Tree Lazies in the Mist

In honor of my husband and my onward assignment–our next post will be in South America, near the Amazon Rain Forest!–our Chinese teacher used this week’s class to teach us some related vocabulary. Some of the terms were intriguing, even charming:

yǔ lín (雨林) – Rain Forest

shù lǎn (树懒) – Sloth (the Chinese literally means “tree lazy,” which is adorable and accurate. This my favorite vocab term since I discovered the German word for raccoon: Waschbär, or “washing bear.” You know, because they wash their little faces with both hands?)

But then our lesson took a slightly darker turn:

è yú (鳄鱼) – Crocodile (or “hungry fish”)

shí rén yú (食人鱼)- Piranha (the Chinese literally translates as “eat man fish”)

wén zi (蚊子) – Mesquito

dēng gé rè (登革热) – Dengue Fever

wēi xiǎn (危险) – Dangerous

A sane person might have begun feeling a touch trepidatious at that point–might even have begun reconsidering their move to a locale that could inspire such vocabulary.

Me? I just gave a mental shrug and thought, “Eh? Why not?”

I guess that means I’m officially adapting to Foreign Service life.

*Adorable sloth photo courtesy of Flickr, Wikimedia Commons

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