新西兰大学生汉语文章比赛

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This post was originally published in 2008
It may contain stale & outdated information. Or it may have grown more awesome with age, like the author.

On Friday I emailed in my entry for the New Zealand Chinese Essay Writing Competition. As I’m a university student, I entered that category. I would have much preferred to enter the in the High-School Category, as I’m sure that’d increase my chances of winning.

As I’ve been extremely busy with university work and trying to get my new plugin ready for release, I didn’t have as much time to devote to the essay as I would have liked. Still, I managed to finish and hand it in.

I thought I’d post it here, in case anyone felt like reading what a Westerner entering a Chinese essay competition writes about…

读万卷书不如行万里路


在我中文学了两年以后,我感觉我中文说得很好。每天,我都练习我的发音,和写汉字,念课文,做作业。因为我很努力地学习,所以我以为我在中国的时候,一定能和中国人交谈。可是当我到中国的时候,我发现现实并不是这样的。我甚至不能听懂岳母问我:“你们三点半下飞机的吗?”我脸红了,我以为她说:“你什么时候开始工作?”那时侯我有一点害怕!

一开始的一个月里,我和我太太常常跟家人一起吃饭,唱歌。虽然我听不懂他们说的上海话,但是大部分时候他们说的普通话我也听不懂,那个时候我很泄气!我太太总是要把他们说的话翻译成英语,然后为他们翻译我说的“中文”,所以虽然是简单的会话,却要用很长时间!因为我们的口音不太相同。虽然后来我的中文有进步,但是我还是很难过,因为我的中文水平没有我以为的好,所以我有些灰心。

第二个月,我们去了北京旅行。我们座了那列“奥林匹克”号火车,从上海到北京用了十一个小时,特别快!我们在北京五天,看了很多名胜古迹。我发现我能听懂北京人说的普通话!这件事让我很开心,也提高了我的信心。我不但能听懂很多北京人说的普通话,而且在我们回到上海的时候,我忽然能听懂更多上海人说的普通话!

在我跟中国人日常交谈以前,我以为一个人可以只读书就能掌握中文。我在中文课上学的知识是理论上的,我在中文课上的时候,因为我想要有好的成绩,所以我怕说错,写错,因为我常常只学习课本里的内容。过了很常时间,我发现如果我继续用这个方法学习中文,我很难和中国人进行自然的日常对话。现在想起来,我觉得我岳父说的:“学语言的人应该像盲人一洋。如果看不见就只能用心去听”很有道理。

我去中国的经历让我了解了一个道理:“读万卷书不如行万里路”。这句话的道理是:比较读书,生活的经历能让我们学到更多书本上学不到的东西。

It begins with the idiom “读万卷书不如行万里路” and goes on to explain how my experience in China convinced me that the idiom describes a truth: “One cannot learn everything from books”.

I wonder how it goes down at the Confucius Institute?

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