567 reputation
314
bio website eternalephemeron.blogspot.com
location Toronto, Canada
age 36
visits member for 3 years
seen Dec 19 at 3:00

I'm a software developer working on a social-networking site. I work mainly in J2EE, SQL, HTML, JavaScript and CSS. My free time is spent raising a daughter and a son and indoctrinating them in the cult of Lego.


Dec
19
comment How to describe differences between Cantonese and Mandarin?
@Zannjaminderson jogloran's explanation merely serves to underscore that Cantonese and Mandarin are, essentially, different languages, as different as Portuguese and Spanish or Italian. Comparing them to American English vs British English doesn't go nearly far enough. Americans understand Brits and vice versa, but Cantonese speakers and Mandarin speakers may as well be different species.
Nov
12
awarded  Informed
Sep
23
awarded  Commentator
Sep
23
comment What is the difference between 作 and 做?
Can you summarize, or at least provide a few relevant points from the article, please? Link-only answers are subject to link-rot.
Jun
18
awarded  Nice Answer
May
8
comment How to describe differences between Cantonese and Mandarin?
I don't think it's correct to claim that every syllable has a distinct meaning. There are lots of characters that are pronounced the same way as other characters. In writing they appear different (except when they don't: see 干). In speaking, only context, or the formation of words with multiple syllables can disambiguate. And even when you know the character and its supposed stand-alone meaning, you still might not be able to understand the word that's formed. (As David Moser wrote: in English, knowing the words "up" and "tight" doesn't mean you know the word "uptight").
Dec
13
awarded  Yearling
Aug
25
comment Why is stroke order important when writing Chinese characters?
@ColinMcLarty Just because your phone's software is unable to recognize arbitrary stroke orders doesn't mean it shouldn't. Don't blame me if your software forces you to memorize stuff you shouldn't have to.
Dec
13
awarded  Yearling
May
7
awarded  Scholar
May
7
accepted What is the difference between 作 and 做?
Feb
22
awarded  Critic
Jan
7
comment Is any simplified character also a traditional character?
@Huang: I can understand if there are guidelines, etc. But from a North American perspective, if people want to write confusing, ambiguous text, that's perfectly fine.
Jan
7
comment Why is stroke order important when writing Chinese characters?
If a computer requires the operator to memorize pointless lists of facts (such as stroke orders for thousands of characters) then the computer isn't doing its job properly.
Jan
7
comment Why is stroke order important when writing Chinese characters?
@Alenanno: Don't misunderstand me, I noticed that your answer was referencing a book, so I get it if people believe that stroke order is somehow correlated with "literacy". I just think that's insane, that's all. :)
Jan
6
comment Is any simplified character also a traditional character?
I find it extremely hilarious that mixing simplified and traditional characters is prohibited by law.
Jan
6
comment Why is stroke order important when writing Chinese characters?
@Alenanno: No, I'm talking about stroke order. It's mostly invisible after the character is on paper and thus if other people consider me to be illiterate because I write my characters differently than they do, then I consider their opinion of me to be baseless, false, and worthless, and offensive. If I produce a legible, correct character, who cares what order I wrote the strokes in?
Jan
6
comment Why is stroke order important when writing Chinese characters?
If someone can write a character from memory when they need to, wouldn't that be a sign of LITERACY instead of illiteracy (because the stroke order is "wrong")? Sheesh, what a pointless, snobby rule! The first sign of illiteracy is when someone can't read, not when their handwriting is bad. Honestly that notion offends me so much I feel like I should learn an incorrect stroke order for every character just to stick it to the snobs who feel it's intrinsically important.
Dec
21
awarded  Beta
Dec
20
revised Tips for pronouncing X vs SH in Mandarin?
Edited the question because it's really asking about sh and not s