圣诞的故事 – 第一部分

How to pronounce: Shèngdàn kuàilè!
With Christmas only a few days away, I choose the festive season as a topic for my recent Chinese homework, much to my teacher's amusement. I wanted to attempt to write a more than just a few continuous sentences, which is what I have been doing so far, and after careful contemplation I decided to dip my foot into 'story writing'. I'm a writer at heart so no matter the language I'll always have a passion for writing. I lack fluency and vocabulary to write anything brilliant in Chinese but I'm pleased with myself for daring to try with less than a year of exposure to the language. I may be insane for deciding to share my efforts with the world but after my teacher and her red pen had a go at my outrageous grammar, I'm not too worried about you reading what has taken me many hours to put together. It's been a painful journey but I have the outcome in black and white: a story in Mandarin Chinese with a word count of 500.

Normally I would laugh at the mere idea of a story with a word count of 500 but considering that I wrote the whole thing in Chinese, this is actually quite a feat. You can say so much more in Chinese than you can in English, it's mesmerising. Unfortunately I have also realised that, despite writing in Chinese, I still managed to ramble and my 'short' Christmas story will be longer than I had initially intended. With this in mind, I split the story into what will hopefully only be two parts, with the second part appearing on this blog sometime after my 中文老师 (zhōngwén lǎoshī / Chinese Teacher) proof-read my work.

Without further ado, I present you my very first attempt at Chinese story writing, though I'm not entirely sure it can be called that just yet. If you have any comments, suggestions, would like to make corrections...all welcome, I won't take offence :-)

 圣诞的故事: 第一部分
(shèngdàn de gùshì: dìyī bùfèn / A Christmas Story, Part 1)


这个故事是关于一个小女孩, 她叫小星星。她的名字叫王晶晶, "小星星" 是她的小名。小星星5岁了, 她有个小弟弟。她会说中文和英语。她去年夏天开始上学。小星星跟她的父母和小弟弟住在都柏林市(爱尔兰), 但她在北戴河(河北省, 中国)出生。小弟弟在爱尔兰出生。小星星的爸爸王先生在一家中国国际公司上班。他是个总经理。王先生经常出差。他常常去中国, 美国和日本。小星星总是很想念爸爸, 所以爸爸每天晚上都打电话给她。
当爸爸打电话给小星星, 她总是说: "爸爸, 我太高兴了!" 
爸爸总是回答: "我也太高兴了!"

王太太是当翻译的, 但因为王先生经常出差, 所以她也是家庭主妇。她照顾小星星和小弟弟。小星星总是帮妈妈照顾小弟弟, 也跟他玩儿。妈妈常常跟小星星说: "小星星, 你是我的小天使。"

让我告诉你更多关于小星星的故事。她很天才, 她喜欢画画。她也抱她的洋娃娃。小星星最喜欢的季节是冬天。她喜欢雪, 也喜欢跟朋友们在雪中玩儿。小星星非常喜欢圣诞, 但是她今年圣诞很难过, 因为爸爸要去中国出差。爸爸不在, 她不想庆祝圣诞。

"爸爸, 别走!"
"抱歉, 小星星。你长大了。我会在1228日回家, 到时我会送你很多圣诞礼物。"
"我就要你, 爸爸!"

待续。。。
(dàixù / to be continued)



For those of you who would like a Pinyin reference to help with the pronunciation of the characters, here you go:


Zhège gùshì shì guānyú yīgè xiǎo nǚhái, tā jiào xiǎoxīngxīng. Tāde míngzì jiào wángjīnjīng, 'xiǎoxīngxīng' shì tāde xiǎomíng. Xiǎoxīngxīng 5 suìle, tā yǒu gè xiǎo dìdì. Tā huì shuō zhōngwén hé yīngyǔ. Tā qùnián xiàtiān kāishǐ shàngxué. Xiǎoxīngxīng gēn tāde fùmǔ hé xiǎodìdì zhù zài dūbólínshì (ài'ěrlán), dàn tā zài běidàihé (héběishěng, zhōngguó) chūshēng. Xiǎo dìdì zài ài'ěrlán chūshēng. Xiǎoxīngxīng de bàba wángxiānshēng zài yījiā zhōngguó guójì gōngsī shàngbān. Tā shìgè zǒng jīnglǐ. Wángxiānshēng jīngcháng chūchāi. Tā chángcháng qù zhōngguó, měiguó hé rìběn. Xiǎoxīngxīng zǒngshì hěn xiǎngniàn bàba, suǒyǐ bàba měitiān wǎnshàng dōu dǎ diànhuà gěi tā.


Dāng bàba dǎ diànhuà gěi xiǎoxīngxīng, tā zǒngshì shuō: “Bàba, wǒ tài gāoxìngle!”


Bàba zǒngshì huídá: “Wǒ yě tài gāoxìngle!”

Wángtàitài shì dāng fānyìde, dàn yīnwèi wángxiānshēng jīngcháng chūchāi, suǒyǐ tā yěshì jiātíngzhǔfù. Tā zhàogù xiǎoxīngxīng hé xiǎo dìdì. Xiǎoxīngxīng zǒngshì bāng māmā zhàogù xiǎodìdì, yě gēn tā wán'r. Māmā chángcháng gēn xiǎoxīngxīng shuō: “Xiǎoxīngxīng, nǐ shì wǒde xiǎo tiānshǐ.”

Ràng wǒ gàosu nǐ gèng duō guānyú xiǎoxīngxīng de gùshì. Tā hěn tiāncái, tā xǐhuan huà huà. Tā yě wēi bào tāde yángwáwá. Xiǎoxīngxīng zuìxǐhuande jìjié shì dōngtiān. Tā xǐhuan xuě, yě xǐhuan gēn péngyǒumen zài xuě zhōng wán'r. Xiǎoxīngxīng fēicháng xǐhuan shèngdàn, dànshì tā jīnnián shèngdàn hěn nánguò, yīnwèi bàba yào qù zhōngguó chūchāi. Bàba bùzài, tā bùxiǎng qìngzhù shèngdàn.

“Bàba, bié zǒu!”
“Bàoqiàn, xiǎoxīngxīng. Nǐ zhǎng dàle. Wǒ huì zài 12 yuè 28 rì huí jiā, dào shí wǒ huì sòng nǐ hěnduō shèngdàn lǐwù.”
“Wǒ jiù yào nǐ, bàba!”




Finally (yes I know, I have taken my time with this) here's the English translation of my little Chinese story. Please note that this is not a word for word translation, as that would sound just weird. The gist of the Chinese story is there, that's for sure:



This story is about a little girl, called Little Star. Her actual name is Jing-Jing Wang but everyone calls her by her nickname. Little Star is five years old and has a little brother. She speaks Mandarin Chinese as well as English and started school last summer.

Little Star, her younger brother and their parents live in Dublin, however Little Star was actually born in Beidaihe (Hebei Province, China). Her little brother was born in Ireland.

Mr Wang, Little Star's dad, works for a big international Chinese company. He is the general manager and is often very busy. He travels a lot, mostly to China, the US and Japan. When Mr Wang is away, Little Star misses her dad badly. To cheer her up, Mr Wang calls his daughter every night before bedtime, when he's away. When the two are talking on the phone, Little Star is always very happy and she tells her dad just that. "I'm so happy, I'm talking to you!" It makes her dad smile and he replies, "I too am happy!"

Mrs Wang, Little Star's mum, used to work as a translator but because her husband travels so much, she is now a stay-at-home-mum. She takes care of her two children but always gets a lot of help from her daughter. Little Star likes to help take care of her brother and often plays with him. Mrs Wang is very happy to see the two get on so well and she often tells her daughter so. "You're my little angel," she says.

Let me tell you a little more about Little Star though. She's a very bright little girl. She likes to paint and play with her dolls. Her favourite season is winter; she likes the snow and likes to play in it together with her friends. She also really likes Christmas but this year she's not in the mood to celebrate. Unfortunately, her dad has to travel to China over the Christmas period, so she's very unhappy.

"Dad, please don't go!" Little Star tells her dad every day that she wants him to stay but Mr Wang really has to go and take care of some important business.

"I'm really sorry, darling, but I really have to go. You're a big girl now, you'll be fine," Mr Wang tries to appease his daughter, "Look, I will be home on the 28th of December, and I promise I will bring you a lot of Christmas presents." You can tell that Little Star isn't happy with that, for she only responds: "I don't want any presents, only you."