One Thousand Blood Sweat Words

March 3, 2008 / Daily Life / 26 Comments

Disclaimer: This entry is my first entry written in Chinese. The English translation is kinda awkward and contrived, akin to a second-language English speaker. It’s because I wrote the entry in Chinese first, then translated it back to English. I purposefully did so to show non-Chinese speakers the level of my Chinese. And yes, that means my Chinese is awkward and unnatural. But you know, effort must count for something! 😉


大多数的人每天都在拼命地赚血汗钱,我这三天来在拼命地写一千两百的血汗字。我学汉语才学了三年, 认的汉字也不多 - 最多有3000吧。对我来说,写文章是一个非常痛苦的事。英语的文章就够痛苦了,现在还要写中文的文章。真是很麻烦。每个句子都要用到没学过的字。即使我现在在抱怨,但我很高兴在三年来能写出那么长那么复杂的文章。三年前,我只能认“陈爱薇”这三个字 。别的字一个也认不出,甚至于“名字”这两个字也不认识。现在,写了1200字的文章给我一个成就感。虽然认识的字比中国人还少,口音还想老外那样,这1200的血汗字表示我这三年来的痛苦,这三年来的承诺。由于这1200的血汗字,我会继续学汉语…直到能流利地讲,写,听,读汉语的那一天。

English Translation

While most people spend their lives toiling over blood-sweat (hard-earned) money, I spent these three days slogging over 1,200 blood-sweat Chinese words. I’ve only learned Chinese for three years; I still can’t read much Chinese – probably only about a maximum of 3000 words.

Writing essays have always been a pain to me. It’s already quite the pain to write essays in English, now I have to write an essay in Chinese. Jeez. I have to check the dictionary every sentence because there are so many words that I haven’t learned. Although I’m complaining right now, I’m actually quite happy that I managed to write such a long and complex paper.

Three years ago, I was only able to write three words: Chen Ai Wei (my Chinese name). I couldn’t read any other words; not even the word “name”! So writing a 1,200-word essay today has left me with a feeling of accomplishment. And although I still don’t read as many words as mainland Chinese and my accent still sounds like a white man speaking Chinese, this 1,200 blood-sweat words symbolizes my three years of pain and effort.

So with this 1,200 blood-sweat words, I will continue to learn Chinese…until the day I can speak, write, understand and read Chinese fluently.