Margaret Waterman

                                                           - Q. Gen.

I found this useful tool

for decoding Chinese radicals, but didn't quite manage to decode the book title.  siu2
zyu2 zi2 was what I came up with (Cantonese transcription) which turned into "Little
Master", but I don't trust that!                                                       
       Ed Vielmetti

You are really close to the title of the book. It means the same thing, only expressed

BTW is doesn't matter if you use a Cantonese or a Mandarin translator.  All the
dialects of Chinese are written the same. They are just all pronounced differently.  
This is possible since Chinese is baed on pictograms which themselves convey no
phonetic value.

When I was in Taiwan, I watched some soap operas.  I was surprised to find them
closed captioned.  I thought that maybe the deaf-people's lobby had managed to have
that done.  Then I realized that the captions were because many people watching the
show could not unsdertand what the actors were saying, but they could all read the

Suggestion:  Use the tool I give. - Q. Gen.

That was easy, but fun.  Thanks for the pointer to the Chinese translation tool. It will
be very useful.                                                                                     
Brett Payne

N.B.  Hope the puzzle wasn't too easy.  Since I speak and read Chinese to some
extent, I am familiar with "how things go".  In preparing the quiz, I looked at
Chinese proverbs, Chinese monuments, quotes from the Bible and more...but I could
not get any of them to work with the Chinese Notepad translator.  It seems to have a
limited vocabulary.  (It didn't have the character for "There is" or "There are".  You
also had to have a version of the Notepad that could do combinations.  Sometimes
just translating a single word doesn't work.  That's why I picked the Notepad that
converted what you draw into a typed version of the character so you can use it in
Google Translate.

Besides, I wanted everyone to understand that Chinese, like other languages, is not
that hard to learn.  After all there are 2(?) billion children under five that do quite
well at it!        - Q. Gen.

And I think you demonstrated that very well.  Until today, I completely disregarded any
thought of trying to translate from Chinese - it didn't even occur to me as a practical
Brett Payne

What a fun quiz! Thanks for the link to this website. I think I figured it out, although
my calligraphy skills with a mouse are seriously deficient. And a big thank you to                                                                                   Patty Kiker

Now, as for the bonus-bonus question (the closing statement in your e-mail), I can't
make up my mind.  It's something like, 'Enjoy using the Internet' or, 'Enjoy a drink'.  
Either one works for me.                                                                   
Carol Farrant

N.B.  How about just plain "Enjoy!"  - Q. Gen.

Steven Warner played the Little Prince in 1974.  Unless we think of the pilot, the
narrator, as the main character in which case it would be Richard Kiley.   But Bob
Fosse and Gene Wilder stole the show as the snake and the Fox. Ahh...   did you know
that Richard Burton was originally pursued for the role of the narrator?
Nelsen Spickard
My 5-year-old granddaughter Caitlin watches a show on Nichelodeon called "Ni Hao
Kai-lan" all about a little Japanese girl and throughout the show they teach new Japanese
words ... pretty interesting!                                                                
Elaine Hebert

Bonus: The Island - Michael Bay. This was a fun puzzle. Luckily I had some books on
the Chinese language to help
me out.                                                                                             
Carl Blessing

No, the answer to the bonus is not The Island.  Try that link and see if you can
figure it out! - Q. Gen.

I think I should have stayed with my first instinct. When I first saw the character, I
immediately thought “Birds” and that, of course, led to “Alfred Hitchcock”. I looked in
a book of Chinese characters for it. Unfortunately, I used the word on the next
page…which was “Island” and which has a connection. According to the book, “Sea-
birds often nest on mountainous rocks that emerge from the sea. Hence a bird (鳥)
over a mountain (山) gave the concept for island: 島.” (Fun with chinese characters,
the straits times collection 1, The Straits Times, 1980). I was close, but no cigar.
Carl Blessing
I *think* I drew the Chinese characters correctly - it took a little bit to get the hang of
it but it was fun. :)

The name of the book is "The Little Prince" [note: I had to read this one in French class
way back when so I always hear the words "Le Petit Prince" in my head].  It was made
into a movie in 1974 and starred Steven Warner as the little prince.

The other movie is "Bird" from 1988 and directed by Clint Eastwood - one of my fave
actors/directors who turned 81 last week.  Or - I guess it could also be "The Birds",
made in 1963 by Alfred Hitchcock since you said it was well-known?  lol - my Chinese
character drawings were pretty sloppy so hopefully I am close. :)            
Nicole Blank

Actually I had to read it in French too!  Le Petit Prince - I can still hear my teacher
pronouncing it.

Yes you are right about the bonus.  It's funny, but in Chinese they don't have
singular and plural nouns. I forgot about that.  I meant "The Birds" but "Bird"
could also be right.  Plural is usually denoted by using a particle next to the noun.
- Q. Gen.

Glad I at least got the word 'bird' correct.  lol  It took me a long time to draw that
character and kept getting examples that didn't match the quiz one at all.  I thought it
looked like an elephant though. :)                                                          
Nicole Blank
Q1 Classic Book "Little Lord Fauntleroy"
Q2 There have been several movies. Main character assumed Cedric.
1914 - Edward Viner (one of last movies in Kinemacolor)
1921 - Mary Picford (also played his mother)
1936 - Micky Rooney (best known movie)
1980 - Dick Schroder

bonus - Eagle's Claw 1978 martial arts film directed by Lee Tso Nam (who has acted in
quite a few movies)

I tried your suggested web page and couldn't understand it. I found a chinese character
directory at whose radical/stroke look up page
showed the characters by number of strokes. Pick one that looks correct and get it
translated. The book came out as little, royal, child. In the list of best 100 classic
books, "Little Lord Fauntleroy" the only title with little and royal possibilities. The bonus
symbols translated as claw and bird. Googling movie + claw brought up Eagle's Claw.
Since my wife and I have been doing martial arts for a couple of years, I looked no
farther. Very interesting quiz.

Arthur Hartwell

You answer is very interesting!
and the titles were not literal translations, so it was kind of tricky figuring out some of
what they were.
There was one movie that I just could not make sense out of.

So I thought I might have better luck asking her the names of the star in the movie.

The translation of western names has to go by sound.  Also since each sound normally
has four characters associated with it (depending on intonation), when you translate the
name of a person or product, you have some leeway in picking how it is expressed in

For example, 7 Up is written as 7 Happiness (but someone would phonetically read it as
'Chee' (which means seven) and then something that sounds like Up but means
Happiness.  'Bulova' as in bulova watches is translated into three characters that sound
like Bulova but mean something like 'dependable', 'reliable' etc.

The hotel clerk tried to read me the name of the actor in the movie, which was maybe
six characters long. (Sometimes a syllable in English might translate into two characters
in Chinese if the sound is kind of complicated). It took me a while, but I eventually
figured out that she was trying to say 'Schwartzennegger' and the movie was The

Back to Little Lord Fauntleroy.

If this was the answer, the title in Chinese would be more than just three characters.
'Little' would go straight into Chinese as would 'Lord'. But 'Fauntleroy' would be at least
three if not more characters long.

This is a round about way of telling you your answer is fascinating, but  

To use the website I suggested, draw a character on the poad with your mouse.  There
will be several suggestions below in Chinese. Click on the right one. It will appear in the
box to the left.

After you've done this for all three characters in the title of the book, copy and paste
them into Google Translate and see what you come up with.

You will have a big laugh!

Quizmaster General

Corrections to my entry
Q1 The Little Prince by Antoine de Sainte-Exupery
Q2 There were two movies one in 1974 and one in 2005. Steven Warner played the
Little Prince in both pictures.

Using Google to translate the characters gave the two word title Little Prince. Made a

Arthur Hartwell
The Chinese Stroke Counter
submitted by Margaret Paxton
Milene's Alternate Way of Solving the Puzzle
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Quiz #308 Results
Answers to Quiz #308
June 5, 2011
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1.  What is the English name of this classic book?
2.  Who played the main character in the movie and in what year?
Idea for this quiz submitted by Quizmaster Emeritus Daniel E. Jolley.
Bonus:  What is the
English name of this
well-known movie
and who directed it?

If you'd like to use a fun website that can help you translate Chinese into
English, click
Comments from Our Readers
Congratulations to Our Winners!

Brett Payne                Karen Petrus
Margaret Paxton                Patty Kiker                Angel Esparza
Nicole Blank                Tish Olshefski
Joshua Kreitzer                Carol Farrant
Nelsen Spickard                Daniel E. Jolley
Carol Blessing                Carl Blessing
Milene Rawlinson                Margaret Waterman
Arthur Hartwell                James Waring
Talea Jurrens                Alan Lemm                Ed Vielmetti
Robert Edward McKenna
I found another website you might like
which translates Chinese to English,
.  I found the stroke-count feature
very helpful.

Margaret Paxton
Other Interesting Ways to Solve the Puzzle
It looked like the chinese translated roughly to "small tiny insignificant king ruler royal
offspring child" hence the deduction.... Main character? The Prince --  Steve Warner.
But Bob Fosse and Gene Wilder were pretty doggone awesome **** Bonus movie
question:  The Birds [???] as directed by Alfred Hitchcock???  This was a little harder
to tie down as a rudimentary Chinese character review suggested "bird, pigeon, collect,
assemble wild duck, teal". I didn't get around to using the Chinese-to-English website
you suggested -- wasn't in the mood for smart solutions, I guess....!!!

[Plan b, of course, would have been to go with the translator. but it required a
download and i wasn't in the mood to check out the download security.... guess I was
just being lazy...]  

Searched thru a couple of Chinese alphabet posters for the appropriate characters/
letters/words. It gave me general meanings of the words, and the rest was logic/luck.
Like I said, not the easiest way in the world to do it, but I wasn't in a hurry and ended
up finding the right characters.

Chinese Proverb: You cannot prevent the birds of sadness from passing over your
head, but you can prevent their making a nest in your hair.

Karen Petrus
Here I go, cheating again (I know, "There is no such thing as
cheating" or some such comment).

I asked a parishioner who speaks and reads Chinese what the
characters say.  From there on it was a breeze.  The bonus question
is interesting.  The character, according to my friend, is Bird.  I
assume you are meaning the film "The Birds" directed by Alfred
Hitchcock.  I asked my friedn about whether the character is singular
or plural.  He said to make it plural another character is needed, either
a specific number, or something to make it many birds, etc.

I tried your website to translate Chinese but needed to update my java
and ran out of time.

Milene Rawlinson

Marvelous!  You are right, there is no such thing as cheating.  And
you did good at getting around your java-old computer.

The title of the movie is indeed "The Birds".  But according to the
website I took it from, the title in Chinese is only one character.  

Your friend also told you right - Chinese does not hve singular and
plural nouns.  Sing/plural is usually denoted by a separate particle
apprearing with the noun.  Same for singular and plural verbs.  The
particle incidentally depends on the shape of the thing denoted by the
noun.  So the particle to denote more than one chopstick is different
from that used to denote more than one cup.

Your friend of course is the expert and Chinese, like all other
languages, has so many exceptions to each rule.  He may tell you
something a little different, but this is my rough understanding based
on my own limited experience with the language.

I think though that the people who advertise the movie in Chinese
may have just used one character to make the name short, and
perhaps more dramatic.

-Quizmaster General


1. The Little Prince
2.  Steven Warner played the title role in both the 1974 and 2005 movies.
3.  Either "The Birds" by Alfred Hitchcock or "Bird" by Clint Eastwood.
(See discussion about Chinese singular and plural nouns below.)
Chinese Translation Notepad
The hint points to the Chinese
handwriting/mousewriting website at:
For More Fun
Try Guessing the Name of This Well Known American Product
The site allows you to use your mouse
to sketch a character on the
mousepad.  The image shows the first
of the characters of the quiz phrase.

Several possible characters will appear
below your sketch.  Pick out the one
that corresponds to the one you drew.

Note that this character will appear in
the large box to the left.
Repeat this step for all three of the
characters in the quiz phrase.  Next,
highlight the phrase in the box on the
left and copy and paste it into Google
Click here for
answer and to read
an interesting story
about how the
English name was
translated into
I know that I am Oh so late,
to send you this note,
Buy my son who is working in Taiwan,
Just sent me this vote....

1. The Little Prince
2. Steve Warner, 1974
3. The Birds....

My continuing love to the Quiz Master

Robert Edward McKenna
Quiz Poet Laureate

It's nice to hear from you!
If only in passing.
So you had the answer
And were not really guessing.

My undying love back
I vow not to forget
You are ever and always
Quiz Poet Laureate!

Colleen Fitzpatrick PhD
Understudy to Quiz Poet Laureate
Robert Edward McKenna
Special Note from the Quiz Poet Laureate
Robert Edward McKenna
Thanks for the link to the stroke counter. That turns out to be the
most important thing when you use a hard copy Chinese Dictionary.  
The radicals (building blocks of more complex characters and
combination phrases) are listed in the dictionary according to the
number of strokes.  A character composed of radicals will be listed
under the primary radical, usually on the left or at the top of the
composition.  (I've spent many hours figuring this out.  I read and
speak Chienese to some extent.  My writing is rudimentary, though.)

That's interesting you came up with Bird.  I was looking for The
Birds by Alfred Hitchcock. This provides some insight into the
language.  There are no singulars and plurals in thhe grammar. All
verbs are the same - not conjugated.  The number (singular or plural)
is often implied by the context, or by particles (called collectives(?))
That are used with a noun and a number.  These collectives usually
depend on the shape of the noun, so a collective for a cup is different
from the collective for chopsticks.

There is no word for 'we'.  'We' is expressed as the word for I with a
particle.  Same thing for you (singular, plural) and they (he, they).  
There is no difference between 'he' and 'she' and sometimes they
leave the pronoun out all together.

The simplicity in grammar is made up for by a language depending on
pictograms.  You have to memorize them, as they have no phonetic
value.  Seems hard, but there are maybe 1B school children under the
age of 10 who have figured out how to do it. Besides if you think
about it, when we read in English, we really read shapes and not
individual letters.

That is probably more than you need to know...

Quizmaster General


I'm glad you like the character dictionary.  I tried the website you
linked to, but I could not get my computer to cut and paste the
idiograms, so I had to find something else.

I've always been fascinated by China.  My father was there at the end
of World War II and was convinced that China was the beginning of
all things.

Fun puzzle!

Margaret Paxton
Chinese names for American movies
can be found

Little Lord Fauntleroy is given as

Google translates this as:

Go figure!

(Using the "Pronouce Phonetically"
gives "
Xiǎo jué ye" (Shau che ye).  The
phrase does not sound anything like the
English translation!
Chinese is a very interesting language.  
Very conceptual, based on pictograms.  
Your answer is interesting because you
have the concept of the book's title but
not the right book.

Nouns in Chinese are expressed as single
pictograms or combinations thereof. So
the title could have up to three words
(and you are right it has three).

Each pictogram represents one syllable.  
This brings up how western names are
handled.  I once was in Tianjin, China
and decided to go to a movie one night.  I
asked the hotel clerk to look in the local
paper and tell me what movies were
playing in the area.

The names were in Chinese, of course,