原创翻译:龙腾网 http://www.ecsoav.cn 翻译:hht288 转载请注明出处
论坛地址:http://www.ecsoav.cn/bbs/thread-488924-1-1.html

6 LESSONS LEARNED FROM 3 MONTHS IN CHINA

待在中国三个月后的六点经验之谈

China is a fascinating and rapidly changing country. Old customs and habits hang on as modern skyscrapers go up every second, the country becomes more of a global powerhouse, and people from around the world move there. Last year, my friend Scott Young, best known as a learning hacker who learned MIT’s entire computer science program in one year, said to me, “I’m going to travel the world for a year and learn languages.” I was thrilled with the idea! Today, he shares what he learned while living in China for three months — and how the media portrays countries is often very wrong.

中国是一个令人着迷而又快速变化的国家。旧有的习俗依然坚守,与之相随的是现代摩天大楼每时每刻都在拔地而起,这个国家变得越来越像一个全球能量场,来自世界各地的人们都趋之若鹜。去年,我的朋友斯科特·扬对我说:“我要花一年时间环游世界,学习各种语言。”他是最著名的学习型黑客,在一年时间内就学会了麻省理工学院的整个计算机科学的课程。他的这个想法让我激动不已!今天,他分享了他在中国生活了三个月所学到的东西——而媒体对各国的描绘往往是相当错误的。

Recently my friend Vat and I finished a three-month stay in China. The plan was, with minimal preparation, to arrive in China and speak as little English as possible, in order to learn Mandarin Chinese.

最近,我和我的朋友瓦特在中国呆了三个月。我们的计划是要在准备工作最少的情况下,抵达中国,尽可能少讲英语,以便学习汉语普通话。

We shot a mini-documentary about the experience here:

我们拍摄了一部关于在这里的经历的迷你纪录片:

The trip transformed my perception of China, from the unfair image it sometimes has in the West. In this article, I want to share the biggest lessons I learned about China, life, and travel from that experience.

这次旅行改变了我对中国的看法,也就是改变了之前中国在西方时常的不公平形象。在这篇文章中,我要分享从那次经历中我学到的关于在中国生活和旅行的最大经验。

Once you’re interested in the local culture, people open up more

只要你对当地的文化表现出感兴趣,人们就会对你更加开放热情



scott with his homestay family in china

斯科特和他在中国寄宿的一家人

Originally Vat and I hadn’t planned on going to China at all. We were warned that China might not be the best place to meet friends, because people were unfriendly to Westerners. Instead, we were told to go to Taiwan.

起初瓦特和我根本没打算要去中国。有人告诫我们说,中国大陆可能不是与朋友会面的最佳之地,因为那里的人对西方人并不友好。相反,他们告诉我们要去就去台湾。



Don’t judge a country by its media coverage

不要以媒体的报道来评判一个国家



colorful chinese streets with light trails photography

用光路摄影拍摄的流光溢彩的中国街道

Hating China is a popular pastime of Western media. Some of the accusations are at least partially true: parts of China are quite polluted, political freedom isn’t the same as in the West, the Internet is firewalled, and some parts of China are quite poor.

憎恨中国是西方媒体流行的一种消遣。一些指控至少有部分属实:中国部分地区污染严重,政治自由也与西方不一样,互联网被防火墙封锁,而且中国部分地区还相当贫困。

I saw a very different kind of China. Kunming, where I lived for most of my stay, wasn’t polluted. I had frank conversations with Chinese people about communism, Tibet, and democracy. Some sites are blocked, but China has its own versions of YouTube, Netflix, eBay, and Google.

我看到了一个完全不同的中国。我大部分时间都住在昆明,那里并没有被污染。我跟中国人坦率地聊了聊共产主义、西藏和民主。一些(西方)网站被屏蔽,但是中国有他们自己版本的YouTube、奈飞、易贝和谷歌。

China is still developing, but the economic growth means that most people have seen their living standards improve rapidly in the last 20 years. People I spoke with were generally optimistic about the future.

中国仍然在发展,但经济增长意味着大多数人的生活水平在过去20年里都得到了迅速提高。我聊过的人都对未来普遍持乐观态度。

Everything is food here

这里什么都可以做成吃的



lots of food in a chinese shop

中国商店里有琳琅满目的食品

The relationship with food in China is fascinating, and I was amazed at the diversity of ingredients and flavors.

在中国,食物总是那么充满诱惑令人着迷,我惊讶于食材和口味的如此丰富多样。



Chinese is both incredibly interesting and extremely difficult

中文既非常有趣,又非常难学



hand playing a complicated chinese street game

玩一种复杂的中国街头游戏

I won’t lie to you, learning Mandarin Chinese was a struggle. Thousands of characters, with many almost exactly alike. For example, try and spot the difference between these two characters:

我不骗你,学习汉语普通话就是一种挣扎。成千上万个字符,其中有许多几乎就是完全相同的。比方说,你试试找出下面这两个字符之间的区别:



chinese characters

中国汉字

Chinese is a tonal language, which means that the intonation doesn’t just change emphasis but also what words mean. My friend went to a restaurant and attempted to order “shu? ji?o” (boiled dumplings) but instead ordered “shuì jiào” (go to sleep).

汉语是一种声调语言,这意味着语调不仅仅改变重音,还会改变字的意思。我的朋友去了一家餐馆吃饭,想要点份“shǔjiǎo”(水饺),却说成了“shùjiào”(睡觉)。

Finally, few English words borrowed into the language survive unscathed, often sounding completely different from their original. McDonald’s, which is available throughout China, adopts the Chinese name “Mài dàng láo.”

最后,很少有英语词汇能毫无改变地就被借用到汉语中,听起来也往往与它们的原文完全不同。麦当劳在中国随处可见,而它的中文名字是“Mài dàng láo”。

While the Chinese language, like China itself, may seem daunting, it hides one of the most interesting linguistic systems on the planet. Chinese words have a tendency to be built up out of simpler pieces, like building a sentence out of Lego:

虽然汉语就像中国本身一样,可能令人望而生畏,但它却是潜藏的地球上最有趣的语言系统之一。汉语词汇有一种倾向,就是用更简单的部分来构成,组词造句就像是搭乐高积木一样:

panda = “bear cat” (xióngmāo)
chameleon = “color change dragon” (biànsèlóng)
pumpkin = “south melon” (nánguā)
potato = “soil bean” (tǔdòu)
university = “big learn” (dàxué)
movie = “electric shadow” (diànyǐng)

熊猫 = “熊+猫”(xióngmāo)
变色龙 = “变+色+龙”(biànsèlóng)
南瓜 = “南+甜瓜”(nánguā)
土豆 = “土+豆”(tǔdòu)
大学 = “大+学习”(dàxué)
电影 = “电+影”(diànyǐng)



One to five are what you’d expect, but see this video for six to ten:

一到五是你所期望的,但是看这个视频数六到十:

The first time I saw this, I was in a store and the shopkeeper was telling me the price was 10 yuan, indicating it with forefinger and middle fingers crossed. I saw this several times before I realized they were telling me the price and not just holding out hopes that I’d come back to buy more.

我第一次看到这个,是在一家商店是,店主告诉我价钱是10元,就用食指和中指交叉来表示。我看过好几次了,才意识到他们是在告诉我价钱,而不仅仅是希望我会当回头客来买更多的东西。

China has the best places you’ve never heard of

中国有你从未听说过的最好的地方

incredible bamboo forest path

不可思议的竹林小径



Ask people which places they know of in China and most people will raise their hand for Shanghai and Beijing. The more geographically inclined might get Sichuan, Guangdong, or Xi’an. But what about the tropical island of Hainan? The impressive winter festivities in Harbin? The bamboo forests in Chengdu?

要是问问人们他们都知道中国的哪些地方,那么大多数人会举手说上海和北京。从地理位置上讲人们可能更倾向于四川、广东或西安。但是热带岛屿海南怎么样?哈尔滨令人印象深刻的冬日庆典呢?成都的竹林呢?