Mooncakes and the Mid-Autumn Day Festival

Chinese Mooncake I have to confess, I’m a big fan of mooncakes! For those of you who don’t know what’s a mooncake – Mooncake (濿饼; pinyin: yuè bĭng) is a traditional Chinese pastry eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival and it comes in all kinds of shapes, sizes and fillings. It’s nothing like the traditional pastry we are used to, although you will not notice the difference by just looking at it you’ll feel how heavy it is when you take it in your hand. Under the thin pastry crust is a dense and usually sweet filling (the common filling is lotus seed paste) and eating just one of these mooncakes is typically enough for an average person, but you can force some more if consuming them with tea. Oh, and don’t be surprised to find a salty egg yolk inside the cake! It is meant to symbolize the full moon, although I’m not sure why does it have to be salty? Well, if you live in China for some time and you get used to things like pineapple toppings for every type of pizza and sweet and sour sauces, then a salty egg yolk inside a sweet cake should be completely normal.

Mooncakes are probably the main thing during the Mid-Autumn day festival (中秿篿), or at least it is so in my understanding. The Mid-Autumn Festival occurs on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month of the Chinese calendar (which is mid or late September), and this year it falls on this Sunday, September 14th.

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BabelFish now redirects to Yahoo!

Babelfish on Yahoo!A few days ago my favorite on-line translation tool – Babelfish from http://babelfish.altavista.com changed the address from Altavista to Yahoo, now it is automatically redirected to http://babelfish.yahoo.com. The change happened when I was translating something and was quite surprised to see the result for my translation on Yahoo and not on Altavista.

I’ve been using Babelfish powered by Systran for years now and not only that it became my favorite translation tool, but something I use on a daily basis. Wherever I need a translation from Chinese or Korean, to French, Spanish or German – that’s the place to go. Of course in order to get more accurate translation it is advised to use shorter sentiences and use no abbreviations. The Chinese translation is just great, often very accurate when translating from English to Chinese (you’ve got two options – Chinese-Simplified and Chinese-Traditional) and understandable when translating from Chinese to English. But sometimes it’s just ridiculously amusing. Me experience with Korean using Babelfish wasn’t that good, most of the time Koreans will say you sound like an alien, I mean it will still make sense, but rather be difficult to understand and it is something non-comprehensive when translating from Korean most of the time. It works fine when translating to/from French and Spanish though, and Japanese translation is also quite good. You can translate from Russian as well, but I don’t really need it (only from Russian to English available), other languages as Dutch, Greek, Italian and Portuguese also available. Now, since it moved to Yahoo! they also offer a translation from Chinese Simplified to Chinese Traditional and vice versa – I wonder how often does somebody actually uses that?

Anyway, the Babelfish is no longer on Altavista. Babelfish was bought by Overture when they acquired Altavista and Yahoo! became the owner of both when they bought Overture. So it goes like this: Bebelfish –> Altavista –> Overture –> Yahoo!
Will it go further –> Microsoft? I’m actually glad that Microsoft did not acquire Yahoo, every company or brand with a Microsoft touch is spoiled in the end (take Hotmail for example). The only thing that keeps Microsoft in tops is the operational system they rely on and the American market where things like msn.com and live.com are still popular.

P.S.: Do you know that the name for Babelfish on-line translation comes from a fictional species fish from “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” series by Douglas Adams. For more check on wikipedia:

if you stick a Babel fish in your ear you can instantly understand anything said to you in any form of language.

Află care îţi este numele în Japoneză, Chineză şi alte limbi.

Presupun că deja aţi aflat care vă este numele brazilian? În caz că nu aţi dat de articolul precedent vă reamintesc unde îl puteţi afla – BrazilName.

Acuma a venit timpul sa aflaţi cum vă sună numele în japoneză!
Asta chiar mi-a plăcut! Al meu sună destul de bine: “Serujiu Tsurukanu”. de pe urban75.

Ştiţi cu toţii probabil că inscripţiile japoneze se bazează pe 3 seturi de caractere: hiragana, katakana şi kanji. Primele două au derivat din kanji şi sunt reprezentări de sunete. Kanji sunt caracterele chineze de fapt care nu se prea deosebesc nici azi de “traditional chinese”.
Aici puteţi auzi şi vedea inscripţia în Katakana a numelui domniilor voastre – Japanese Name Translation.

numele meu in Katakana

Read moreAflă care îţi este numele în Japoneză, Chineză şi alte limbi.