Translation from Chinese?


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Translation from Chinese?

Postby dr-ivan » Sep 9th, '12, 15:06

Dear fellow tea lovers!

I have just returned from my (first) trip to China (Changsha, Hunan) with a whole lot of new experiences and tea. All in all, I've got 14 different teas - small and large, some baught at the local supermarket, some at the hotel gift shop and some at the airport. Since I have no knowledge of Chinese, communication has been difficult - so I basically had to trust the humble knowledge I had in teas to make my choices, in addition to some tasting.

For the past few days I have tried to decipher my purchases, although pretty much to no avail. Google Goggles which is supposed to translate text from images was of no use, and manually comparing symbols to some wikipedia articles did not lead to much.

Therefore I turn once again to the community. If any of you gentle people with some knowledge of Chinese could give me a clue about what the different teas are, I would be very thankful!

I am therefore attaching a pic of some of my new teas. Haven't included pictures of the leaf since I am yet to open any of the teas.

Thank you very much in advance!

PS. Also, if anyone knows of a faster way that I can use myself to translate Chinese symbols, please leave me a note!

small version: http://www.dr-ivan.com/permalinked/all-teas-small.jpg
full version (4MB): http://www.dr-ivan.com/permalinked/all-teas-full.jpg
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Re: Translation from Chinese?

Postby TokyoB » Sep 9th, '12, 15:39

2 long jing
8 Lu cha (green tea)
9 might be kuding cha - bitter tea
11 tie guan yin

If you have a Mac you can enter characters by drawing them . You could look them up on the MDBG website.
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Re: Translation from Chinese?

Postby dr-ivan » Sep 9th, '12, 16:20

Thank you very much for your suggestions and translation! Translating symbols by drawing is genious - thanks for the tip! I even found an app for doing that on my ipad!
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Re: Translation from Chinese?

Postby dr-ivan » Sep 11th, '12, 06:46

Well, that did certainly not work as expected... Drawing symbols was not as easy as I thought - there are still many I cannot decipher, either because I can't find the symbol or because they are so stylized that I cannot see how they are supposed to be drawn. OCR programs also work poorly due to the latter.

For example for the pu-erh ball tea, I was able to make out "big/great" and " ball tea"... However I was unable to find the second symbol - no matter what I did.
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Re: Translation from Chinese?

Postby Poohblah » Sep 11th, '12, 10:23

dr-ivan wrote:Well, that did certainly not work as expected... Drawing symbols was not as easy as I thought - there are still many I cannot decipher, either because I can't find the symbol or because they are so stylized that I cannot see how they are supposed to be drawn. OCR programs also work poorly due to the latter.

For example for the pu-erh ball tea, I was able to make out "big/great" and " ball tea"... However I was unable to find the second symbol - no matter what I did.

Unless you know stroke order and are familiar with Chinese characters, attempting to duplicate them by drawing is a fruitless matter, and the computer software won't recognize what it is you're attempting to draw.

The pu that you have is a Dayi tuo cha. Dayi is the brand. Tuo cha is simply a small, mushroom-cap-shaped pressing, as opposed to a bing cha, which is a saucer-shaped cake of tea. It's probably cheap shu pu, as are most tuos.

Adding to TyokoB's comment, here is what I can tell you -
1
2 west lake long jing (dragonwell)
3
4 something called "haomai" tea - perhaps an herbal or tisane?
5 Dayi tuocha
6 "Black brick" tea from Anhui province
7 same as #6
8 green tea, generic
9 kuding cha - "bitter tea"
10 something called "xinyang maojian" - maojian sounds familiar ("tip of the hair")
11 tie guan yin
12 bi luo chun
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Re: Translation from Chinese?

Postby dr-ivan » Sep 11th, '12, 11:46

Poohblah, thanks for the translation! That was an immense help!

I tried to learn the stroke order, but I soon discovered that there were a number of variations and exceptions so I never really seemed to get it completely correct - especially on the more complicated symbols.

#5 pu-erh was (according to the store owner anyways) was supposed to be very good, and stored for 8 years. Now I can see that the package says 2008, so that's perhaps what she meant. Also, it cost me an arm and a leg... But it does appear to be a round ball though.

#4 might be a jasmine tea. I did get to taste one, but I can't quite remember that I bought it though...

#1 I think might be some variety of lapsang souchong

When it comes to #7, I can see three dates: 2008 on the front, plus 2002 and 2007 on the side. So was the cake made in 2002, stored and then packaged in 2007-8?
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Re: Translation from Chinese?

Postby Poohblah » Sep 11th, '12, 21:27

You're right, 1 is lapsang souchong.

I don't think 4 is jasmine tea. Jasmine tea is "molihua cha".

For 7, none of those "years" (a couple are actually product codes) refer to the year the tea was produced. Actually, the field in the tea's description that refers to when the tea was produced (生产日期) says December 29, 2011.
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Re: Translation from Chinese?

Postby gingkoseto » Sep 12th, '12, 07:34

#4 is buckwheat tea (荞麦茶)
#3 is Bi Luo Chun. From the window on the tea package, it looks like Yunnan or Sichuan bi luo chun style green tea.
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Re: Translation from Chinese?

Postby apache » Sep 15th, '12, 17:32

#1
LHS characters is upside down.
御銘茶
御 Imperial
銘 Inscription
Needless to explain the last character.

Some examples of usage of these characters:
用大律师 Queen's Counsel or QC
刻骨心 Inscribed on the bones and heart, this means you remember it forever.

RHS is indeed lapsang souchong
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Re: Translation from Chinese?

Postby dr-ivan » Sep 17th, '12, 02:13

Thank you for your answers and explanations! I guess I now at least some idea of what I am drinking, so I better get to it ;)
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