Language Quiz


Here’s to test your sense of abstract thinking.

When it comes to language learning, this is one of my favorite parts about Chinese.

You put two seemingly unrelated words together, and suddenly they have a distinct clear meaning.

My favorite word so far is Dong xi, which literally means “east west”.

In fact, the term means “stuff.”

Those things strewn from one end of the globe, or room, or city, or store, to another.

Really, from east to west.

I just love it!

Humor me and nod your head if you agree that this is a linguistically illuminary moment for you too.

Ok, here’s a few more examples to test your sense of abstract thinking:

I will list the word and its literal meaning, then you try to figure out the definition, or actual meaning .

1)  Zai jian = again   meet

2) Yi yuan = medicine   courtyard

3) qian wan bie = one-thousand   ten-thousand  don’t

4) ren shan ren hai = person(s) mountain person(s) ocean

5) kou xiang tang = mouth tasty sugar

6) la douzi = to pull    abdomen

7) laji shi pin = garbage food stuffs

8) gong yuan = public garden (I always think of “make way for ducklings”, a favorite book at our house)

9) kou shui = mouth water

10) e si = hunger death


1) Good bye, see you later

2) Hospital

3) PLEEASE don’t (a thousand million times…)

4) A very crowded place (a mountain of people, an ocean of people)

5) Chewing gum

6)  Diarrhea (enough said–“pull” is an apt description)

7) Junk food

8) Park

9) Saliva

10) I’m starving (not literally as much as figuratively)


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