Well well well, lookie here. A guest post! Today we’ll be reading Rebecca Chua’s (Chinese name: 蔡幸彤) translation of an essay from her textbook. The post is about the rewards of honesty. I remember my own textbook being full of these types of essays, so thank you, Rebecca, for the traditional read.

Learn Mandarin Chinese Characters: Practice Reading Simplified Chinese Character EssaysRebecca has this to say about the post: This story talks about a school-going child’s problems of getting his parents to sign his papers. It also talks about being honest, and that life’s exam papers matter the most. This essay was from my tutoring centre’s teaching materials. This was done with help. Thank you for those who helped me!

(And the same in Chinese:) 这个故事是讲述华文考试卷要签名所遇到的困难。这个故事教我们要诚实,也教我们,虽然考卷的真正分数低,但人生的考卷上有高分才是最重要的。

One of the interesting things about this post is the punctuation. In Chinese, they use a six-dot ellipses …… where we only use… three. (u c wat i did thar?). We also learn a little culture here: it’s worth noting that in most Chinese highschools, parents actually have to sign your test results to prove you showed it to them. We also see that Rebecca’s book spells “A+” as “A*”.

I’m super loving this phrase – 从天堂降落到地狱 – though it might need a little breakdown:

从 – From
天堂 – Heaven
降落 – descend
到 – to
地狱 – Hell

This phrase means to “have a sinking heart” or to “fall from joy to misery”.

Click to Listen

发下来 – fā xià lai – To pass out (papers), hand back (homework)
考卷 – kǎo juàn – Exam paper
沉重 – chén zhòng – Hard, serious
羡慕 – xiàn mù – To envy
竟然 – jìng rán – Unexpectedly
松了一口气 – sōng le yī kǒu qì – Let out a sigh (usually of relief)
顿 – dùn – Classifier for a period of time when a beating, scolding or critique takes place
到底 – dào dǐ – When all is said and done

我背着书包,手里拿着刚刚发下来考卷,一边拖着沉重的脚步向家走着,一边紧张的思考怎样让爸爸在考卷上签名……前两天的考卷,今天老师发下来了。我拿了一个A*,考到了97分!同学们都很羡慕我,我也得到老师的肯定。在老师要我们做改正的时候,我就从天堂降落到地狱。天啊!我竟然忘了一整页试题,整整要被扣十分!但是老师却没发现,我还真不知该不该对她说。这时,我的头脑出现了两个“我”,一个说:“算了,不要告诉老师,我已经得了老师的肯定,同学们又那么羡慕我,如果我告诉老师,不就等于丢我的脸,还失去爸爸要给我的礼物。”另一个说:“不行,要做个诚实的人,一定要告诉老师。”于是,我对老师说:“我漏掉了这些题,应该是87 分!”老师帮我改分数的那一刻,我立刻松了一口气

在回家的路上,我真希望我没有对老师说这番话。现在,我不仅要丢掉爸爸的礼物,还得被他骂一。晚上,我把考卷交给爸爸,爸爸说:“你为什么那么不小心?为什么一整页的题目没做?为什么?” 如在平时,当他问我这些问题时,我会叫他一个“十万个为什么”的人。可现在,我不敢,应为他生气得好像要打我似的。突然,他看见97分改成87分,很奇怪地问我:”到底怎么一回事?“我把情况如实地告诉了他。我低着头,准备继续挨训。



Carrying a heavy load on my back, holding the exam papers that were just handed back to us, I wondered how I could make my father sign this paper……

The exam, which was held just two days before, was handed back to us. I got an A+, a high score of 97 points! All the students in my class were envious of me, and I got the praise of my teacher. But when we were asked to do corrections, I found myself dropping all the way from heaven to hell. I actually forgot to do a whole page of questions, and had to be deducted of ten marks! But my teacher hadn’t discovered yet, and I wasn’t sure if I had to say it to her. I was in two minds. One said, “Don’t tell her, otherwise you would lose face and lose your father’s present!” The other said, “No, you should be honest, just tell her!” So, I said, “I missed these questions, the actual points should be 87!” When she helped me change my score, I heaved a sigh of relief.

When I was going home, I wished I had not said all that. Now, not only was I going to lose my father’s present, but I was also going to be scolded by him. At night, when I passed my paper to him, he said,”Why were you so careless? Why did you miss out a whole page of questions?” Usually, when he asks me all these questions, I call him a “dad of ten-thousand questions”. But now, I daren’t, because he seems so angry that he might hit me. Suddenly, when he saw that my 97 points became 87 points, he asked me,”What happened?” I told him the truth, and lowered my head, ready to continue being scolded.

My father silenced for a while. Then he suddenly said, “No, darling, even though you results aren’t satisfactory, in life’s exam, you have gotten a high score. I am proud of you! You have done it right……” after saying that he signed his name.

The next morning, carrying my schoolbag, with light steps, I was feeling happy. Welcoming the rising sun, I walked towards my school with confidence……

22 comments to "Guest Post by Rebecca Chua: The difference between life’s exam and exam papers"

  1. Reply Luke Callanan says: May 8, 2013 at 10:30 am

    In the second paragraph near the end, in the sentence: “可现在,我不敢,应为他生气得好像要打我似的”, should that not be “因为他生气。。。” and not “应为”?

  2. In the first paragraph, in the sentence “…还失去爸爸要給我的礼物”, the “给” is a traditional character. Is there a reason for this, or is it a typo? I’m curious because this isn’t the first time I’ve seen a random traditional character in simplified text (usually it’s 著 instead of 着).

    Thank you for all the readings! This website is priceless!

  3. Reply Howard Stones says: July 19, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    In the second last paragraph, for 宝贝儿 it just says, variant of (the traditional character), but doesn’t give the meaning.

  4. Reply Adam Szczyglo says: September 12, 2015 at 1:56 am

    Hi,, in this sentence , 爸爸为你骄傲, I heard that 骄傲 refers only to be proud of oneself and usually in negative way, too pride, conceited, so probably in this context being pride of one’s child behaviour the other word should be applied. what do you think?

  5. A lesson for life, life’s exams are bigger and a lot longer but there still alike in some ways. Always look at the bright side never go undernethe, always look up. ( at least it wasn’t close to an F, C, or D so he’s good right ) always be honest, anyways thanks a lot once again. ^…^. :)

  6. “一边紧张的思考” should have 地 instead of 的, right?

    By the way this blog is totally saving my Chinese skills. Thank you.

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