Don’t Be A Choosy Language Learner

Translation is always in the back of my mind, so I’m always thinking: How would I say this in Chinese? or How would I say this in English? And sometimes the strangest things strike my interest. This time, they’re the phrases in an article on balding and hair loss.

Language is ever-changing, and a good linguist–translator or interpreter–always finds ways to expand her vocabulary. There are topics or occurrences in our daily lives that we don’t always think are important enough to further explore, when actually, anything can be a learning experience. Don’t discriminate against odd subjects!

Okay, so let’s get into the hair loss/ baldness vocabulary from the article I read on udn.com, a Taiwanese online news source.

Language Learning Odd Topics

  1. 頭髮 (tóufa)- hair (on the head). 頭: head; 髮: hair (on the head).
  2. 髮線 (fàxiàn)- hairline. 髮: hair (on the head). 線: line.
  3. 禿頭 tūtóu- baldness.
  4. 雄性禿 xióngxìng tū- male pattern baldness. 雄性: male. 禿: bald(ness).
  5. 額髮線後退 (é fàxiàn hòutuì)- receding hairline. 額: forehead. 額髮線: forelock. 後退: to go back.
  6. 促進生髮的藥物 (cùjìn shēngfà de yàowù)- medication that promotes hair growth. 促進: promote. 生: grow. 髮: hair. 藥物: drug, medicine.
  7. 電燈泡 (diàndēngpào) 電火球仔 dian hui chu ah>- lightbulb. Used to describe a completely bald head. Note: Another usage for 電燈泡 (diàndēngpào) is what American English terms “third wheel.”
  8. 植髮中心 (zhífà zhōngxīn)- center for hair transplants. 植: to plant. 髮: hair. 中心: center.
  9. 急性休止期落髮 (jíxìng xiūzhǐqī luòfà)- acute telogen effluvium. Hair loss caused by illnesses. 急性: acute.
  10. 圓禿 (yuántū) or 鬼剃頭 (guǐtìtóu)- alopecia areata, also known as spot baldness. 圓: round, circle. 禿: baldness. 鬼: ghost. 剃頭: to shave one’s head. 鬼剃頭 is the colloquial usage.
  11. 假髮 (jiǎfà)- wig. 假: fake; 髮: hair.
  12. 生髮水 (shēngfàshuǐ)- hair regrowth tonic. 生: grow. 髮: hair. 水: water, solution.

Side note, have you heard that washing your hair every day isn’t good for you and may lead to hair loss? That actually isn’t always the case. We should actually wash our hair and scalp regularly to avoid clogged hair follicles, which can lead to more hair loss.

Hope you learned something today!

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2 thoughts on “Don’t Be A Choosy Language Learner

  1. becomingatranslator says:

    I know how you feel. I will leave a meeting and find myself thinking about one word or phrase for hours. Or I will be studying and think “when will I ever need to use this word?” but then someone will use it in a meeting the next day.

    I work in house as an interpreter/translator. While that means that my specialty is pretty well defined, you still never know what people will want to talk about. It’s good to study everything.

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