Cantonese through News Stories: Hong Kong Trials New Mosquito Catcher

Capture_New Mosquito Catcher_19 APR 2019

The mosquitos of Hong Kong must tremble in their boots when they see Mr Lee Ming-wai, Pest Control Officer-in-charge at the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department. There were twenty-nine cases of dengue fever in Hong Kong last year, a fact that must add to Lee’s determination to control the insects effectively. Hence this story on a new mosquito catcher or 捕蚊器 bouh6 mān1 hei3, a Dutch invention that Mr Lee hopes will answer all his prayers. Whatever the eventual outcome of this innovation, the following report, put together by 關可為 Gwāan1 Hó2 Wàih4 at TVB, is a veritable treasure trove of entomological vocabulary!

Visit the TVB website for a slightly different version of this report!

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12 new words:

1. 引入 yán2 yahp6 = to introduce (from elsewhere)
2. 成蚊 sìhng4 mān1 = adult mosquito
3. 幼蟲 yau3 chùhng4 = larva; larvae
4. 滋生 jī1 sāang1 = to breed; to multiply
5. 產卵 cháan2 léun2/léuhn5 = to lay eggs
6. 孵 fū1 = to hatch; to brood; to incubate
7. 監察 gāam1 chaat3 = to supervise; to monitor
8. 白紋伊蚊 baahk6 màhn4 yī1 mān1 = (Asian) tiger mosquito or forest mosquito (Aedes albopictus)
9. 針 jām1 = (of a mosquito) to bite
10. 實地測試 saht6 deih6 chāk1 si3 = on the spot + to test
11. 成效 sìhng4 haauh6 = effect; result
12. 推展 teui3 jín2 = to roll forward; to roll out; to promote; to extend to

*For correct jyutping romanization, you can cut and paste any Cantonese vocabulary in this post into the Sheik Cantonese website for checking.

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食環署引入新型捕蚊器,可以同時針對成蚊同幼蟲。
The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department are introducing a new type of mosquito catcher that can target both adult mosquitos and larvae at the same time.

Note: The character 針 jām1 crops up in a couple of words used in this report. Here, 針對 jām1 deui3 is used, which means “to be aimed at; to be directed at”. Later, you’ll notice that 針 jām1 is also used as the verb “to bite” when applied to mosquitos (it means “to sting” in the case of bees, etc.).

春夏潮濕多雨,有利蚊蟲滋生。
Spring and Summer are humid and rainy, [conditions] favourable to [有利 yáuh5 leih6] the breeding of mosquitos. Continue reading “Cantonese through News Stories: Hong Kong Trials New Mosquito Catcher”

《蛙文》/ Frogscript 16 • 郭少鳳 Evette Kwok

Japanese Frog for Frogscript_Thumbnail_2 FEB 2018

Please scroll down for the English translation!

《蛙文:臭屁勒》

郭少鳳著

我曾經聽到一個好難回答嘅問題:「我哋成日叫人愛護大自然,保護動植物,記得曾經有人問我,當啲蚊咬佢時,佢應唔應該拍死啲蚊呢?定應該要愛護佢,俾佢吸血呢?」我哋平時會即時消滅啲蚊。對於曱甴都會咁樣。噉,臭屁勒呢?我哋對臭屁勒會用點樣嘅方法先至啱?

唔知有幾多人聽過臭屁勒呢種昆蟲?住喺村屋嘅人一定唔會陌生,佢哋經常會喺屋企出現,亦會喺啲衫褲内產卵。好幾年前,我喺屋企窗邊嘅蚊網上見過佢哋啲蛋:淺粉綠色嘅,一粒貼著另一粒,整整齊齊分成兩、三行,都算幾靚,所以由得佢哋。過了大概兩個星期,記得有朝返工經過見到啲蛋終於孵化成蟲,一次過見到十幾隻BB幼蟲,都覺得幾得意!當日放工返到屋企,打算第一時間再同佢哋打招呼,點知全部走晒。

我將呢個經驗同同樣住喺村屋嘅好友講,佢話啲臭屁勒一啲都唔可愛,仲話如果我家嘅貓貓同佢哋玩,我就會知「味道」。當時心諗,齋聽個名,覺得佢哋會放臭屁,咁最多咪俾佢哋臭下啫。

直到最近,繼細細個同曱甴有肌膚之親後,我同臭屁勒又有親密關係:當時啱啱沖完涼,坐咗喺客廳嘅櫈上,突然聞到一陣怪味,陣味唔係好難聞,起碼唔係會令我作嘔嘅味道,但真係好怪,係帶有杏仁味嘅一種強烈怪味,不過我好肯定唔係我嘅淋浴露嘅味道!

嗰陣味實在太強啦,我掀起我件衫聞下嗦下,想確定係唔係件衫洗得唔乾淨,一嗦,我就聞到陣味係從我身上發出,再嗦再望,啊!救命呀!見到一隻手指公咁大、棕黃色嘅臭屁勒,企咗喺我肚皮上,喺肚臍上小小嘅位置,好驚,本能反應係將佢捉住,隨手扔出,然後我即刻衝入冲涼房冲洗被臭屁勒踩過嘅肚皮,肚皮有小小痛,開始痕癢同紅腫了。途中隱若見到我家貓貓即刻想去捉隻臭屁勒,最終應該係我老公將隻臭屁勒捉走並放生。

由於同臭屁勒有咗肌膚之親,一定要認識清楚佢,於是上網揾揾資料,臭屁勒嘅學名係荔枝椿象,原來寄居喺荔枝樹、龍眼樹上,吸食佢哋嫩枝、花、果嘅汁液,怪唔之得,成日喺種左好多果樹嘅村莊出現。再睇睇資料,嗰隻臭屁勒當時一定係受驚,所以向我噴出臭液想嚇退我呢個敵人,輕微焯傷咗我嘅肚皮,攪到痕癢紅腫咗一個多月。

咁我當時應唔應該拍死焯傷我肚皮嘅臭屁勒呢?我哋同大自然相處時,究竟應該如何取得平衡?!其實,蚊子、曱甴同埋臭屁勒都有同一個特徵:身體脆弱,冇乜辦法保護自己。不過,佢哋都被迫創造一套零舍與眾不同嘅方式,嚟維持自己嘅生命。我哋雖然好難接受呢啲昆蟲所帶嚟嘅麻煩,但係起碼可以佩服自然界有咁豐富嘅創造力。

frogscript stink bugs

“Stink Bugs”

by Evette Kwok

I once overheard a tricky question that wasn’t easy to answer: “We are always telling people to protect the natural world and to take care of plants and animals, but I remember someone asking me whether she should kill a mosquito if it bit her. Shouldn’t we let it suck our blood if we want to look after it?” In most cases, we kill the mosquito. The same goes for cockroaches. But what about stink bugs? What is the right way to go about dealing with stink bugs?

Continue reading “《蛙文》/ Frogscript 16 • 郭少鳳 Evette Kwok”

《蛙文》/ Frogscript 9 • 郭少鳳 Evette Kwok

Japanese Frog for Frogscript_Thumbnail_2 FEB 2018

Please scroll down for the English translation!

《蛙文:蜻蜓》

郭少鳳著

記得細細個時,屋企冇咩玩具玩,好多細蚊仔都鐘意落公園玩,公園除咗有超長嘅滑梯、超刺激嘅氹氹轉玩之外,仲可以同好多好多昆蟲玩遊戲。好奇怪,仲係細蚊仔嘅時候,唔會點驚昆蟲,好多時會想捉佢哋嚟玩,仲記得有時會特登帶一個盒仔去捉昆蟲。細個又成日會聽到呢首童謠:「點蟲蟲,蟲蟲飛,飛去荔枝基,荔枝熟,無埞伏,伏去邊?伏去你個鼻哥窿」,一邊唱童謠,一邊搵蟲蟲,真有趣!

有種昆蟲成日企定定咁畀我望,佢哋有好多唔同嘅顏色:有艶麗嘅絨紅色,有金光閃閃嘅黃金色,亦有較低調嘅暗藍色、黑色,但都總有一對巨型嘅眼睛同埋兩對透明嘅翅膀。試過去捉佢哋,可惜未成功過。你哋估到係邊種昆蟲未呢?對,就係蜻蜓!

蜻蜓係一種好靚嘅昆蟲。同美麗嘅蝴蝶比較,蝴蝶係似穿上美麗衣裳,悉心打扮嘅淑女;而蜻蜓頭部圓圓、眼睛大大、修長嘅腹部再配上兩對透明嘅翅膀,顯出高貴嘅韻味。蜻蜓擁有獨特而美麗嘅線條,難怪經常被設計成賞心悅目嘅裝飾圖案!

蜻蜒係不完全變態昆蟲,一生中經歷三個階段:卵、稚蟲、成蟲,冇咗蛹嘅階段。雖然蜻蜓係一種識飛嘅昆蟲,但係佢嘅生命同水有著莫大嘅關係。

由出生開始,蜻蜓已經離唔開水。有冇聽過「蜻蜓點水」呢個成語,雖然成語嘅意思係做事膚淺、做得不夠深入嘅意思,但其實呢個成語正正講出蜻蜓一生中一個重要嘅階段:部份蜻蜒會將卵產喺水草上或樹枝上,但最為人知嘅應該係產喺水中,雌性嘅蜻蜓用似尾巴嘅腹部插入水中,蜻蜓點水,水面即時會泛起漣漪,誕下嘅蜻蜓卵就慢慢沉入水中,真夠浪漫!咁做嘅好處係令到喺水中生活嘅蜻蜓稚蟲,一出生就喺水中。

第一次見到蜻蜓嘅稚蟲係喺嘉道理農場,當時被安排打理一個小型人工生態池,讓比較細小嘅水生動植物繁殖及生活。當時每兩個星期就要同兩個大自然愛好者 – 農場義工去清一清池水、整理一下水生植物。

生態池雖然細細,但郤住咗好多好多嘅水生動物:蝌蚪、蚊嘅幼蟲-孑孓、水黽 – 俗稱水較剪、豆娘稚蟲同埋蜻蜓稚蟲。第一次見到蜻蜓稚蟲真係完全嚇一跳,如果唔係身邊嘅義工朋友嘅介紹,我都諗唔到佢係蜻蜓啤啤:我哋熟悉嘅蜻蜓不但線條優美,而且充滿色彩,但眼前見到嘅稚蟲卻係完全兩回事。蜻蜓稚蟲全身灰褐色,腹部略胖,尾部開三小叉,用電影中嘅「異型」形容都唔太過份。雖然係水中生物,但都有對細到不合比例嘅(假)翅膀貼喺肥腹上,仲有一對腮,能夠喺水中呼吸。

蜻蜓稚蟲樣貌真係一啲都唔吸引,卻暗藏殺機。佢哋係天生嘅捕獵者,會食比佢哋細小嘅昆蟲,例如孑孓,蝌蚪等等。蜻蜓一生都係肉食性動物,長大羽化後,會進食更大型嘅昆蟲,如蚊、烏蠅、甚至蝴蝶等等。蜻蜓由細到大都係蚊一生嘅天敵,對我哋人類而言可算是益蟲。

有冇聽過「蜻蜓成群低飛繞天空,不到半日雨濛濛」呢句諺言?其實係古人嘅智慧:以前科技未有咁發達時,冇咁多儀器或數據預測天氣,就會更留意大自然嘅變化,累積經驗嚟預測天氣。呢種智慧,原來可以解釋:快要落雨嘅空氣份外潮濕,水氣會沾濕蜻蜓嘅翅膀,令蜻蜻翅膀變重,未能如常往高處飛,只能在接近地面嘅低處飛行。

蜻蜓嘅一生都同水或水塘有著莫大關係,加上交配時又叫交尾,由兩隻蜻蜓用腹部扣成一個心型交配產卵。唔知係咪呢兩個緣故,有部份廣東人叫蜻蜓做「塘尾」。再送上另一首童謠俾大家:「黐塘尾,塘尾飛,飛到菜田基,田基有條蛇,嚇親你兩仔爺」。

其實人大咗,面對忙碌嘅生活,喺成長嘅同時,會慢慢失去細路仔天生嘅好奇心同豐富嘅想像力。不過好好彩,香港呢個地方,要走入大自然一啲都唔難,行山十分方便,又有咁多有趣、生鬼嘅廣東話童謠,可以俾我哋稍微回味童年嘅回憶,重拾一下童年滋味。

Evette KWOK_Yellow Dragonfly 1 RESIZED_18 JUN 2018

Continue reading “《蛙文》/ Frogscript 9 • 郭少鳳 Evette Kwok”