’s enough of bureaucracy.  Let’s get to the characters.  Since Theoman was the only one to attempt the challenge this week, we will get to focus on him, taking apart every one of his errors in excruciating detail.  No, no, Theoman, you don’t have to thank me.

Theoman actually recognized a character in A.  Unfortunately, he recognized the wrong one.  While a greater knowledge of Chinese geography may have helped him to interpret the meaning of the “north” there, the clues I provided should have been enough to get him there if he knew the second one.  He may have recognized it as also appearing in Tokyo, but I don’t think he recalled its meaning: capital.  That’s right, this is Beijing, which is in fact located in northern China, for what little good that did you.  In the future, you can probably find maps of China that don’t have characters on them, but man, Google is so much easier.

Guangzhou and Hong Kong have been reversed (in reality they are B and C, respectively).  So Theoman was close on these two.  And, for that matter, Guangzhou and Hong Kong are themselves pretty close to each other (unlike you participants, I have no need to submit to any kind of map taboos).  But he came even closer on the next one.  Defying all logic, his attempt to make an interlingual pun was entirely successful: D is Shanghai (literally, it is “above the sea”).  Based on this success, I hope he continues to use this sort of strategy in the future; even if it’s not correct (which it probably won’t be), it should be good for laughs.

His correct identification of F as Tianjin, on the other hand, was entirely logical and therefore boring.  That first character, meaning “sky” or “heaven,” is pronounced “ten” in Japanese and “tian” in Chinese.  But, as I’m sure you all can guess, this strategy won’t save you all the time.  For example, if we used the more standard Japanese pronunciations of the characters in A (Beijing), it would come out sounding something like “hokkyou.”  But, because this is a famous place, there is a special irregular reading for this word, so it comes out as “pekin.”  Remember when Beijing was called Peking?  I know you guys were there.  We ate all that duck?  Man, good times.

Maybe the reason for the limited participation last time around was geography.  Maybe geography’s not as popular as I thought it was (read: “as it should be”).  But I know something that is: food.  Also, I have a special announcement: this week’s puzzle was put together not by the Wordsman but by his lovely assistant.  His lovely assistant has the advantage of actually knowing Chinese characters (that is, as they are used in China; hanzi as opposed to kanji); the Wordsman, of course, simply dinks around on the internet and pretends that he does.  He probably would have no idea that the following words mean sandwich, waffle, ice cream, cheesecake, hot and sour soup, potstickers, and tilapia.

Now, this list of foods may seem somewhat random at first, but there’s method to the madness.  The Wordsman’s lovely assistant is quite smart, after all.  She’s also–have I mentioned this yet?–lovely.

A. 芝士蛋糕 B. 酸辣湯 C. 冰淇淋 D. 鍋貼 E. 三明治 F. 罗非鱼 G. 華夫餅

Posted in Know Your Picture Characters | 4 Comments »

4 Responses

  1. TheomanZero Says:

    Oh boy. Here goes:
    A. Waffles: This contains a character that means “earth” (or possibly it’s that character that looks like the one that means “earth” but is actually totally different), and waffles are kind of earthy?
    B. Ice Cream: Um . . . the first character kind of looks like a freezer?
    C. Tilapia: I think I see the character for “water” in there, and fish live in water.
    D. Potstickers: These are a pretty common Chinese food, and this answer only has two characters.
    E. Sandwich: There are three lines at the beginning, for two pieces of bread with something between them.
    F. Hot and Sour Soup: The first character is kind of pointy, like “hot”, and the second character is kind of bristly, like “sour”, and the third character sort of looks like a bowl with a spoon in it.
    G. Cheesecake: I have no friggin’ idea.

  2. A(nother) Fan Says:

    This isn’t my actual answer (which I’ll try to get in this weekend), but, apropos of the holiday, did you know that tilapia are sometimes called “St. Peter’s fish,” and that they are actually found in the Sea of Galilee?

    Also, (and perhaps somewhat off the subject), did you know there really were things called “dire wolves.” George R. R. Martin did not just toally make them up.

    I love Wikipedia!

  3. Shirley Says:

    If W.W. doesn’t know much about hanzi, how can an ancient, insular, small town provincial like me be expected to answer this puzzle? Obviously, she can’t. So I expect the lovely smart assistant to be tolerant when judging my answers. So, here goes:

    A. Hot and sour soup. The longest hanzi and it has 4 figures, corresponding to the 4 words in the name,

    B. Pot stickers. It just looks like pot stickers.

    C. Tilapia. The little man in the first figure is fishing for the two tilapia.

    D. Cheesecake. Most cheesecakes are sort of dense, like the hanzi.

    E. Ice cream. It looks cold.

    F. Waffle. There is a waffle- looking thing at the end and it is covered with syrup.

    G. Tell me the little man between the pieces of bread isn’t going to be eaten by some giant carnivore. Please tell me.

  4. A(nother) Fan Says:

    A. Ice cream, because ice cream should always come first.

    B. Tilapia, because today is Easter, and the tilapia is “St. Peter’s Fish.”

    C. Hot and Sour Soup, hopefully with mushrooms (but maybe also ham).

    D. Waffles. Totally looks like a waffle iron, depicted in a couple of different ways.

    E. Sandwich. See Theoman’s answer. I think he nailed this one.

    F. Potstickers. Process of elimination.

    G. Cheesecake. This is the French version of cheesecake. note the Eiffel Tower in the characters.

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