Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Adventures of Mr. Penguin (a tale in Chinese characters)

When I was first serving as a missionary in Korea, I lived in a high-rise apartment complex with an elevator. As I rode up and down in the elevator each day, staring at the information panel, I noticed one particular character. It seemed to draw my eye every time. I would stand there and look at it and think, "It's a penguin!" Eventually I learned that it was the character for "heart," but I still think it looks like a penguin.

As it turns out, the penguin is used in other characters as well. Like this one--the "heart" character and the "door" character. It's obvious: Mister Penguin drowns his sorrows at the local saloon. I started looking for the penguin in more characters, and discovered quite a few other things that Mister Penguin had been doing.

Mister Penguin discovers the necessity of wearing his seatbelt.

Mister Penguin looks out the window and wonders what his neighbors are up to.

Mister Penguin installs a large aerial on the roof of his house.

Mister Penguin shows up at his friend's house with a gift.

Mister Penguin blows out the candle on his birthday cake.

Mister Penguin is not tall enough to go on the ride.

Mister Penguin is unable to find a parking space.

Mister Penguin wards off vampires.

Mister Penguin is attacked by the Flying Spaghetti Monster


Julie Beth said...

How funny! You should make a book with Mr. Penguin! He has a very exciting life, fighting off vampires and flying spaghetti monsters and all.

Barb said...

Mr. Penguin is not tall enought to go on the ride. Ha!! Those really look like yoru descriptions! That would make it a lot easier to learn them.

RedMolly said...

Helena, you are a freaking linguistartistical genius.

Karen Ahlstrom said...

This is really cute!


Kathey said...

I agree with Karen. These are REALLY cute. You have a talent for coming up with really cute ways of saying things.

Love, Mom

Val said...

Love this! Wonderful imagination. Now onto the rest of the characters??? :o)

NancyW said...

These are great! My 6 year old daughter & I are learning Mandarin and I am constantly trying to find the pictoral meaning to help me remember them...and when I can't, I make them up! Mr Penguin will help me a lot!

(just returned from China with daughter #2. There was a sign for watch out for low ceiling that looked like a man bumping his head LOL - my 6'4" didn't think it was funny!)

Anonymous said...

You are so creative! These made me laugh. What a great way to remember your characters. :-)

Heather T. said...

You had me laughing out loud--what a great mnemonic system!

cami said...

OH this is wonderful!!

I had very little hanja, and now even less, so I could really use someone to make up cute stories for me about them.

Mr. Penguin fights off vampires is my favorite :)

Rose said...

You look a LOT like Sister Hadden's mom. . .