I'll take "Medical Terms in Chinese" for $1,000

The other day my kids came running up to me, breathless and looking very concerned. "Do we have fei yan?" they asked. They've been mixing Chinese and English like this more and more lately and my Chinese just isn't keeping pace with theirs.

"I dunno, what does fei yan mean?" I asked.

"Grant's teacher told him that if he jumped around too much after lunch then he could get fei yan," Audrey said. "We just ate and then we accidentally jumped on the bed. So do we have it?"

I had no clue what fei yan was but I assumed it was one of those vague (to me at least) conditions that are often diagnosed in Chinese Medicine. For example if you eat too many salted cashews then you can get shang huo, which literally means your fire is high. So anyway, I told the kids they might have a touch of fei yan but if they rested for a few minutes they'd be fine. At least it would get them to quit jumping on the bed.

That night as we were going to bed my husband asked me, "Did you tell Grant today he had pneumonia?"

"What? Of course not! Why would I do something like that?"

"He said you said he got it from jumping on the bed after lunch."

"Ohhhhh! Is that what fei yan is? Well, in that case then yes, I guess I did tell him that. But in my defense, I said he had a very mild case of it."

"A very mild case. Of pneumonia?" My husband was looking at me like I was crazy. Which I'll admit isn't too far fetched.

I really need to double-up on my Chinese lessons before I diagnose the kids with something terminal next time.

Comments:

Thanks for making me laugh, Melanie, on a very quiet day here in Menlo Park.

Posted by David Comay on July 03, 2008 at 09:24 PM CST #

Absolutely Brilliant! My eyes are still watering from the laughter!

Posted by Weng L Lim on July 07, 2008 at 03:20 PM CST #

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