Thanks to my husband, I realized he is the source why I seemed to have the desire to try to write everyting down in English. 

Although English is not my native language, I think it's good enough to get the message cross. 

But back and forth writing English and Chinese quite often these day, I started to realize how it's easy to translate everything from English to Chinese, 

but almost impossible for me to translate Chinese to English. 

Of coure, I could easily translate everyting by its words, meaning or phrase. 

But due to different background and different way of thinking, structuring the sentence, translating Chinese to English is definitely 10 times more difficult than the other way around. 

As my friend told me the other day; raising with Chinese background but grew up in Canada, she realized there were lots of proverb in Chinese saying.  Lots of them she couldn't understand until older age.  

Yes, Chinese like to raise their children with thousand years old proverb.  

We believed things all happened for a reason, and everything has its origin.  Our ancestor wouldn't leave those longlasting wisdom for nothing.  

Therefore, people tend to talk like an ancient people while they are raising kids, speaking short sentence with great meaning behind it. 

Well, the sentence probably make lot of sense once you understand the meaning behind it, but I personally believe they just like to say it so they can confuse the hack out of us and showed how they are WAY smarter than us!

Like my friend's mother's favorite saying "I ate more rice than the salt you ate!" (我吃過的飯比你吃的鹽還多)

oh! That was definitely one of my mother's favorite saying, too!  

When I was kid, I often wondered why my mother liked to compare apple to orange?  What the hack does the rice have to do with the salt?

But, let me make it visual for you all!

Compare rice to salt, do you see the size different?  if you compare one rice to one salt, the density of salt could easily catch up with rice.  Such mean , you could probably eat a spoonful of salt, that would probably be eqivalent to a bowl of rice or sometimes more. 

So when our parent like to preech to us that they ate way more rice than the salt we ate, that often meant that they have way more experience than we could ever catch up to. 

See!  This is the example how Chinese, or most are Asian was raised.  

Everything our elders said had a "Great meaning" behind it!  and that meaning was usually hidden in our thousand years old history somewhere!  If you are determined, you might be able to find that out soon enough.  Otherwise, you will simply have to wait until someday it comes to you. 

That's the reason why most of caucasian found Chinese people's way of talking is quite confusing, even when they spoke quite fluent English. 

Because, most of Chinese would 'assume' you understand the meaning behind it, especially when you are a 'grown up'.   We are used to explain the meaning behind our words while someone was a child, but never have to do so while we are talking to a grown up. 

(So, quick tip here.  Next time, rather say 'I don't understand' while you hear some Chines using similar proverb in English phrase, try 'Can you explain that to me'?  Most of Asian would love to explain the meaning behind the word they said.)

As we grew up, we started to talk like our parent.  We shorten our word and didn't bother to explain it, believing everyone should understand it by now. 

You could easily talk to any Asian who was born and raised in Asia for quite sometime about ghost, energy, spirit... (all those thing that require explaination to a normal westerners), most of them would understand you perfectly without asking you to explain yourself. Because those are part of education our parent blended into our day to day life while we were kids.  

In the other hand, Westerner like to say it as it is, make it very simple.  Word for word without any complicated meaning behind it.  That's why translating English to Chinese is easy while Translating Chinese to English is totally different story. 

In result, you will also see way more English book get translated into Chinese, verse Chinese book translated into English!

Even for the most famous Lao-Tzu, whose saying had been translated into English in so many different version; it might make sense to lots of westerner reader, but it was confusing for Chinese to read the English translation. It's very simple.  Without knowing the background of it, people tend to translate it by word with their own mind.  so every version is somewhat different from one very same saying. 

Anyway, as biliqual as I could be, I am confused when I was trying to translate Chinese to English.  so instead, I shall stop trying and simply write whatever I feel like writing, otherwise, it would be even more confused for me to read whatever I was trying to translate!  

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Ruowen Huang

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