Friday, June 22, 2007

Friends Abroad – Language Exchange

Was searching through the net for Web Apps when I stumbled upon this one particular site which piqued my interest. It’s a social networking site for language learning called FRIENDS ABROAD.

This is their introduction of the site which I plucked out from here:
Hi, we're FriendsAbroad, an Internet languages company based in the United Kingdom - we're about 30 miles from the centre of London.

Our aim in life is to help you and millions of others to improve your language skills.

FriendsAbroad is the language network. Free to join, FriendsAbroad is an online community of millions of users in over 200 countries speaking over 80 languages. So far, it's been a lot of hard work with only small revenues coming from the advertising on the site.

We have lots of exciting changes in the pipeline, and hope that you'll be happy to pay a small amount per year for the additional language learning tools we're working on.

For now though, do join and have fun conversing with people all over the world about whatever interests you! Everything you see here today is free and will remain free.

Want to know more about us: meet the team.

So, in less than several minutes of going through the registration, I am now an official a member of this social site. Why sign up you ask? Well, at first I was curious… as curious as a cat and very much like a moth attracted to the fire. I know too much of curiosity wasn’t a good thing, and it could potentially harm you if not kill you. Ha, I am being overly dramatic here. Thing is, I felt that more good than harm would come out of this one. But then again, let's just see if this could be true.

Secondly, I do hope very very much to be able to learn Japanese. And it seems learning so interactively via the easy to use methods provided by FRIENDS ABROAD, could well be the answer to my quest of learning the language.

They encouraged us (members) to write a few things introducing ourself to other members around the world. And wrote I did… a very very very long intro nothing short of being obscenely long winded. LOL. In my opinion, it looks more suited as a blog post than a short introduction of self. Therefore, I thought, hey, why not post it here for all to have a good laugh at my silliness and at the same time introduce this fabulous site to all. In a way, you will get to know more about me that I have yet to disclose.

Here’s what I wrote to introduce myself:

I am a Chinese woman from Malaysia. A beautiful tropical country with what I consider as... a place with "extreme weather" i.e. it's either too much of rainfall or too dry and sweltering hot. Would really really love to experience snowfall or milder weather elsewhere.

One of the places I longed to visit is Japan. This particular country would and always will be on top of my travel wish list. Why was that, you ask? Things is, I've got this long time obsession with almost anything and everything Japanese. Especially fascinated with the Japanese language, that is. Hence, this is why I am here at FRIENDS ABROAD - to seek the golden opportunity of pickup the Japanese language. I would really love to be able to watch Japanese Anime without the English Subtitles one fine day. Yes, I am a crazed fan of Anime too. Guess I never did grow up. LOL.

Right, I believe I should give you an inkling of my present grasp of the languages I have listed in my profile;


Well, I can speak and write 'passable' English. In fact, I think my written English fares much better than my spoken one. I had to admit that I do have some pronunciation problem. Now, I do not claim that my English’s is prefect, as I do know there's so much more room for improvement. Therefore, what I believe is that, by helping others out in this language... I am also brushing up my own skill at the same time. Who knows, I might even have the good fortune of meeting someone with stronger command of the English language and prosper in it in the end. It is a win-win situation here at FRIENDS ABROAD right? By sharing, in return, we gain. How perfect a partnership.


The next language I commanded is the Cantonese (it's one of the many Chinese dialects - one of the major ones, anyways). Though, I might be 'pure' Chinese and this is in fact my mother-tongue, I couldn't read/write any of it. To tell you the truth, I even struggle writing my very own Chinese name. Gosh! Uh-huh, I am that bad. The only consolation of mine would be being able to at least speak the language. Phew! So, does this make me any less of a Chinese? I beg to differ.


Malay is the national language of my country, Malaysia. It's the language my country use for its academic system. I was quite good at it during my schooldays. I could speak like a Malay native and write almost like one too. My grades for this subject is very promising... at that period of time. However, things have changed over the years as I integrated myself into the rat race world (corporate world). Where English is the dominant language used for business. And so, gradually, my proficiency of this particular language fades and stunted in the background. Anyhow, I think I still haven't lost touch of it in totality. I could still understand it well enough and also speak and write 'passable' Malay if the need arises. Though I do get mental-block using it sometimes. It's only an understandable weakness, agreed?


I own a blog. It’s a place where I could practice my written English and improve my confidence in it. What better way to learn and improve a language than to practice it for real. Don’t you agree?

Apart from that, I also love reading and commenting on other people’s blog. It’s another good way of learning the language and improving your ease of use.

So, if any of you are interested or curious about my blog, I welcome you to visit my humble blog at (my primary blog) or at (my mirror site and social networking site). The name of my blog is, A HERMIT’S MUSE. The reason why I adopted this name is because I am practically a hermit in real life. I am always holed up at home… but it’s due to some personal issues and not exactly what I chose to be. Yes, I am quite a loner… but I do enjoy occasional gallivanting if given a choice.

Another thing about me is that, I am a caffeine-addict. The talk of coffee gives me instant mood lift. It’s almost like I couldn’t live without it.


I welcome all with open arms. Therefore, don't hesitate or be shy about writing to me.

To those who would be kind and generous enough to teach/coach me on Japanese... I thank you in advance with much gratitude *Bow, bow and bowing even lower*. Domo Arigato Gozaimasu.

Hope to hear from you soon.

If you wanna take a look at how this introduction look on my profile page at FRIENDS ABROAD, click here. Though I am not quite sure if you could actually view it without an account with them.

Lets just see what this impromptu spur-of-the-moment thing brings for me. Hope it hails good returns though. In terms of me being successful in learning a few more Japanese words... good enough to hold a basic conversation, I would be more than happy already.

Tee hee hee. Just to clarify it before anyone thinks I am writing this for moolah... something I don't do at all. But, I am not saying I wouldn't embark on it in the near future should circumstances permit it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Tian Xia Wu Shuang (天下无双) - (A love) Unparalleled Under the Sky

This is one of the many songs I came to love and cherished very much. It is actually a theme song or original soundtrack of one of my favorite Chinese drama... a wuxia drama, "Return of the Condor Heroes 2006". A considerable large scale production by a film production.

The combination of breathtaking natural sceneries in China coupled with smart play of CGI and also not forgetting a dashing main actor with an equally beautiful and ethereal looking main actress has cause this production to be very well received indeed. In fact, I was preeettty crazy about it. I watched and rewatched it so many times that I had literary lost count of how many times I succumbed to its charm. LOL. And YES, I did ogle at the suave main actor to my heart's content. He has got the most infectious smile I’ll tell you.

Okay that's that, now back to this particular soundtrack. This is the intro soundtrack for this drama. I am so drawn to it by the sad and sweet voice of the singer telling an equally sad story of an undying, faithful and sincere love filled with trial and tribulations.

Here’s the lyrics in Chinese and Pinyin as well as the translations to it:

天下无双 - Tian Xia Wu Shuang - (A love) unparalleled under the sky

sung by Jane Zhang Jing Ying ( 张靓颖 )

(chuan yue hong chen de bei huan chou chang)
Going through across life's sadness and happiness

(he ni tie xin de liy lang)
With you as a close companion, (we) wandered around

(ci tou bian ye de qin shan he huang liang)

Piercing through horizons of remote mountains

(he ni de meng ban zhe hua xiang fei xiang)

Dreamt of you flying with fragrant flowers

(jin sheng yin ni zhi kuang) (ci ai tian xia wu shuang)

Devotion to you in this life, (my) love is unparalleled

(jin de ying zi , shui de bo guang)
A sword's shadow, water's ripples

(zhi shi guo wang shi guo wang)
Just passing by, just passing by

今生因你痴狂此爱天下无双啊 .......
(jin sheng yin ni chi kuang) (ci ai tian xia wu shuang)
Devotion to you in this life, (my) love is unparalleled

(ru guo hai you tie xin de liu lang)
If there is still a companion to wander with

枯萎了容颜难以忘难遗忘 ........
(gu wei le rong yan nan yi wang ... nan yi wang)
A withered facet is hard to forget, hard to forget

Well, I do hope you all enjoy it as much as I do. Please do not hesitate to share your thoughts on it.

Here's some beautiful pictures to appease you visually :P

Note: I actually did this post for my VOX Lyrics Translation Group. Then I thought it would be good to post it here too for the enjoyment of others who love this song also.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Pachelbel's Canon in D Variations

A collection of Pachelbel's Canon in D variations. Hope you would all enjoy it as much as I do. Frankly speaking, some of it blew me away ;) Didn't know Canon could have so much of attitude in it... just listen to the Canon Grooves, Canon Techno, Canon Rock and so many others listed here.

Hope you all enjoyed it as much as I do. I AM a crazed Pachelbel's Canon fan. Hooyah!

Oh yea, do check out this site/blog, Tribute to Pachelbel. There are many different versions of Canon arrangements listed here.

Current Mood: Joyful and Thankful

Current Distractions: Of late, I've been busy hopping around my IMEEM & DEVIANT ART playground.

Other Musings: How many sites does a gal gotta have? I've quite lost count of mine :P No wonder I am so distracted at times. Ahahahaha. Dunno what got into me that I've gotten myself a FRIENDSTER account too. Yeesh!!! Actually someone invited me to be a member, and I kind of follow the lead... one thing leads to the next and lot behold another site to care for :P I am still not sure if I am gonna be maintaining it tho.

Friday, June 01, 2007

My Gratitude to All

I wished to express my gratitude to all of you for your comforting words and encouragements in my previous post. I am so happy and lucky to have been acquainted with you all. I am so touched by the sincerity and concern shown by all. You have made me felt so loved and blessed… no longer alone and scared.

Here I dedicate my heartfelt thanks to:

My Blogspot Friends
Gina, Tine, CC, Kok, Law Tien Soon, Stev, Paris Beaverbanks, Che-cheh and Firehorse

My VOX Friends / Fellow Voxers
Masako F, Shellakers, Mikey,Crashley and Clippedwings

I have learned much from you all and I valued each and every word written to me.

If you are interested to follow the comments… below are the links to both sites:
At my BLOGSPOT blog
At my VOX blog

Updates on my Mending Heart
Things have been going quite well for me and my hubby. He is much more sensitive to my feelings now. Though there are still some stuffs we needed to iron out, but I’ll take it step by step.

All in, I am quite happy with my decision to stay on and have another go at our relationship. Things are indeed looking much better now. I for once, wasn’t feeling as trapped and hopeless anymore. Though there’s still this small part of me who wished to be left alone without him sometimes. I guess I’ll still have to work on rediscovering my love for him again. I can’t just switch off love and then switch it back on again just like that. Love IS just more complicated than it is.

Once again, thank you for your prayers and best wishes. Shall try to update on this whenever I can.