https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NasuSamaruk0

Chinese Newspaper Story - 立志學好中文 (Determined to Learn Chinese)

Here is the thematic story article (by Feng Renzhong 馮仁忠/冯仁忠) I found from World Journal newspaper. It's about a narrator who was driven from experience to learn Chinese.

Comments: Since this story comes directly from the Chinese newspaper site (focusing mainly on Chinese-fluent readers), the reading can moderately challenging to some intermediates (or below) who are not well accustomed to variety of Chinese writing styles and grammars. Some of the phrases contain multiple characters that are combined together to imply a meaning, which is why translation can be either ugly or messy.

Warning: Even though this story contains basic vocabularies from Duolingo, some do not appear in the lessons. Also, do not rely on the translators since they do not offer all natural/intelligent translations in English form.

Other than warnings and notes, enjoy the story!

Traditional Chinese:

小時候,我覺得中文不是一種很容易學習的語言,雖然媽媽把我送到中文學校上課,但是我一直提不起很大的興趣,所以在上課的時候,我沒有專心聽講,總是偷偷地和同學傳紙條聊天。

有一天,我突然明白我這樣做是浪費我的時間,也浪費了媽媽的錢,我覺得非常難過。

更有一次,我陪著父母去參加一個會議,碰到一個剛剛從大陸來、不太會講英文的男孩,他就躲在牆角玩手機,看起來很孤單又無聊。我就想到,如果我在一群只講中文的派對中,我的情形一定也會是那樣,我是多麼可憐啊!

還有一件激勵我的事情,就是我常常看到爸爸每天都很忙,忙著醫治來自不同國家的病人,因為他會講五種語言,容易和病人溝通病況,所以爸爸和病人之間的關係比較接近。我很敬佩爸爸,因為他的語言能力給病人帶來很多方便,他是我的鏡子,讓我看到會說多種語言的功效,所以我更立志學好語言,尤其是中文。

有這麼多把中文學好的例子,成為我想積極學好中文的動力,使我對中文越來越有興趣和信心,同時我也了解了中國的文化,幫助我成為現在的我──一個具有創造能力,並且懂事成熟的好孩子。

Simplified Chinese:

小时候,我觉得中文不是一种很容易学习的语言,虽然妈妈把我送到中文学校上课,但是我一直提不起很大的兴趣,所以在上课的时候,我没有专心听讲,总是偷偷地和同学传纸条聊天。

有一天,我突然明白我这样做是浪费我的时间,也浪费了妈妈的钱,我觉得非常难过。

更有一次,我陪着父母去参加一个会议,碰到一个刚刚从大陆来、不太会讲英文的男孩,他就躲在墙角玩手机,看起来很孤单又无聊。我就想到,如果我在一群只讲中文的派对中,我的情形一定也会是那样,我是多么可怜啊!

还有一件激励我的事情,就是我常常看到爸爸每天都很忙,忙着医治来自不同国家的病人,因为他会讲五种语言,容易和病人沟通病况,所以爸爸和病人之间的关系比较接近。我很敬佩爸爸,因为他的语言能力给病人带来很多方便,他是我的镜子,让我看到会说多种语言的功效,所以我更立志学好语言,尤其是中文。

有这么多把中文学好的例子,成为我想积极学好中文的动力,使我对中文越来越有兴趣和信心,同时我也了解了中国的文化,帮助我成为现在的我──一个具有创造能力,并且懂事成熟的好孩子。

English:

When I was a kid, I felt Chinese was not an easy language to learn. Although my mother sent me to a Chinese school, I lacked my interest. During class, I didn't pay attention (to the lecture/listening), so I always secretly chatted with and passed notes to my classmates.

One day, I suddenly realized I wasted my time and also my mother's money. I felt very sad.

Once more, I had a meeting with my parents. I just met a boy from mainland (China) who cannot speak English. He hid in the corner and played with his mobile phone; he seems very lonely and boring. I thought: if I were to be in a Chinese-speaking party, my situation would be like that. How pitiful I am!

Another thing that drove me is that I noticed my father is busy every day, treating patients from different countries, because he is capable of speaking five languages with patients, so that their relationships become closer. I admire him (my father) so much, because his language-speaking ability makes patients feel convenient. He is my "mirror" [see Remark], which influences me to be more determined in learning languages, especially in Chinese.

There are so many great examples of learning Chinese, and I want to be very capable with Chinese. I am more (and more) interested and confident in Chinese. At the same time, I also understood Chinese culture, which helped me be the "present me" ... [flashback ends because of two dashes ──] a good child with a creative ability and maturity.

Remark. 他是我的鏡子 does not literally mean that a father is actually the narrator's mirror. It symbolizes him as a positive facet of being the great language-learning motivator.

September 23, 2018

10 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zUiA13

His father can speak five languages and he is working as a doctor... amazing. Thank you for shareing this story!

September 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/COTOBVKI

Good story. But this expression of 他是我的鏡子 is uncommon in Mandarin, although the Classical Chinese word 鑑 is often used in a similar way.

By the way, calling yourself "a good child with a creative ability and maturity" is a little immature in East Asia too :)

September 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NasuSamaruk0

This is actually the "transition" of how the narrator describes him/herself. There are many examples that indicate complex combinations of characters that do not have to literally describe a person i.e. 開心果 can mean either "pistachio" or "happy fruit [figuratively person]"

Also, since Chinese does not have to literally base on word-by-word translation, the meaning does not have to be truly exact as it shows.

September 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michelleeeeejy

Really nice! That's amazing! 我是中国人!简体和繁体都写得很好,但是比喻部分,像 “他是我的镜子”在中文里并不是你所想的那种比喻,还可以看看中文小说来帮助你理解比喻!

September 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NasuSamaruk0

I decide to write in English instead for readers to understand.

...but the way the sentence is described here is not the type of metaphor...of what you think in Chinese...

Yes, but the huge problem for learners is that statements, like 镜子 sentence, can trip how they think of the translations. Since Duolingo is limited to teaching elementary conversational topics, they do not go far beyond how they will encounter certain materials. It would be much simple and convenient to show the whole structure of the story instead of missing hidden details for certain sentences they would not get. Knowing literal and common translations is not the same as knowing any translation since majorities of translations can surprisingly be generic (basing on context). In any sense, those who are not fully exposed to writings like this can be "context-blind" in studying the purpose of each part of the passage.

Since some natives are inspired by literatures and works, (with most experience in newspaper-reading) I am very sure that they do not really mean to utilize "describing" nouns in a literate way. One can treat the block of text as the chain of related ideas, so that they do not miss some important connections.

Consider newspaper titles for instance. Editors wrote that in prosy way to demonstrate emphasis as to how the subject is relatively described to the context. Just because the title can easily be translated literally does not mean it's not a metaphor. The "special" phrase's translation has "more than meet the eye" type of reading, thus giving readers complexing thoughts as to why an editor would write a sentence like this. At least, excellent writers have some important purposes in mind!

September 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kyoko_sakura_

I think "他是我的镜子” means there is something in his characters as same as me. And he "reflects" it and make me see it. So he is my mirror. I think it's better to replace "镜子" with "榜样“. I hope it can help you. :-)

September 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Charlimagnus

Great post. Is this sentence structure common "碰到一个刚刚从大陆来、不太会讲英文的男孩" It literally translates to "I met a just came from China cannot really speak English boy". Were I writing this sentence I would have probably opted for something like "碰到一个男孩, 他刚刚从大陆来、不太会讲英文。

September 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kyoko_sakura_

That always happens. You know in Chinese sentence, we often put the attributive clause in English in front of the noun. For Chinese, "碰到一个男孩, 他刚刚从大陆来、不太会讲英文" emphasis on “a boy”. But "碰到一个刚刚从大陆来、不太会讲英文的男孩" is usually translated into and lay more emphasis on “just came from China cannot really speak English”.

September 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NasuSamaruk0

That is correct. Yet, the orders often trip new Chinese learners, even at the intermediate level.

September 29, 2018

[deactivated user]

    COOL!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

    November 29, 2018
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