I did my first useful bit of translation last night - redirect instructions to the new ubuntuwomen.org wiki in Chinese. I showed it to my grandmother for checking before I hit the "Save" button, and she read it and said it sounded correct but what in the world was Ubuntu and what did I mean it had relocated? So I ended up translating from/to three languages; Mandarin, English, and (as Chris would say) Bahasa Geek.
Yeah, I know I am way too excited over the "I can speak Chinese!" thing. I daresay my family's getting tired of me trying to translate every Chinese-language sign we walk by, carrying a dictionary in my pocket, etc but I'm just amazed at being able to understand - it reminds me of being a kid and reading about something new in physics (or whatever) and running around excitedly going "and-and-and does the magnet stick to this? YEAH!" (Sometimes this led to "and does the
I also did my first semi-extended bout of translation on my grandfather's eulogy (which had actually been delivered by my dad in English, then translated into Chinese - I wanted to see how well I could do in porting it back to English). It matched up reasonably well, aside from the idioms I wasn't familiar with. I think I'm ready to try something with no English language equivalent now. Armed with the power of Dictionary, that is; my vocabulary is still forlornly small.
Yesterday's dinner was a family favorite - lumpia. It's the Chinese equivalent of a burrito. Take a lumpia wrapper (much, much thinner than a tortilla) and put a lettuce leaf on top so it won't get soggy. Put shredded vegetables, top with a mixture of sugared peanuts and seaweed with white crackers, roll, and eat. Here's a lumpia before wrapping, followed by my Ama (paternal grandmother) demonstrating correct eating technique.