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发展汉语,高级口语(I) has this problem (page 24):

比较你们国家和中国对颜色、数字的看法

It translates to something like:

Compare your country and China's opinions on colors and numbers

I'm confused about what it's asking me to compare. For the question to make sense, I'll assume 你们国家 refers to Australia (where I was born). So it seems I supposed to compare the "opinions" = 看法 on "colors" = 颜色 (race? scenery? artwork?) and "numbers" = 数字 (population? numerology?) of Australia and China, but I don't really understand.

Question: How can I compare two country's opinions on "colors" and "numbers"?

  • Opinion on color: White is associate with mourning (funeral); red is associate with celebration (marriage) – Tang Ho Apr 5 at 4:24
  • Opinions on number: 4 is an unlucky number because it sounds like "dead' in Chinese – Tang Ho Apr 5 at 4:24
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for colour, compare people’s perception of the colour white, black & red.

eg. in the context of funeral, chinese were/are in white colour (traditionally were, i’m not sure the situation in “that area” now; at least, in macau, taiwan & hong kong, we follow this custom); while in australia, people wear black costume.

the ceremony of marriage, bridal gowns are in white (in australia), while it’s equivalent in chinese, these’re in red colour.

again, the colour of red, chinese would perceive it as “happiness”; well, in australia (actually in most cultures), red implied danger.

if you dare, you may quote the sample of pedestrian lights, the “red man” means stop, don’t cross, universally.

about number:

again, in occidental cultres, the number of seven (7) and thirteen (13) have special meaning.

such as friday 13th, it’s considered an unlucky day in western superstition.

however, in chinese view, to know a day is “unlucky” or not, most people need to consult the “folk almanac” (通勝). (it’s an extremely complicated calculation of yin yang & five elements; beyond average knowledge of laymen.)

just a reminder: in communist’s point of view, suitable for / incompatible (宜忌)or choosing a date (擇日) is superstitious. beware, don’t talk too much :)

for the number of seven (7), find it yourself :)

have fun :)

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